Margaret Fischer Davis Elementary (2023)

  1. PLC Story
  2. PLC Practices
  3. Achievement Data
  4. Awards
  5. Resources

Pleasant Grove Independent School District began its journey with the PLC process around 2015. At this time our district was functioning as a PLC “Lite.” At the elementary campus,  teachers would have “PLC meetings” once a week. The meetings had no clear agenda. Teachers were grouped with their grade level teams and would often get off-track during the time allotted. Norms were created but teachers were not held accountable to them, lesson plans were often distributed rather than created through collaboration, student data was rarely discussed, and campus leaders were often not present during these meetings. Teachers and administrators were receiving little to no training from the experts. We were not even sure of the purpose of these meetings. This type of “collaboration” went on for about four years.


Fast forward to the spring of 2019, when our district named a new superintendent. Mr. Pirtle began a district-wide analysis on our practices, policies, and procedures.This analysis helped him begin to understand the district's knowledge of the PLC process. District leadership and campus leadership began developing the foundational pieces of our mission, vision, and collective commitments. This process was our true starting point to becoming an actual professional learning community. In the fall of 2019, district and campus leadership attended their first PLC Institute. The priority at this time was to train leadership on the process. We continued to learn as a district throughout the school year. During the summer of 2020, the district hired campus learning coordinators for each campus to help lead the PLC process. Then, due to COVID, the plan to take a larger group to the PLC Institute was canceled. We made the best of the situation and pulled together six feet apart for our first large group of PLC learning with a Solution Tree Associate, Dennis King. This group included district leadership and each campus’ guiding coalition. 


True action began at the campus level in the summer of 2020. Our campus learning coordinator met with teachers and administrators to prioritize our standards. At this time, our kindergarten and 1st grade teams were using standards-based report cards. This process helped our teachers prioritize our standards, but we knew there was still a lot of learning to be done around what standards-based reporting really meant for teachers, students, and parents. That fall, our campus was set to move into a brand new building. Brand new building meant a brand new start, right? Unfortunately, the move was delayed until November of 2020 due to COVID. So, in August of 2020, we entered Pleasant Grove Elementary school with masks, online learning, and social distancing. Our rooms were halfway packed in hopes of moving campuses soon. Finally, November 9th was set as the date to move into our brand new building, and we were extremely excited. Not only were we getting a new building, but we were also getting state-of-the-art technology to help our students learn. Our new campus had a designated “War Room” for collaborative team time, and we were ready to get focused on the right work. We ended our run at Pleasant Grove Elementary on November 6th, and, on November 9th, we transitioned to Margaret Fischer Davis Elementary School. We wore shirts that first day that said, “The best time for new beginnings is now.” We not only had a new building, but a new principal was assigned then also. This change in leadership became a catalyst for the impact of professional learning communities on our campus. The principal immediately pulled together the guiding coalition to create the campus mission, vision, and collective commitments. With the help of those influential staff members, these foundational pieces were shared with the staff and members were given the opportunity to give a “fist to five” in agreement. Our mission was championed from that point forward: there was clarity of purpose and the expectations were high. Our campus culture was transformed. The campus came together during CTM time with a new mission and vision and the path forward was becoming more clear. The CLC, principal, and collaborative team were all utilizing their CTM time to focus on learning. The use of articles, videos, and book studies was prominent, since  we needed to continue building shared knowledge. We began to utilize common formative assessments to gauge our effectiveness. Our guiding coalition also participated in the RTI at Work PEP. This training helped us better understand the systems we needed to put into place in order for us to meet our mission of ensuring high levels of learning for each of our students. Our weaknesses were glaring on that page and helped us realize how much work we still needed to put in. This was our year of reflection and growth. 


In the 2021-2022 school year, we met with our guiding coalition to review our campus mission, vision, and collective commitments. During this meeting, our CLC presented the campus data portrait from the previous year. As a team, we celebrated and set goals for the upcoming year. We were able to make the shift from having collaborative team meetings once a week to twice a week. This allowed for more structured collaboration among teams. Data became our focus during this year. We narrowed our priority standards even more than we had the year before. We created campus spreadsheets to document student data by standard. We focused on CFAs, analyzed them in a timely manner, reflected on our instructional practices, and intervened and extended learning with our students. This was our year for data. 


In the summer of 2022, we took twenty-eight staff members to the PLC institute in Austin, TX. The institute began to solidify the learning for our staff. In the 2022-2023 school year, we came back on fire for our students. We continued to refine our policies, practices, and procedures. We implemented CTMs five days a week which dramatically increased what we were able to do for our students. The second grade team implemented standards based report cards and zeroed in on our students by standard and learning target. This was the missing piece to the puzzle for our campus. We wrapped up the 2023 school year by taking twenty-four staff members to a PLC Institute in Oklahoma City. Our district was also named a Model PLC District by Solution Tree at that time. 


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Our teachers begin with the PGISD Work of Teams (attachment), which begins by identifying priority standards. Teams engage in this collaborative process unit-by-unit to create a shared understanding of what students need to know and be able to do. Once this process is complete, teachers begin to develop learning progression ladders that include our learning targets. These targets are inserted into the unit pacing calendar to ensure standards are being taught and covered in a timely manner. The calendar also ensures that CFAs are given at the same time within the unit, making our data viable. These learning progressions are then built into a rubric that is used for our standards-based report cards. Assessments, both formative and summative, are created by the collaborative team prior to teaching the unit.  Once assessments are given, teachers are responsible for inputting student data within a forty-eight hour window. This process ensures that our data is viable. Teams come together during their CTM to analyze the data using our Data Analysis Protocol (attachment). They look at instructional practices as well as student learning. After analyzing the data, students are placed into Tier 2 or extension groups based on need. Teachers on campus believe in taking collective responsibility for all students within the campus. This is an on-going cycle within the CTMs, and student data is tracked and analyzed on a regular basis. Through our standards-based report cards, we have seen substantial growth. These report cards have helped narrow the focus on the priorities to truly identify the students who are struggling and excelling within the standards. Not only are campus administrators present in teams’ collaborative meetings, during their weekly A Team meeting, administrators monitor unit plans and student data to determine areas of support.


2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

Margaret Fischer Davis Elementary has created a system of intervention for ALL students. The master schedule is created with common grade level Tier 2 times as well as Tier 3 times. These are time frames outside of Tier 1 instruction (attachment). During these allotted tiered times, groups are intentionally structured based on student need.

System of intervention for Tier 3 time: 

Students are plugged into Tier 3 groups based on beginning, middle, and end-of-year screeners. Participants are students who are performing well below grade level. 

Pull-out interventions include: dyslexia, reading intervention, speech, and special education services. We strive to structure our students’ schedules to receive these services during the allotted time on the schedule. Ensuring that these students have access to Tier 1 instruction is essential. We believe that all students who will live independently need access to grade level instruction. It takes a collaborative effort for all staff to make this time effective. 

When looking at our Tier 3 general education services, we know that screeners alone may not catch all of those needing interventions. Our campus has developed an RTI Procedures and Protocols handbook for Tier 3 pull-out reading intervention (attachment). We utilize a campus intervention team to help make decisions regarding students in the area of Tier 3 intervention. Many students will close gaps during these interventions throughout the year, but those who continue to struggle go before an intervention team to determine if additional testing is needed. 

System of intervention for Tier 2 time: 

Here at MFDES, we utilize our progression ladders to determine prerequisite skills students must have in order to be successful in the upcoming unit. Our common practice is for collaborative teams to develop pre-assessments prior to beginning a unit to determine which students need additional support during Tier 2 time. Then, during the unit, teachers administer CFAs, analyze the data, and create Tier 2 groups based on student need. Teachers with best instructional strategies within the grade level take time to share students during this block of time. Students will receive intervention and extension based on data collected from all assessments. We also have flexible time built into the units in the event that more time is needed for students to master the priority standards.


3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

Building teacher capacity is key in continuing to excel in the PLC process. The campus learning coordinator sits on the district learning services team. This team has weekly meetings where learning is shared and professional development is created based on campus and district needs. Each month, the campus administrators meet for a day of learning called the Leaders of Learning (LOL) meeting along with the district learning services team, superintendent, assistant superintendent, and other pertinent team members. This allows for district alignment and sharing of best practices. Here at MFDES, the administrative team takes the information and learning received to our guiding coalition meetings that meet twice monthly. The principal gets the pulse of the campus during the guiding coalition meeting to see if it is an appropriate time to roll out new learning to everyone. This learning is then embedded into our team and staff meetings at appropriate times. Learning at the guiding coalition meetings is relevant and meaningful. All new learning is filtered through the lens of the PLC process and focuses on ways to ensure high levels of learning for all students. In addition, the principal shares a weekly newsletter with teachers which includes articles and videos relevant to the PLC process. Although not required reading, the MFDES staff is eager for new learning and ideas, and these PLC nuggets contribute to the culture on campus. Teachers are also regularly celebrated and receive timely instructional feedback from walkthrough data. This data was created as a learning tool, not an evaluative tool, and is only used to enhance student learning. In addition to regular professional development days throughout the year, teachers have been invited to attend two different PLC institutes. Both trips had more than twenty MFDES staff members in attendance. We have found that immersing ourselves in the learning and the work has greatly benefited our students. Teachers who have been unable to attend an institute don’t completely miss out since they receive quality learning from our district’s learning services and campus leadership teams on professional development days throughout the year. 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Over the past three years, Margaret Fischer Davis Elementary has focused on student learning. In addition to the data linked, other areas of growth include: 

  • Dyslexia referrals have been cut in half due to focused instruction on phonics

  • Teachers have adjusted lesson plans to include flex days for additional learning in the standards. 

  • Standards based report cards have contributed to the effectiveness of instruction through unit data. 

  • Assessments have become more intentionally based on priority standards. 

  • More students are reading at grade level or above.

Named Model PLC District 2023 

Received an “A” Rating from Texas Education Agency (2022)


Distinction Designations
Texas Education Agency (TEA) Distinctions acknowledges districts and campuses for outstanding achievement based on the outcomes of several performance indicators. Distinctions are awarded based on the campus ranking in the top quartile of 40 other similar campuses from across the state on a percentage of indicators related to each defined distinction. MFDES is a feeder school for Pleasant Grove Intermediate campus. We do not have state testing for k-2, therefore we carry PGIS accountability ratings. 
2019 Accountability Cycle: 
Pleasant Grove Intermediate School: 4 Distinction Designations
2021 Accountability Cycle:
No Distinction Designations awareded due to COVID disruption
2022 Accountability Cycle:
Pleasant Grove Intermediate School: 6 Distinction Designations
Texas Education Agency A-F Accountability Ratings Growth Highlights:
  • Pleasant Grove Intermediate School Academic Growth Scale Score: from 82 (B) in 2019 to 92 (A) in 2022
  • Pleasant Grove Intermediate School Closing the Gaps Scale Score: from 87 (B) to 98 (A) in 2022