Hunt Meadows Elementary (2023)
- Number of Students: 557
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 42%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 0%
- Percent of Special Education: 14.9%
- White: 84%
- Black: 4.13%
- Hispanic: 6.64%
- Asian: 0.1%
- Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
- American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.1%
- Multiracial: 5.03%
- Other: 0%
Hunt Meadows Elementary is a Pre-K through 5th-grade public school located in the foothills of South Carolina. Our learning community holds the shared vision to become a school that collaboratively sets high expectations and goals in order to create independent, lifelong learners. During the fall of the 2018-2019 school year the administrative team attended the PLC at Work Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to this conference, we consistently collaborated, participated in book studies and met to discuss student progress. However, we quickly learned that we were not focused on the "right" work. The PLC at Work Institute ignited a passion for ALL students learning at HIGH levels. The team had a sense of urgency to share that passion with the faculty and staff.
The following semester, Hunt Meadows began making steps towards embedding the three big ideas of PLC into our school culture: focusing on learning, being collaborative and having collective responsibility, and focusing on results. The first step for us was to determine our guiding coalition. This was a group of teachers and staff that are always willing to think outside the box in order to benefit our students. Once this group had ownership in the idea of becoming a Professional Learning Community (PLC), they were able to help present the idea and build consensus with the rest of the faculty and staff. They shared the role of introducing the big ideas of PLC during faculty meetings, along with the administrative team.
Beginning with the WHY was a crucial step in rallying our school together. Collectively, we met to revisit and ultimately rewrite our school mission statement, building a sense of shared ownership and commitment to our purpose. We also addressed the current reality of our school by evaluating data. We came to the realization that no matter how well we may be performing compared to other schools in the state, we have a population of students in our building that are still not meeting state proficiency levels. As a school, we will not be satisfied until we can say that we are meeting the needs of ALL of our students in order to help them learn at HIGH (grade-level or above) levels. Once our staff reached consensus on beginning our PLC journey, the administrative team ensured that teachers would have time to meet collaboratively within the school day. As a PLC Community, collective commitments helped define the “tight” and “loose” elements within the collaborative culture of the school. These commitments drive all decisions.
The mission, vision and collective commitments of Hunt Meadows continuously drive our instructional program to help ensure all students are learning at high levels. These goals are also reflected in our Strategic Renewal Plan, collaborative team goals, and individual student goals. PLC's are not just something we do, it defines who we are. Through this process, Hunt Meadows has grown from receiving an Average report card rating (overall score of 45) in 2018, to receiving the highest rating of Excellent in 2022 and 2023 (overall score of 73). While we are thrilled with our progress, we are committed to this ongoing process and know there is still work to be done to ensure ALL means ALL.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
Beginning with Question 1, "What do we want students to learn?", teacher teams spend time identifying essential standards using the R.E.A.L. (Readiness, Endurance, Assessed, Leverage) process. It's important as a team to reach consensus on which standards are essential and which standards are "nice to know". Although we teach all of the South Carolina College and Career-Ready Standards, our essentials are the ones that teams come together to collaborate on. These essentials comprise our guaranteed and viable curriculum and become our promise to parents. As a school, we are committed to students mastering the essentials for each grade level. Once our essentials have been identified, teachers engage in discussion to unwrap the standards. During these discussions, teachers are able to come to consensus on how to break the standard into learning targets. They also determine the level of rigor for each learning target and what proficiency will look like. Putting in the right work for this question, provides a more unified approach to our instructional program.
Clarity on the standards also assists teachers in answering Question 2, "How will we know if they learned?" Team-created common formative and summative assessments are aligned to learning targets and levels of rigor. The formative assessments are used to monitor student progress throughout the unit. Teachers can see growth by student, by standard, by learning target. As a school, we follow the rule that data expires within 48 hours. Therefore, we analyze data within this timeframe to provide feedback and support for students before the summative assessment. In order to make the 48-hour rule more realistic, we have created a schedule that allows teacher teams to meet twice a week. Providing more time and support during Tier 1 involves small group reteaching in the classroom and, when necessary, swapping students with other teachers within the grade level.
Working through creating a guaranteed and viable curriculum as a grade-level and school helps to create strong Tier 1 instruction. Without this best, first instruction, we would have too many students requiring service at the Tier 2 and Tier 3 level. The administrative team has ensured that teachers have Tier 2 and Tier 3 time built into the schedule. Students are identified for Tier 2 intervention based on common summative assessments. These students are able to receive additional time and support on previous units and grade level essential standards. This schedule makes it possible for an entire grade level to have Tier 2 instruction at the same time in order for highly-qualified classroom teachers, who are the experts on the standards, to lead the reteaching. Students are identified for Tier 3 based on previous grade-level essentials and other benchmark screeners. These students, found to be missing foundational concepts, meet daily with classroom teachers and interventionists to work on targeted skills.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
Addressing Questions 3 and 4 ("What do we do if students haven't learned?" and "What do we do if students already learned?") have been where Hunt Meadows has shown the most growth. Our teachers work collaboratively to identify students that need extra time and support, as well as students that could benefit from extension or enrichment. The biggest shift for our school has been shifting our focus to more targeted skills. In the past, we have grouped students based on a reading level or performance on a summative test. Now, we're able to identify a specific learning target that students need to work on. This focused, targeted instruction has led to tremendous growth for our school. Teachers are able to utilize their common formative assessment data and create action plans to address specific learning targets.
Beginning in the 2019-2020 school year, Hunt Meadows implemented our SHINE time. This was an intentional time for teachers to revisit essential standards and provide intervention and extension. Due to the global pandemic, we were no longer able to share students due to district guidelines. This slowed our progress in being able to respond to students' instructional needs. Fortunately, since guidelines and restrictions have been lifted, we have resumed a school-wide schedule that provides fluidity among classrooms. General education teacher teams collaborate alongside K-2 and 3-5 interventionists, the Literacy Coach and administrative team to identify students that would benefit from additional support at the Tier 2 and 3 level.
As we've progressed through the process of becoming a true Professional Learning Community, we felt the need to provide even more time in the schedule to respond to Tier 2 and Tier 3 needs. These times have been added to each grade level in the school's master schedule. This was another important shift in our thinking. These blocks help ensure that all students have access to all three tiers to receive support when they need it. Teacher teams use their common formative assessment data to identify students to be served during these designated blocks of time. Many times during these blocks, you will find school personnel pushing into the general education setting as well as students changing classrooms. The resource teacher also pushes in to support students that qualify for additional services at all tiers.
During the 2021-2022 school year we also launched our MTSS team. This team meets monthly to review student data. Team members include the administrative team, Literacy Coach, interventionists, special education teacher, guidance counselor, speech pathologist and school psychologist. These experts are available to the teacher to help create goals and interventions for each student. These goals are progress monitored over 4-6 weeks and then the team revisits the student's data to determine the next steps.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
Hunt Meadows believes strongly that students learn more when teachers learn more. In order to build capacity in our faculty and staff we provide multiple professional learning opportunities and experiences. All of our staff have been able to receive professional development from a Solution Tree consultant. Furthermore, ten of our staff have been able to attend a PLC at Work Institute. This year, we have continued to build shared knowledge of the PLC process through the creation of our district strategy implementation guide. This tool provides pathways for each collaborative team to continuously improve their craft and ensure they are focused on the "right" work. Our administrative team and guiding coalition also continue to lead shared learning that provide resources, clarity, and support. We believe these experiences serve as a model and a framework to keep our teams focused on efforts that lead to improved learning for all students.
Achievement Data Files
Additional Achievement Data
The attached data sheet shows performance levels from SCREADY (a state-wide assessment given annually), MAP (Measures of Academic Progress from NWEA) and STAR (Renaissance Learning). MAP was a universal screener required by our district and given three times each year as a benchmark to help monitor growth and guide instruction. This past year, our district switched from MAP to STAR. Subgroup data for SC Ready is not reported for our school due to our low percentages for each subgroup.
As a part of the PLC process, we are committed to seeing all students learn at high levels. As shown in the attached data, students at Hunt Meadows Elementary School are showing continuous growth in the areas of ELA and math. Our overall rating has changed from “Average” (with an overall score of 45) in 2018, to “Excellent” (with an overall score of 67 and 73) over the last two years. When we came back to school after the pandemic, our school felt a renewed sense of urgency to collaborate around the four critical questions. This resulted in intentional, targeted small group instruction for all students. We believe these gains are a testament to the hard work of our staff and the collective commitments we hold to ensure all students are achieving at high levels.
Excellent State Report Card Rating
Perfect Student Scores on SC Ready State Assessment
Excellent State Report Card Rating
Highest growth in the district for 5th grade math
Perfect Student Scores on SC Ready State Assessment