Crosswind Elementary (2023)

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

Crosswind Elementary School, situated in the suburbs bordering Memphis, Tennessee, is actively pursuing recognition as a Model Professional Learning Community (PLC) school. With a consistent annual enrollment of 700-750 students, we proudly boast an experienced faculty, robust parental engagement, and a district office that provides unwavering support. At the heart of our educational endeavor is our visionary commitment: ensuring every student achieves at least one year's academic growth, or more, across all four core subjects within a single academic year. With this vision guiding our every decision, we have seen tremendous growth over the last three years. 

However, this was not always the case. Since the state began tracking growth data, Crosswind has struggled to consistenly show growth. With a new principal coming on board four years ago, Crosswind Elementary School has made it a top priority to transform our school into a genuine professional learning community (PLC). While PLCs existed in name, they were primarily used for sharing grade-level information, book studies, and technology updates. Under the guidance of a new adminstrator, our focus became the power of collaboration and the significant impact that a group of educators working together can have on student growth and our own professional development.

In pursuit of this vision, we partnered with Solution Tree four years ago and brought in a presenter who provided training on the foundations of PLCs and the importance of interventions. From that point onward, we remained steadfast in our focus on building collaborative teams and enhancing teacher efficacy. We restructured our master schedule to allow for common planning time for grade levels, and we established weekly collaborative team meetings with an intense and direct focus on student data, interventions, and student work. Our adminstrative team is active in the collaborative meetings, supporting the importance of the work being done. 

At the start of this academic year, we had the privilege of learning from Dr. Pam Liebenberg, who led a day-long professional development session with the entire faculty on the concept of "Letting Data Lead." As a result of our efforts, Crosswind is an exceptionally high-performing school, consistently achieving marked gains in student achievement and growth. We were named a Reward School by the state of Tennessee for the 21-22 school year and we have received all A's in achievement from the state since 1997. We were also nominated as a National Blue Ribbon School for the 21-22 school year and we will learn if we are selected in September. Our success can be attributed to the effective implementation of the PLC process and the positive culture present in our school.

We firmly believe that we are stronger together, and our students are truly "our students." They deserve the best we have to offer, and we are committed to tapping into the potential within our building. By leveraging school-wide data, we create tailored professional development opportunities led by the experts in our building; our teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators. The impact of these efforts has been profound, leading to continued growth and success for both our students and our educators.

In summary, our school has built shared understanding and commitment to the PLC at Work® process by prioritizing collaboration, leveraging data, and investing in professional development. We have fostered a culture of continuous improvement that empowers our educators to collectively work towards enhancing student outcomes and their own professional growth. The success we have achieved is a testament to the power of the PLC approach and the dedication of our entire school community.






1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Over the past four years, Crosswind has placed a strong emphasis on collaboration and the Professional Learning Community (PLC) process, ensuring a robust curriculum for all students. Our dedicated and experienced staff embodies professionalism, expertise, and diligence. This academic year, as a united faculty, we undertook a comprehensive review of our vision, mission, and core values.

At Crosswind, our vision is straightforward yet impactful: "100% of our students will show at least one year's growth, or more, corresponding to a year's worth of schooling in all four academic domains." This vision propels our collaborative team meetings, guides our professional development initiatives, and shapes our school-wide focus. Our mission encapsulates our unwavering commitment: "Crosswind is a place where children come first.

In the context of our educational approach, collaborative teamwork assumes a central role. We methodically deconstruct the essential standards and learning targets, enabling us to precisely tailor our student assignments. Our engagement with data is comprehensive, using data to guide our decision-making process and employing it as a navigational tool to pinpoint students in need of reteaching, as well as those who could thrive with enrichment and extended opportunities. Students in need of reteaching may recevive support during Intervention time in the classrooms with the grade level team or with one of our two Interventionists in a small group setting with a ratio of 3:1. This data-centric methodology strongly underscores our dedication to fostering personalized student advancement.

During the summer months, teacher representatives and district staff convene to develop and refine the scope and sequence along with the pacing guide. These invaluable documents then serve as our compass for daily classroom instruction. We remain steadfast in adhering to the district's adopted curriculum, guaranteeing each child access to a high-quality educational framework. Our commitment to this curriculum is reinforced by the data, which reflects uniform adoption across all classrooms as indicated by frequent visits from administrators and instructional coaches, but more importantly, teachers who collaborate, share and who are excited about teaching. 

In addition, our state provides Focus Documents for math, which serves to further deconstruct the standard, providing clear guidelines and examples of what student work looks like at levels one through four. 

In the collaborative team meetings, every team is responsible for selecting student work to present. This student work aligns seamlessly with our curriculum, and these meetings entail a thorough exploration of the work's rigor to ensure its alignment with the standards. A significant portion of our collaborative process is dedicated to in-depth analysis of the standards, alongside meticulous scrutiny of the student work, ensuring a harmonious alignment between the two.





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

Crosswind Elementary has a targeted intervention period within the regular school schedule, serving as a pivotal approach to meeting our students' diverse needs. This dedicated block, spanning from 45 minutes to 1 hour, is meticulously designed to offer personalized instruction aligned with each student's distinct requirements. Moreover, our scheduling ensures that every grade-level team benefits from a shared planning session, fostering collaborative teamwork on a weekly basis.

During this intervention period, our students receive a range of tailored support to address their specific challenges and strengths. Students struggling with particular skills receive remedial guidance from certified intervention teachers. Those needing standards-based reinforcement engage with grade-level team members, while those who have already mastered content are presented with enriching tasks to foster further growth. Our commitment extends to students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) encompassing speech, language, academics, occupational therapy, and physical therapy, ensuring that they receive specialized instruction aligned with their individual goals.

In addition to these targeted interventions, our practices also encompass benchmark screenings, a cornerstone in identifying areas needing attention. Our Student Response to Intervention Team (SRTI) convenes monthly to analyze data from benchmark assessments and informal evaluations. This cohesive team includes intervention teachers, general education teachers, specialists, special education teachers, ESL teachers, school counselors and administrators. Through this collaborative effort, students requiring Reading and/or Math interventions are identified and supported.

Furthermore, our commitment to transparent communication and ongoing refinement is evident in our monthly interactions with the families of students receiving remediation support. This shared endeavor ensures a comprehensive and unified approach to providing each child with the utmost support possible.

Notably, our commitment to data-driven decision-making is reinforced by the administration of Aimsweb benchmark assessments three times yearly for both Reading and Math. This comprehensive assessment regimen is supplemented by the expertise of the SRTI team, ensuring that a holistic understanding of each student's needs guides our interventions.

In essence, Crosswind Elementary's multifaceted approach to intervention not only meets the needs of our students but also contributes to our vision of becoming an exemplary learning community, ensuring we meet the needs of every child entrusted to us. 




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

Crosswind teachers and staff work together in collaborative teams to dig into data to focus efforts on student growth and achievement.  Throughout the year, data is taken from benchmarks, summative assessments, formative assessments, informal observations, projects, and other areas. Teachers work together to hone in on teacher strengths to provide quality instruction to all students. Every week, our grade level teams gather for dedicated collaborative meetings. This time is carefully safeguarded, free from any interruptions such as IEP meetings or parent conferences. This intentional protection highlights the importance we place on the tasks undertaken during these collaborative moments. Our teachers approach these meetings equipped with pre-selected student assignments, poised to engage in data analysis. Our ultimate objective is to refine our instructional approaches, with the overarching aim of elevating student learning outcomes.

To build teacher capacity, we provide evidence-based Professional development catered to our student population and best teacher practices. We have instructional coaches for ELA and Math who provide additional support to teachers to improve instructional strategies and lesson quality. They also serve as mentors and role modesl. Our on-site instructional facilitator works with teachers to implement technology into all facets of instruction as well as Crosswind Elementary to become an Apple Distinguished School. During our district wide Professional Development days, teachers can collaborate with other teachers in their grade band across the district. Teachers are given the opportunity to facilitate professional development and are encouraged to take on more leadership roles. The district partners with local colleges and universities to provide teachers the opportunities to pursue advanced degrees, in the areas of Math, ELA, and SPED.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Our available data for kindergarten and first grade is restricted due to the fact that the 2022-2023 school year marked our initial implementation with Aimsweb benchmarking. In the past, we relied on Easy CBM for data collection, but unfortunately, we lack access to this data for the purpose of making comparisons. In addition, we used STAR in the past, but we no longer have access to this program. For comparision data with Aimsweb, we do not have state data since not all districts in the state use this benchmark. We do have access to national data, if needed.  

Crosswind's dedication to collaboration among teachers and administrators has led to remarkable achievements. In the 21-22 school year, the state of TN recognized Crosswind as a Reward School. Our commitment to working in collaborative teams and valuing the Professional Learning Community (PLC) process played a pivotal role in achieving significant progress despite the challenges posed by COVID.

Notably, Crosswind's efforts have yielded substantial gains. Since the 2019 school year, our school has surpassed its pre-COVID achievement scores across all subjects for grades 3rd to 5th on state standardized tests.

In recognition of our excellence, Crosswind received a nomination as a National Blue Ribbon School for the 21-22 school year. A recognition that less than one percent of schools in the state receive. We're thrilled to share that our state liaison has informed us of our upcoming designation as a National Blue Ribbon School. However, we kindly request that this information remains confidential until the official announcement in September. 

We have continued to see our Success Rate (the percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations on the state test) increase from the 2020 school year to the present. For example, our Success Rate for the 21-22 school year was 81.7% and for the 22-23 school year our Success Rate is over 86%. This is testament to the hard work of our faculty and the incredible benefits of weekly collaborative time.  Our entire faculty works together to support our students while looking for ways to grow and strengthen our instrucitonal practices.