Virginia L. Murray Elementary School (2015)

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

Teachers are clear about what students need to know, understand, and be able to do. This clarity has translated to the students who now have a better idea of what they are supposed to learn and why. Through common formative assessments teachers are able to quickly identify students who are not learning a particular concept.  Through pre assessments teachers are able to identify students who have a good grasp of concepts even before they are taught. As a result teachers can differentiate instruction through various means including grouping practices in order to extend the learning experiences for children.  

Grade level classroom teachers form the core of each PLC, however our gifted resource teacher, reading/math interventionist, and our district level instructional coaches are also frequent weekly contributors.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Teachers pre assess student knowledge in most content areas prior to teaching each unit of instruction. This allows teachers to better differentiate instruction early on in the unit.

Teachers give a common assessment at the end of each unit of instruction to determine mastery. Throughout a unit of instruction, teachers continually assess students’ understanding of concepts and skills. Teachers are able to pinpoint specific areas of weakness for students. The students then receive intervention to help them learn those concepts or skills.

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

Many of our grade levels are staffed to provide small groups for instructing students who struggle in reading and/or math. Some grade levels also have teaching assistants who provide extra support to students in the classroom. A floating tutor works in each grade level three days a week for at least 30 minutes each to provide remediation to students who did not master a concept or skill. Our school division has implemented a school based intervention team concept in which a team of teachers meet regularly to discuss strategies to assist struggling students. An after school tutorial program is implemented in early January and is taught by the grade level teachers—we believe this makes a huge difference. Students in several grades also receive extra support in math and/or language arts from parent volunteers who work closely with the teachers. Ideally, we like to use any of this remediation time to pre teach concepts and skills with students especially if we know based on the pre assessment data that the students will struggle during the unit of instruction.

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

All teachers work in collaborative teams. Grade level teachers meet weekly for at least 90 minutes and specialists and resources teachers meet at least monthly with teachers from across the division or with existing teams in the building.

Teachers identify power standards and pacing guides for each content area. This year teachers from each grade level met with teachers from other schools to develop common power standards and pacing guides in math.

Teachers meet with sending and receiving grade levels to share wish lists—what each grade level would want all students to have mastered before entering the grade.

As a staff we share individual and team goals and the progress made for each. We also share best practices and examples of student work.

Additional Achievement Data

SOL Results (scale: % passing)

Grade 3 2011-12 (school/state) 2012-13 (school/state) 2013-14 (school/state)
English/Reading  96/86  86/72   98/69
Science  94/90  84/84     100/83
Math  74/64  71/65   95/67

Source: VA Dept. of Education

Grade 4 2011-12 (school/state) 2012-13 (school/state) 2013-14 (school/state)
English/Reading  100/88  88/70    96/80
Math    90/70  94/74    96/80

Source: VA Dept. of Education

Grade5 2011-12 (school/state) 2012-13 (school/state) 2013-14 (school/state)
English/Reading  97/89  100/73   91/73
Math  94/67  100/69   91/73
Science  91/88    95/75    86/73

Source: VA Dept. of Education

About the Tests

  • The results for reading, writing, math and science are included on GreatSchools profiles.
  • The SOL tests are standards-based, which means they measure how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of Virginia.
  • The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

One of seven public schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia to be recognized as a 2008 U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School

Recipient of the Governor’s Award for Educational Excellence for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012

Recipient of the Virginia Board of Education Excellence Award for 2013 and 2014