Coppell Middle School North

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

North has always been a high-performing campus overall.  Our students are, for the most part, from high socioeconomic backgrounds.  However, there were a couple of burning questions that we needed to answer. First, some of our smaller or special populations were not as successful in testing areas and little was being done to address these needs due to the high overall success rate that overshadowed these areas of need.  Second, we were still left wondering if our students were successful because of our teaching, or would they be successful despite us? We have truly amazing teachers - absolutely remarkable. But, if we were not being intentional about reflecting on our practices and using data to ensure learning, how could we ever truly answer these two questions?

A "PLC light" model was put into place many years ago with the purpose of addressing the high number of failures each grading period (this was occurring despite high achievement on state assessments).  Administration spent hours in team meetings, each grading period, discussing failures and how we could address the failures moving forward. We found that this structure allowed these discussions to focus on struggling learners, but that there was little focus on results.  Additionally, conversations kept centering around characteristics of the struggling students that were believed to be unchangeable - such as lack of support at home. Struggling learners were performing poorly in the classroom, on state assessments, and on other district-created benchmarks and this population was quickly growing in size.  This was a new phenomenon for the staff.

The focus of the leadership team, in an effort to reach these students, over the previous years had been on learner engagement - which did not bring forth the improvement for which we were striving.   Addressing the real problem - why certain student groups were underperforming on our campus - became critical.

We began to implement some significant systems including:

  • Prioritizing professional learning monies to send instructional leaders to the PLC at Work institutes.  Additionally, staff attended The Conference on Grading and Assessment, RtI at Work, and RtI Workshops through Solution Tree.

  • Beginning a deep dive into research and texts in order to create a campus Assessment Design Process (based on Design in Five - Nicole Vagle).

  • Modifying our already-built-in daily intervention time to include additional focus, support structures, and expectations.

  • We reorganized our team time to include weekly:

    • Team business

    • Professional learning opportunities

    • Data meetings

    • Team unit planning

  • Creating professional learning plans using the IDP framework, and planning with the end in mind from the start

  • Building a structure addressing various behavior concerns including a campus behavior management plan, academic behavior curriculum, and behavior coaches.

  • Creation of campus intervention team to address the needs of struggling learners.

After seven years of studying and coming to a better understanding of what a Professional Learning Community really is, we are confident we are moving in the right direction.  We are also continuing to refine our systems and practices as we go. Some areas that we are continuing to build structures to support our growth include re-assessment and grading practices, implementing preventative interventions, and building a repository of specific interventions tied to individual desired outcomes.

Over the past five years, the campus focus has shifted to consistently embody the three big ideas. With our focus now on high levels of learning for ALL students, we began to use our data meeting time to focus on the learning by assessment and beginning to focus on high priority learning standards.  To support this endeavor, we purchased software programs to provide both data analysis on our common assessments to aid in our decision making.(Schoology, Mastery Connect, Dreambox, and Enriching Students were added in addition to iStation and Read 180). We figured out quickly that summative data was not the best data to help guide our daily decisions. The campus learned that we needed to begin focusing on using data to guide instruction and, over the last three years, we have realized a new focus of prevention. Some things we have implemented include:

  • transitioning to standards-based grading to support student ownership of learning targets and growth

  • design of pre-interventions to prevent learner struggles and support future success

  • learner led data analysis 

  • restructuring discipline based on restorative practices with the implementation of restorative detention  

  • breaking down the standards within content areas to focus on the most important, high-priority standards (guaranteed, viable curriculum)

  • using information from PLC conferences and other texts to support creating intervention plans and designing common assessments

  • utilizing the Schoology program to strengthen our ability to use and track common assessment data and mastery of standards 

  • empowering learners to own their data and use it to set personal learning goals through learners’ personal data analysis and use of data notebooks

  • creating a PLC guidebook to ensure that all terminology and expectations are consistent and clear across the entire campus (The guidebook also serves to document our journey and growth.)

  • providing interventions during the school day like extended math class, blended math class, intervention time during advisory, “No Zero Lunch” to address missing work, peer tutoring, mandatory tutoring, and academic behavior coaches

  • updating our campus grading beliefs and practices for consistency and clarity

  • creating small groups to work with the kids to work on positive behaviors

  • ensuring that all team time conversations also revolve around the three big ideas and four questions of the PLC model

 Most recently, our school has increased its focus on improving collaborative planning processes, increasing student ownership of the learning process, continuing learning on the use and efficacy of pre-interventions, and improving the use of classroom management systems and routines to communicate learner expectations. Our campus worked to ensure that educator learning was just as much of a focus as student learning. Several things we have implemented include:

  • Re-evaluating our campus Assessment Design Process and transforming it into a more comprehensive Instructional Design Process.

  • Learning about different types of pre-interventions to target the root causes of learners' struggles.

  • Tracking the success of our implemented pre-interventions.

  • Utilizing learning targets as a two-way communication system to address student learning progress

  • Explicitly teaching and reinforcing campus routines and procedures related to classroom opening and closing routines.

  • Creating a series of asynchronous, differentiated learning opportunities for educators to complete in smaller, collaborative groups.

Part of being a PLC is modeling the PLC behaviors - even in leadership.  Through using UbD to plan our professional learning we have achieved many things defining our own essential standards, determining the evidence of achievement, and pre-designing the learning plan, supports, systems, and interventions needed to accomplish our goals.  This ensures that every step we take as leaders is focused on collaboration, learning, and results. Every. Single. Day. 

We value collective engagement that positively impacts the lives of our children and our world here in CISD and at CMS North, this means that our students and educators are continually striving to be better than they were the day before.


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

For several years North’s staff had analyzed and disaggregated state assessment data from the previous year.   

  • Year one (13-14) - the administration team disaggregated the data and then gave the information to the leadership team to set goals.  

  • Years two and three (14-15 & 15-16) - the data was given to the whole staff at back-to-school professional learning and we did data analysis by departments.  We learned quickly that solely using this summative-type data was too reactive to make an impact on student achievement. Because this data was only a snapshot of student progress, we began to supplement this information with district and campus level common assessment results, as well as qualitative information we gained from student, parent and staff surveys.  

  • Years three and four (15-16 & 16-17) - we began to look at better monitoring student learning through the use of common assessment data.  Using common assessment data to inform our instructional decisions has impacted our school culture more than anything else.

  • Years four and five (16-17 & 17-18) - Over the last two years we have made several progressive steps including a focus on weekly data analysis by teams, students analyzing their own data, implementation and monitoring of team SMART goals, and creation of a campus intervention team that meets weekly.

  • Year six (18-19) - We began to focus on prevention and adopted the belief that if it can be predicted, it can be prevented. Through the Assessment Design Process, educators worked through misconceptions to develop lessons to target those skills through pre-interventions.  

  • Year seven (19-20) - Provided opportunities to develop a deep understanding of learning targets (breaking the standards down to specific knowledge and skills) and continued movement towards using data to prevent failure. Continued learning and implementation of standards-based grading to support student ownership of learning targets and growth.

  • Year eight (20-21) - We shifted into a system of digital learning and leveraged technology to encourage student growth. Using online tools to allow students to track their progress in real time, focusing more on small group instruction, and diving deeper into high priority learning standards than ever before, we were able to use our predicted areas of failure from the year before to prevent areas of failure before they happened in most cases. While some advertised a “learning loss” we focused on mastery for as many individual students as possible, with the rate of learning coming directly from the students themselves. 

An evolution of “Student Success” meetings that have gone from per grading period, to monthly, to weekly as well as evolving from talking about failures (after they happened) to looking at common assessment data to put interventions and structures into place to prevent failures.

During the 19-20 school year, a new format and structure was introduced to improve the functionality of our campus intervention team.  Changes were made to the members of the team, ensuring that a learner's primary educators were involved in the crafting strategic intervention plans. Learning occurred regarding the creation and tracking of learner goals to improve positive, measurable outcomes. Team members have continued to meet for weekly data meetings, along with administrators, counselors, and instructional coaches to discuss assessment and learner data. The 2019-2020 school year brought an increased focus on the analysis of High-Priority Learning Standards. Conversations were geared towards learner growth and targeted pre- and post-interventions to ensure mastery of essential standards. 

In the 20-21 school year, we relied on our technology resources to reach individual learners through individual and small group instruction more frequently. Taking time to build relationships with students and families aided in student engagement and progress. Our PLCs were used in a variety of ways through team lead meetings, data-meetings, whole staff PD and PL opportunities, as well as community outreach efforts. We really embodied the “every child… whatever it takes,” which is the mission of CMS North.


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

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

Over the past six years, North's guiding coalition has created and continued to perfect many systems to provide additional time and support for learning.  Some of those systems include:

  • Restructuring discipline based on restorative practices with the implementation of restorative detention to support the student as a whole child.

  • Transitioning to standards-based grading to support student ownership of learning targets and growth.

  • Revised Bell Schedule to allow for “eTime” - 30 minutes of intentional and flexible intervention and enrichment time during each school day.

  • Utilizing the Enriching Students software to allow for student choice of eTime sessions, including both enrichment activities as well as pre-interventions, interventions, and non-content related skill supports.

  • eTime was created to allow 30 minutes of interventions daily for all kids.  The level of interventions is determined weekly by teams. Learners attend “open” sessions (student choice) or “closed” sessions which are assigned by teachers based on learning targets.  Closed sessions can include pre-teach, vocabulary introduction, specific interventions, re-teach, reassessment, etc. Common assessments are used to determine eTime closed sessions.

  • No Zero North Lunch is for students demonstrating academic behavior concerns by not completing classwork, projects, or assignments or who just need the extra time to get it done.  Teachers assign students based on coursework needing completion.

  • Teachers were “freed” of daily before/after school duty so that they were available for a rotating Teacher Tutoring Schedule. The introduction of the tutoring hub allowed for all learners to receive support for any educators, embracing the philosophy that students are "all our kids." 

  • All teachers complete common assessments in Schoology for immediate feedback and data tracking of all individual students

  • Weekly data meetings with teams to review assessment data and determine intervention next steps and lesson design next steps

  • Reading and math support classes - Tier 3 intervention course that is designed to isolate the specific skills and gaps and address those gaps in a schedule that supports the on-level class learning targets.

  • Tier 3 Behavior support was provided through the implementation of a strategically designed "Study Skills" course that looked to guide students in goal setting, and lagging thinking skills 

  • Academic and social behavior rubrics - teachers use rubrics to denote and behavioral struggles.  Data from these rubrics are used to implement appropriate behavioral interventions including behavior coaches, small groups, and parent meetings.

  • In 20-21 we implemented and will continue to use scheduled e-time sessions for social/emotional learning and growth, as well as providing time for pre-intervention, interventions, and post-conferences.

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

Our collaborative teams continue to grow and build on our previous success. Through the Instructional Design Process, they focused on identifying misconceptions, planning pre-interventions, planning post-conferences and planning with the end in mind, to prevent failure. 

More than 10 years ago, we were able to rebuild our master schedule so that all core teachers have both a conference and a team time.  Therefore, core teams are scheduled to meet daily. Electives meet during eTime twice weekly. Special education educators are encouraged to join these meetings as well, to provide insights and differentiated level of supports for students who may be struggling within the content. 

For many years, team time was cross curricular, but after reading and hearing about benefits of content-specific team structures from PLC conferences and books, and feedback from teachers, in 16-17 year we were able to team by content for the first time. Team time allows all teachers to draw on each other's strengths when creating common assessments, planning lesson design, creating differentiation plans, intervention ideas, and ensuring mastery of standards by each individual student. 

Other than meeting weekly for team business, professional learning, data discussions, and planning learning, team time is used for creating and monitoring SMART goals and participating in collective inquiry.  Teams report out on their progress and learning from the SMART goal focus three times each school year.  Campus administration is also responsible for creating and sharing campus SMART goals and, in turn, giving staff updates on our progress as a campus.

Our campus plans with an Understanding By Design mindset.  Our teams also plan using the four critical questions of PLC’s within unit design.    

  1. What is it we want our kids to learn?  (standards, understandings, learning targets - knowledge & skills)

  2. How will we know if each student learned it?  (performance tasks, formative assessments, mastery checks)

  3. How will we respond when some students do not learn it?  (intervene by target, by student)

  4. How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency?  (extension eTime sessions, built-in extensions in daily lessons)

Learning walks are a team process where teachers take “walks” into other teachers' classrooms with a specific focus in mind.  Teacher teams determine something they want to observe like technology management, engagement, formative assessments, grouping strategies, etc.. and they visit classrooms to get ideas.  Then all teachers meet after the learning walks and have a reflective conversation.

Professional learning is led by everyone, including the kids.  For instance - reading teachers shared reading strategies to other content teams so that reading could be emphasized in all areas of teaching and learning.  Students led a team time learning session on a new iPad assessment app.

All teachers tutor kids a minimum of two to three times weekly after school.  Tutoring is coordinated by teams so there is always content area teachers available to any student that needs tutoring.

In 19-20  we encouraged teachers to assess their level of effectiveness based on their "small planning team" or the grade-level content team in which they teach. The campus provided strategic professional learning to assess the effectiveness of those small teams and coach them on areas through the PLC philosophy that required growth and new understandings. 


Finally, most recently (20-21), we provided additional staff training and support in our IDP process, and provided successful educator’s time to assist our newer team members in their design and implementation of the IDP framework. Rather than focusing on a loss of learning, our educator’s are coming together to collaborate, plan innovative lessons that meet the students where they are and elevate the students to where we’d like them to be. Through pre-intervention, technology resources that were stored through the pandemic, and individual awareness of each student, we are aggressively dedicating our time to creating attainable and rigorous experiences for all students. “Working together, we are committed to creating profound learning experiences for each child, while nurturing meaningful relationships, to positively impact our world,” is the mission and vision statement for our district and here at CMS North, we embody this in each educator, in each class, every day.


Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

The bulk of our work in designing systems for both data analysis and response to data occured between the 15-16 & 16-17 school year. That was recognized by the state of Texas when North received earning distinctions in the following areas for the 16-17 school year:

  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Post-secondary Readiness
  • Top 25% Student Progress

We continued to show growth through distinctions earned for the 17-18 and 18-19 school year: 

  • Math (17-19)
  • Science (17-19)
  • Social Studies (17-19)
  • Comparative Academic Growth (17-19)
  • Post Secondary Readiness (17-19)
  • Comparative Closing the Gaps (18-19)

Due to the cancellation of STAAR testing during the 2019-2020 school year, STARR data and the expected distinctions were not reported. However, our campus saw evidence of learner achievement through district benchmarks (NWEA MAP) and common formative assessment data.

Learners at Coppell Middle School North were assessed locally using NWEA Map, and online assessment that precisely measures growth and proficiency. During the 19-20 school year, learners were assessed in the Fall and Winter.  Student Growth Summary data demonstrated that Coppell Middle School North learners performed well overall:

  • Six grade learners performed in the 95th percentile in math, 90th percentile in language arts, and the 95th percentile in science. 

  • Seventh grade learners performed in the 96th percentile in math, the 92nd percentile in language arts, and the 93rd percentile in science. 

  • Eighth grade learners performed in the 98th percentile in math, the 87th percentile in language arts, and the 97th percentile in science,

Learners also demonstrated growth in overall RIT scores:

  • In mathematics, sixth grade learners grew 6 points from Fall to Winter; seventh grade learners grew 4 points, and eight grade learners grew 5 points. 

  • In language arts, sixth grade learners grew two points, seventh grade learners grew one point, and with grade learners grew two points. 

  • In science, sixth grade learners grew three points, seventh grade learners grew two points, and eighth grade learners grew 3 points.

Educators also developed common formative assessments throughout the school year to track learner progress. (A science example is attacted.)
The trends in achievement data collected data indicates our learners would have continued to show growth and demonstrate high levels of academic achievement if given the opportunity to take STAAR. 
In reviewing STAAR data from 2017-2020, we see moderate to significant growth in our Special Education, Economically Disadvantaged, and Hispanic sub-population groups across all content areas. These three groups have been a particular focus of ours due to their relatively low levels of achievement over time. Of the 27 STAAR assessments given each year, 25 of these tests have shown growth for these sub-populations over this time period. 9 of 9 assessments for SpEd, 9 of 9 assessments for Econ Dis, and 7 of 9 assessments for our Hispanic group showed growth. Please see the document called “Model PLC Data Spring 2022” included in our renewal application portal. Through our comprehensive Instructional Design Process and an emphasis on differentiation in the classroom, educators have a uniform and localized way to create, analyze, and implement lessons and targeted interventions for each unit in their area of expertise. Curriculum, assessments, interventions, and even pre-interventions have been created or redesigned to better meet the needs of our current students, and have proven effective both with our longitudinal STAAR data and in daily class performance. 
In reviewing our longitudinal STAAR data, especially the clear evidence of learning loss resulting from the pandemic, we see a continued and urgent need to target these sub-population groups with intentional support, lesson design, interventions, and performance monitoring. Our primary next step centers on the ability of our teacher teams to plan with these groups in mind. Our planning framework, the Instructional Design Process (IDP), is the tool we use to plan in every course. This tool guides teacher teams through the process of unpacking and prioritizing the standards, determining the appropriate types of assessment, designing those assessments, planning pre-assessments, designing interventions in advance, making learner-led data tracking part of every unit, planning lessons and calendars, and designing instruction with differentiation in mind. Our next step is to dive deeper with every team into the IDP and how to use it most effectively for our struggling students. This instructional leadership work is now being designed and begun. It will no doubt be a multiyear journey. Our goal is to address learning loss and struggling students with intentional design related to both pull-out interventions and in-class differentiation. This IDP training, modeling, and showcasing is our next step as a PLC.
  • Named 2018-2019 Educational Results Partnership Honor Roll 
  • Math Olympiad Top School Award at 18-19 Nationals
  • Honor Winds- 5th Place at 18-19 State Competition
  • Science Olympiad team qualified for 18-19 State Competition 
  • Recently chosen as a School that Transforms Learning by the Texas State Principal's Visioning Institute at
  • Starting in 2016/2017 we were chosen by Apple/IBM (only district in country and only middle school in district) to help create a Watson technology app that will track and predict student data points to assist teachers and campuses on enrichments/interventions with students in a timely manner.  We are very excited to have been chosen for this project and to pave the way for all educators in the U.S.
  • "The Undecideds" STEM team from Coppell Middle School North  successfully completed the 2016 Flour Global Engineering Marble Machine first ever Design Challenge (with over 600 entries!) and made Fluor’s list of Top 10 schools, they earned a “Big Check” for Coppell Middle School North to support the STEM program.
  •, a national advocate and leader for the character education movement named Coppell ISD a 2016 Texas District of Character.
  • CMS North Science Olympiad competes in their first-ever contest attempt, 15 young scientists placed Fourth Overall and walked away with 9 individual team awards at the 2016 Regional Science Olympiad competition
  • Two science olympiad teams even took home First Place honors for “Greener Generations,” as well as the team of  for “Triple E.” These teams qualified for STATE competition.
  • CMS North is a member of the Texas High Performance Schools consortium.
  • Model Middle school for CISD 360 tours highlighting data use to drive our PLC.  Toured by other districts statewide
  • Learners loaded 6,000 pounds of food onto a transport truck for the "Trick or Treat So Kids Can Eat" canned food drive
  • Two years in a row CMSN Youth and Government qualifies for state competition.
  • One North artist was chosen to hang their artwork in the Capital Show in Austin in March and her artwork was featured in the Governor's mansion for one year.
  • 21 singers were selected to sing in one of three Region XX Middle School Honor Choirs
  • Won $7500.00 for the A+ rewards program sponsored by Vista Ridge Mall for three years in a row due to volunteer hours at mall.
  • 1 student named Outstanding Delegate at the Junior Youth and Government state conference
  • Sweepstakes Trophy at UIL Choir Concert and Sightreading Contest
  • Concert Symphonic and Honor Winds bands - 9 superior ratings from Choice Music Events Contest
  • 2 students placed 3rd at Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair advanced to the Exxon Mobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair
  • Honor Winds- Received a “Superior” rating at the Director’s Choice Contest in March, as well as “Outstanding Middle School Band” at the same contest. On April 11th they also received “First Runner Up” and “Superior” ratings at the Directors Choice Contest. On April 25th the Honor Winds received “Outstanding Middle School Band” as well as “Superior” ratings.
  • The VoiceNote app team was selected as a Best in State winner in the Verizon Innovative App Challenge!!!  This means that they won a grant for $5000 for CMSN and each member of the team receives a verizon tablet!!!
  • North Cougar Band Program- Our musicians received 302 first division ratings at the solo contest, and 38 musicians received the Outstanding Soloist Award at the Solo contest.
  • North average's around 350 students (out of 950) enroll in our nationally recognized band program every year.  
  • Approximately 40 North students competed in AMC8 Math competition, with top performers scoring in the top ten percent of the nation