Jakarta Intercultural School (Middle school)
- Number of Students: 600
- Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: 0%
- Percent of Limited English Proficient: 10%
- Percent of Special Education: 10%
Jakarta International School, JIS, began in 1951 and has flourished into a dynamic international school during the past sixty plus years. Its rich history started from a small garage in Mentang to ultimately becoming three campuses serving nearly 2650 students from over sixty countries. Two separate elementary divisions are now housed in the Pattimura (PEL) and Pondok Indah (PIE) campuses, while middle and high school students use the Cilandak (CIL) campus.
JIS is truly an International School; with a diverse student and faculty population and a curriculum developed from the best research around the globe. Students, parents, and employees routinely refer to the “spirit of internationalism” found at JIS. A powerful example of this was shared during the 2013 WASC-CIS preliminary visit. A visiting member shared a conversation with a student about his experiences at the school, “One word to describe JIS would be international-it broadens your perspective culturally and in all other aspects it changes your perception about how to deal with life.”
The JIS Middle School (MS), houses about 600+ students and 67 faculty members. Courses are developed to align with the JIS adopted curricular frameworks in the various subjects and to provide a wide variety of learning experiences, allowing for students to explore, inquiry and follow their interests and passions. Our units of learning are designed through the lens of choice, student empowerment, relevance, personalized and experiential learning.
The PLC journey started for JIS in 2007. A group of 12 administrators travelled to Hawaii in March to attend a 2 day PLC conference with the DuFours: further administrators headed to other PLC training in Canada. This created a strong guiding coalition that planned the implementation of PLCs across the school. Austin Buffum was invited and came to speak to the entire Faculty at the start of the 07-08 year, and two full days of PLC training/workshops followed. In the Middle School we have designed a block schedule that allows for teachers to meet for 1.5 hours 2 or 3 times a week. (see LC-SST-GLSA Meeting 14-15 schedule)
Our PLC's are the cornerstone through which we ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum. Our PLC's design units of learning using the UbD framework. The design of these units starts by identifying the essential learnings. (see Grade6_socialstudies & 8thgradeessentiallearnings2.dox.pdf). The MS school has established essential agreements on how PLC's will design, teach and reflect on units of learning. This process ensures that the essential learning outcomes are both taught and assessed. Essential learnings and essential questions are displayed and communicated in the classrooms. (see photo #2). Throughout the unit the PLC use student feedback through common formative assessments to monitor student progress and determine who needs further intervention. homogeneous grouping is used to meet the needs of all the learners. At the end of each unit the PLC reflects on the evidence of student learning and records reflections for improvement. (See PLC Reflection Example 1-2)
The MS has seen a growing demand for student support services. There has been a growth in documented accommodations for students and co-taught classes where Learning Support teachers are embedded with classroom teachers to best support identified students. JIS is excited by its goal of “Inclusion”, but continues to be acutely aware of the numerous challenges in fine- tuning this program.
1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.
Feedback: Teacher to Student
PLCs will look at student learning results frequently, both formative and summative, on various timescales. PLC's frequently "put the data on the table" and have data conversations. These conversation look at student work and ensure consistency of evaluation, as well as looking for areas where students seem to be under or over performing. In many cases homogeneous grouping is used to meet the needs of the students who need enrichment as well as reteaching.
Feedback: Student to Teacher
Over the past 2 years we have PLC’s asking for students to give them feedback on how they are doing as teachers. This data is shared with the PLC to see where teachers can improve on their practice.
PLC’s consistently monitor student achievement through the use of common formative assessments and when necessary provide additional opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding. Examples include math PLC’s providing students with 5 min checks on past work to determine levels of mastery, the English PLC’s confer with students to provide feedback on next steps, and science use of mind mapping activities. (see science mind map) At PLC meetings reflections on student progress informs future instruction.
Parents are kept informed of their child's learning through a variety of means including an online open gradebook, parent meetings email and student led conferences. Our “no surprises” rule is golden: teachers will quickly reach out to parents when students are underachieving or experiencing academic challenges.
2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.
One of the key tenets of all PLCs is “intervention”. As PLCs look at student assessment results they develop directive strategies to support students who are not meeting the learning goals. The MS utilizes the RTI model to define and guide intervention practices.
The SST which is comprised of counsellors, school psychologist, school therapist, learning support and EAL teachers and administrators meet weekly to review cases of referred students. The school educational psychologist and or school therapist may conduct a battery of tests and observe the referred student in the classroom: the diagnosis is presented to the Student Support Team.
PLC's are assigned to Learning communities (LC's) where they have conversations about student who are struggling socially or academically. (See LC-SST-GLSA Meeting 14-15) Meetings are scheduled with those students and familes to develop intervietion plans. Any report and associated strategies are communicated to teachers by the school psychologist at teacher team meetings. Further support is provided in co-taught classes and pull-out learning support classes. Individual Learning Plans (ILP’s) and Student Accommodation Plans (SAP’s) accommodations plans are developed in conjunction with teachers, parents and the student. Students also recieive additional support during our Silient Sustained Reading (SSR) time. This time is schedule each week for 30 minutes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.
The Middle School Schedule is designed with the expectation that PLC's meet a minimum of 1 hour every 4 days. Each year we begin with the newly formed PLC teams setting norms of collaboration and goals for the year. We also refresh the “big ideas” of a PLC at Faculty meetings early in the year so that all have a common understanding of the three questions PLC ask: What do we want the students to learn? How will we know they have learnt it? What do we do if they haven’t learnt it or knew it already?
PLC’s intentionally work at building trust and relationships amongst team members. We use resources such as The Advantage by Patrick Lincionni and the 7 P’s of collaboration to guide us in our norms for collaborating. We also used workplace profile tools such as DiSC Workplace Profile to help us grow our organizational health. This has proven to increase a teams’ effectiveness by giving them a deep understanding of how each other likes to work and what may cause them stress at work.
At the end of each year PLCs evaluate themselves against their goals and a rubric (see attached) and throughout the year administrators and Department Leads check in with PLCs to look at progress. We have also tied the rubric to our supervision and evaluation process for our veteran teachers. Support specialists are available to work with PLC’s on evolving their pedagogy. Throughout the year PLC’s are attended by administrators who provide feedback to the teams on their effectiveness and provide necessary support to complete action items.
The work that PLCs do varies by degrees from team to team, and from time to time through the school year. A series of snapshots of the work PLCs engage in follows:
English 7 PLC looking at common ways of assessing the readers notebooks by moderating student work. As a result of this PLC focused work, they were able to create reading rubrics for grades 6, 7, and 8. Thses rubrics will be polioted in the school year 2015-16. (See Grade 7 Reading Rubric 2015)
Science 7 collecting student work from science labs working out which students have met the intended learning outcomes and which students will need more support. This has allowed the 3 member PLC team to be able to homogeneously group students from different classes.
Math 6 use the time to create tiered summative math assessments that allow students to demonstrate understandings at standard, advance and highly advanced levels. (See PLC reflection example 1-2)
Enlgish-Social Studies Skills Audit (See photo)
At times (through department lead meetings) we share what each PLC is doing and how they are doing it: what is working and what needs support. We do have some teachers (“singletons”) without a natural/course based PLC (such as our only Theatre, Dance, Robotics or Band teachers). They are part of a broader “department” PLC, but for their specific courses they have been creative: one of them Skypes with a colleague in Singapore frequently to collaborate, while others collaborate with colleagues across our sister schools in the region through email/discussion forums.
PLC are recently established peer observation schedules where they can visit each others classroom looking for learning by talking to the students about their learning. Teachers also pick up strategies and classroom environment ideas by spending time in each others classroom.
Additional Achievement Data
The Middle School uses the International School's Assessment (ISA) produced by ACER. This is a means to monitor both our programs and individual student growth. Each year we look at the results at the grade level and then each PLC can view their class and student results. The data is disaggregated by 1 standard deviation and color coded (highly advanced, advanced, proficient, approaching, emerging - see normal distribution curve) for teachers to more easily identify their students. The SST team uses this data to ensure that all students are receiving appropriate support through the RTI model.
International Benchmarked Assessments in:
Narrative Writing – Writing A
Expository Writing - Writing B
Our Math and English/SS PLC’s use the ISA data to monitor percentage of students above or below proficient. Math PLC’s have continued to shape the ‘Challenge by Choice’ program to respond to the students who need greater challenge and intervene when students need more support. The RTI model allows students to be re-grouped within the class time, during SSR time and after school if required. Additionally the SST team will ensure students with identified learning needs have a co-teacher and/or have extra pull-out time within their daily schedule.. The impressive change in these results stem from the deliberate and intentional adherence to the principles of Professional Learning Communities.
The MS longitudinal results for 7th grade have been continually strong when compared to "like schools" over the years. The ISA data has supported our continued improvement efforts particularly in the area of writing. In 2011-12 we notice that the expository writing (writing B) results began to indicate that students were performing below that of "like schools". In 2012-13 we responded to this by looking closely at how and where this type of writing was being learned in our 6-8 curriculum. (See Writing Audit photo) English and Social Studies PLC's created an inventory of all the different types of writing across the MS. We uncovered that there was an imbalance of Narrative writing compared to Expository styles of writing as well as “on the spot” type writing. Student writing samples were collected and PLC’s annotated and moderated the writing samples. The English department conducted a review of pedagogy involving the Readers/Writers Workshop model and developed essential agreements around this pedagogy.
In 2013-14 we notice a substantial rise in our Expository writing data and this has been maintained in 2014-15. (SEE ISA OVER THE YEARS PDF)
CIS/WASC MS Commendations 2015
- The MS faculty for their effective use of PLCs and LCs to develop curriculum, instruction and assessment aligned with contemporary learning strategies
- The MS faculty on their purposeful engagement with PLCs to enhance their professional learning.
JIS is a CIS/WASC accredited school and a member of EARCOS (East Asian Regional Council of Overseas Schools. We are an IB Diploma and AP School.