Hortonville Area School District

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

The Hortonville Area School District (HASD) began our journey by having all of our district administrators attend the Professional Learning Communities at Work Institute in Minneapolis, MN in July of 2011.  After the second full day of that conference we made a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” (Collins, 2001) of being recognized as a model PLC within five years. HASD knew this was a great goal because it would ensure we did not become a PLC Lite and it would guarantee that students would be learning at higher levels.  From that day to the moment of this application our district has remained on a consistent path toward our goal.

 Our next major step was to build a guiding coalition of teachers to focus our work and see the vision of our district as a PLC.  We took a group of fourteen teachers to Phoenix, AZ in February of 2012.  With the administrative team and this first group our district plotted out a path of educating and supporting our staff.  In the spring of 2012 we changed our mission statement during our annual strategic planning day with all stakeholders including board members, community members, teacher, administrators and support staff.  Our mission statement now reads “Our community ensures that all students learn at the highest level.”  We believe in this mission and consistently refer to it in our daily work.

 At the start of the 12-13 school year we purchased Revisiting Professional Learning Communities at Work for all staff members and brought associate Tim Brown in to launch PLC district wide.  By winter all staff members had taken a formative assessment to ensure our common language and mission.  In 13-14 we read Common Formative Assessment and had Chris Jakicic come to our district for three inservice days.  In 2014-15 our district book study was Simplifying Response to Intervention and the district brought Mike Mattos in to the district for six total days of staff development.  Finally, our current book study is A Repair Kit for Grading: 15 Fixes for Broken Grades by Ken O’Connor.  That learning is once again supported by Tim Brown.  All of these speakers and book studies align with our commitment to constantly be learning and improving as a staff.  This process will never end at HASD.

 Meanwhile, the district has continued to send staff members in groups to Institutes and Summits.  Since those first two events back in 2011-12, our district has sent staff members to eight additional events in Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and in North Carolina. Each time ensuring that all buildings, grade levels and subject areas are represented. In all, forty-nine percent of our staff have attended a Solution Tree event.  We have also had the great pleasure of having two of our current school board members attend.  The district has prioritized our district staff development dollars so that there is no question about the direction of the district. When professional come back from these events, they change the culture and are reenergized in their profession.

In the end, how did we create a successful PLC?  We worked collaboratively in teams on agreed upon goals in which we hold ourselves mutually accountable. As one staff member put it, “We were exposed to the professional learning community process.  It was not top down and we gathered steam as we all saw the benefit to our students and ourselves.”  (Smith, 2015) Our culture has changed because of the learning, but also because of the moral imperative.  Our district knows that to be anything other than a professional learning community is to offer less than what is possible for our children. 

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Student learning is monitored within the Hortonville Area School District through frequent informal and formal observations and assessments in order to determine student progress and guide instructional decisions, strategies and pacing.  Informal observation of student learning is made on a daily basis through strategies including, but not limited to, discussion, questioning, pre- and post-tests, exit slips, think-pair-share, summarizing, journaling, individual checks for understanding, and relevant and skill-specific activities.  Professional learning teams determine power standards and learning targets and develop common formative and summative assessments. Grade-level and subject-area teams gather, record, and evaluate common assessment data using Mastery Connect data warehouse software to identify skill mastery.  Instructional decisions are made by the team and individual classroom teachers to identify those students in need of re-teaching and additional skill practice.   In addition to informal classroom observations and common and formative assessment data, the HASD evaluates longitudinal student data from district and state assessments (ACT, NWEA Measures of Academic Progress, WKCE) using Alpine Achievement data warehouse.  Multiple data points are evaluated to identify trends in student learning and determine students in most need of learning interventions.   

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

HASD has provided students with the additional time and support they need to “learn at the highest levels,” and our efforts are improving as we plan and provide a more focused pyramid of interventions.  Most of our work is based on the foundations and processes detailed in Simplifying Response to Intervention: The Four Essential Guiding Principles (Buffum, Mattos, Weber 2012).  Specific interventions may vary between elementary, middle and high schools; however, all created a culture of collective responsibility and all adhere to the three-tiered Response to Intervention (RTI) structure. 

Time and targeted instruction are factors in the formula for learning. One of the first “obstacles” our district conquered had to do with time.  Teachers indicated that they needed time during the instructional day for identifying essential learnings with grade-level teams, and creating common formative and summative assessments for progress monitoring, and analyzing multiple sources of data.  Furthermore, they needed time to collaborate and plan differentiated and data-supported interventions.  Most importantly, students needed systematic and uninterrupted time to receive what they needed for enrichment or remediation.  Interventions had to be implemented as soon as a student demonstrated a need.

While tiered support systems vary in intensity, frequency, and student need, each school’s leadership team oversees universal screening assessments such as Fountas and Pinnell benchmarking, Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and Advanced Placement assessments. School-wide support in Tier 1 is embedded in collaboration time and ensures that all students have access to grade-level essential learnings and the core curriculum.  Collaborative teacher teams use Mastery Connect to communicate with other schools. They identify power standards; design common formative assessments; and create, then evaluate the effectiveness of differentiated lessons by measuring student progress.  Teachers use agreed upon decision rules to identify students for Tier 2.

Supplemental strategies in Tier 2 provide more targeted instruction.  Leadership teams (composed of classroom teachers, specialists, interventionists and administrators) plan interventions that target both the social/emotional (will) and academic needs (skill) of a student. The attached pyramid summarizes many of Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 protocols.

The most targeted level of support is overseen by each school’s Site Intervention Team (SIT).  These “triage teams” include administrators, specialists, psychologists, and counselors.  The team meets once a week for 30-60 time-honored minutes to focus discussions by the student, by standard. Students referred to the SIT team are struggling with foundational skills, often in more than one academic area.  The team uses Alpine Achievement, a web-based data-management system, to review assessment data, monitor student progress and evaluate the effectiveness of prior interventions.  Conversations then focus on the creation of a comprehensive and coordinated plan of support called an APAS.  The plan summarizes the team’s decisions about who, how, when and where intensive interventions will be implemented. We are confident that the fidelity of our system of interventions ensures that students are provided with the time and support needed for learning.


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

All teachers in the Hortonville Area School District are members of high-performing, collaborative teams designed by course, subject matter, or grade.   Common planning time has been embedded into the schedule district-wide, as well as time for cross-district collaboration.  At the elementary and middle school levels, block scheduling enables teachers to have daily collaboration time within their buildings and weekly collaboration time across the district.  At the high school level, the schedule has been adjusted so that teachers participate in mandatory Monday afternoon meetings and Tuesday morning late start meetings.  Efforts have been made to ensure that team members have common prep times, and sub-release time is granted to allow for further collaboration, as needed.  In addition, several in-service days have allowed for cross-district collaboration and vertical alignment of essential standards at all levels.

Consistent with HASD’s mission statement, teams are dedicated to ensuring that all students learn at the highest level, and collaborative work is guided by the four critical questions of a PLC.  In response to the first question of what students are expected to learn, all grade level and subject matter teams have identified essential standards and learning targets.  In response to the second question of determining evidence of learning, teams continuously work to develop and revise common formative and summative assessments, as well as to clarify proficiency.  Mastery Connect has enabled teams to look at data from those assessments, student by student, standard by standard, and an essential standards protocol was established to guide all teachers’ implementation and continued utilization of the software. In response to the questions of intervention and enrichment, data analysis informs intervention, pacing, re-teaching, and reassessing.  Teams have worked together to ensure a system of interventions is in place for learners at all levels, which includes a daily intervention block, called Extended Learning Time (ELT). This collaborative work has been highly effective because HASD consciously disperses leadership among its professional educators.

Shared leadership has been a key component in building high-functioning, collaborative teams.  The district’s transformation into a PLC was truly a bottom-up movement: a guiding coalition of leaders set the ball into motion and became the vehicle for change.  Those leaders initiated the cultural shifts that pushed others to embrace actually being a PLC. Now, administrators work closely with team leaders, and meeting “must haves” – norms, agendas, consensus – are modeled at the administrative level. Teams work to establish common SMART goals and procedures, which are monitored through Wisconsin’s Teacher Effectiveness System.  Teams reflect upon and monitor their progress by re-norming and completing the Critical Issues for Team Consideration twice annually, and discussing the PLC Continuum annually.

The Hortonville Area School District has made building high-functioning, collaborative teams a priority.  This can be seen from the thoughtful development of teams, the clear expectations regarding collaborative time, the consistent focus on student learning, and the emphasis on shared leadership.


Additional Achievement Data

See Resources for the data graphs.

ACT Composite Scores - 3 year
  School State
2014-2015 21.1 19.9
2015-2016 20.9 20.1
2016-2017 21.5 20.1
AP Participation - 6 Year            
  2011-2012 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
English Lit. 40 57 59 69 62 69
Spanish 19 34 31 45 47 38
U.S. History 54 32 66 56 66 80
World History 21 97 44 45 43 72
Psychology 50 48 39 41 89 103
U.S. Govt./Politics 0 19 16 0 18 0
Am. Governtment 0 2 0 0 0 0
European History 1 1 1 0 0 3
Comparative Govt. 1 2 0 0 0 0
Calculus 29 14 11 25 10 45
Biology 18 24 31 39 37 33
Chemistry 22 13 21 21 35 31
Physics 22 15 15 26 20 14
Environmental Science 0 2 0 0 0 2
Studio Art 2 0 0 0 5 0
TOTALS 279 360 334 367 432


First Semester Failures 2014-2016  
2014 Courses Failed   189
  Students that Failed   112
2015 Courses Failed   217
  Students that Failed   99
2016 Courses Failed   89
  Students that Failed   64
2017 Courses Failed   72
  Students that Failed   96
Forward Proficiency - ELA
  Hortonville State
2015-2016 52.60% 42.70%
2016-2017 53.30% 44.40%
Forward Average Scale Scores by grade - ELA  
  2016-17 2015-16
Grade Hortonville State Hortonville State
3 573.9 560.4 573.2 561.9
4 602.3 586.7 597.2 583.9
5 616.7 604.5 605.6 600.7
6 617.8 615.6 622.6 611.4
7 636.6 627.7 633.3 624.7
8 641 638.5 655.3 638


In the past three years Hortonville Area School District has been recognized by the following awards:

  • Wisconsin Milk Board along with the Green Bay Packers, selected HASD to receive  $15,000 Hometown Grant Fuel Up to Play 60-fitness grant
  • E3 District Wellness- The philosophy of E3 is to provide a comprehensive partnership with HASD that integrates community resources to successfully promote mental health and well-being, reduce barriers for at risk children, and provide accessible mental health services and wrap-around support in a school-based setting. E3 offers on-site clinical mental health counseling for any student and/or family member. E3 encourages early identification of at risk students via a screening tool, with immediate follow-up for high risk participants, and timely access to care for those in need of a referral.
  • Regional Robotics Competition- hosted Regional Qualifiers 2014 and 2015
  • 2015- HHS Dance Team placed 2nd in the Large Pom Division and 7th in Kick and Jazz Divisions at National Competition Dance in Florida
  • Raptor Visitor Management System- Raptor replaces manual paper-based logs, and allows schools and facilities to produce customized visitor badges and electronically checks persons against sexual offender databases and any locally entered private alerts.  The overall goal is to better control access to any HASD school/facility during school hours, and providing peace of mind for students and staff inside and concerned parents.
  • Safety Institute- The Hortonville Area School District has had two safety institutes the summers of 2014 & 2015. Crisis Team members (along with local first responders) go through table top exercises throughout the day relating to school and local emergencies.  The teams learn to work together as a team (along with the local police/fire) ensuring the safety of children, staff, and parents.
  • 2012- Donna Clementi- Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence in World Language Program
  • 2014-Jennifer Newell GES art teacher organized Doodle for Google- 3rd grader Vinessa Verheyen was the state of Wisconsin finalist and was a part of the national competition.
  • Kleenex Brand Ultimate Reason to List Sweepstakes- GMS-PTO entered their school on www.teacherslist.com and won a $15,000- donation to be used toward educational needs such as school equipment, books, supplies and more, along with a year’s supply of Kleenex Facial Tissue, to kick the 2014-2015 school year off right.
  • 2015 HHS Winter Sports GPA-
    • Girls Basketball-3.59
    •  Boys Basketball- 3.43
    • Wrestling- 3.10
    •  Girls Hockey Team- 3.62
    • 2015 HHS Art Team had 9 state winners
    • Greenville Lions Club- $1,200 to HASD Summer School Program- Reading Camp
    • Greenville Lioness- $1,200 to HASD Summer School Program- Reading Camp
    • Greenville Civic Club- $1,200 to HASD Summer School Program- Reading Camp
    • Greenville Civics Club- $1,200 to Summer School Program for Busing
    •  Bemis Company Foundation- $750.00 Community Enrichment Program
    • 5- Chromebooks donated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Melinda T. to Cross Categorical Education classes
    • 2012-Grants for Excellence-
      • Innovating Engineering with Robotics- GES
      • iPads in the Classroom-GES
      • Utilizing  iPads- GMS
      • Help and Science Project- HMS
      • Yoga 4Kids- HES
      • Mini Grants for Excellence 2012
        • Inquiry Science Probe ware-HHS
        • Showing Student Thinking-GES
        • Robotics Computer Integrated Manufacturing-HHS
        • Fraction Frenzy-GES & HES
        • On-line Publishing-HMS
        • 2013-Grants for Excellence-
          • Interactive Response Systems-GMS
          • Move to Learn-HMS
          • Integrate 21st Century and Digital Skills- HHS
          • Going Green Sunup to sunup-FWA
          • Enriching the HS Blended Learning Environment- HHS
          • Robotic Arms and Microcontrollers-HHS
          • Fruits of Learning Last a lifetime-FWA
          • Blended Ed Delivery Development for 7th Grade Visual Art Curriculum-HMS
          • Bagging Health and Fitness- HASD
          • 2014-Grants for Excellence-$24,833.96
            • iPads for Family and Consumer Education- $2,650.00
            • Augmentative Loan Program- $1,687.96
            • Blended Learning in the Elementary Classroom- $4040.00
            • Move to Learn- $4,760.00
            • Tablets in the Classroom-$4,740.00
            • High School Career Resource Center-$3,186.00
            • Skate for Life-$3,770.00
            • Sara and Bill Hans $2,000 to the YESS Program
            • HASD was chosen as one of the Best Communities for Music Education 2015 by the NAMM Foundation (National Association of Music Merchants). HASD is proud to be the only school to have received this national recognition for 12 consecutive years.
            • HASD received a letter of recognition from Gov. Walker for receiving the NAMM Foundation’s Best Communities for Music Education Award
            • Senator Tammy Baldwin sent a note with best wishes for opening our new school- North Greenville Elementary
            • Greenville Civic Club- $650 toward a Commemorative Art Project to honor the North Greenville Elementary School’s first year
            • Richmark Patterns donated plastic valued at $2,500 for machining projects
            • Global Fab contributed $5,000 to the Manufacturing, Engineering and Technology Department
            • JBC Machine Company donated $5,000.00towards the purchase of a CNC machine for computer Integrated Manufacturing room
            • Miller Electric donated 2 welders and new welding helmets, valued at $2,000
            • Balanced , Active Lifestyle Grant from Mc Donald’s- $500 to Hortonville Elementary School to implement a Family Fitness Night
            • Outagamie County Health and Human Services Community Prevention Outreach- $7,294.00
            • Darlene Bolson donated $10,000.00 materials to create tables, benches and tree identification posts with plaques for the Village of Hortonville - Dec. 15, 2014. Work was done by HHS Tech Education Department.
            • Janet Rowe- Hortonville High School World Language Teacher- received a Recognition of Merit at the WAFLT (Wisconsin Association for Language Teachers) conference
            • Wisconsin PBIS Network selected Greenville Elementary as a school of merit for their work accomplished through the implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports- June 2014
            • Farm  School Grant $2,700
            • Grant to the HASD Physical Education Department for $1,075 to help support a NASP middle school archery program
            • Fox West Academy received a $5,000 grant from the SCA (Svenska Cellosa Akiebolaget) Environmental Educational Grants committee
            • Greenville Middle School received a $1,000 grant from the SCA (Svenska Cellosa Akiebolaget) Environmental Educational Grants committee for a groundwater model project
            • Crystal Gorwitz- recognized with two WHPE (Wisconsin Health and Physical Education) at the annual WHPE convention- 2014
            • Hortonville High School Band was cordially invited to be a representative of Wisconsin for the 2014 National Independence Day Parade- July 4th 2014.Washington D.C.
            • Hortonville High School Jazz Ensemble was named #1 Jazz Ensemble at the UW Eau Claire Jazz Festival April-2013
            • Marcia Dunathan was awarded a National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) -      Iris Carl Travel Grant
            • Kari Kurowski recognized as an Outstanding Teacher of High School Biology from the University-Stevens Point Biology Department faculty            
            • Mike Sexton former coach at HASD was inducted to the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame
  • Kevin Sours, Cross Country and Track Coach, inducted to the coaches Hall of Fame I Virginia