C&I Program Standard 6 – Communication
School A is located in Sammamish, Washington and currently has 612 students enrolled. Our school has been named one of Washington State’s High Achieving Award Winning schools and this year has received the School of Distinction Award. Samantha Smith staff enjoys a high level of involvement from parents and our school consistently reports 100% PTSA membership. School A also houses the district’s QUEST program for highly capable students.
School A staff strives to meet and exceed district and community expectations as well as our own expectations. After participating in and reviewing the 9 Characteristics Survey, our staff identified characteristic #4, Collaboration and Communication, as an area of focus for our Continuous Improvement Plan (CIP). Specifically, we will continue to develop strong collaborative relationships through the Professional Learning Community Model (PLC) as developed by DuFour, Dufour, Eaker, and Many (2006). According to DuFour, et al., a PLC is defined as “… an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.”
In addition to furthering our work in the foundations of PLC collaboration, our CIP also states that teams will formulate “specific, appropriate, and attainable” grade level SMART goals with strategies that support these goals.
Our Kindergarten team consists of two all day teachers and one half day teacher. We have a total of 66 students, 22 in each class. This is the second consecutive year that we have maintained the same grade level team and we look forward to the continued growth of our collaborative practices. In support of our school CIP, our kindergarten team embraced the PLC model of collaboration and put several PLC components in place during the 2011-2012 school year. We also developed a SMART goal that pertains to the Numbers and Operations strand of our district math standards. The artifacts included later in this exhibit illustrate some of our work in these 2 areas.
Below is a timeline illustrating a series of tasks that address the 2 CIP goals highlighted in these exhibits, as well as the resources needed to accomplish these tasks.
TIMELINE (* denotes that an artifact for this item is included in this exhibit)
|August, 2011||Create team norms *|
|September, week 1 2011;Weekly thereafter||Establish weekly PLC team meetings.||Common weekly planning time|
|September, week 2, 2011||Assess all students on number sense. Identify students who are not at standard. Identify “specific, appropriate, and attainable grade level *SMART goal”. Analyze student data.||CDSA, Number Sense*Gradebook event scores|
|October, week 1, 2011;Weekly thereafter||Establish grade level intervention block. Begin weekly RTI groups.||Common math instruction time for grade level, remediation and enrichment lessons/activities, (*interactive technology)|
|November, week 1, 2011; Monthly thereafter||Progress monitor number sense skills. Adjust groups as necessary||Progress monitor formative assessments|
|January, week 1, 2012||Assess number sense skills. Compare to SMART goal. Adjust groups as necessary.||CDSA Number Sense, assessment data|
|April, week 1, 2012||Assess number sense skills. Compare to SMART goal. Adjust groups as necessary.||CDSA Number sense, assessment data|
|June, week 2, 2012||Assess number sense skills. Analyze data and compare to SMART goal. Reflect on whether or not goal was met. What improvements can be made for next year?||CDSA Number sense, assessment data|
CIP Goal #1: PLC
Artifact: Team Norms
Our first step to establishing our grade level team as a PLC was to create a set of norms for our group meetings. DuFour, et al. states that clarification of team expectations promotes unity and collaboration within a team. To start this process, we simply discussed our “pet peeves” associated with meetings. Each of the 3 team members contributed to this list and, therefore, became invested in the process.
Artifact: Data Analysis
As we met in our PLC group, my team and I would analyze data derived from student work. We share scores on common assessments, notice patterns amongst students and/or classes, and reflect on strategies we might have used to achieve positive results. Artifact #2 shows one format we would use when presenting data to the group. This screenshot comes from our online grade book which can display data in a variety of ways.
CIP Goal #2: SMART Goal/Interventions
Artifact: SMART Goal
As we moved forward with our PLC collaborations, our team developed goals in support of increased student learning in number sense. One particular SMART goal we developed states:
“We will use common assessment data to guide the content of our intervention times so that students that pass go from 62% at standard in Numbers and Operations in October 2011 (per CDSA rubric, #1-3), to 97% at standard in June 2012.”
The goal sheet (link inserted above) includes a list of coded students who were identified as in need of remedial intervention, a list of intervention strategies, a timeline to administer the strategies and assess progress, and data sources used to track goal progress. This artifact our goal progress as of January, 2012.
Artifact: Number Fluency PPT
As we analyzed student data during our PLC meetings, we saw a need for student practice in number fluency and quantity. We used technology to offer practice that was both engaging and repetitive, such as the PowerPoint presentation featured in the above artifact. (To reduce the size of this attachment I only included a snapshot of 6 slides.)
We are still in the process of carrying out our interventions within the PLC framework. We are monitoring student progress towards our goal that 97% of students will be at or above standard in number sense by June 2012. As we analyze our progress so far, we realize that we are within reach of this goal.
We have encountered several obstacles along the way and we will continue to reflect on them and work on how to address them in the coming year. Some of these obstacles include:
- Need for more than 30 minutes per week for PLC planning time
- Team time constraints relating to half day teacher schedule
- Inadequate use of building support and administrative personnel
We acknowledge that progress has been made both in our commitment to the PLC model of collaboration and, most importantly, to student learning. We look forward to continuing this improvement process throughout the 2012-13 school year.