The Franklin Elementary staff met in the library classroom and began discussion about full implementation of PBIS by the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. (Note: Elementary library staff members met at Sunnyside to continue work from last collaboration session.) We reviewed the six components of PBIS and determined to continue work on a common (school wide) set of behavioral expectations. We explored stating those expectations as a three to five letter acronym, each representing a positive expectation in three to five words. We came up with some examples and agreed to consider them before our next collaboration meeting. We posted the examples on the wall in the staff lounge so that we could see them each day.
We next discussed a school wide system of reinforcing positive behaviors. We briefly discussed experience that some staff members have had with such systems. We agreed to look at some options of systems that are in place in other schools at our next meeting. At this point specialists (music, art and PE) separated to meet together to discuss elementary scheduling as it relates to them. Special Education paraprofessionals moved to Sunnyside to continue training in autism.
Our second activity involved digging into data (MAP and MSP) to help guide a review of our school improvement plan. Teachers logged in to the NWEA website to review MAP data from both the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. They looked for strong and weak strands in the math and reading testing data. they also reviewed average class growth in math and reading for fall-winter in the past two years as a way to look at progress this year and to gauge the effectiveness of the enVisions materials. This initial review appears to indicate that Franklin students are progressing as fast or faster in math than they did last year. We took copies of the SIP away to review before the next meeting, scheduled for May 1. At that meeting we will continue creating the new SIP. A key discussion item will be providing greater assistance for math education.
-Bill Holman, Principal
The Jefferson Staff worked on evaluating progress toward our goals outlined in our school improvement plan. They met in grade level groups to define how students would be rated meeting or not meeting standards using the data they had collected using their grade level improvement plan. The entire staff then met together to share and discusses their reasoning in defining their determination of benchmark.
On the collaboration on May 1, the staff will use the data to determine who has met benchmark for their grade levels and determine next steps for creating student growth plans for those not meeting benchmark.
-Craig Nelson, Principal
During the collaboration day on April 17 at Sunnyside Elementary we worked as a team to develop our School Improvement Plan. We kept the guiding questions in mind as we worked through this process. What exactly do students need to know and be able to do? How will we know if they have learned it? How will we respond if they don't learn it? What are the instructional strategies needed to meet different learning styles and/or levels of learners? Our goal was to provide an overarching RtI goal that focuses on math and reading. We continued to fine tune Sunnyside’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students.
Grade level teams collaborated to discuss curriculum and specific student needs as well as to review data. The topics included mathematics, writing, social studies, DIBELS, progress monitoring, ELL supports, and CBAs, as well as specialty areas including physical education, art, library, music, Title 1, and special education. It was an effective use of 3 collaboration hours and it brought the grade level and specialist teams together to plan ways to improve student learning and increase student achievement at Sunnyside.
-Pam Brantner, Principal
Lincoln Middle School:
On the Wednesday, April, 17th collaboration day, Lincoln Middle School met as a full group to discuss the school improvement plan. Grade level teams focused on areas in which we are excelling and areas in which we can improve. During these break-outs, specific strategies were discussed that will help us achieve our goal, which is improved student learning. With this, each individual team will begin creating SMART goals as we look into the 2013-2014 school year. Overall, it was a very productive day that will set the course for us into the future.
-Cameron Grow, Principal
Pullman High School:
English: Identified and discussed reading strategies that they are currently using in relation to the English department scope and sequence.
Health and Fitness: Looked at student growth data in relation to the strength training, sports and fitness classes. Discussed incentive program for students.
Library: Worked on collaborative Lexile project related to student learning.
Math & Science: Formed cross-disciplinary teams with math and science to focus on ways to support the learning of both core subject areas. Common notation, common vocabulary, reinforcement of concepts.
Special Education: Met with agency representatives to share information about students with special needs and resources and services available after high school. How to prepare to access those services and what those services are that the students may need in the future.
Social Studies: Discussed newly adopted Contemporary World History curriculum and the materials that will be need to support this change to Sophomore Social Studies.
World Languages: Discussed piloting of several possible chapters from new materials that they are looking at for possible adoption.
-Joe Thornton, Principal
Staff members from the three elementary schools met at Franklin Elementary to continue district wide collaboration. All staff members met together initially to outline the afternoon. Bill Holman gave a brief update on the Teacher Principal Evaluation Pilot, specifically about student growth and goal setting. Classroom teachers then broke into grade level groups and specialists (special education, music, pe, art, Title I, library, speech/language/ELL and counselor/psychologists) met with their peers. Art, music, library personnel and the counselor/psychologists met at other schools.
Kindergarten continued working on alignment of the language arts curriculum with common core standards. They discussed common assessments and aligned instruction so that all were addressing similar topics to be reported at winter conferences. They discussed topics covered so far in the mathematics curriculum and specific writing conventions.
First grade discussed student growth goals including the option of setting growth goals district wide at grade level. They continued work on alignment of topics in math and discussed reading progress and how best to report it. They finished discussion about the upcoming report card so that all schools are reporting the same data.
Second grade continued working on rubrics for the report card and shared electronic (on line) tools and strategies for the new math curriculum. They discussed social studies and possible assessments, and agreed that participation grades would be used this year.
Third grade discussed at length preparation for online MSP testing and strategies for preparation. (Teachers implemented preparation strategies right away following this meeting.) They discussed use of the intervention kit for envisions math.
Fourth grade created problem solving rubrics and shared problems to be used for preparation toward the MSP. They discussed also challenges related to on line access.
Fifth grade had a rich discussion about assessing and reporting science progress. They compared current status of classroom based assessments at each school. They worked on and unpacked information about the technology CBA.
The LMS staff had an extremely productive day during collaboration Wednesday. The focus in Social Studies was aligning curriculum with what the state has recommended for scope and sequence. Science prepared for the implementation of Project Lead the Way at all grade levels. Math continued with their common assessment implementation. They also focused on the Common Core and what Algebra and Pre-Algebra do not cover within the grade level standards. Language Arts focused on the implementation of common assessments throughout the 6th and 7th grades. Our specialists focused on individual learning needs of students and ways that each of them can address these needs.
Art: Met as district art teachers. Did a self assessment, “Are we improving student learning?”.
Counseling/Psych: District level meeting. Discussed 504 booklet, and policy 2162 revisions.
CTE: Discussed student data collection to track progress. Discussed advisory committee assessments.
English: Discussed CCSS non-fiction expectations for English and other content areas. Made final edits to the paragraph writing rubric.
Family and Consumer Science: Combined PHS/LMS meeting. Discussed student growth assessments and scope and sequence of program.
Health and Fitness: Discussed course changes to enhance student learning.
Library: Continued work with Lexile index and student learning improvement.
Math: Worked in teams as Geometry teachers and Stats teachers. Discussed implementation of “homework club”.
Science: Looked at NGSS and how the PHS science curriculum meets those challenges. Looked at vocab terms by grade level and discussed root word breakdown.
Social Studies: Worked on college credit plan with WSU and Civics course standards.
Special Education: Discussed factors involved in monitoring interventions, sequence timeline etc.
World Language: Discussed ideas and plan for World Language week and the incorporating those plans into the classroom.
The grade level classroom teachers reported progress on adapting the current language arts curriculum to better align with the common core standards. The assessment and monitoring of the standards were also discussed. One recurring theme in the reports was that the teachers needed more time with the agenda before the collaboration day to be more prepared for the items being discussed. A leader should be named in each group to facilitate the progress of each team.
Elementary PE teachers discussed the classroom based assessments they will be administering. They also discussed purchasing some equipment that can be shared across the schools to enhance student opportunities while sharing the cost of the items.
Title I staff talked about better scheduling for the DIBELS assessment and the impact the common core in language arts will have on the interventions they provide to struggling students.
Special education staff discussed SRA reading mastery programs and the implementation of progress monitoring to go alongside the program. They shared strategies for scheduling students in special education time slots throughout the day in an efficient manner. Methods for organizing data were also discussed.
Elementary library staffs met together at Franklin Elementary to record and align the books in the collection with Lexile scores. The MAP assessment which is given to all students three times per year also assigns a Lexile range to each student’s reading ability. Having the books identified by Lexile score will allow students to select books within their range and reading ability.
All of the district music staff met at Lincoln Middle School to discuss how the music education program builds on skill beginning in kindergarten and progressing through 12th grade. Classroom based assessments were also discussed.
Art staff from across the district met at Lincoln Middle School to discuss the feasibility of a district art show.
Collaboration days require a lot of sacrifice, work and planning to result in stronger programs for all of the students in the school district.
Mrs. Pam Brantner, Sunnyside Elementary School
Mr. Bill Holman, Franklin Elementary School
Mr. Craig Nelson, Jefferson Elementary School
This date was a combined PHS/LMS collaboration day. P.E. worked on portfolios that students would begin to build at the middle school and finish at the high school. Art worked on the organization of a district wide art show to display student work. Special Education worked on informal assessments to be used in the general education classroom. Math developed a common set of math motivators to put on a poster for all classrooms. Social Studies worked on the courses they teach and how those can be articulated with the Running Start program at EWU. English worked on the 7-12 common core and common assessments. Science worked on a vertical alignment of Physical Science and Biology. World Language discussed materials to support the new speaking and writing rubric that they have developed. CTE worked on formative and summative assessments.
The Franklin Elementary staff met as a large group to start the day with work centered on implementation of mathematics. Individual staff members shared information about things they have tried and found valuable including resources for evaluating and differentiating. Staff once again broke out into grade level groups to explore support materials including online resources and to plan using information that they had gathered from each other.
We continued our work on grade level improvement plans by spending the bulk of the half day in grade level groups. Each grade level discussed improving student achievement through coordinated instruction and assessment plans. Some grade levels visited with other grades who have developed successful plans in the past. Each grade level prepared and submitted a written grade level improvement plans for math and reading.
Sunnyside Elementary School spent their second collaboration day answering the following questions; “what do students need to learn?” and “how will we know if they learned it?” They did this by reviewing common core state standards in reading and math. Using knowledge of the standards, staff was asked to examine student data (MAPs, MSP, Classroom Assessments, DIBELS) to see where students are, where they need to get to and how will they get there. Grade levels worked together to create a “road map” for the year that included common assessments, curriculum adaptations and interventions. The art teacher visited the various grade levels to build a connection between the classroom content and the art program. Our special education team worked together to ensure we have program alignment between our resource room, speech services, and occupational/physical therapists. The district P.E. teachers gathered together to review CBA’s that will be implemented district wide. School Counselors worked as a district group on 504 procedures and using on IEP online as a method for documenting.
This was a building level day. English worked on expanding the standards based grading that some teachers are experimenting with. Special Education worked on math and reading fluency assessments. Family Consumer Science worked with the LMS teacher on strategies to differentiate in the classroom. Math looked at EOC scores and indicators to develop review materials for the students taking the math EOCs in January. P.E. discussed how they can collect growth data for students 9-12. World Language finalized the speaking and writing rubric that they have developed. Social Studies worked on the new scope and sequence that they are developing for World History. Science worked on developing a grading rubric for notebooks. CTE worked on developing a cross-credit rubric for broadcasting and marketing.Mr. Joe Thornton, Principal, Pullman High School
The next day during our scheduled collaboration time the process was continued with discussion about implementation of the Title plan including progress monitoring and pull out versus push in models. The remainder of the time was devoted to grade level collaboration related to the new enVision materials we are using in mathematics. This session was extremely productive due to all of the time that had been spent the previous day. That the FES staff had requested to spend the extra time is noteworthy.
Bill Holman, Principal
At Jefferson Elementary we spent the half day largely as a whole group reviewing our progress toward meeting our building goal of 92% of the students meeting state standards in math and reading. We reviewed the State test scores as well our district testing scores at the primary grades. We divided up into grade level groups to begin working on grade level improvement plans.
During the first collaboration day we reviewed our Sunnyside Elementary School Improvement Plan (SIP) which focuses on 2 goal areas, Mathematics and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The staff composed a list of criteria to ensure math SIP goals will be met. The first is to dedicate at least one staff meeting per month to collaborate and communicate, utilize the new math curriculum with fidelity, implement the transition plan for Common Core State Standards, weekly progress monitoring of students and collegial grade level meetings with a mathematic focus. We worked toward accomplishing the same feat with PBIS, which includes: professional development and collaboration time for the entire staff to establish common, clear, concise and realistic behavioral expectations, create detailed common lesson plans for all grade levels, explicit teaching of common lessons, and documentation of expectations and interactions. Elementary specialists’ teams met in small groups and worked on various agendas and projects together. The day was extremely useful and productive for all staff involved.
Art: Meet as district art teachers and discussed ways to incorporate math into the teaching of art.
Counseling/Psych: Discussed suicide prevention program.
CTE: Planned and discussed ways of incorporating math into teaching.
English: Discussed math across the English curriculum, writing “look-fors” and how to use data.
Health and Fitness: Discussed student growth data, what and how to collect.
Library: Connecting library instruction to student achievement.
Math: Identified things that other content teachers can do to reinforce math concepts and processes. Analyzed EOC data and planned interventions.
Science: Discussed establishing pre-tests to measure student growth.
Social Studies: Revamping of the WH scope and sequence.
Special Education: Discussed student needs and reinforcement of positive behavior.
World Language: Discussed data/evidence of student growth. Created writing rubric for the Spanish IV and French IV.
The three district elementary schools met together on Wednesday May 2nd for district collaboration. Grade level teams spent time examining and discussing student work samples. Each teacher brought samples of a common core math task that all district students have recently completed. Teachers discussed similarities that they noticed with students that met standard and what common mistakes were that other students made. The second half of the collaboration afternoon was spent in school site teams. Teachers spent time examining examples of the new common core math standards and how those standards progress from year to year. Elementary specialists’ teams met in small groups and worked on various agendas and projects together. The day was extremely useful and productive for all staff involved.
-Brian Moore, Franklin Elementary Principal
Lincoln Middle School
Lincoln Middle School met with Pullman High School on May 2nd to discuss the goals that were attained during the year and where we are headed in each of our department groups for the upcoming year. Each team set goals for the upcoming year regarding alignment and common assessments. Student growth was the topic as teams split into grade levels as each team began looking for opportunities for real time interventions with kids in the areas of language arts and math. Teams also discussed cross curricular activities regarding math, language arts, science, and social studies and the importance of vocabulary within these activities. Overall it was a great day as each group made significant strides towards ensuring student growth in all areas.
-Cameron Grow, Principal
Pullman High School
The staff of PHS and LMS met on May 2. The day began with a discussion about and planning for next year’s goals. The groups then divided into building groups. The PHS staff worked by departments to finalize the paragraph writing matrix and rubric. Each department then continued discussions centered on student learning.
-Joe Thornton, PHS Principal
The first hour was dedicated to a discussion of complete realignments of Social studies curriculum (6-12) dictated by the new state standards to be implemented in 2013. It was decided that the teachers would break into teams to formulate curriculum suggestions over the summer.
-Michael Riley & Kristen Walker will discuss 8th grade alignment
-Declan Keogh & Calvin Creger will take 10th grade alignment
- Craig McCormick & Debbie Nakata will address 11th grade changes and the new Civic requirement.
-At the end of the summer the groups will meet to communicate alignment progress.
The rest of the day was given over to building work. The Pullman HS team continued discussion on the high school realignment and evaluated
• Possibly allowing students to take AP US history independently (providing them support and direction) but not offering US AP classes
• The direction of the state “Contemporary World History” course to be implemented in 2013. Discussion centered on starting the course at 1500 CE and having the Middle School address more Ancient Civilization. Further alignment with 10th grade English was addressed as well.
•Creating a senior level Civics Course (again as dictated by State requirements) and the resulting impact on existing courses.
-Declan Keogh, PHS Teacher
Our main focus has been on paragraph writing and oral power point presentation assessments for all four world language levels. We developed rubrics and writing checklists for each level. We collaborated with our Spanish colleague from Colfax and shared ideas for instruction, projects and assessments. Each member of the group presented ideas on how to collaborate with other departments for future cross curriculum activities.
Our department goal is to have common assessments for the different languages at each level of study. Next year, we would like to meet with the department of history/ social studies to discuss co - teaching possibilities.
-Tina Fernandez, PHS Teacher
Pullman High School
The Pullman High School staff worked together, mostly as departments, on a number of different topics focused on students learning.
Math: Discussed a proposed Applied Math curriculum and gave updates on the textbook adoptions being considered for next year.
Health and Fitness: Discussed establishing a uniform process to deal with students that are injured in an effort to keep them participating in class, met with foods and nutrition teacher to articulate curriculum, discussed establishing a rubric for offering an honors PE option.
Science: Worked on refining a rubric for technical writing in the sciences, explored a multimedia resource that will help in the use of segments during discussion, met with the English department to look at the technical writing rubric.
Art and Music: Discussed solutions to students that struggle demonstrating basic skills in a particular area, discussed teacher-centered strategies and how to incorporate into courses.
Social Studies: Discussed the graduation requirement changes that need to be in place for the class of 2016, brainstormed solutions to how to change World History to meet those needs and how to include the .5 credit of Civics in the course offerings.
CTE/IT: Discussed the Microsoft IT Academy certification program and how that can be incorporated into the frameworks for Info Tech.
English: Discussion centered on current Literacy Term scope and sequence and how that may fit with the new Common Core Standards, revised the PHS paragraph writing rubric, discussed TPEP framework and how to incorporate those into lesson and unit planning, met with Science to share their technical writing rubric.
World Language: Continued looking at student writing for levels 1, 2, 3. Compared these to the standards for writing developed in previous sessions.
SPED: Discussed student behavior needs, expectations, consequences and behavioral reporting forms.
SPED paraprofessionals: Reviewed educational materials by curriculum area to determine materials needed to support students in the math, reading, writing and life skills, reviewed websites that can be used to support and enhance students learning.
-Joe Thornton, PHS Principal
The Pullman High School Science and Agriculture Teachers used this collaboration period to assess the new Building-level Writing rubric in terms of the existing science curriculum. We further developed an addendum to this rubric for standardized scoring in technical writing (to include drawings and technical diagrams) and data analysis. We shared our work with the English department and will develop it further with the Career and Technical Education department next month. The overall goal is to create a common language in writing assessment across the curriculum in order to improve student performance. In addition, the group shared tips and techniques for integrating video clips into presentations to replace full length videos in the curriculum.
-Jason Bledsoe, PHS Science teacher
Lincoln Middle School
Our latest collaboration time was spent working as grade level teams. This was the first opportunity we had this year to collaborate as grade levels. During our time we were able to discuss placements for students in 8th grade classes. The process was very efficient since we were all able to be in the same place at the same time. This discussion then expanded to providing additional comments and recommendations for other students in the class. We hope this information will be helpful for 8th grade teachers next year. Additionally we were able to discuss strategies working for students in other classes that we are going to try in our own classes. This has allowed us to gain a deeper and clearer picture of our students by having the opportunity to hear other voices and perspectives about our students in different content areas. We are looking forward to additional opportunities to work together to address goals from our SIP plan and to look for ways our different content areas can support each other throughout the school year.
-Heather Lohrmeyer, 7th Grade Science at Lincoln Middle School
During our building collaboration day the focus was on transition and how we can better serve students at the next level. We split our staff into grade level teams looking at data and areas of concerns for students as they move to the next grade level. We shared interventions we are using with students and how they are affecting the performance of each child. Grade level teams finished their conversation by focusing on our current School Improvement Plan for the upcoming school year and possible goal areas for Lincoln Middle School.
-Cameron Grow, Principal at Lincoln Middle School
Jefferson Elementary School
The Jefferson Staff spent the collaboration day in April discussing the new teacher evaluation model, the math curriculum adoption, and ways to modify the schedule to maximize teaching time.
The new teacher evaluation system, which was piloted in our district, was discussed. The principal and the teachers involved in the pilot presented information to the staff. The staff asked many questions that the pilot team answered. The teachers serving on the math materials adoption committee presented the staff with the progress toward identifying the materials being considered for adoption. The staff had several ideas about streamlining the process to get materials aligned with the common core state standards as soon as possible.
The building schedule was discussed and several ideas surrounding reducing the disruption of pull out programs to classroom instruction. The day concluded with each grade level team analyzing student growth data and to make recommendations for improvements.
-Craig Nelson, Principal at Jefferson Elementary
Franklin Elementary School
The Elementary PE teachers also met at Franklin and worked to improve the elementary specialist report card. The PSD library team met in the tech lab and learned about lexile scores and how to incorporate lexile scores into the library systems.
It was a productive day for all staff involved!
-Brian Moore, Principal at Franklin Elementary
Sunnyside Elementary School
During the collaboration day on April 11 our Sunnyside Elementary School Improvement Plan (SIP) guided our work. We kept the guiding questions in mind as we collaborated. What exactly do students need to know and be able to do? How will we know if they have learned it? How will we respond if they don't learn it? What are the instructional strategies needed to meet different learning styles and/or levels of learners?
Grade level teams collaborated to discuss curriculum and specific student needs as well as to review data. The topics included mathematics, writing, social studies, STAR, DIBELS, progress monitoring, ELL supports, and CBAs, as well as specialty areas including physical education, art, library, music, Title 1, and special education. It was an effective use of 3 collaboration hours and it brought the grade level and specialist teams together to plan ways to improve student learning and increase student achievement at Sunnyside.
-Dr. Rick Bates, Principal at Sunnyside Elementary School
This past collaboration day was the most productive we’ve had. Our building worked together as grade level and specialist teams.
The second grade team began by collaborating with the first grade team to discuss writing and research reports. Each year we both have our students write animal reports. We compared what each grade level is currently doing and then shared ideas on how to improve the report writing process. We then identified how we are building on the report writing experience between grade levels.
Our second grade team then moved into social studies. Our team went through the current History of Pullman, WA unit originally created by Nancy Nelson. We updated some lessons and collectively planned out the rest of the year. Our administrator bought our team a National Geographic Theme Set titled Providing Goods that we requested to meet our social studies standards. We were thankful to have time to identify how to incorporate one of the units into this school year.
-Second Grade Team at Sunnyside Elementary School
Wednesday this week was an early release day for students to allow for teacher and principal collaboration. I was able to visit several groups working together at both Pullman High School and at Jefferson Elementary School.
The high school staff was fine tuning a school-wide rubric for evaluating paragraph writing. I gathered from the discussion that it will serve as a spring board for the development of a school-wide rubric for essay and research paper writing.
Comments from teachers included such things as, “the kids will have consistent expectations for writing in every class,” and “it will save us instructional time because we won’t have to spend time teaching so many unique expectations in every class.”
Discussion could be heard about whether there needs to be a different rubric for every grade level or one rubric that sets a single expectation for the entire high school. There was discussion about adding conventions such as spelling, format, and punctuation. In addition, one group discussed adding model paragraphs so that student will have access to examples of the expectations.
At Jefferson, each grade level of teachers were together combing over assessment data for each of their students, identifying common weaknesses and strengths and making plans together to help student struggling with specific skills and concepts. One group will have a paraprofessional, assigned to one of the teachers because of a large class, work with small groups of students from their three classes that have not mastered specific skills. Another group was exploring how to better align classroom core instruction with intervention specialist time. Still another group included one of the specialist in the discussion about how best to provide extra help for individual students.
I heard teachers speak about the gap between the highest and lowest achieving students. They discussed ideas about how to make sure each student is able to make progress. The conversations were not about getting through the content, but it was about each student’s learning.
These are only samples of many similar discussions I heard. It was evident that the teachers at these two schools put the time today to exceptionally good use. Every discussion I heard was evidence that the teachers and principals are entirely focused on helping students succeed and make progress from wherever their current skill level. They were not simply discussions; plans were made for actions that are expected to improve learning and student achievement and performance.Paul Sturm,