District/School Information* *The Petal School District embraces daily professional learning communities in grades K 12.

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1 Professional Learning Community Evidence of Effectiveness District/School Information* *The Petal School District embraces daily professional learning communities in grades K 12. District Name: Petal School District School Address: 115 Highway 42, Petal, MS School Phone: School Fax: Superintendent: Dr. John Buchanan Asst. Superintendent: Jack Linton Web Address: School Information: School Principal Address Petal Primary School (K 2) Dede Smith Petal Elementary School (3 4) Kelli Brown Petal Upper Elementary School (5 6) Renee Evans Petal Middle School (7 8) Michael Hogan Petal High School (9 12) Steve Simmons Demographics District Demographics Number of Students: 3987 Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: % Percent of Limited English Proficient: 2.68 % Percent of Special Education: % Racial/Ethnic Percentages: - White % - Black % - Hispanic 3.18 % - Asian/Pacific Island 1.08 % - Other.10 %

2 School Demographics Petal Primary School (Grades K 2) Number of Students: 953 Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: % Percent of Limited English Proficient: 4.40 % Percent of Special Education: % Racial/Ethnic Percentages: - White % - Black % - Hispanic 4.62 % - Asian/Pacific Island 1.36 % - Other.00 % Petal Elementary School (Grades 3 4) Number of Students: 637 Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: % Percent of Limited English Proficient: 3.77 % Percent of Special Education: % Racial/Ethnic Percentages: - White % - Black % - Hispanic 3.61 % - Asian/Pacific Island 1.10 % - Other.63 % Petal Upper Elementary School (Grades 5 6) Number of Students: 665 Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: % Percent of Limited English Proficient: 2.56 % Percent of Special Education: % Racial/Ethnic Percentages: - White % - Black % - Hispanic 3.16 % - Asian/Pacific Island.90 % - Other.00 %

3 School Demographics (continued) Petal Middle School (Grades 7 8) Number of Students: 608 Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: % Percent of Limited English Proficient: 2.45 % Percent of Special Education: % Racial/Ethnic Percentages: - White % - Black % - Hispanic 3.78 % - Asian/Pacific Island 1.32 % - Other.00 % Petal High School (Grades 9 12) Number of Students: 1124 Percent Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch: % Percent of Limited English Proficient:.80 % Percent of Special Education: % Racial/Ethnic Percentages: - White % - Black % - Hispanic 1.42 % - Asian/Pacific Island.80 % - Other.00 %

4 Assessment Data Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 for Grades 3 8 Petal Elementary School Source of comparison data: Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 Grade: 3 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies ELA English Language Arts Year /86 n/a n/a n/a n/a 94/87 Year /87 n/a n/a n/a n/a 88/84 Year /89 n/a n/a n/a n/a 90/85 Year /90 n/a n/a n/a n/a 93/86 Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 for Grades 3 8 Petal Elementary School Source of comparison data: Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 Grade: 4 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies ELA English Language Arts Year /82 n/a NA n/a n/a 87/85 Year /85 n/a 93/87 n/a n/a 90/86 Year /84 n/a 87/81 n/a n/a 95/88 Year /85 n/a 90/84 n/a n/a 93/87 Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 for Grades 3 8 Petal Upper Elementary School Source of comparison data: Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 Grade: 5 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies ELA English Language Arts Year /82 n/a NA 91/73 n/a 93/85 Year /82 n/a 93/87 90/77 n/a 90/84 Year /83 n/a 87/81 92/77 n/a 94/86 Year /84 n/a 90/84 95/83 n/a 92/86

5 Assessment Data (continued) Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 for Grades 3 8 Petal Upper Elementary School Source of comparison data: Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 Grade: 6 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies ELA English Language Arts Year /78 n/a n/a n/a n/a 92/85 Year /81 n/a n/a n/a n/a 94/87 Year /82 n/a n/a n/a n/a 94/86 Year /81 n/a n/a n/a n/a 96/89 Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 for Grades 3 8 Petal Middle School Source of comparison data: Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 Grade: 7 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies ELA English Language Arts Year /75 n/a NA n/a n/a 90/82 Year /81 n/a 93/91 n/a n/a 93/82 Year /82 n/a 96/94 n/a n/a 93/87 Year /84 n/a 96/93 n/a n/a 94/88 Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 for Grades 3 8 Petal Middle School Source of comparison data: Mississippi Curriculum Test Version 2 Grade: 8 Math Reading Writing Science Social Studies ELA English Language Arts Year /74 n/a n/a 91/75 n/a 93/82 Year /80 n/a n/a 93/76 n/a 95/83 Year /84 n/a n/a 96/81 n/a 93/83 Year /88 n/a n/a 96/83 n/a 96/86

6 Assessment Data (continued) Subject Area Testing Program Version 2 Grades 9 12 Petal High School Source of comparison data: Subject Area Testing Program Version 2 Year English II Alg. I Writing Biology I US History Year / / / / /94.3 Year / /72 96/ / /96.9 Year / / / / /93 Year / / / / /93 Please comment on any aspect of the data that you believe is particularly significant. In 2003, daily professional learning communities were introduced at Petal High School in the area of science followed by math in 2005, and language arts and social studies in Today, despite changing socio/economic demographics the high school test scores overall are consistently the best in the state (Best in sate 2011, 2010, and top five 2009, 2008, 2007). Prior to 2007, the district elementary schools had experienced a gradual decline in state test scores resulting in Petal Elementary School being placed on Academic Watch in As a part of the effort to bring about change and based on the success of the high school, professional learning communities were put into action in grades K 8. As a result, there has been a steady increase in state test scores. Today, Petal Elementary School has moved from a school under Academic Watch to a High Performing School. The data above reflects the school district s progress. The administration and especially the teachers equate our success with the collaborative efforts of teachers working in professional learning communities. Please present additional information that indicates your efforts to build a professional learning community have had a positive impact on students and/or teachers. Professional learning communities were first introduced at Petal High School in 2003 and from there PLCs have grown to be the most important aspect of the school district s professional development in grades K 12. Schedules have been adjusted at all five district schools to embrace teacher led professional learning communities. The professional learning community model used in the Petal School District has evolved from the Japanese Lesson Study Model. In fact professional learning communities in the district are called Lesson Study. Within these collaborative meetings, teachers work to develop and revise common assessments, deconstruct

7 standards (currently the focus is on Common Core State Standards), analyze student data, share strategies, model lessons for one another, video and critique lessons, use collaborative grading, and discuss articulation of student friendly learning targets, which are required of all teachers throughout the district. Professional Learning Communities (Lesson Study) is one of the Petal School Districts Cornerstones for success. The school district has made a significant commitment in providing time and money to provide teachers the opportunity to grow as professionals and in turn positively impact student learning. PLCs are a district wide commitment supported from top to bottom by the school board, superintendent, principals, and teachers. It is on-going, relevant, quality professional development that is teacher driven and teacher led. From manipulating school and individual schedules to continuous research into how to make PLCs more efficient and productive, the administrators and teachers have put a lot of time and effort into developing professional learning communities into a tool that not only grows teachers, but impacts student achievement as well. The following chart shows the number of professional learning communities by school, number of teachers involved, subject/grade, how often the PLC meets, and facilitator. This chart illustrates the commitment of the school district not just to PLCs, but to teachers and students as well. School Number of PLCs Number of Teachers Involved Petal Primary 4 47 Petal Elementary 5 36 Petal Upper Elementary 8 28 Petal Middle 4 23 Petal High 4 41 Subject and/or Grade (1) Kindergarten (2) 1 st Grade (3) 2 nd Grade ELA (4) 2 nd Grade Math (1) 3 rd Grade ELA (2) 3 rd Grade Math (3) 4 th Grade ELA (4) 4 th Grade Math (5) Gifted PLC (1) 5 th Grade ELA (2) 5 th Grade Math (3) 5 th Grade Reading (4) 5 th Grade Science (5) 6 th Grade ELA (6) 6 th Grade Math (7) 6 th Grade Reading (8) 6 th Grade Science (1) 7 th Grade ELA (2) 7 th Grade Math (3) 8 th Grade ELA (4) 8 th Grade Math (1) Language Arts (2) Math (3) Science (4) Social Studies How Often Does PLC Meet? 3 Days Weekly (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) 3 Days Weekly (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) 4 Days Weekly (Monday through Thursday) 5 Days Weekly (Monday through Friday) 5 Days Weekly (Monday through Friday) How Long Does PLC Meet? After School 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. PLCs meet during school day* After School 2:40 p.m. to 3:40 p.m. PLCs meet during the school day* PLCs meet during the school day* *Teachers have a designated PLC period, and they also have a designated Planning period. Who Facilitates PLC? Teacher Leader Teacher Leader Teacher Leader Teacher Leader Teacher Leader

8 As a result of this commitment, the Petal School District is a STAR district, which is the highest level of achievement in Mississippi. Out of 152 school districts in the state, there are only four STAR school districts, and the Petal School District is one of those four. A major reason behind this success is the collaboration of teachers on a daily basis in their content area. Simply put, they are given the time to be professionals, and as a result, PLCs have become a part of the culture of the Petal School District. Although over the years there have been many obstacles to overcome, the growth of our teachers as professionals has been worth any pain we may have experienced. Comments about Professional Learning Communities by District Teachers: I think Lesson Study (PLCs) is the most effective form of professional development available to teachers because it is a way to incorporate the strengths of colleagues into your own teaching practice. I have learned that I do not have to be super-teacher in front of my colleagues. It is perfectly fine to be honest about lessons that I am personally not happy with yet. Teachers now work together to interpret curricula, plan lessons, evaluate assessments, and adjust instruction. Collaboration has become a part of our culture. The practice is examined and discussed daily in the Science department. First-year teachers are impacted in every way by Lesson Study (PLC). They need help with curriculum, sequencing, pacing, assessing, and managing. Lesson Study gives them a support system supported by combined years of expertise of colleagues. I think a teacher s best resource is another teacher. Lesson Study (PLC) is the BEST professional development tool. Collaboration with colleagues has helped me develop lessons that enable my students to better understand difficult concepts in chemistry. One of my Lesson Studies was a lesson on chemical reactions in aqueous solution. I designed a different approach to the concept by incorporating visualization strategies to help students see ions in the solutions and how they changed as a result of chemical reaction. I taught the lesson to my colleagues first and received important feedback about my approach. The lesson was successful and paved the way for understanding of what students actually observed when they completed the laboratory activity on solutions. A group of focused, purpose-driven teachers, who believe in the collaborative lesson study concept, will form such a bond and general will that those who are not on board will soon decide to adapt in order not to be intimidated by the voluminous shift of success that the willing participants experience in personal bonding, trust and student achievement. Lesson Study (PLCs) is a living how to manual for young teachers. They do not have to waste years of trial-and-era techniques that look good but do not produce the life-longlearning skills that are required for student success.

9 I personally believe that no other professional educational tool can even approach the impact that a well functioning Lesson Study (PLC) unit can have on student or teacher achievement. Teachers who embrace the Lesson Study (PLC) concept greatly appreciate the chance to develop their common assessments and strategies and tweak their custom -made lessons with advice and endearment from other teachers who have a vested interest in each others success. Running lessons, strategies, and assessments through the Lesson Study process has given me a feeling of assurance that enhances my confidence that a lesson will be successful. I have never underestimated the ability of my students. Now, I never underestimate the ability of my fellow teachers. Every year, when State Tests are over, it s a good feeling that, as a professional learning community, it was done to the best of our ability together! Please elaborate strategies you have found to be effective in the following areas: 1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis. (ALL SCHOOLS) Progress Monitoring Assessments 3 times per year fall, winter, and spring. (ALL SCHOOLS) Daily documented classroom walk-throughs by administrators. Principals and assistant principals are required to complete a minimum of 15 classroom walk-throughs each week. (ALL SCHOOLS) Each school level administrator (principal and assistant principals) are required to conduct a minimum of three teacher observations each week. (ALL SCHOOLS) Student progress is monitored through classroom assessment records, NWEA, EZ-TEST TRACKER, EDUSOFT, and STAR ENTERPRISE. (ALL SCHOOLS) Teachers review the data from their common assessments during the PLC time. They do an item analysis of the items that are not mastered and their plan for reteaching. (ALL SCHOOLS) Data tracking by subgroups by term (ALL SCHOOLS) Analysis of benchmark test data and referrals for intervention for students who are not performing up to the cut score may be made to Teacher Support Team (TST). (ALL SCHOOLS) Teachers complete a Class Data Report at the end of each term which shows the students who are struggling in any content area, on the most recent NWEA test and their progress on the Star Reading test. Based on the data and teacher input, students are referred to the Teacher Support Team (TST) at TIER II for intervention help. (ALL SCHOOLS) Conversations in PLC groups about strategies that are working and not working regarding specific skills.

10 (ALL SCHOOLS) Providing accountability to teachers to make sure parents are involved when students are not successful. (ALL SCHOOLS) Principals meet with teachers in PLC groups to discuss successes and concerns at the end of each semester. 2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning. (ALL SCHOOLS) Teachers are always the first to notice when a student is struggling. Their first line of defense is to talk with their professional learning community about alternative strategies on the skills needed to help the student be successful and to make parent contact. (ALL SCHOOLS) After the teacher has contacted the parent to seek support and alternative methods of instruction/intervention with the student, the child can be referred to Teacher Support Team. The child is then reviewed by the TST committee, including the parent, and interventions are designed if necessary. The mandated intervention times and progress monitoring then come into place. (ALL SCHOOLS) Intervention Specialist work with the classroom teachers to develop effective interventions for struggling students. (ALL SCHOOLS) Students are assigned to an intervention lab and/or tutoring to receive additional academic help from the Intervention Specialist and an Assistant. (ALL SCHOOLS) Many students are successful with just a change of instruction, or a restatement of the objective, extended time, or constant communication between the teacher and parent. Students can also be referred to TST for behavior issues if that is affecting their academic success. (PETAL HIGH SCHOOL) Flexible scheduling during the school day has also been used very effectively at the high school to allow students to take a subject twice during the day for extra time in the class. Also, the high school has used flexible scheduling to allow struggling students to be rescheduled into smaller settings based on the individual needs of the student. (PETAL UPPER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL) Coordinating Early Intervening Services (CEIS) classes are in use for identified at-risk children who have not yet been identified as needing special education services. (ALL SCHOOLS) Teachers often sacrifice personal planning time to tutor students as well as staying after school to tutor students. At Petal Primary School entering kindergarten students who are performing significantly below grade level are placed in an intervention looping class where instruction is targeted to meet the individual needs of the students. These students receive additional language, speech, and academic interventions all day every day. 3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students. (PETAL HIGH SCHOOL) Lesson Study Groups (PLCs) meet daily (5 days a week) in the 4 core areas to improve teachers' instructional strategies and practices. Core

11 teachers have a PLC period during the school day as well as an academic planning period. (PETAL MIDDLE SCHOOL) Lesson Study Groups (PLCs) meet daily (5 days a week) in the 4 core areas to improve teachers' instructional strategies and practices. Core teachers have a PLC period during the school day as well as an academic planning period. (PETAL UPPER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL) Lesson Study Groups (PLCs) meet 4 days a week in math and language arts to improve teachers' instructional strategies and practices. Teachers meet after students leave in the afternoon during contracted hours. (PETAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL) Lesson Study Groups (PLCs) meet 3 days a week in math and language arts during the school day to improve teachers' instructional strategies and practices. PLC time is built around the activity rotation, so that teachers maintain access to planning time as well as the time allotted for professional learning communities. (PETAL PRIMARY SCHOOL) Lesson Study Groups (PLCs) meet 3 days a week by grade level to improve teachers' instructional strategies and practices. Grade levels are subdivided into math and language arts. Teachers meet after students leave in the afternoon during contracted hours. (ALL SCHOOLS) Each PLC is led (facilitated) by a strong teacher leader. Having a strong teacher leader and the principal staying in contact with that person has made tremendous difference in the effectiveness of PLCs in the Petal School District. (ALL SCHOOLS) Every teacher in a PLC is required to video one to two lessons each year that are critiqued by the PLC group. During this process, a teacher is involved in discussing a lesson with colleagues, teaching the lesson to colleagues, teaching and videoing the lesson in front of students, and a final critique of the video with colleagues. This is a tool used for developing quality lessons for all students. The feedback from colleagues serves as guidance for improving instruction for individual classroom teachers; thus, improving the quality of instruction school-wide. (ALL SCHOOLS) At each school, PLCs are monitored by the building administrators who provide feedback to group. In addition to drop by visits, the school level administrators carefully evaluate each PLC group twice during each nine week grading period. (ACROSS THE DISTRICT) PLCs are a vital part of the Petal School District. Not only are teachers involved in PLCs, but there is a leadership PLC for administrators across the school district, a PLC for librarians, a PLC for guidance counselors, and a PLC for gifted teachers.

12 List awards and recognitions your school has achieved: School District: STAR School District (highest accreditation level in Mississippi) for 2011 and 2010 High Performing School District Best Practice School District 2011 presented by William Carey University Best Practices Conference (Natchez, Mississippi) presenters 2011 Best Practices Conference (Tunica, Mississippi) presenters 2012 Petal High School: Highest Subject Area Test Scores in state 2011, 2010 National Blue Ribbon School 2007 State Blue Ribbon School 2005 Star School Highest Accountability Level in Mississippi 2011, 2010, 2009 Best Practice School 2011 presented by William Carey University Highest state test average of all Mississippi high schools for the 2nd consecutive year. Recognized across the state as the premier school for developing, implementing, and sustaining professional learning communities as a professional development tool for teachers. The principal and teacher leaders have made Professional Learning Communities presentations at state meetings such as The Mississippi Association of School Administrators and The Mississippi Association of School Superintendents. Petal Middle School: Star School Highest Accountability Level in Mississippi 2011, 2010 Best Practice School 2011 presented by William Carey University Above and Beyond Award presented by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Teach Up Champion presented by Digital Opportunity Trust Petal Upper Elementary School: High Performing School 2011, 2010, 2009 Best Practice School 2011 presented by William Carey University USDA Bronze Award for Healthier School Challenge American Cancer Society Relay for Life Award Petal Elementary School: High Performing School 2011, 2010 (Improved from Academic Watch School 2009) Best Practice School 2011 presented by William Carey University Petal Primary School: (K 2 does not take the Mississippi Curriculum Test) Best Practice School 2011 presented by William Carey University

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