Model PLC School
To earn Model PLC status, a school must commit to PLC concepts for at least three years, showcasing improved student learning. Congratulations to the CV Falcons on achieving this esteemed designation!
PLC stopped being a place or a meeting, but a culture. Central Valley High School’s PLC journey began in 2011, with the shift from traditional department heads to PLC leads and learning communities. The district committed funds to train instructional coaches and leaders on campus, and as a leadership team we began the pedagogical shift from “staff meeting Mondays” to collaborative time focused around student learning. Over time, multiple members of the staff completed training to better understand research-based methodologies in curriculum design, assessment, data analysis, and intervention. These best practices were then supported throughout the year by mini-trainings followed by work time and accountability, thereby building the capacity of the staff and establishing the necessary shared understanding.
One of the challenges we faced as a smaller school was how to build meaningful teams. We tried different configurations --department, grade level, STEM/Humanities. We encountered and overcame numerous hurdles during this time. Without common assessments, it was difficult to make collaborative goals. We would analyze available district data, but because California does not assess until 11th grade, it felt more like an autopsy. Various steps were taken to improve progress. In 2016 the district invested in NWEA to measure all grade levels’ growth and proficiency in reading and math. Individual teachers were now able to pull rosters of their own students to see the impact their instruction had, thereby increasing buy-in and accountability. Additionally, we administered a schoolwide writing benchmark to grades 9-12, then trained the entire staff to score writing samples with a rubric. We compiled and analyzed this data in grade-level teams. The end result was a common language regarding literacy skills, clarified understanding of proficiency and defined vertical alignment needs.
he CVHS PLC process truly took flight in 2016. Administration and staff made a commitment to the production of our guaranteed viable curriculum, the Central Valley Guarantees or CVGs, which are published for all of our stakeholders and constantly utilized and revised.
This helped to solidify our laser-like focus on the learning targets and levels of thinking we expect students to demonstrate, and how to best measure student proficiency. With these in place, we were able to implement our Tier 2 intervention model, Achieve. Every other week students have a special schedule in which an intervention hour is built in. Achieve allows time for pre-teaching, reinforcement, and extension of expected learning targets. Struggling and advanced students alike have extra time with teachers to process and apply new concepts and accomplish more rigorous coursework
Data reveals a marked improvement in student achievement with the implementation of the PLC process. State CAASPP scores have increased substantially in the last four years; our A-G completion rate for seniors has increased while the number of Ds and Fs across grade levels have decreased dramatically; NWEA cohort data shows upwards of 30% gain from the number projected to meet or exceed proficiency when they finish their freshman year and when they complete the CAASPP test their junior year.
The staff at Central Valley has always demonstrated the ability to build positive relationships with our students; committing time and resources to create a structure that allows us to individualize instruction for students in a timely, personalized way solidified the shared commitment to our informal PLC motto, “Never Surrender”.