Northern California Educational Leadership Consortium

School Success Stories

These are descriptions of what really works well in schools, primarily schools in the Shasta Region. We will feature these stories here as they are submitted. Submit a story today by clicking on the link below.

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Chrysalis Charter Transforms Reading Outcomes

With a school named Chrysalis Charter, should we be surprised to see Transformation? Through a local Problem of Practice focused on a disproportionate number of students identified for special education, Chrysalis Charter leveraged the NorCal ELC continuous improvement (CI) structure, leadership coaching and support to act.  NorCal ELC focuses on helping local school teams learn and implement evidence driven CI on equity-centered problems to improve student outcomes and develop leadership capacity. The Chrysalis team analyzed data and leaned into the Science of Reading, changed their schedule to allow for interventions, and began making data-based decisions. Subsequently, Chrysalis reduced the number of students with IEPs from 31 of 175 students to 19. Students receiving reading interventions dropped by nearly two-thirds over two years - indicating a robust MTSS Tier 1. Through NorCal ELC the team was able to share success with other rural school teams to facilitate everyone’s ability to “soar”.

Golden Hills: A Professional Learning Community Model School

Golden Hills Elementary School in Palermo, Butte County, is the first school in the Shasta Region to be awarded the Professional Learning Community (PLC)  Model School by Solution Tree.

In order to qualify as a Model PLC, a school must:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to PLC at Work®️ concepts
  • Implement those concepts for at least three years
  • Present clear evidence of improved student learning
  • Provide data on a yearly basis that shows they continue to meet the criteria of the PLC at Work process (* due to COVID, iReady data was utilized in lieu of state testing data)

Kristi Napoli, Principal of Golden Hills and now a Certified Solution Tree Consultant, shared that it took a committed focus to utilize PLCs with everything they do. At Golden Hills, they utilize PLCs not just for academics, but also for behavior and social and emotional learning. According to Napoli, this means having: 

  • Clear and high expectations
  • A culture of collaboration that emphasizes a collective effort between the entire staff for student success
  • A focus on results; using student results to provide reflective conversations with staff on teaching practices; as well as using that data for designing intervention and extension activities for students.

Napoli shared that a critical starting place is identifying essential standards . “We write the essential standards in “I can” statements and explain the process for the students so they have accountability and responsibility and are part of the process.This is what we focus our teaching and assessments on. We make sure the entire staff has the same vision of proficiency before we start teaching the concept. We write common formative assessments that all staff have discussed, developed or selected, and that are teacher driven. With this process, all students are ensured the same learning.”

 At Golden Hills, it’s not just the teachers that utilize the core PLC questions (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many, 2010):

  1. What is it we want our students to learn?
  2. How will we know if each student has learned it?
  3. How will we respond when some students do not learn it?
  4. How can we extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency? 

The counselors and administrators utilize these questions for their work as well.  Napoli noted that you have to be creative with the schedule in order to build time into the day for assessments and blocks for intervention and extension. She said math is easier to start with as it is linear, while language arts can be more challenging given its breadth. “You have to just jump in and try. Don’t wait for it to be perfect.”  Napoli also encouraged the need to create a culture of trust in order to have folks be able to have safe data conversations which are then used to determine their intervention systems. 

If you would like to visit Golden Hills to learn more about their PLC process, reach out to Kristi Napoli.

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