Mineral Point Elementary School

  1. PLC Story
  2. PLC Practices
  3. Achievement Data
  4. Awards
  5. Resources

Starting in 2012, Mineral Point Unified School District brought in a series of speakers from Solution Tree. Anthony Muhammad came to Mineral Point twice. Each consultant shared the philosophy and effectiveness around professional learning communities. These sessions were hosted for all faculty, followed up with discussion and debriefing. A few PLC practices were adopted in grade levels and departments, but uniformity across the district was not evident.

In 2015, teachers were asked to share their preference for moving forward with a three-year PLC implementation plan that would expect all faculty to collaborate around student learning, define essential learning outcomes, align assessments, and further develop a robust response to intervention. The staff was surveyed and the overwhelming will of the group was to move forward with the PLC implementation plan.  

Year One of the plan (2015-2016) focused on two full days of staff training and three dates with teleconference support of 75 minutes each for principals to address key leadership strategies and solve challenges during the first year of implementation. Specifically, all faculty received training in how to develop essential learning outcomes (ELOs) from the Common Core State Standards. Paul Farmer guided the staff training. In this year, the district also facilitated early release on Wednesdays; common weekly collaboration time was now available.

Year Two of the plan (2016-2017) had faculty review the work completed with the ELOs, revised these goals, and uploaded them to a common PLC website for all faculty to view and update. Chris Jakicic came to Mineral Point for two days for an all faculty training on common formative assessments. In addition, over 20 Mineral Point faculty attended the PLC Institute in Milwaukee in August 2016. Teleconferences through Global PD were also utilized to support our work.

Year Three of the plan (2017-2018) brought Maria Nielsen to the Mineral Point Unified School District. She spent two days with us in August to guide our faculty in implementing Response to Intervention with success. During the school year, more time has being dedicated toward guiding staff on how to best utilize information for effective data-driven decision making. This has been helpful during our I/E or WIN blocks. Additionally, we have begun behavior interventions for our students who need support in this area. 

Starting in 2018, we engaged in a new district strategic plan. It was developed with community members, teachers, parents, and students. Two areas of focus were selected for our plan: Academic Innovation and Independence and Community Engagement. The strategic plan can viewed here: https://mineralpointschools.org/mpsd/strategic-plan/

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Once a week, teachers meet in grade level teams to identify essential learning outcomes, develop common formative assessments, or analyze the results of the assessments to make decisions about future instruction. Teacher teams, which include specialists and encore teachers, facilitate targeted, small-group instruction during daily intervention/enrichment blocks. This instruction is based on the data gleaned from the work. Time for PLCs is provided every Wednesday from 2:15 to 3:45 P.M. (scheduled included). 

The School Intervention Team meets monthly, using multiple measures for data-driven decision making. 

Three times a year, students are screened in mathematics and in literacy. The data from these interim assessments give the School Intervention Team the necessary information to move students in and out of Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. Several students have exited out of interventions based on their significant growth. For the few students who did not respond to intervention, special education referrals have been made to provide more support for their academics.


2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

In 2016-2017, we focused on developing a comprehensive intervention system. See "Resources" for attachments containing specific information on the interventions and assessments we used. This year, we have embedded more mathematics interventions into the school day. A half-time math interventionist has been hired to help facilitate this initiative. Communication about additional support is maintained through PLC team minutes posted monthly in a shared Google Drive folder. 

Nonclassroom staff serve as interventionists during our daily intervention block, known as "What I Need", or W.I.N. Interventionists include our physical education teacher, art teacher, music teacher, school counselor, aides with teaching credentials, and the library media specialist. All students are provided with what they need during this block. For students who have met and/or exceeded essential learning outcomes, they can engage in independent learning projects, sometimes referred to as "Genius Hour". A schedule is attached that includes when W.I.N. time is scheduled. 

In addition, we have become more systematic about providing behavior interventions during the school day. For example, we have several students participating in Check in-Check out, a data-driven feedback intervention for changing habits. We also now house a licensed therapist in the school for wraparound services. She helps students with anxiety, ADHD, and trauma. As well, our district now offers a community-centered education program that provides strategies and support for families to feel and be successful, called "F.A.S.T", which stands for Families and Students Together. 


3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

In the fall of 2016, our school developed seven collective commitments. To start, we read four relevant articles related to our district goals. This content and subsequent discussion started the process of fleshing out what our collective commitments might be for our school. After taking the time to collectively create statements focusing on our dedication to every student succeeding, all staff members were expected to respond to each commitment with their level of agreement. Overwhelmingly, all seven commitments were adopted by faculty.

Our Collective Commitments

  1. I will be open to and ready for learning from others as professionals and colleagues.
  2. I will hear others’ ideas in various learning communities and be willing to try a variety of practices.
  3. I will assume best intentions in our colleagues (positive presupposition) and help create a sense of belonging.
  4. I will honor the whole child by treating them with respect and care and attend to their social and emotional needs.
  5. I will listen to the concerns of our students’ families, address their needs to the best extent possible, and make them feel welcome in the school.
  6. I will utilize better practices to deliver a coherent and relevant curriculum across all grade levels.
  7. I will hold all students to high academic and behavioral expectations regardless of background, label, or past experiences.

These commitments are referenced at staff meetings. Teachers are expected to adhere to them during weekly PLC times. Each team has developed a set of norms that connect with our collective commitments. If there are concerns, staff can raise them to the principal through an anonymous form. Teams also have protocols for when colleagues brake a norm or commitment.

To provide clarity about our work for the school year, the instructional leadership team provides a monthly schedule of activities. This schedule provides a focus for our work and a clear vision of where we were headed as a school.

 PD schedule shared at the beginning of the school year:

August 2017 Staff PD Day, 8-11 A.M., August 23, 2017: Session 4 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
September 2017 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 9/27: Session 5 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
October 2017 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 10/25: Session 6 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
November 2017 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 11/29: Session 7 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
December 2017 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 12/20: Session 8 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
January 2018 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 1/24: Session 9 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
February 2018 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 2/21: Session 10 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
March 2018 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 3/21: Session 11 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
April 2018 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 4/25: Session 12 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
May 2018 PLC, 2:15 - 3:45, 5/23: Session 13 of Regie Routman in Residence: Reading-Writing Connection
June 2018 Session 14 of Regie Routman in Residence (TBD - Celebration, Conclusion of Reading-Writing Connection)

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data



  • In the prior two state report cards received, we were deemed "exceeding expectations". This year Mineral Point Elementary qualified as "significantly exceeding expectations". Our school has been the highest rated elementary school in Iowa County, Wisconsin for the last two years.
  • Mineral Point School District reported the highest student achievement growth within the last five years compared to all other Wisconsin school districts using the CESA 6/James Stronge teacher evaluation model. Our organization is the 2nd highest academically-rated district in the state. 
  • In 2016-2017, Mineral Point Unified School District Communications Director Joelle Doye was the national recipient of the NSPRA Foundation for the Advancement of Education Seminar Scholarship.
  • In 2017-2018, Dr. Luke Francois, superintendent for Mineral Point School District for the past seven years, received the Rural Administrator of the Year Award for the State of Wisconsin. 
  • In 2016-2017 and 2017-2018, Matt Renwick, principal at Mineral Point Elementary School was a finalist for the Ed Tech Digest's School Leader Award
  • In 2017-2018, Livia Doyle, 4th grade teacher at Mineral Point Elementary School, was recognized as the Wisconsin Agriculture Teacher of the Year.
  • Three teachers at Mineral Point Elementary School - Rachael Schroeder, Kimberly Diefenbach, Penny Wiegel - have earned their National Board Teaching Certification.