Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center (2019)

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

PLC Story

The staff of Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center has been fully committed to the Professional Learning Community, PLC process since 2010. Guided by our building Principal, Ms. Crystal Cauley, we have worked in small collaborative teams to share universal knowledge regarding learning and teaching at the early childhood level.

Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center (JGECEC ) is located in the School District of University City outside the city of St. Louis, Mo.  JGECEC is a Missouri Accredited School. Many of our students come from suburban families.  We are in a campus established in the district in 1996. Preschool students, ages three to five attend the school located near the center of the district.  Creative Arts and Movement, Mindful Moments and Yoga, music therapy and studio are provided in special classes for all students.   All core subjects of Math, ELA, and Science/Social Studies are included at developmentally appropriate levels.

The work of becoming an exemplary PLC began 8 years ago with a close look at our programmatic and instructional practices. Through the lens of PLC, we have seen a positive shift in the way teachers design learning opportunities for students. As a result, of our collaborative work, teachers at Julia Goldstein have seen several years of steady performance for our students and expect continued growth as we continue to reflect, modify and monitor teaching and learning practices. Central to this growth has been the implementation of the Reggio-Emilia Inspired Approach.

At the Julia Goldstein ECEC, the school vision and mission of providing an exceptional program for families and children with access to appropriate curricula and resources is made visible throughout the building to remind everyone of the potential for the excellence of our students.  


The Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Educations Center’s mission is to partner with families of children prenatal to kindergarten as they gain knowledge through developmentally appropriate practices that encourage social emotional, intellectual and physical growth while providing a strong foundation for successful life-long learning.


Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center’s Value Statements includes the following values

1.     Engaging in open communications with our stakeholders

2.     Being accountable for student learning and achievement.

3.     Demonstrating integrity by operating with high ethical standards.

4.     Providing collaboration that leads to innovation.


The mission and vision is evidenced in the many ways parents are involved in every aspect of school life.  The Julia Goldstein handbook is presented annually during family orientation and available online for students, parents, and community members to view. The school’s vision and mission statements and goals are also articulated and collaborated about with highly qualified staff in daily interactions and planned meeting times. The staff revisists the mission, vision, and values each year as we beigin our school yeara together.

The Julia Goldstein staff began the school year by creating individual professional growth plans that outline the commitments to meeting the mission and vision goals. These include addressing the needs of ALL students.    Each child is different and uniquely gifted, which requires differentiated responses to needs for their social, emotional, and intellectual growth.  Each staff member chose a growth standard that relates to using data to increase student achievement.   Our teachers encourage our students’ curiosity, creativity and responsibility for their learning goals.  They commit themselves to provide learning projects that bring out these qualities in the students.

The teachers work in collaborative teams to clarify the specific, age-appropriate proficiency levels that students must achieve on each skill in the early childhood spectrum.

The teacher teams also work together to address the four essential questions in a PLC.

1.     What do we want our students to learn?

2.     How will we know when they have learned?

3.     What will we do when they don’t learn?

4.     What will we do when they already know it?

These four essential questions become a focus for joining age appropriate pedagogy with the team work that happens throughout the school year. Teams use these four questions as they work on  implementation of the Reggio-Emilia Inspired Approach.


Collaborative teams are organized by project commonalities as we develop themes of learning using the Reggio-Inspired Approach.  Students are engaged in hands-on learning that allows them to learn readiness skills as well as think at high levels.

Julia Goldstein participates in a partnership with Webster University to serve as a model site for regional learning about the approach.   In this partnership, we have hosted schools from other states and as far away as China.

To summarize the points:

1) Teachers use project learning and quality assessments based on our commitment to the Reggio-Inspired Approach.

 2) Data collected from projects work as well as other learning opportunities are systematically and collaboratively examined.

3) Staff changes their practices based on student interest and instructional data needs.

4) The building leadership team serves as the guiding force for school improvement.


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

One of the Julia Goldstein ECEC primary focuses to drive our instruction is the use of data. We are a student-driven, evidence-informed by data, academic learning center.  We are continuously monitoring student achievement to improve our instructional practices.   We begin by looking at our units of study in collaborative teams.  Plans are made that focus on student interest and the learning standards that have been identified for that unit. This focus on the learning standards helps us to address question one in a PLC. What is it we want our students to learn? This focus then then leads our teams to answer questions two, how will we know if our students have learned? The student data from various assessments help teams to determine the next steps for our students.
Students with learning needs are identified and given opportunities for remediation, extended relearning and small group support.  Continual monitoring of student success and data-driven decisions are evident through goal setting and celebrating accomplishments.  Students are provided differentiated instruction by interests and academic levels of performance.    During intervention time, designated early childhood special education staff are assigned to specific classrooms to work with teachers carrying out intervention or enrichment lessons.
Teachers work in classroom teams to review the progress of students in each own classrooms, then as a collaborative learning team, they discuss what is working and what needs to be changed. 


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

At Julia Goldstein ECEC students are involved in their success monitoring.  From student conferences to examining portfolios, there is strong evidence that students are involved in their learning progression.  Students are able to get feedback about their performance through the use of portfolio assessment.   They work hard to achieve continual learning, looking forward to celebrations along the ways. 

The foundations for student success are provided by ensuring that each student is given a quality education to fit their individual needs as a learner.   In order to promote success, we implement multiple interventions to provide individual learning opportunities for each student.  Our teams work collaboratively to answer questions three and four. What will we do when our studnets don't learn and what will we do when our students already know it. 

By monitoring our students through data, we are able to target specific needs and place students in appropriate Tiers of Intervention.  Data portfolios, data charts, and data grids are ways that we highlight students who need additional support. We provide multiple Tier inventions such as Title 1 small groups and Individual Learning Plans. Our teacher assistants act as resources to allow under-performing learners to receive small group instruction daily, where they work on specific skills.   Special education teachers’ skills are used to individualize learning for students who need additional assistance.   A screen for the DIAL 4 is used as a universal tool to determine initial additional assistance needed.


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

The leadership team at Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Center strives to provide communication within the school.  Since we have a small staff the representatives on the leadership team are from various areas of expertise.  The areas covered include Trauma, Social-Emotional, Literacy, and Math.  These also include both general and special education, on this team the principal helps to facilitate the meetings.   This team is a proactive problem-solving team that comes together as needed to provide solutions, new innovative ideas, and professional development opportunities. The focus of the team meetings is determined by the needs that surface for collaborative team meetings and project integration needs.  During the year, topics are addressed in an ongoing manner and are continually monitored through walkthrough data and communication between the collaborative teams and the leadership team.  This team works to ensure continuous connections to our mission and our everyday work.

The staff at Julia Goldstein ECEC works collaboratively to ensure that our students are receiving the best education possible. We analyze data and review/revise curriculum by subject and where it is developmentally appropriate for our students.  We work collaboratively as a staff to ensure that our Missouri Early Learning Standards are being met and assessed at a level that promotes higher level thinking at our age-appropriate level.   We then look to plug holes and gaps based on essential learning outcomes at each level.  Teachers create individual learning projects using the Reggio-Inspired Approach to meeting objectives through student-driven motivation.

Twice a month, we meet as a collaborative team with a consultant, and the principal to review our units, data, and student achievement. We use this time to collaborate on ways to increase learning for all level of our students.

While there are scheduled meetings for collaboration we use time throughout the day to meet and share ideas with each other.  We know that together we can do so much more for our children than we could do alone.  Through these conversations as well as feedback from learning walkthroughs we share best practices and improve on our instructional practices.

Finally, we provide an additional 75 minutes weekly to our staff for professional learning and reflection about instructional practices and planning. We also provide monthly early release days for more intensive study.  There are seven full-day professional development opportunities for staff growth and building capacity for excellence.

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

The attached data charts reflect pre-data collected for 2017-18. The assessments measure student understanding of essential learning objectives in math and literacy. The data below indicates student progress (post data) over three years. 



 Data Team Cycle Analysis:



School Year


Levels of increase


Levels of increase


Levels of increase






28% to 88%

28% to 86%

51% 80%


22% to 76%

22% to 73%

25% to 69%


  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education MO SW-PBIS Bronze Recognition Award of Excellence 2012-2013
  • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education PBIS Silver Recognition 2013-2014
  • PNC Foundation Grow Up Great, “Mindful of Words” Grant 2015
  • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education PLC Exemplary Award 2016
  • Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education PLC Sustaining Exemplary Award 2018
  • Corrie Woolley, District Teacher of the Year 2012-13
  • Barbara Dickerson, Support Staff Person of the Year 2016-17
  • Dawn Pulsipher & Marguerite Schaeffer, Presenters, District Level PD 2019
  • Corrie Hamilton & Dawn Pulsipher, Presenters, Webster University 2017 & 2018
  • Community Partners with Webster University
  • Community Partners with Wyman Foundation
  • Community Partners with Alive & Well
  • Community Partners with LUME Institute
  • Community Partners with St. Louis Symphony
  • Community Partners with COCA
  • Community Partners with University City Public Library
  • Community Partners with local clergy
  •  Partnership with Parents As Teachers National Center