Canyon Pointe Elementary

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

This is a story of moving good to great. And it’s not easy. Canyon Pointe began their PLC journey in 2014 with every intention of implementing a true learning for all culture that was focused on the right work. Knowing what we know now, we realize that our first year was a lesson in PLC-Lite. We had meetings, guest speaker presentations and a book study, but we didn't really dig deep into what it meant to be Professional Learning Community. We talked about the three big ideas of the PLC process: focus on learning, creating a culture of collaboration and a focus on results, but we didn't truly understand how to make our conversations turn into action. Although there were gains in student achievement from our somewhat misguided efforts, we knew we had to build shared knowledge around implementation. Our resource, Learning by Doing, talked about the power of creating a guiding coalition, and we did just that. The 2015 school year started off with a team of passionate educators that were ready to take on the world. Teams reflected on current practices and developed a plan to respond to unit and district assessment data by student, by standard, by strength and by need. More gains followed and excitement around teams collaborating grew. The 2016 school year found us moving from data conversations into a laser focus on instructional practices. Question number one became our focus: What did we want students to learn? Teams struggled with the mindset shift from teaching to learning. It was a true test to our commitment to this work. In January of that year, a Solution Tree consultant joined our administrative team, and we shifted more than our mindset. Barb Coleman, our campus principal reorganized systems to extend time and create protocols for more meaningful collaboration. We also work re-focused our work on building a culture centered around all students learning at high levels and utilized the book Starting a Movement: Building Culture From the Inside Out  by Kenneth C. Williams and Tom Hierck. By examining our current reality, we realized we needed to redefine who we were as a campus. We launched the year creating a new mission, vision, values and goals to align with our work. Our Professional Promises document was built by our entire faculty through a series of reflection, discussion and shared learning. We unanimously agreed to commit to the behaviors and beliefs clearly articulated by this powerful guiding document. With the new schedule and protocols in place, teams began to focus on the right work, and results followed. Our momentum deepened our commitment. True to the quest for continuous improvement, 2017 found us searching for answers for how to guarantee high levels of learning for every student we serve including those with differing abilities. With guidance from our administrative team, Solution Tree consultants and conferences, we elevated our practice to refine the common formative assessment process to develop rich conversations around how to meet the individual needs of every student we serve. “Yes, We Can!” became an additional resource that we utilized to guide our goal of ensuring every student had high expectations with equally high support. And again, results followed. It would have been easy to let our school accountability ratings speak for us. We were now one of the top performing schools in our region. But better never stops. The challenge in 2018 became sustaining the work due to increasingly difficult state assessments with fewer test items and opportunities for students to assess on grade-level standards. Our students were asked to perform above grade level, and we knew this would present challenges. As our understanding of the process grew, it became impossible to hide behind practices that didn’t align with our Professional Promises. Today, we are proudly working to sustain the right work even with increasing challenges. Our students are worth it. Our mission statement, “Whatever it takes to ensure learning for ALL students: every child, every day!” isn’t just a statement. It’s actionable work in progress.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Canyon Pointe Elementary guarantees and implements a viable curriculum for all students by providing adequate time for teachers to plan, create assessments and analyze student achievement to ensure high levels of learning for all students.  Vertical Teams collaborate monthly to align curriculum, design instruction, review assessments, prioritize standards and protocols. These practices ensures a guaranteed and viable curriculum by answering the four critical questions. The following have been established. 

  • Master schedule has been adjusted to include; dedicated time for collaborative teams to meet and interventions/extensions: 

    • Each grade level has an uninterrupted block of time weekly during the school day to work in collaborative teams. During this time the team clarifies the essential learning for all students, agrees on pacing guides, developed common formative assessments, monitors student learning and analyze evidence of student growth.

    • The campus Guiding Coalition established two, intervention blocks where all students receive on grade level support, Tier II, including enrichment/extension, by student, standard and need, and an additional 30 minute block for students needing intense foundational support through Tier III intervention. 

    • Specialists schedules have been adjusted so they can attend all team collaboratives daily.  They are able to support instruction based on their area of expertise such as bilingual, ESL, GT,  special education, math and reading. The Specialists play an integral role in analyzing student data  to support student growth.

  • Our collaborative teams have clarity of purpose and a collaborative culture.  

    • Norms and protocols have been established at the beginning of the school year to hold each other accountable for the work throughout the year.

    • SMART Goals are determined by grade level teacher teams and are aligned with the campus and district goals. All students (PK-4) set individual learning goals for all core subjects.  Students then can track their own academic growth on specific skills. Teachers monitor student progress during collaboratives by analyzing data around these goals. 

    • Learning Design Templates are created by defining the learning targets, essential for student mastery.  Teams determine pre-requisite skills, critical vocabulary, essential/guiding questions, learning goals, success criteria “I Can statements”,  assessment questions, strategies for intervention, evidence of learning/feedback/coaching, possible misconceptions, reengagement opportunities, practice opportunities, and extended/enriched opportunities.

    • Pacing guides are developed following the creation of the Learning Design Template (LDT).  The LDT determines the length of time that most students will need to master the skill.

    • Common formative assessments are written by collaborative teams.  Data from these assessments provide real time feedback on student learning.   The data from the common formative assessments provide information for students who will need intervention and extensions.  

    • Analysis of assessment data gives explicit information when forming flexible groups among the team.  

    • Strategies for continuous improvement are provided daily during TIER II and TIER III intervention time and during small group instruction with the classroom teacher.

  • Vertical Teams have been established to align learning targets.

    • Teamsteams determining priority standards for reading, writing and math by looking at standards above and below their grade levels.

  • First Meeting August Example of work:  

    • 2nd Grade:  2.4C Solve one step and multistep word problems using addition and subtraction within 1,000 using a variety of strategies based on place value including algorithms.

    • 3rd Grade: 3.5 A  represent one- and two-step problems involving addition and subtraction of whole numbers to 1,000 using pictorial models, number lines, and equations

    • 4th Grade: 4.5 A represent multi-step problems involving the four operations with whole numbers using strip diagrams and equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity

  • Vertical Teams meet 5-6 times per year to share artifacts and progress toward goals.

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

Canyon Pointe Elementary has created a system of intervention and extensions to support additional time for learning.  Collaborative teams plan for flexible groups by student name, by standard and by need.  

Question #3, “How will we respond when they don’t learn?”  is addressed by: 

  • Allocating intervention time for students who need on grade level support when they experience difficulty in their learning though designated TIER II and foundational skills support during TIER III intervention time daily.  

  • Customizing student’s daily schedule for  both TIER II and TIER III intervention times.  

  • Protecting intervention time with no new learning taking place during the designated Intervention TIER Time.  

  • Ensure students receive explicit instruction on the designated objective by using differentiated lessons to reach mastery.  

  • Monitoring student progress toward mastery by the intervening teacher using exit tickets, quick checks, student conferences and student reflection on I can statements. 

  • Students who receive intervention are flexibly grouped among the grade level team for TIER II intervention.  

Question #4, “How will we respond if already know it?”

  • Teams identify the students who need extensions and a deeper understanding of the learning objective by providing specifically designed opportunities for learning.

  • Collaborative teams extend and enrich the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency during a specific time daily for all core subjects.

  • Students who have mastered the skill will have time for extension/enrichments are flexible grouped among the grade level team.  

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

Our Guiding Coalition established our Professional Promises in the  spring of 2017. These gave us clarity on our mission, vision, values and goals.   Each year our staff/faculty revisit and commits to our Professional Promises to continue the focus on the right work.  We also use this as part of our inviewing process to ensure we are hiring those who believe in and can support this work.  Our Professional Promises also helps us hold each other mutually accountable for student learning at high levels.  

Canyon Pointe Elementary Professional Promises

Campus Mission: Whatever it takes to ensure high levels of learning for ALL students: Every child, every day.

Snapshot of a TRUE PLC…

1. A focus on learning for all

2. A collaborative culture that holds each other mutually accountable for student learning

3. Collective inquiry into best practice and current reality

4. Action orientation: Learning by DOING

5. Defining what every student must learn

6. Systematically responding when students do and do not learn

7. A commitment to continuous improvement

8. Based on RESULTS not intentions

Valued characteristics of a Canyon Pointe Collaborator:

  • Collaboration: Open to giving and receiving honest feedback, active listener, shares knowledge, holds team accountable for success of all students, honors collective commitments, adds value to positive culture, follows through on expectations, maintains a problem-solving spirit.

  • Instruction: Deep understanding and knowledge of TEKS, can identify and unpack essential learning targets, able to differentiate instruction to meet the academic needs of all learners, aligns resources, develops common formative assessments, uses data to drive reflective teaching practices and promotes student goal setting and self-directed learning.

  • Behavior Management: Understanding and empathetic, consistent in expectations, firm but loving, explicit instruction in social skills, builds empathy and collaboration in students, creates a classroom environment and culture where all students feel valued

  • Professional Behaviors: Takes initiative, trustworthy, flexible, willing to do whatever it takes for students, prepared, dependable, exhibits joy, kind and loyal, maintains a professional attitude and demeanor, accepts feedback appropriately, treats all stakeholders with courtesy and respect

  • Professional Beliefs: Growth mindset, possesses “ours not mine” mentality, believes that all students can learn at high levels, loves this work, understands the value of true collaboration, values open communication, passionate about education, servant-hearted and student  centered.


Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

State Academic Achievement Rating A, 2019

State School Overview Rating A, 2018

State Distinction for Post Secondary Readiness, 2018

State Academic Achievement in Language Arts/Reading, 2017

State Academic Achievement in Mathematics/Reading, 2017

State Distinction for Top 25% Closing Performance Gaps, 2017

State Distinction for Top 25% Student Progress, 2017

State Distinction for Postsecondary Readiness, 2017

State Distinction for Postsecondary Readiness, 2015


National Model Great Expectations Campus 2017- present

2016       Greater North Houston Music Festival: Superior Rating / Sweepstakes Award & Best in Class

2017       Greater North Houston Music Festival: Superior Rating / Sweepstakes Award & Best in Class

 2018       Greater North Houston Music Festival: Superior Rating / Sweepstakes Award & Best in Class

2019       Greater North Houston Music Festival: Superior Rating / Sweepstakes Award & Best in Class

2019       Children’s Music Festival of Houston: Outstanding Bells/Chimes Award & Best Overall Performance Award

TISD UIL CPES Placed 2nd 2017-2018, 2018-2019 in elementary level.  CPES placed 1st in 2016-2017.

FLL Robotics - placed in top 9 at qualifier.  Competed at East Area Robotics championship, 2018 - 19.

TISD DI - team winner of instant challenge award 2016-2017

TISD Battle of the Books - 1st place 2017-18, 2018-19

Consistently have students place at National Honor Roll Level for Noetic Math Contest, 2016-18.  

Barb Coleman, Principal of the Year, Tomball ISD, 2016-2017

Barb Coleman, REEP Business Fellowship Recipient, Rice University, 2017