Herriman Elementary

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

Herriman Elementary is a K-6th grade school with 960 students and growing. We are a Spanish Dual Language Immersion School. We are also a Utah Valley University intern school. We built a successful PLC by assuring that every teacher endeavors to be an equal collaborator on a team. We wanted all our educators to be passionate and have their hearts set on enhanced student growth. How did we build this success? Slowly, but surely. We started as a leadership team to change mindsets by attending the yearly Salt Lake City PLC At Work Institute. We developed commitment and tenacity of the educators in our PLC by bringing back the latest and greatest best practices from this Solution Tree event. With members of our PLC striving to make good collaborations, better collaborations, we started to see tangible outcomes. This couldn't be done without nurturing a collaborative climate.

Jordan District already provided time and funds for a school to build a Professional Learning Community. However, collaborations were not functioning interdependently to have all students learning at high levels. Sure Jordan Schools had a positive start with creating shared mission, vision, values, and goals. The four questions were being answered at most collaborations. However, Herriman Elementary was really only going through the motions, without individual and collective results our students needed for maximum fruition.

Our teacher leaders came back from their first PLC at Work Institute in the fall of 2017-2018 with some major "aha" moments. They were excited, but overwhelmed at the challenge to make this monumental transformation. In the beginning, they felt the old adage: "There is no growth in the comfort zone and there is no comfort in the growth zone". We had not built essential standards, we were certainly not using these to guide our collaborative teams. We also did not have proficiency scales for students to be most productive. We were not action oriented by letting data drive instruction and the next cycle of continuous improvement. Last, our educators were uncomfortable analyzing and sharing data within their collaborations. We were going to have to engineer collective teacher efficacy. In short, we were not one in our community of learning. 

Our team dedicated a faculty meeting on the true meaning of a PLC and the essential characteristics. We wanted to analyze our collaborative teams to get to work on becoming a model PLC school, with the main emphasis on the well-being of our students. We spent once a month as a whole teacher body and weekly collaborative groups. We also had Dr. Tim Kanold and Tim Brown's help with all our educators. We also invited Mike Mattos for a day of professional development at our school in November 2020. We have Aaron Hansen slated to visit our school in February 2021.

There was in depth participation and accountability by administration and team leaders in our journey. Teachers worked hard to make their assessments on a Depth of Knowledge level two and three. Teachers bonded with each other, sometimes over tears. They began to see every student's understanding of each standard. Most essentially, the teachers started to experience that sweet, powerfully rewarding feeling of significant growth. 

Herriman Elementary arranged for substitutes for each grade to produce their essential standards and proficiency scales/rubrics to enpower learners and learning. We also used substitutes for teacher observation days (8 observations yearly of other educators). Teachers began to effectively use professional learning time. They fostered relationships of reflection, respect, recommendations for robust learning, and reputations of PLC expertise.

Other schools in Jordan District wanted to adopt our data collection and our PLC organization board. We even introduced many other schools to attending PLC conferences.  We shared with other schools our work on essential standards and proficiency scales. Others wanted to know how we established clear and measurable goals which focused on overall student achievement. We told many of how we have come together truly in a beautiful way for our profession and for our students. We were no longer going through the motions, we were zealots for the PLC process.

Our collective focus fueled other schools, but it also ignited something we didn't expect.The reader is thinking we are going to share how our successful PLC constructed those magnanimous scores research shows can happen. Actually, we will get to that, just you wait! Before then, our school accomplished something notable indeed. We expanded our love for the students. How do you think this? We loved them before, sure a lot! Now, we love them so utterly it would bankrupt the English language to put it in to words. We see them so individually and we think "ohana"- "Nobody gets left behind or forgotten". 



1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Herriman uses common formative assessments on a weekly basis to gauge language arts and mathematical proficiency. Teachers use other assessments on a monthly basis for Science. We use proficiency scales and data analysis to guide our direct instruction, interventions, and extensions (see attachment labeled evidence of proficiency scales). We are organized and we have deliberate and lofty expectations with each collaboration meeting. Herriman has attempted to assure no matter which teacher or classroom a student finds his or herself in, the same high level of learning takes place. Administration, our instructional coach, and our intern coordinator are actively engaged in modeling best practices and being actively present in classrooms (see attachments labeled hands on science and increasing questions).

Herriman Elementary has established 60-day Goals, Assessment Goals for Dibels/Acadience, AAPPL test, and RISE state test (see attachments labeled JELL goals and Jordan School District Vision). Teachers use a scope and sequence to guide them to a guaranteed and viable curriculum. They also have a variety of different reporting forms in a Google Drive (see attachments labeled essential standards tracker, evidence of tracking, and Herriman PLCs). Herriman has a large conference room for individual collaborative grades to meet (see attachment labeled PLC board). They use a white board to quickly post where each team is on their weekly questions. This is a way for everyone to get a snap shot of the school. In addition, they use Google Drive to keep track of student data and many charts (see attachments labeled Dibels/Acadience, Fall 2020 Dibels, SRI Reading Inventory, Student by Standard, and Team Vision/Norms).

Because efficiency is so essential to maximizing student growth, teachers have time structured into their week for preparation for collaboration. They also have frequent professional development during the month to keep the teachers motivated and student learning at the fore front of everyone's agenda. 

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

Herriman has three hours of intervention and enrichment every Friday, because our students only go to school Monday thru Thursday. Students are invited to return to the school in small groups on Fridays. Also, our school has 40 minutes of daily RTI built-in time Monday thru Thursday. 

Our leadership team, called JELL, gets together regularly to make sure interventions are used productively to enhance student growth (see attachments labeled Leadership Team and RTI). It is their collective effort and pursuit to rally teachers to promising pedagogy. This is a daunting challenge, but an imperative one. These leaders create ambitious SMART goals and provide the latest research on powerful teaching strategies.

We have Utah's number one teacher dance instructor who combines curriculum with dance. She helps teachers and students on a weekly basis learn by moving. Her enrichment is a gift to all involved (see attachment labeled Dance using the curriculum). In addition, because our school is a Dual Immersion School, we are continually doing enrichment activities which celebrate Spanish (see attachment labeled DLI Learning). 

We are also having professional development by experts in the field like Mike Mattos and Aaron Hansen this 2020-2021 school year. These gentlemen will visit all our collaborations and our Friday Response to Intervention block, as well as give our faculty the latest research in a whole group setting (see attachments labeled Mike Mattos and Aaron Hansen). We had Tim Kanold and Tim Brown previously.

In short, Herriman is working diligently to provide interventions accomplished by our skilled educators themselves. These are proactive rather than reactive. The teachers are intervening quickly. Our educators have specific learning intentions when monitoring students in an ongoing fashion. Their enrichment uses independent study, student tutors, and rigorous curriculum. 

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


Herriman ignites and empowers teachers to be better. We believe in a growth mindset for all faculty and every student. It is our pleasure and privilege to build great practitioners and be instrumental in effective cycles of collective inquiry. We take action to achieve better results for the students we serve. Our collaborations are centered around the four questions. There is an expectation of compelling results rather than intentions. Teachers are sharing promising pedagogy. They are helping each other differentiate instruction. They are focusing on the knowledge, dispositions, and skills students need to gain by creating multidimensional assessments. 

Next, Herriman administration is building teacher capacity by making hero-makers. We bring in district specialists for collaboration mini-goals. We are relentless in our endeavor to make growth and improvement. We demand a determination of commitment to high achievement. We move the teachers lovingly through professional development and positivity. We hold educators accountable. We do this because we love them too much to let them be content with what they achieved up to this point. We celebrate little and big wins. We are present. 

In conclusion, our high-performing collaborations are continually reflective on where they have been and where they will be. Our educators are shaping outcomes through leadership. They let their data speak volumes. They have grit. When teachers do not see the results they were hoping for, they analyze the evidence and take specific action, until they can proudly proclaim the students have all learned at high levels and mastered the desired product. 

Achievement Data Files

Additional Achievement Data

Since it's opening, Herriman Elementary School has had some pretty impressive students and phenomenal community support. However, achievement data could really use some fire to get them blazing. There might be a few reasons for this outcome. First, Herriman has many new teachers as it is a university intern school. Second, Herriman is a Dual Immersion School. Third, Herriman has seen many boundary changes due to growth and therefore the student population changes about every two years. Last, there has not been a continual focus on achievement data. However, in 2017-2018, our school made some changes to our Professional Learning Community. 

During the 2018-2019 school year, our PLC had further improvements. We improved our Dual Language Test AAPPL test scores and our SAGE/RISE testing. Still, this was not the improvement we were hoping for, so we did another overhaul in 2019-2020 with common assessments, fine-tuning our tier one teaching practices, creating more concise and clear SMART goals, and really diving into our essential standards.

Using district and state provided assessments, we show impactful improvement, especially in the last two years. For Reading Inventory, which is a pretty challenging test, focusing on Lexile levels, our school showed solid growth. In 2017 in third grade there were 39 students not proficient, but by 2019 there were only 6 students not proficient. In our 4th grade in those same years we went from 46 students not proficient to 43 students. In our 5th grade we went from 51 students below proficient to 39 students. In our 6th grade we went from 55 students not proficient to 34 students. In our reading inventory of 2019-2020, we had 152 students below proficiency in the school (see attachment labeled 2492).

Our Sixth grade RISE (state testing) for language arts went from 44% in 2017 to 63% in 2019. Sixth grade RISE testing for math went from at 43% in 2017 to 51% in 2019. Sixth grade RISE testing for science went from at 56% to a 70% in that same year spanned (see document labeled 68-eoe above). 

Our 3rd thru 5th grades in RISE for language arts are as follows: three years ago ELA was at 54% for third grade and in 2019 we increased to 59%. In math, the same grade, same three years it went from 51% to 54%. In 4th grade 2017 ELA was 50% and by 2019 they were at 53%. Math in 2017 this grade was at 58% and by 2018 they were at 63%. In Science in 2017 4th grade is 42%, but by 2019 they were 61% (see attachment labeled Herriman-3rd-5th grades). Growth after growth for Herriman Elementary on Utah's state assessment (see attachment labeled screen shot 12-39-26).

Herriman believes it is when they started making a real commitment to essential standards and tracking student achievement, the wizardry really occurred (see attachment 2020-9-22-24). It was also keeping track of all data in a more succinct way (see attachment labeled 2020-10-16). As a school, in three years for state testing we went from 47%-58% in language arts. We went from 51% to 58% in Math. In science we went from 48% to 70% as a school (see attachment labeled Overall School). 

The state's AAPPL test, because we are a Dual Immersion school, show legions of growth. 2017-2019 third grade scores grew by 51%, fourth grade scores increased by 32%, 5th grade expanded by 20%, and 6th grade marked up by 28% (see attachment labeled 9-56-03). Then in 2020: Third grade had 95% of students proficient. Fourth grade had scores of 89%, 81%, and 96% proficiency in writing, listening, and reading for AAPPL test. Fifth grade had 91% of their grade proficient. Sixth grade had proficiency scores of 83%, 87%, and 87% for writing, listening, and reading (see attachment labeled 2020 AAPPL test).

In grades Kindergarten thru third, DIBELS (or Acadience) is used as the state assessment for reading. We started off with 61% of our students on Benchmark at the end of the year in 2017 and by 2019 in the middle of the year, we were up to 78% of Kindergarten on Benchmark. In first grade, in the same years, we went from 66% at the end of the year to 67% in the middle of the year. In second grade, in the same time frame, we went 72% and the end of the year to 74% in the middle of the year. In thrid grade, following the above process, we went from 75% to 77%. Keep in mind, if Covid-19 hadn't have happened the students would have increased even more (see attachment labeled DIBELS data).


It is interesting to view Utah's State RISE data for 2020-2021 school year. In Language Arts, Math, and Science the scores were as follows: 43%, 39%, and 44%. Herriman Elementary not only exceeded these scores, Jordan District's averages, but we even outpaced ourselves. This all amongst the pandemic. We are the highest elementary in our district for math and second for science and language arts (only the ALPS school outshined us). 

People ask what is the secret to our success and the answer always is collaboration, collaboration, collaboration. With teachers who believe all students can learn at high levels, excellent outcomes will follow. 

On the RISE test in 2019 for ELA we increased scores from 58.0% to 58.8% on the RISE test for 2021. In math on the same test, we rose above ourselves going from 57.6% to 64.7% (that is pretty cool, right?). Our science score for 2021 was 65.6%. 

On The Acadience Reading Test (previously referred to as DIBELS), our school had an increase from 2018-2019's whole school score of 62% to 2020-2021's score of 70%. Though our scores for 2019-2020 were already on the uptick with scores in the high seventies, Covid-19 hit and we were unable to get the end of the year scores to properly compare. However, in 2020-2021, Herriman Elementary School would work hard to mind the gaps left by the pandemic. Kindergarten would score 60%, first grade would score 74%, second grade would score 66%, and third grade would score 79%. 

We are hopeful for the 2021-2022 year our students will continue to flourish academically. We are proud of our students and our staff for their extra efforts to gain what we had lost in learning from the months away from in person learning. We fullheartedly believe in the power of a strong professional learning community. We thank Solution Tree for their professional development and key experts to help move us to triumph.

In conclusion, Herriman has increased our rigor and students have benefited tremendously. Teachers and administration will continue to help students rise to the occasion. We expect many years of ongoing and sustained success.


In 2019 Herriman Elementary received the cerficate of Excellence for Professional Learning Community in Jordan District (see attachment labeled PLC award).

In 2020 Herriman Elementary received A dinstinction award for being an example of a solid PLC for Jordan School District schools (see attachment labeled PLC award #2) 

These awards were presented to Herriman by Mrs. Doree Strauss, Administrator of Schools.