Francis Howell High School

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

Please present any additional information that indicates your efforts to build a professional learning community have had a positive impact upon students and/or teachers.  

  • Each data team sets its achievement goal around 3-5 specific, high-leverage academic standards that are embedded within the common assessments given by the data team so that student achievement related to the standard may be monitored and appropriate adjustments in instruction may be developed within the context of the team meetings. Last year, 86% of the data teams met their achievement goal for the school year with several teams just missing their achievement goal by a small percentage.
  • Each team uses a data management system and their curriculum to align their common assessments with the state and/or national standards.  Teams use the data from the common assessments and mastery of standards to develop action plans for next steps in instruction as well as for intervention/enrichment.
  • Teachers in singleton courses such as band, choir, industrial technology, Project Lead the Way, and Advanced Placement collaborate with their course-alike colleagues in the other two high schools in the district.  
  • Our staff, students, and parents set value statements and revisit them every three years to revise and align with the school mission and vision.  
  • All teachers participate in district wide professional development based on their needs.  For instance, teachers are able to select from topics such as, equity, trauma informed practices, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), assessment, Classroom Instruction that Works (CITW) by McREL, Leadership, etc.  Teachers meet 4 hours, 5 days during the school year to learn, process, and implement. 
  • At the building level all teachers have been participating in our school wide professional development surrounding the topic: building relationships.  This past year, teachers have participated in circles--both community building and academic--to build a more inclusive school environment.  They also collaborated with their professional development teams to implement equity/inclusion activities with their students.  Their focus was based on our building's core values called R.I.S.E. (Respect, Integrity, Scholarship, and Empathy).  At the end of the year, teachers presented their activity, student data, and next steps to small faculty groups.  In the 2020-2021 school year, teachers will be focused on three areas of professional development: 1) using a new online learning management systems to provide students with feedback about their learning, 2) self care for students and staff, and 3) best practices around the structure of the school day to best support academic as well as social/emotional needs of students.   


1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

  • Each quarter we compare the growth of special education students compared to their regular education peers on common assessments to monitor our progress towards closing the achievement gap between these groups of students.
  • All data teams have a SMART goal for all students and they monitor all subgroups of students (Free/Reduced lunch, Black, Hispanic, Special Education, and ELL) on every formative and summative assessment.
  • All data teams administer one common summative exam and two common formative exams each semester which are entered into a Mastery Connect software system to aid in data collection. Based on the data, teachers form action plans to meet their SMART goals.
  • All data teams develop a student achievement goal based on a critical learning standard within their content areas. Teachers track and evaluate student growth toward mastering this learning standard on each of the three common assessments per semester using the Mastery Connect software.     

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

  • For more than fifteen years, FHHS has provided students a weekly forty minute academic support homeroom.  During this time, students can request additional support or enrichment from their teachers and participate in school or class-wide activities. At the same time, students struggling in specific content areas are assigned to tutoring sessions and their progress is monitored week.  Our 9th grade mentoring program, Viking Edge, holds a transition day to welcome freshmen, give them an opportunity to build community, meet their teachers, and provides them with information (i.e. student involvement, lunch process, etc.). Last year our Viking Edge leaders also participated in leading out our monthly community building homerooms.  These homerooms are mixed grade level and students participate in getting to know you activities at the beginning of the year and then begin to have discussions about deeper topics related to a sense of belonging and a culture of inclusion which build strong relationships between students and teachers and improve academic performance across the building.
  • We have Behavior Support Teams which is for our most at-risk students behaviorally and academically.  The BST homerooms also meet each week during homeroom time.  The teacher mentor, counselor, and principal meet with these students to support them with “lagging skills.”
  • We have an elective credit course designed to provide direct instruction in a combination of study skills and communication arts, math, or science curriculum. This course provides additional instruction, remediation, and enrichment to enrolled ninth and tenth grade students in a content area in which they have historically been challenged.  
  • This year we have a new class that supports first time students in Advanced Placement coursework.  The Foundations of AP consists of problem solving, collaborative, and individual activities created specifically for students who have never taken an upper level course.   
  • Our math and communication arts departments have a certified tutor who works with students identified for extra support by the data team.

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

  • The building administrator who oversees our school data teams meets quarterly with the leaders from each data team. During these meetings, we share our progress toward meeting PLC work product deadlines. We also provide our PLC leaders with ongoing professional development that is taken back to their groups which meet weekly for approximately 45 minutes.
  • All administrators participate in data team walkthroughs during collaboration time.  During the weekly administrative team meeting, typically one to three data teams are selected for discussion and those teams are provided with feedback from the administrative team.

Achievement Data Files

  • AP Honor Roll 10 years
  • Perfect ACT scores--1 in 2020, 1 in 2019
  • National Merit Semi Finalist--2 in 2020, 5 in 2019
  • National Merit Finalist--1 in 2020, 5 in 2019
  • Named #12 School in Missouri by US News and World Report, 2020
  • Named PLTW Distinguised School--2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20