Case study

ProActiveEd Program Boosts Instructional Leadership at Esperanza Elementary

Esperanza Elementary School

2020-2021 School Year

Esperanza Elementary trailed behind the state performance assessments by 22% in ELA and 21% in Math.

2021-2022 School Year

Esperanza Elementary implemented a focused remediation program “Flex Time”.

2022-2023 School Year

Esperanza Elementary will will focus on strengthening language-rich instructional practices and implementing strong first instruction through standards deconstruction and assessment literacy.

About Esperanza Elementary

Esperanza Elementary School in Oklahoma City serves around 441 students in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. The student population is made up of at least 85% English Language Learners (ELL). Principal Glenna Barry implemented the Flex Time program calling upon all available staff members to work in small group remediation at the beginning of every school day.

The Goal

Partnering with her staff, Glenna Barry put students at the center of the school’s mission by improving instructional planning, intentional PLCs, and increasing coaching visits with her teachers as goals for the school year.

The Barriers

Esperanza Elementary’s historically low state-wide standardized testing scores made the work more challenging. In the 2020-2021 school year, Esperanza was 19% behind the state in English Language Arts and 16% behind in Math. Tasked with weeks-long state assessments in their non-native language, newcomer students and students with profoundly limited English skills struggled early on. Further, 97% of families report being economically disadvantaged. Data continues to show the strong relationship between low socioeconomic status and its negative impact on students’ performance in school.

The Solution

Determined to overcome the challenges they faced, Principal Barry and her staff implemented a remediation program that called on the support of all available staff to work with small groups of children on remediation. Principal Barry also began Esperanza’s journey with ProActiveEd as a part of the Oklahoma City cluster schools.

As any ProActive School journey begins, the ProActiveEd team collaborated with Esperanza educators to first focus their efforts on carefully selected power initiatives. Given that the school needed to boost student achievement overall and that its student population is comprised of at least 77% English Language Learners (ELL), Principal Barry and her team knew it was essential to focus on improving ELL instruction. The ProActiveEd team maintained an observational role gleaning information about Flex Groups and the data analysis process.

First-Year Results

Data and survey responses from Esperanza educators were collected at the end of the year using ProActiveEd’s innovative Progress Monitoring Tools. Highlights of the first-year results are outlined below.

Fidelity scores refer to teachers’ self-assessment in the areas identified. When fidelity scores of 100% are compared to very low benchmark scores, the calculation is mathematically unsolvable. These assertions translate to an undefined relationship between the adult influences in each area and student achievement. As a result, further focused study and monitoring are necessary to define the relationship that each adult action has on student achievement and to develop a common language for teachers to examine gaps in instructional practices and areas for improvement.

Data in both grades 3 and 4 showed an undefined relationship in the areas of:

● Standards Deconstruction,
● Assessment Literacy: Learning Progressions
● Assessment Items
● Data Analysis
● Lesson Preparation
● Instruction: language-rich classrooms.

Teachers agreed that PLCs require support in developing a pacing calendar that includes time for 1) deconstruction standards, 2) creating assessments, 3) analyzing student work, and 4) making adjustments to their instruction in collaboration with their team.

School Specific Programs – Flex Time

In response to student needs, Esperanza implemented a flex-time or program for targeted interventions to occur at the beginning of the school day. This schedule calls for all available faculty and staff to work with students in small groups in areas of extreme need in reading. We compared all schools that run similar intervention programs and the following are the results broken down by grade level, beginning-of-year, middle-of-year, and end-of-year benchmark scores in ELA and Math.

Effect size – Correlations:
R2 value of .1 to .3 or -.1 to -.3 is generally considered a weak or low effect size.
R2 value of .3 to .5 or -.3 to -.5 is generally considered a moderate effect size.
R2 value of .5 or greater or -.5 or less is generally considered a strong effect size.

esperanza elementary effect size

A zero conveys that there is no relationship between Flex time and benchmark scores, while a negative effect size conveys that there is a low, moderate or strong negative relationship between Flex time and benchmark scores at those times. The important takeaway is that schools should examine their intervention programs further and determine what adjustments can be made to improve the influence that they have on student achievement. While intervention programs are critical for remediation, they are not the sole solution to bolster student achievement.

Next Steps to Becoming ProActive

Principal Barry understands that solutions are found through innovation and intention. Her partnership with the ProActiveEd and utilizing Data-Driven Instructional Cycles® that are proven to, when done effectively and with fidelity, positively impact student achievement. Areas of focus in the 2022-2023 school year will focus on strengthening language-rich instructional practices and implementing strong first instruction through standards deconstruction and assessment literacy.

ProActiveEd is committed to a continued partnership with Esperanza educators to address the shift toward being more instructionally impactful in the 2022-2023 school year. Esperanza staff will benefit from resolutely and consistently carrying on these initiatives into following school years to see noteworthy performance growth.