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Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap

Whatever It Takes

This expansion of Whatever It Takes sharpens the focus on the pyramid of interventions strategy. The authors examine case studies of schools and districts across North America to illustrate how PLC at Work™ is a sustainable and transferable process that ensures struggling students get the support they need to achieve. They address how to enrich and extend the learning of proficient students and explain how PLC intervention processes align with RTI legislation.


  • Explore time-tested intervention insights built on the PLC knowledge base.
  • Learn from real challenges experienced by educators throughout North America.
  • Use the reproducibles and tools with your staff and team members.
  • Assess your understanding with a free, downloadable study guide.

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Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap

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Chapter 1: The Shifting Mission of Public Schooling: Establishing the Historical Context
Chapter 2: Laying the Groundwork for Effective Intervention
Chapter 3: Confronting the Brutal Facts: The Traditional Response to Students Who Do Not Learn
Chapter 4: Sustaining Excellence: A Return to Adlai Stevenson High School
Chapter 5: Hand in Hand We All Learn: A Return to Boones Mill Elementary School
Chapter 6: Embracing Systematic Intervention: Prairie Star Middle School
Chapter 7: Success and Triumph in a Worthy Endeavor: Lakeridge Junior High School
Chapter 8: From State Sanctions to National Recognition: Highland Elementary School
Chapter 9: Building Toward the F.U.T.U.R.E.: Cinco Ranch High School
Chapter 10: From Good to Great: Implementation of PLC Concepts in Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96
Chapter 11: Whatever It Takes—Staying the Course: Whittier Union High School District
Chapter 12: Under No Circumstances Blame the Kids: Sanger Unified School District
Chapter 13: "Yah, but . . .": Considering Challenges to Systematic Intervention
Chapter 14: Finding Common Ground: The Shared Practices of Highly Effective Schools and Districts
Chapter 15: Whatever It Takes: How Effective Schools and Districts Overcome Barriers to Systematic Intervention and Enrichment
Chapter 16: Changing the Culture of Schooling to Embrace Effort-Based Achievement
Chapter 17: Moving Forward: Planning for Effective Intervention



Adlai Stevenson High School district homepage: http://www.d125.org

  • Bell schedules for the regular school day, the second day of the week schedule (for teacher collaboration), the late arrival day (for professional development), and the activity day schedule that carves out time during the day for student activities: daily_bell_schedule.pdf
  • A summary of the district's goals, projects, initiatives, and academic indicators: 2008-09_annual_report.pdf
  • The school's vision statement and collective commitments for various stakeholders: http://www.d125.org/about/our_vision_and_values.aspx (See the statements listed on the left of the page.)
  • Comprehensive longitudinal student achievement data: achievement_report0809.pdf
  • Student rule book: 2009_10%20Guidebook%20FINAL.pdf
  • An analysis of the annual survey of current students and alumni one year and five years after their graduation: student_survey_2008.pdf
  • Each department's course offerings, departmental vision statements, and the cocurricular programs associated with each department: http://www.d125.org/about/district_information.aspx (See the Academics tab, then Divisions, and then choose the department.)

Boones Mill Elementary: http://bmill.frco.k12.va.us/

  • Click on Mission and Vision Statements for the school's mission, vision, and collective commitments.
  • Demographic and achievement data: https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/reportcard/ (In Division Name, enter Franklin County. In School Name, enter Boones Mill Elementary. Then View PDF.)

Lakeridge Junior High: http://lakeridge.alpinedistrict.org/

  • Click on Students, and then Bell Schedule to see how the school schedules flextime and time for teacher collaboration.
  • Click on Faculty and then State Core Curriculum to see the standards and objectives for each grade level in all subject areas.

Highland Elementary: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/schools/highlandes/

Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96: http://www.district96.k12.il.us/

  • Click on Curriculum for the curriculum frameworks for each subject in each grade level.
  • Click on About District 96 and then School Report Card for information on student achievement in the district and for each school in the district.
  • Click on Family Resources and then School Day Hours/Bell Schedules for the bell schedules for each school.
  • State of the District Report (overview of district goals and initiatives): State_of_DistrictFINAL0910.pdf

Whittier Union High School District: http://www.wuhsd.k12.ca.us/whittieruhsd/site/default.asp

  • Click on Our District and then District Information for information on the academic performance of students at each school. Access the bell schedule for each school when you click on the school website.
  • Click on Departments, then Educational Services, and then WUHSD Instructional Direction Brochure (at the bottom of the page) for an overview of the district's focused and coherent approach to improving student achievement.

Sanger Unified School District: http://www.sanger.k12.ca.us/education/district/district.php?sectionid=1

  • Click on Parents and Community and then School Accountability Report Cards for information on student achievement throughout the district and at each school site.
  • Click on Student Services and then Community of Caring for information on the district's approach to teaching core values.

Cinco Ranch High School: http://kisdwebs.katyisd.org/campuses/crhs/Pages/Default.aspx

  • Click on Publications and Documents for a profile of the school and the bell schedule.
  • Click on Teacher Web for course websites.

Prairie Star Middle School: http://www.bluevalleyk12.org/education/school/school.php?sectionid=269