In 2018, the Three Rivers Board of Education voted to accept the proposed change of start times in order to create common planning time grades PK-12. Common Planning Time is a current best practice in education that allows all teachers and instructional staff to discuss standards, assessments, individual students, and successful classroom management. Taylor Middle School previously had common planning time; therefore, they had a jumpstart to taking a quicker deep dive into curriculum mapping and data discussions. However, the elementary and high school, although they look much different from one another, did not take long to begin transforming their conversations from an independent thought process into a collaborative focus on each student, all grades, and both social and emotional health.

It is important to us that our parents know how that time was utilized throughout the school year; therefore, below are some key takeaways from this year’s Common Planning Time at Three Rivers Local School District.

Three Rivers Elementary School

  • 3 days a week teachers met in content area teams to work on the following:  standards deconstruction, common assessment creation or revision, curriculum mapping, data discussions.

  • 2 days a week teachers met in content OR grade level teams to work on collaborative instructional planning or team business.


Taylor Middle School

  • 3 days a week teachers met with their department to work on content area, standards deconstruction, common assessment creation/revision, curriculum mapping, and data discussions.

  • Principal Simms met with these teams weekly.

  • 2 days a week teachers met in grade level teams. 

Taylor High School

  • 3 days a week teachers met with their department to work on standards deconstruction, common assessment creation/revision, curriculum mapping, data discussions.

  • 1 day a week was devoted to grade-level meetings.  Each teacher was assigned to the team that most closely matched his/her teaching schedule. Grade level meetings were focused on student data and how to support struggling students.

    • Student of the Month and Principal’s Breakfast were created.

    • Intervention meetings with parents, students, and the grade level team were scheduled.

  • 1 day a week was devoted to RTI/MTSS.  This time was either whole-group or small groups depending on topics presented.  This time provided for intentional focus on one of our lowest performing subgroups and provided teachers with tools and instructional supports to use in their classrooms.

  • The HS SPED department had a specific day each week to lead staff development in developing accommodations and working with students with disabilities.

  • The High School teachers had a “Hype Squad” committee to focus on improving the testing environments for State AIR Testing. This included providing incentives for students, building relationships, motivating and inspiring students with assemblies, lunch review sessions, and other activities.



  • Collaborative planning time for general education teachers with our Gifted Intervention Specialists.  A GIS was able to attend common planning time (sometimes at grade level, sometimes at content area) to consult with teachers on lesson planning, differentiation, and stretch opportunities in the classroom.

  • Three Rivers Elementary School used common planning time prior to testing in order to tutor students.

  • The 5-12 and K-4 Special Education teachers met each month as a department with Mrs. Rivet.  

  • In order to support the workaround standards deconstruction and assessment literacy, content area teams sometimes met with an assessment literacy coach during common planning time.  

  • Colleen Pamulapati (THS teacher) trained test proctors and gave teachers strategies for best-supporting students during testing.

  • The MS & HS SPED departments met at least once weekly to collaborate on transition plans and interventions to help students meet their goals.

  • The Technology Team met monthly (alternated between CPT and after school) to work on our Future Ready plan and how we are going to carry out our goals.


Overall, we are excited about how quickly the staff was able to adapt to the new planning time and the growth that resulted in this time together. The administrative team will work to map out goals and plans for the 2019-2020 school year to ensure that staff continues utilizing their time together effectively.