Professional Learning Communities
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) provide a systematic means of improving instruction and school culture. The professional learning community (PLC) model gives our schools a framework to build teachers' capacity to work as members of high-performing, collaborative teams that focus on improving student learning. The framework requires our schools to have a solid, shared mission, vision, values, and goals; collaborative teams that work interdependently to achieve common goals; and a focus on results as evidenced by a commitment to continuous improvement.
Teams of teachers, curriculum/professional development teacher leaders, instructional coaches, and principals will meet every Friday to answer the four driving PLC questions:
What do we want students to know?
How will we know that they have learned it?
What do we do if they don’t learn it?
What do we do if they already know it?
In some buildings, teams may span K-12, such as art, music, PE, and elective teachers. In other buildings, the work will continue at grade level or in content areas. Support staff such as special education and gifted education teachers, academic interventionists, and teacher librarians will be part of teams within buildings to offer input on decisions about what students need to move forward.
The district has embraced this process and will continue actively supporting staff in this important work. Our students deserve our best. PLCs provide the framework for all staff to work collaboratively for the success of ALL.
From the Experts
Teams in professional learning communities (PLCs) relentlessly question the status quo, seek new methods of teaching and learning, test the methods, and then reflect on the results together.
-Rick DuFour, EdD. An educational advocate noted for developing strategies to create collaborative teaching environments K-12.
When students know what they are learning and the lesson flows well, students learn more. Teacher clarity is likely to ensure that the impact on students is significantly greater than average.
-John Hattie. A researcher of evidence based quantitative methodologies on the influences of student achievement.When schools and districts shift their coaching efforts from individuals to teams, they amplify the positive effects on teaching and learning.
-Amplify Your Impact, Coaching Collaborative Teams in PLCs at Work.A high level of teacher collaboration significantly improves student achievement. PLCs that examine student work and analyze data more frequently have higher levels of teacher morale.
-Lindsey Devers Basileo. Senior Research Analyst at Learning Sciences International.
Learning By Doing, Solution Tree Press, Solutiontree.com
Why Do We Have A Shared Vision of District-wide PLCs?
A shared vision shows where we want to go and what we will be like when we get there. Vision gives shape and direction to the organization’s future. Shared Vision
Why Should We Collaborate?
Quality teaching is not an individual accomplishment, it is the result of a collaborative culture that empowers teachers to team up to improve student learning beyond what any one of them can achieve alone. (Carroll, 2009). Collaboration