Focusing on Professional Learning Communities through a District-Wide Framework
A Professional Learning Community (PLC) is an entire system of educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of structured collective inquiry and the implementation of research-based best practices to achieve better results for the students that they serve. Professional Learning Communities are characterized by:
A shared mission, vision, values, and goals
Collaborative teams focused on learning
Action orientation based in best educational practices
Commitment to continuous improvement
A results orientation
We believe that as a Professional Learning Community the fundamental purpose of our work in schools is to ensure high levels of learning for all students. This belief about learning translates into four critical questions that drive the daily work of the staff in our schools:
What do we want students to learn? What should each student know and be able to do as a result of each unit, grade level, and/or course?
How will we know if they have learned? Are we utilizing formative, common assessments in a timely manner?
What will we do if they don’t learn? What systematic Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III interventions are in place to provide additional time and support for students who are experiencing difficulty?
What will we do if they already know it? What systematic Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III enrichments are in place to provide additional time and support for advanced students?
A Professional Learning Community is essential to build and maintain a collaborative culture throughout our entire school system; and this belief about collaborative culture is based on the understandings that:
Collaboration is a systematic process in which we work together, interdependently, to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve our individual and collective results.
Schools improve when teachers are given the time and support to work together to clarify essential student learning, develop common assessments for learning, analyze evidence of student learning, and use that evidence to learn from one another.