Professional Learning Communities

  • A PLC is an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLCs operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job embedded learning for educators.

    There are four questions that drive the work of a PLC:

    1. What is it we want our students to know and be able to do?

    Have we identified the essential knowledge, skills and dispositions each student is to acquire as a result of each unit of instruction? Items and products that teams need to generate to improve student learning includes:

    • Common Core State Standards
    • Career and Technical Education Standards
    • Next Generation Science Standards
    • Prioritized Standards
    • Learning Targets
    • Scope and Sequence guides
    • Clarifying what the standards look like in student work
    • Learning progress of each standards
    • Instructional and engagement strategies

    2. How will we know if each student has learned it?

    Are we using formative assessment in our classrooms on an ongoing basis? Are we gathering evidence of student learning through one or more team-developed common formative assessments for each unit of instruction?

    Items and products the teams need to generate to improve student learning includes:

    • Universal Screeners and benchmark assessments
    • Common formative assessments
    • Proficiency Scales
    • End of unit summative assessments
    • State assessments (e.g., SBAC, ACT)
    • Data Driven Dialogue and data analysis

    3. How will we respond when some students do not learn it?

    Can we identify students who need additional time and support by the student, by the standard and for every unit of instruction? Do we use evidence of student learning from common formative assessments to analyze and improve our individual collective instructional practice?

    Items and products the teams need to generate to improve student learning includes:

    • Classroom-based differentiated instruction
    • Multi-tiered Systems of Support
    • Response to Intervention
    • MT Behavioral Interventions

    4. How will we extend the learning for students who have demonstrated proficiency? Can we identify students who have reached identified learning targets to extend their learning?

    Items and products the teams need to generate to improve student learning includes:

    • Classroom-based differentiated instruction
    • Individual extension and in-depth research and inquiry

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