Rebecca DuFour

Rebecca DuFour has served as a teacher, school administrator, and central office coordinator. As a former elementary principal, Becky helped her school earn state and national recognition as a model PLC.
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Dr. Richard DuFour

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The Latest on Rick & How You Can Help

Categories: PLC, Solution Tree

[This is a re-post from Becky DuFour, originally published on Rick DuFour’s Caring Bridges blog.]

Rick is in day 3 of his new clinical trial and so far, so good! He has not had any side effects from the two new oral medications he’ll be taking each day. The doctors and nurses at Virginia Cancer Center monitored him and his vital signs for four hours after he took the first two pills Monday morning. Likely because he responded so well, right before they sent him home, the nurse informed Rick the drug company had just placed him in a “special” cohort of trial patients – as of Monday afternoon, they doubled his dosage of both meds. Take that, you #*&@% lung cancer!!

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Grouping by abilities

To Ability Group or Not to Ability Group? That Is the Question!

Categories: PLC

From Richard DuFour and Rebecca DuFour:

At a recent PLC at WorkTM Institute that included over 1,500 educators representing 14 states, it became evident that ability grouping for homeroom placement and/or core content instruction remains a prevalent practice in many schools and districts. Students are divided into low, middle, and high groups (or tracks, levels, etc.) based on last year’s test scores and/or teacher recommendations. The institute faculty challenged this practice citing John Hattie’s research in Visible Learning, which concludes that ability grouping is a detrimental practice for students—one that ensures that some students will not learn at high levels. Ability grouping is clearly a practice that is misaligned with advancing the mission that PLC schools embrace—ensuring high levels of learning for all.

At least one team of elementary teachers at the institute was convinced that ability grouping was not in the best interest of students or teachers, not only because of the research but also because of their own experiences. They explained that ability grouping was an expected practice in their school and district. During the institute, members of this team interviewed different faculty members, read Hattie’s synthesis of the research, and asked for the name of a school to contact that could share a different approach to grouping students for instruction. We recommended they contact the educators at Mason Crest Elementary in Fairfax County, Virginia. Jennifer Deinhart, K–8 mathematics specialist at Mason Crest, provided the following timely response. Our hope is that schools of every level across the world will take Jennifer’s great insights to heart.

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Present

What a Gift!

Categories: PLC

(Note: This post was co-written by Rebecca DuFour and guest author Jacqueline Heller)

Becky’s Recent Experience

While sitting in a small open waiting area of a local salon one evening in early January, two young women engrossed in conversation came in and sat beside me. As they continued to talk, I quickly realized they were teachers at a nearby elementary school, recounting their first two days back at school after the holiday break. I was not eavesdropping—these two young teachers made no attempt to keep their conversation confidential.

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