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Arkansas Department of Education and Solution Tree Announce Second Cohort of Schools in Professional Learning Communities at Work Project

Bloomington, Ind. (April 24, 2018)—The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), in partnership with Solution Tree, a national professional development provider, has selected the second cohort of schools for their ongoing program to develop and expand the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process across Arkansas.

In addition to the first cohort of 11 schools and one district designated in 2017, eight schools and two districts have been selected to serve as working models for the professional learning community project for the 2018–2019 school year. As part of the project, these schools will receive up to 50 days of training, coaching and support to build and sustain a strong culture of collaboration that will enhance student learning.

Schools were selected through a rigorous application and evaluation process. A panel of education professionals reviewed applications, and the ADE selected the following schools to receive support from Solution Tree:

  • Blytheville Primary School in Blytheville School District
  • East Pointe Elementary in Greenwood School District
  • Greer Lingle Middle School in Rogers Public Schools
  • Gurdon School District
  • Hamburg High School in Hamburg School District
  • Howard Perrin Elementary in Benton School District
  • Murrell Taylor Elementary in Jacksonville Pulaski County Special School District
  • Oaklawn Visual and Performing Arts Magnet in Hot Springs School District
  • Quitman School District
  • Rivercrest Elementary School in Rivercrest School District

“It has been exciting to see how the PLC at Work process is benefiting not only our teachers but our students here in Arkansas,” ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said. “I have seen firsthand how schools are collaborating and effectively implementing the process so that each student is showing growth. Our statewide PLC project supports the growth we expect to see with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act this fall.”

Solution Tree CEO Jeff Jones said, “As we enter year two of our ongoing collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Education, all of us at Solution Tree are delighted to see the progress and accomplishments of the first cohort of schools. We look forward to welcoming the second cohort, as they implement and develop truly transformative professional learning communities for their educators and students.”

Selected schools will be matched with a certified PLC at Work associate from Solution Tree and receive intensive job-embedded training, observation and coaching. The schools will create action plans that focus on increasing student achievement through aligned curriculum, formative assessments and proven instructional strategies. During the second year, schools will deepen their understanding and focus on implementing multitiered systems of support, followed by strengthening their systems and sustaining the process in year three.

Act 427 of 2017, which amended Arkansas Code Ann. § 6-20-2305(b)(5), provides funding for the project. For more information, please visit the ADE website and follow this project on social media using #PLC4AR.

PLC at Work schools are distinguished by the process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLC at Work operates under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators. When the PLC at Work process is implemented with fidelity, schools experience dramatic improvement in learning results by both students and adults.

Learn more about Solution Tree.