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

Bloomington, Ind. (April 30, 2019)—The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), in partnership with Solution Tree, a national professional development provider, has selected the third cohort of schools for its ongoing program to develop and expand the Professional Learning Communities at Work® process across Arkansas.

In addition to the 19 schools and three districts chosen during 2017 and 2018 as the project’s first two cohorts, 10 schools and one district have been selected to serve as working models for the professional learning community project in the 2019–2020 school year. As part of this 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 and districts to receive support from Solution Tree:

  • Buffalo Island Central School District (Leachville, Ark.)
  • Camden Fairview Intermediate School, Camden Fairview School District (Camden, Ark.)
  • Darby Junior High School, Fort Smith School District (Fort Smith, Ark.)
  • Eureka Springs Elementary School, Eureka Springs School District (Eureka Springs, Ark.)
  • Harrisburg Middle School, Harrisburg School District (Harrisburg, Ark.)
  • Lake Hamilton Intermediate School, Lake Hamilton School District (Peacy, Ark.)
  • Mablevale Elementary School, Little Rock School District (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • Mills University Studies High School, Pulaski County Special School District (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • Park Avenue Elementary School, Stuttgart School District (Stuttgart, Ark.)
  • Pinewood Elementary School, Jacksonville North Pulaski Special School District (Jacksonville, Ark.)
  • Wonderview Elementary School, Wonderview School District (Hattieville, Ark.)

“We are extremely pleased with the success of this project, now in its third year,” ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said. “From increased student growth and achievement to improved collaboration and culture, the PLC at Work process is a model for success here in Arkansas. We are confident that those selected for the third cohort will achieve the same results. Through programs like this, we are leading the nation in student-focused education.”

Solution Tree President and COO Ed Ackerman said, “All of us at Solution Tree are delighted to see the accomplishments and progress of the first and second cohorts of schools and welcome the third cohort to our ongoing collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Education. We look forward to continuing our mission of helping Arkansas’ educators and students alike benefit from the transformative process of implementing professional learning communities in schools across the state.”

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 multi-tiered systems of support, followed by strengthening their systems and sustaining the process in year three.

“I am proud of the schools and district selected to join the PLC at Work project this year,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said. “Each year, this project yields fruit by providing educators with more tools to support our students and enhancing student-focused education. I look forward to seeing great things from the third group of schools selected to take part in this initiative.”

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 at http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/special-projects/professional-learning-communities-in-arkansas 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.