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Sustaining PLC at Work® Model Agenda

Regina Stephens Owens

A Declaration of Interdependence: Designing Culture and Developing Community for Learning

Becoming a PLC requires that we take on the characteristics of learning, collaborating, and getting results through collective inquiry, action research, and a commitment to continuous improvement. In an era of accountability, the collective responsibility for continuous improvement has given way to teams and departments in silos, and school improvement focuses primarily on test scores. Regina Stephens Owens discusses the essentials required to develop the culture and collective responsibility to ensure that all learn at high levels.

Anthony Muhammad

Bringing the Four PLC Questions to Life: Systems That Ensure All Students Learn

Anthony Muhammad focuses on the systemic implementation of a PLC at Work’s four critical questions. Participants learn what it takes to move from theory to application. Dr. Muhammad’s strategies are immediately usable when participants return to their schools.

Tim Brown

Raising Questions and Finding Answers in Our Grading Practices

Talking about grading practices is often a touchy subject, full of emotions, opinions, and personal beliefs. However, when schools make the shift from a focus on teaching to a focus on learning, they must be willing to examine policies, practices, and guidelines to see if they support learning principles. Tim Brown shows how staff can engage educators in a collaborative process committed to grading practices aligned with learning outcomes.

Mike Mattos

The Litmus Test of a PLC: Making Decisions Through the Lens of Learning

The fundamental purpose of a PLC is to ensure high levels of learning for all students. To achieve this mission, educators should commit to making decisions based on a critical question: Will our actions lead to higher levels of learning? Schools face the challenge of embracing practices and policies that improve learning and abandon those that fall short.

Luis F. Cruz

I Am Sold on PLCs: Practical Tools and Directions to Be Successful

Luis F. Cruz shares articles, templates, activities, and videos to provide administrative and teacher leaders the necessary tools to amplify improvement at their site.

Heather Friziellie

Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap: Whatever It Takes in Elementary Schools

Schools that function as PLCs must ultimately do two things: 1) build a collaborative culture to promote continuous adult learning, and 2) create structures and systems that provide students with additional time and support for learning. After examining critical ingredients for systematic intervention and enrichment, participants receive criteria to assess their own schools’ responses and an action-planning template for the next steps in raising the bar and closing the gap.

Aaron Hansen

Owning Their Learning: Students as Partners in Reaching Next Generation Rigor

It’s time to help students do more than merely pass the state test. Students often exceed expectations on high-stakes tests when they own their learning. They also are empowered to do more.

Mike Mattos

Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap: Whatever It Takes in Secondary Schools

Identifying students who need help is the lesser obstacle most secondary schools face; instead, the more significant issue is one of time. How do teacher teams schedule interventions during the school day? Mike Mattos offers examples from a high-performing school on how to create time for supplemental and intensive interventions.

Mike Mattos

Simplifying Response to Intervention: How to Create a Highly Effective, Multitiered System of Supports

How does your school respond when students don’t learn? Compelling evidence shows that response to intervention (RTI)—also known as a multitiered system of supports (MTSS)—can engage a school’s staff to provide every student with additional time and support to learn at high levels. Yet this potential lies dormant at many schools, buried under layers of state regulations, district protocols, misguided priorities, and traditional practices. Mike Mattos shows how the PLC at Work process creates a broader schoolwide framework to create a multitiered system of supports.

Anthony Muhammad

Moving Beyond “PLC Lite”: Nurturing Full Commitment to the PLC Process

More than 20 years ago, Richard DuFour and Robert Eaker wrote the first book on PLC at Work. The PLC process is the most promising way to improve student learning, yet many schools remain stalled at the beginning stages of implementation. Why does this reality of “PLC lite” still plague our profession? Without exception, schools that use this model to transform their practice have one thing in common: effective leadership. Anthony Muhammad explores keys to transition a school or district into a model PLC.

Sarah Schuhl

Creating Common Assessments for Team and Student Learning

Common assessments help students and teachers answer the second critical question of a PLC: How do we know if students learned it? Sarah Schuhl helps address the purpose of assessments and how to identify what students have and have not yet learned. Participants explore considerations for writing quality common assessments and using them to involve students in their learning.

Sarah Schuhl

Data, Data, Data: What Do Teams Need? What Do Teams Do With It?

The third big idea of a professional learning community is to focus on results. How do collaborative teams use data to 1) make informed decisions about assessment and instruction, 2) determine whether or not students have learned, and 3) involve students in the learning process? Participants in this session explore ways to collect and organize data and consider how to respond to the results obtained. They also learn a protocol for analyzing assessment data in a PLC collaborative team.

Eric Twadell

Social and Emotional Learning in a PLC at Work: Best Practices for Teaching and Learning

How do we respond when students don’t learn? The typical answer is “through expanded curricular support.” But many students who struggle are missing key social and emotional skills they need to learn and grow, or they have them but require ongoing reinforcement to reach their full potential.