Instructional Coach watching teacher work with students

Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

Working together to embrace high levels of learning for all students!

KAY INGHAM
Director of Student Services
kingham@bettendorf.k12.ia.us

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Bettendorf is entering our fourth year along the PLC journey. Prior to the start of school, all district teachers and administrators worked together to extend their knowledge of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) process during staff inservice.

When a school or district functions as a PLC, educators within the organization embrace high levels of learning for all students as the reason the organization exists and the fundamental responsibility of those who work within it.

Mattos 2017. SolutionTree.com

During the 2017-2018 school year, teams of teachers, curriculum/professional development teacher leaders, instructional coaches, and principals will be meeting weekly to answer the four driving PLC questions:

  1. What do we want students to know?
  2. How will we know that they have learned it?
  3. What do we do if they didn’t learn it?
  4. What do we do if they already know it?

Some teams may span buildings as art, music, PE, elective teachers, and other groups to be able to have these important conversations. In other buildings, the work will continue at grade level or in content areas. Support staff such as special education teachers, academic interventionists and teacher librarians will be part of teams within buildings to offer input in decisions about what students need to move forward.

The district has embraced this process and will continue to actively support staff in this important work. We are taking to heart the final thought of our last speaker when he charged us all to “Be Bold!”. Our students deserve our best. PLCs provide the framework for all staff to work collaboratively for the success of ALL.

PLCs have been an incredible benefit to our teachers and students. During the last few years of PLC implementation, we have been able to look very closely at the needs of our students and adjust our curriculum accordingly. We have been able to put a laser-like focus on students in need. This has helped us to slowly close our achievement gaps and create an environment where every student is likely to succeed.

Ryan King, Instructional Coach