A growing body of research supports the experience of a number of educators that when a fully functioning Professional Learning Community is established within a school, improvement in student learning is achieved. According to the National Commission on Teaching (2003), ‘Quality teaching requires strong professional learning communities. Collegial interchange, not isolation, must become the norm for teachers. Communities of learning …must become the building blocks that establish a new foundation for America’s schools.’
Besides increasing the academic success of the students, moving from isolation to the support offered through Professional Learning Communities contributes to a work climate that promotes professional growth, job satisfaction, excellence in teaching, and retention of qualified teachers.
The current Professional Learning Community (PLC) Academy is being held at Kent State University, Kent, Ohioon:
The Academy is structured for teams of teachers and an administrator from each school to collaboratively apply, at their respective schools over the course of the school year, the knowledge and skills they gain from the sessions and readings. Support and monitoring of progress are available between sessions.
The Teacher as Assessment Leader (each teacher/coach)
The Principal as Assessment Leader (each principal)
Learning by Doing (each person)
Pyramid Response to Intervention (each person)
Appreciative Leadership (each person)
Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division (each person)
Opportunity to interact/network with educators from other districts
Participants have the option of receiving 2 hours of graduate workshop credit from Kent State University for an additional fee of $300 per person, a savings of over $500 from the current tuition.
The PLC Academy is hosted by LoveLight, Inc. in
partnership with Solution Tree, Kent State University, and Youngstown State University.
1 National Commission on Teaching, (2003, p. 17). Quoted in DuFour, R., DuFour, R., Eaker, R., & Karhanek, G. (2004). Whatever it takes: Howprofessional learning communities respond whenkids don’t learn. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree
Please send your registration form to: LoveLight, Inc.
P.O. Box 123 Kent, Ohio 44240 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PLC Academy Presenter:
Dr. Anthony Muhammad
One of the most sought-after education consultants in North America and an award-winning practitioner with nearly 20 years of experience, Anthony Muhammad, Ph.D. has served as a middle school teacher, assistant principal, and principal as well as a high school principal. In 2005, Dr. Muhammad was named the Michigan Middle School Principal of the Year.
Under Dr. Muhammad’s leadership as principal of Levey Middle School in Southfield, Michigan, student proficiency on state assessments more than doubled in five years. Once a school struggling with low academic performance, Levey is now recognized as a National School of Excellence. In bringing about the positive changes at their school, Dr. Muhammad and the staff at Levey used the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ (PLC) model of school improvement. They have been recognized in several videos and articles as a model, high-performing PLC.
A researcher of school culture, Dr. Muhammad is the author of Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome StaffDivision and a contributing author to The Collaborative Administrator: WorkingTogether as a Professional Learning Community.
Dr. Muhammad brings to those fortunate enough to attend the
Academy, inspiration, hope, an engaging and interactive
presentation style, and humor along with the perspective of a successful educator grounded in both research and practical
experience. Here are some of the many positive comments
shared by attendees at the 2010-2011 PLC Coaching academy.
"I thought Dr. Muhammad did an awesome job. He had no problem addressing tough conversational items for school staffs."
"Dr. Muhammad provides examples and reasons to validate the information he presents. My most compelling session topic was on analyzing data. How to do it and how to use it."
"Dr. Muhammad was excellent in presenting information that was relevant and helpful."
"The presenter is always so dynamic and quickly engages us. I appreciate that his SMART steps are so user friendly and easily duplicated."
"Discussion was inspiring- it made me feel that maybe change can occur."
Professional Learning Communities Academy Sessions
The same group should attend all four sessions and should be interested in developing a collaborative culture resulting in enhanced learning for all.
Session 1 – November 8, 2012 / Professional Learning Communities at Work™ Overview
Session 1 will center on providing participating teams with a complete overview of the concept of Professional Learning Communities at Work™. The basic model of PLC’s at Work™ focuses on three big ideas:
1. FOCUSING ON LEARNING
What do we want students to learn? How will we know if they have learned it? What will we do if they have not learned it? What will we do if they already know?
2. BUILDING A COLLABORATIVE CULTURE
No school can help all students achieve at high levels if teachers work in isolation. Schools improve when teachers are given the time and support to work together to clarify essential student learning, develop common assessments for learning, analyze evidence of student learning, and use that evidence to learn from one another.
3. FOCUSING ON RESULTS
PLC’s measure their effectiveness based on the evidence of results rather than intentions. All programs, policies, and practices are continually assessed on the basis of their impact on student learning. All staff members receive relevant and timely information on their effectiveness in achieving intended results.
Participants will receive the book Learning by Doing and will use this book as a guide to lead their PLC teams forward.
Session 2 – November 28, 2012 / Collaborative Coaching Strategies and Activities
Successful attributes of a coach will be addressed, including strategies and activities that will support schools as they begin making the cultural change to a school focused on student learning, not on teaching. This day includes interactive activities and practical strategies. Teams will leave with a clear understanding of their role as coaches within their own schools to implement professional learning communities and collaborative teams, and will be able to assist their school team with writing SMART Goals that are designed to move student achievement forward. They will understand how to set team and school mission, vision, values and goals, and will be able to use the tools provided in coaching situations in their home schools.
Each participating team will receive The Handbook for SMART School Teams.
Session 3 – January 7, 2013/ Developing Common Assessments
Creating the collaborative structures to support teams as they do the work of PLC’s will be addressed during Day 3. Among topics to be covered are essential outcomes, common assessments, and revisiting SMART goals. Teams will understand the importance of common assessments and how to use them to drive student achievement forward. Creation of Common Assessments move beyond state or district benchmark tests and delve into the daily or weekly informal and formal assessments that teachers administer and use to identify information gaps. Teams will learn the importance of these ongoing embedded assessments, how to create them, and how to analyze their results in their team meetings.
Each building principal will receive The Principal as Assessment Leader and each teacher or coach will receive The Teacher as Assessment Leader.
Session 4 – April 30, 2013 / Building a Pyramid of Interventions
Day 4 centers around helping schools and districts become results-oriented by creating a pyramid of interventions for the purpose of reaching every individual student, not just students who have been pushed up the intervention ladder. Teams will learn how to use the data from their common assessments to address achievement gaps with students as these gaps occur and how to imbed intervention within the school day. Teams will be able to lead the PLC teams within the school to use their collective expertise to intervene with each student when the essential learning is not mastered. Teams will also receive strategies and ideas for enhancing the learning if students already know the expected learning outcomes.
Each participant will receive Pyramid Response to Intervention.
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