Professional Learning Communities
- Project Lead Coaches: Heather Peterson, Kevin Wajek
- Grade Bands: All
- Delivery: In-Person (preferred), Hybrid, Virtual
- Specialized to a Population: No
- Audience: General Ed, SPED & Bilingual Teachers, Principals, Other School- and District-Level Administrators
Professional learning communities (PLCs) are results-oriented, focused on student learning, and built on a culture of collaboration (Dufour and Fullan, 2013). Building a culture of collaboration is a first step in developing the mindset needed for a school community to embrace the idea of all staff being responsible for the learning of all students in the school and owning the outcomes of these efforts.
ULLC will cultivate the development of PLCs through a series of professional learning sessions, during which teacher leaders, school administrators, and select central office administrators will learn to use the tools and strategies required to develop themselves and others as leaders of PLCs. Using the gradual release model, leadership coaches will guide learners as they practice utilizing these strategies and tools to gradually transition from assisted to independent implementation. As the teacher leaders and administrators become proficient in the use of the tools and strategies, they will serve as facilitators and coaches for other teacher leaders in the school.
Central office administrators will participate in the professional learning sessions and serve as coaches and mentors to school-based administrators as the support from the leadership coaches moves to the “You Do” phase of the gradual release of responsibility model. As the leadership teams grow in their skills and collaborative mindset, a peer observation model will be taught and implemented within the school. This model will include an ongoing focus on developing mutual trust, collaboration, and student learning. A school-to-school peer walkthrough process will be taught, and as schools become proficient in the workings of this process, ULLC will provide support and feedback needed to effectively implement this practice. This will also further develop the school division’s culture of collaboration and commitment to high levels of learning for students and staff.