Professional Learning Community

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What is a Professional Learning Community?
A Professional Learning Community (PLC) is an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve.” (Learning by Doing, DuFour et al.)
Mission Statement
The Bartow County School System collaboratively engages all students and staff in relevant learning experiences and empowers them to succeed.
 
Vision Statement
The Bartow County School System will be a high functioning professional learning community that will graduate all students career and college ready, prepared to contribute to their community.
 
Collective Commitments
  • We are committed to providing a quality education to all children which is essential to the prosperity of our community.
  • We are committed to providing a safe, secure, and supportive learning environment.
  • We are committed to hiring, developing, and supporting high quality educators.
  • We are committed to academic excellence through the collaborative investment of faculty, staff, parents, and community.
 
As a professional learning community, BCSS focuses on three big ideas:
“The fundamental purpose of a school culture is to ensure that all students learn at high levels.” 
 
  • Work together to clarify exactly what each student must learn;
  • Monitor each student’s learning on a timely basis;
  • Provide systematic interventions that ensure students receive additional time and support for learning when they struggle; and
  • Extend learning when students have already mastered the intended outcomes.
 
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“Educators must work collaboratively and take collective responsibility for the success of each student. Working collaboratively is not optional.”
 
  • Collaborative teams focus on improving achievement for all students.
  • Teams use student work, formative assessments, summative assessments, and standardized achievement data as evidence of student learning.
 
Collab schedule
“To access their effectiveness in helping all students learn, educators focus on results – evidence for student learning.”
 
  • Members of a PLC recognize that all of their efforts must ultimately be assessed on the basis of results rather than intentions;
  • Participation in this process is not just for leaders, it is a responsibility of every member
  • Examine results to discover strengths and weaknesses to learn from each other.
 
RTI pyeMIS
Collaborative Teams meet to answer the four driving PLC questions:
1. What do we want students to know and be able to do?
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  • Deconstruct standards.
  • Identify the essential standards and learning targets that all students will learn.
  • Establish timeline for essential standards.
  • Plan instructional strategies with the end in mind.
2. How will we know when students have learned it?
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  • Create common formative assessments collaboratively.
  • Build common understanding of proficiency.
  • Align CFAs to essential standards.
  • Clarify conditions of administration of common assessments.
  • Compare and analyze the data.
3. What will we do when students haven’t learned it?
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  • Plan systematic interventions within collaborative teams.
  • Provide a timely response to all students.
  • Differentiate to address individual student needs.
4. What will we do when students already know it?
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  • Provide students opportunities for extension.
  • Extend instruction.
  • Differentiate to address individual student needs.
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A Team Spotlight
 
An “A” Team is a team of educators in which the members work interdependently to achieve common goals that directly impact student achievement. Members of an “A” Team are willing and eager to learn from one another.

An “A” Team  exemplifies the three big ideas of our Professional Learning Communities culture as they continually demonstrate a focus on learning, collaboration, and results.
 
Emerson Elementary | 1st Grade
Suzanne Bennett, Chelsey Edgar, and Shelley Harger
EES A Team
Through observations and conversations with each team member, it is evident this team uses the PLC process to work together with collective responsibility for student learning. They ensure a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all first-grade students, use common formative assessments to monitor student learning, use common assessment data to improve teaching and learning practices, and support the RTI process by providing systematic interventions and enrichments for all students.
 
Congratulations on this extraordinary achievement! This team will present at our 2021-2022 New Teacher Institute and serve as a role-models for future A-Teams throughout our school system!
 
Cass Middle | 6th Grade Math
Laura Hayes, Torre Mortimer, Lisa Wilson, and Whitney Bailey
CMS A Team
Through observations and conversations with each team member, it is evident this team ensures a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all sixth-grade math students, use common formative assessments to monitor student learning, use common assessment data to improve teaching and learning practices, and support the RTI process by providing systematic interventions and enrichments for all students.
 
The CMS Guiding Coalition was mentioned many times as a source of strength for the PLC process and as the means for the professional development which resulted in the efficacy of this collaborative team!
 
“A collection of teachers does not truly become a team until members must rely on one another to accomplish a goal that none could achieve individually.” Learning by Doing, DuFour et al.