Red Top Middle School becomes the 16th Bartow County school to be named a Model Professional Learning Community for its sustained success in raising student achievement!

“I literally yelled ‘yes’ from my office so loud that other staff members wondered what was going on,” said RTMS Principal Wes Dickey. “I then forwarded the notification email straight to our staff to share the great news!”

The school’s successful implementation of PLC’s was a major contributing factor in the improved achievement of its students. PLC’s are schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students. The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to:

1. Focus on learning.
2. Build a collaborative culture.
3. Create a results orientation.

“Last school year (2021-22), we set goals to start the Model PLC application process at the end of Fall semester and then submit our initial application prior to leaving for Spring Break,” said Principal Dickey. “Our Guiding Coalition created sub-committees to work on the various sections of the application and we met both of those timeline goals. We received feedback a few weeks later from Solution Tree, and they asked for some additional information and data points. After this resubmission, we found out just before the start of the 2022-23 school year that we were close but not quite there. The Solution Tree committee wanted to see more sustained growth. So, we then waited until the end of this years (2022-23) testing window and resubmitted our application on May 31, 2023. We were able to add more data points showing growth across a variety of components (EOG score comparisons over the past three years, Growth Measure, MAP testing, Tier-3 Dismissals, ESOL Data-ACCESS scores, and SPED Data).”

Schools are recognized based on strict criteria, including demonstration of a commitment to PLC concepts, implementation of these concepts for at least three years, and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period. Once measurable results can be seen, the school must explain its practices, structures, and culture, and then submit its application for consideration by the PLC Review Committee.

“This is truly a group effort for Red Top Middle School,” said Principal Dickey. “It took all stakeholders to make this happen, and there is still plenty of work to be done. The PLC Process is a process to ‘perfect.’ Every collaboration team at Red Top can and must get better in the process for us to continue moving forward. Our focus on the three big ideas of the PLC Process is never-ending.”

RTMS, Cass High School, Woodland High School, Adairsville High School, Allatoona Elementary School, Kingston Elementary School, Mission Road Elementary School, Adairsville Elementary School, Euharlee Elementary School, Clear Creek Elementary School, Pine Log Elementary School, Emerson Elementary School, Cass Middle School, Adairsville Middle School, Cloverleaf Elementary School, and White Elementary School now join the Bartow County School System as they celebrate Model PLC School and Model PLC District status.