White Elementary School is the first of five Bartow County schools recently named a Model Professional Learning Community for its sustained success in raising student achievement! This week, we will be highlighting all five schools, building leaders, and their keys to academic success.
“I literally cried tears of joy!,” said former WES Principal Amy Heater. “This is quite an accomplishment and recognition for WES and couldn’t have happened without collective teacher efficacy, a hard work ethic, and dedication to excellence.”
The school’s successful implementation of Professional Learning Communities 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.
“WES focused on student learning, building and sustaining a collaborative culture with staff, and putting a strong emphasis on data-driven results by ensuring students are proficient on essential grade level standards,” added Heater.
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.
“The best is yet to come for WES,” said Heater. “The school will continue to strengthen the PLC process by disaggregating data to ensure that students receive the best possible interventions and extensions to enhance student learning. This process will also allow instructional strategies to be carried out by highly qualified educators in each content area. Both schools will also work on revamping current grading practices, strengthening 21st century learning based on standards proficiency, and building a growth mindset to enhance student confidence.”
At the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, Heater moved from WES to Cloverleaf Elementary, another school that earned its Model PLC designation with Solution Tree.
WES and CLES now join the Bartow County School System as they celebrate Model PLC School and Model PLC District status.