On Common Ground
What Would It Look Like If We
Really Meant It?
The power of professional learning communities
Learning Targets
 Further
develop a common
understanding of PLCs in the
Parkrose S.D.
 Understand district PLC standards
 Practice scoring PLC Meeting Notes
 Team self-score on Collaboration and
Data Analysis rubrics
 Draft PLC plans for three months
Agenda
 PowerPoint
 Review
Handbook
 Practice using PLC rubrics
 Plan next three months
What Is Our Goal With PLCs?
 Not
just to become a PLC
 Our
goal should be to improve
student learning
A
PLC is a way of thinking
Professional Learning Communities
A Way of Thinking
 One
of the reasons the PLC concept
resonates is because it provides a:
– Simple framework for connecting best
practices
– Common-sense vocabulary
– Way of thinking about improving
student learning
The Power of Caring in Culturally
Responsive Teaching
…teachers who really care about
students honor their humanity, hold
them in high esteem, expect high
performance from them, and use
strategies to fulfill their expectations.
~Geneva Gay
Why Does Our Organization Exist
In The First Place?
A
synthesis of effective school
leadership concluded that a key
leadership responsibility was creating
a “powerful community” that was
clear on its purpose and goals.
~Marzano, et al.
The Three “Big Ideas” of PLC
1.
2.
3.
Fundamental shift from a focus on
teaching (making sure the content
was taught) to a focus on
learning.
A collaborative culture that utilizes
the power of collaborative
teams.
An intense and passionate focus
on results
Reciprocal Accountability
"Accountability must be a reciprocal
process. For every increment of
performance I demand from you, I have
an equal responsibility to provide you with
the capacity to meet that expectation.
Likewise, for every investment you make
in my skill and knowledge, I have a
reciprocal responsibility to demonstrate
some new increment in performance."
~Richard Elmore
The First “Big Idea”
A Focus on Learning
A
focus on learning represents a
fundamental shift in the teacherstudent relationship
 Does
not allow:
“I taught it – they just didn’t learn it”
Richard Elmore
 "You
don't change performance
without changing the instructional
core,"
 "The relationship of the teacher and
the student in the presence of
content must be at the center of
efforts to improve performance."
 What
would a focus on learning
look like in schools if we really
meant it?
What is the Obvious Question?
 First
we have to address “learn
what?”
The Research Says…
 Teachers
are the most effective in
helping all students learn when they
are clear regarding exactly what
their students must know and be
able to do, as a result of the course,
grade level, or unit of instruction
– DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, & Many
If We Really Meant It….
Wouldn’t we collaboratively develop:
• Power Standards
• Pacing Guides
• Instructional Framework
•
A common language of instruction
On Common Ground:
A Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
 The
idea that schools should ensure
students have access to a
guaranteed and viable curriculum (no
matter who the teachers is) supported by
researchers like:
Marzano, Reeves, and Hattie
 How
will we know what students are
learning?
On Common Ground
Common Formative Assessments
 Using
collaboratively developed,
common formative assessments to
monitor and improve student
learning is one of the most widely
supported strategies for improving
student achievement.
So if we really meant it…
 Wouldn’t
we…
 Have
teacher teams collaboratively
develop common formative
assessments that are designed to
monitor the learning if individual
students on a timely basis:
– kid-by-kid, skill-by-skill?
How will We Respond When Some
Students Don’t Learn?
 This
is a critical question for schools
that “really mean it” when they
declare a mission of ensuring high
levels of learning for all students.
 It
is disingenuous for any school to
claim its purpose is to help all
students learn at high levels and
then fail to create a system of
intervention to give struggling
learners additional time and support
– DuFour, DuFour, Eaker & Many
So, If We Really Meant it…



Wouldn’t we…
Develop a school-wide systemic plan to
provide students with additional time and
support or enrichment within the school
day regardless of the teacher to whom
they are assigned?
Change our instructional strategies when
what we tried did not get us the results
we wanted?
The Second “Big Idea”
The Power of Collaborative Teams

The “Right” Work:
– Collaborative developing and using team
norms
– Clarifying and aligning “essential” learning
– Developing common pacing guides
– Determining what a standard, if met, would
look like in student work.
– Develop common scoring rubrics
– Collaboratively developing and using common
formative assessments
 The
“Right” Work:
– Collaboratively analyzing student work
and student learning data
– Collaboratively developing specific
interventions and enrichment strategies
for individual students
– Monitor and reflect on the results and
effectiveness of instructional strategies
– Collaborating reflecting on the
effectiveness of the team.
The Third “Big Idea”
A Focus on Results
 In
a PLC, collaborative teams of
teachers are using data to inform
them of student learning levels
 Teams set SMARTe goals as a result
of their analysis of learning data
 They publically share and celebrate
the improvements.
They Develop a “Stop Doing” List
What practices may actually hindering
student success?
 Our filter should be:

– “How does this practice improve student
learning?”

Examples:
–
–
–
–
–
The thoughtless use of zeros
Not requiring students to do make-up work
The inappropriate use of worksheets
The inappropriate use of homework
Too much weight given to student’s “first
attempts”
A Focus on Pedagogy
A
PLC is a group of people sharing
and critically interrogating their
practice in an ongoing, reflective,
collaborative, inclusive, learningoriented, growth promoting way
– Mitchell & Sackney, 2000
Final Points:
What is non-negotiable?
 Focus
on increasing student
achievement
 Continuously
improve the
pedagogical skill of our educators
– Examine the impact of instruction on
student learning
– Are we effective?
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On Common Ground - Parkrose School District