November 25, 2014

PLC: time for Washburn teachers to collaborate

By Cheryl McCormack

Washburn teachers Tracy Jaeger and Brooklyn Schaan, on behalf of the school’s improvement committee, presented the details of a proposed Professional Learning Community (PLC) to the Washburn School Board at their recent meeting.

A PLC is a set time for teachers and staff to collaborate, through recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research, to improve students’ knowledge in the following areas (based on district trends from Professional Development Day and map data): algebraic thinking, informational text and planning, organizing and research.

Once approved by the board, certified staff will meet approximately 25-30 weeks out of the year, with a suggested meeting time of 7:45-8:25 a.m., Wednesday mornings; according to Jaeger, the students’ school schedule will not be affected.

With the hope of implementing the PLC at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year, Superintendent Brad Rinas advised the board, "You have time to think about this – at least a month, if not two."

According to Jaeger, the "grouping" of the teachers will be flexible. Rinas said some teachers will do really well with it, while others may struggle. "It’s not something we’ve done before and it certainly won’t be successful right off the bat," he said.

Schaan noted a PLC not only helps students, but improves teacher-teacher relationships.

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