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Professional Learning

Communities
Airess Stewart, Katie Jeffrey, Sebrina Shields
Gill 2014:

Elementary ● 4 staff and Principal attended 3 day PLC


summer training
School: ● Guiding coalition created
PLC Journey 2015:

● 4 additional staff attended 3 day PLC summer


training

2016:

● 9 additional staff attended 3 day PLC summer


training
1. What do we expect our students to

learn?

What is a Professional 2. How will we know what they

Learning Community? learned?

3. How will we respond when they


Dufour video
don’t

4 guiding questions learn?

4. How will we respond if they already

know it?
PLC Structure

● Each grade level is a team


● The lead from each team is
part of the MTSS team.
● Norms
● Agendas
● Minutes
● Instructional Support Time
Research
Questions

1. To what extent do administrators


foster the school to a culture of
collaboration?

2. To what extent do teachers’


attitudes impact PLC?

3. How effective is the PLC process


in improving student
Assumptions and Limitations
Assumptions

● Increase or decrease in NWEA student achievement is highly correlated to PLC

effectiveness.

● Reading scores will reflect higher growth and achievement with Instructional Support

Time

● All teachers responded to the survey and interview questions honestly and accurately.

Limitations

● One school limits ability to compare to other schools

● Difficult to isolate what actual program, strategy or other variables such as individual
Survey data

● Teacher PLC survey


● Grade level PLC lead interviews
Survey results Demographic data

● Over half of the teachers


have been employed at Gill
PLC for over 8 years.
● 70% of the teachers have
questionnaire over 11 years of teaching
experience
Teacher
questionnaire

Collaboration
and Focus on
Learning Results
Teacher questionnaire open response
questions
What do you like best about What does your Principal do
your PLC? to support PLC?

● Most teachers indicated the ● Most teachers indicated


time to collaborate, identify provided time was most
student needs and share ideas supportive

How could your PLC be


improved?

● Most teachers indicated they


would like more time,
structured norms and training
on database system
100% of lead teachers
responded “yes”:
● Do you have professional
learning opportunities for
PLC?
PLC Lead ● Do you feel your team finds
the PLC process meaningful
Interview to inform your instruction?
● Do you feel PLCs impact
student achievement?
PLC Lead Interview Open Ended Questions

Professional Learning Opportunities:

● PLC Institute Training


● Staff meetings

Impact:

● Bring back new learning


● Keeps us Focused
The impact of data
Through collaboration:

● Data analysis informs


instructional decisions
● Data demonstrates student
growth and achievement
NWEA data

● School growth report


● School proficiency data by grade
NWEA Reading Fall 2016-Spring
2017
NWEA Growth Data Reading
★ All grades 1-5 met the projected growth in reading
★ 1st and 2nd grade exceeded the projected growth
★ Conditional growth for 1st grade was in the 99th percentile, grew
more than 99% of other 1st graders who took the test
★ Conditional Growth for 2nd grade was in the 96th percentile, grew
more than 96% of other 2nd graders who took the test
★ All other grades were closer to average growth at just above 50%
NWEA Math Fall 2016-Spring 2017
NWEA Growth Data Mathematics
★ 3rd and 5th grade did not meet their projected growth
★ 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade did meet their projected growth
★ The Conditional Growth for 1st grade was in the 99th percentile
★ The Conditional Growth for 2nd and 4th grade was above average
★ The Conditional Growth for 3rd and 5th was below average at the
7th and 37th percentile
Percent of students proficient (60 percentile or higher) for math

Fall 2016 Winter 2017 Spring 2017

1st grade 44% 49% 57%

2nd grade 58% 60% 64%

3rd grade 51% 43% 40%

4th grade 29% 27% 38%

5th grade 46% 35% 43%


Percent of students proficient (60 percentile or higher) for
reading
Fall 2016 Winter 2017 Spring 2017

1st grade 36% 52% 62%

2nd grade 55% 67% 76%

3rd grade 46% 50% 47%

4th grade 54% 46% 47%

5th grade 40% 38% 42%


Research To what extent do administrators
foster the school to a culture of
Findings collaboration?
★ Our research indicated the administrator
provided:
■ Scheduled meetings
■ Leadership participation
■ PLC training
■ Data Analysis
★ Challenges for Leadership were reported
as:
■ Teachers want additional time to
meet within the school day
■ Teacher need more training on the
district database system
To what extent do teachers’ attitudes
impact PLC?

Research Findings The survey results indicates that teachers


viewed the ability to identify student
needs, share ideas and view actual data
in PLC’s favorably. The results also
indicated that they wanted to collaborate
during school hours.

How effective is the PLC process in


improving student achievement?

The data showed varied results in student


growth and achievement using NWEA
data from Fall 2016 to Spring 2017. For
example, the average Mean RIT score in
reading went from 187 to 201 for grades
1-5, however 3rd and 5th grade did not
meet their projected growth. Third grade
math showed a steady decline in
proficiency over 3 reporting periods.
Conclusio Gill Elementary’s journey toward improvements
in student achievement has successfully
n included Dufour’s 3 big ideas.

● a focus on learning
● a collaborative culture and
● collective responsibility with a results-
orientation

However, change is rarely static and efforts to


maintain a collaborative culture relies upon
listening to and responding to all stakeholders.
This is one method to ensure continuous
improvement activities are systemic and
sustainable.
● Establish short and long-term
Recommendatio meeting structures to include:
ns ○ Common formative
assessments.
○ Yearly goals and set agendas for
each meeting.
○ Additional time for collaboration
inside school hours
● Explore additional data analysis for
the progressive decline in NWEA
scoring in grade 3-5
● Consider collaboration between
schools with NWEA data analysis.
● Discuss possible variables that are
Recommendatio
ns contributing to NWEA scores

● Look beyond DuFour’s guiding questions to

provide additional understanding of growth

and achievement challenges (e.g. root

cause analysis)

● Create a book of knowledge to leverage

and document successful strategies that

can be used district-wide.


1. Collaboration amongst other
Implication for elementary schools in the
Future Farmington district.
2. Collaboration with elementary
Research schools outside the district
with similar populations.
3. Focus on a continued internal
check of PLC efficiency and
effectiveness.
4. Triangulate data outside of the
PLC process to look for other
variables that impact student
growth and achievement.
For additional information, please
contact us:

Thank you! airess.stewart@farmington.k12.mi.


us
katie.derington@gmail.com

sebrina.shields@gmail.com