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University of Louisiana at Lafayette1 Assessing Schools as Professional Learning Communities Dianne F. Olivier, EDFL - University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Presentation on theme: "University of Louisiana at Lafayette1 Assessing Schools as Professional Learning Communities Dianne F. Olivier, EDFL - University of Louisiana at Lafayette."— Presentation transcript:

1 University of Louisiana at Lafayette1 Assessing Schools as Professional Learning Communities Dianne F. Olivier, EDFL - University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sandra Antoine, University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Iberia Parish Ronald Cormier, University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Iberia Parish Virginia Lewis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Iberia Parish Cheri Minckler, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Molly Stadalis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette/St. Mary Parish

2 University of Louisiana at Lafayette2 What is a PLC? … where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and diverse patterns of thinking are valued, and where people are continually learning how to learn together. Senge, 1990 Schools characterized by shared purpose, collaborative activity, and collective responsibility among staff. Newmann & Wehlage, 1995

3 What is a PLC? Professionals coming together in community to intentionally learn. Shirley Hord

4 University of Louisiana at Lafayette4 An infrastructure, or way of working together, which results in continuous school improvement.

5 Professional Learning Communities Professional educators working collectively and purposefully to create and sustain a culture of learning for all students and adults.

6 University of Louisiana at Lafayette6 The purpose of these case studies was to assess teachers’ perceptions of professional learning community attributes within their school as measured by the Professional Learning Communities Assessment – Revised (PLCA-R). Purpose of Study

7 University of Louisiana at Lafayette7 Methodology Professional Learning Community Assessment - Revised (PLCA) Formal diagnostic tool for identifying school level practices that enhance intentional professional learning. Assesses perceptions of the staff related to specific practices observed at the school level with regard to the 5 dimensions of a PLC and critical attributes.

8 University of Louisiana at Lafayette8 Dimensions of a PLC  Shared and Supportive Leadership  Shared Values and Vision  Collective Learning and Application  Shared Personal Practice  Supportive Conditions Relationships Structures

9 University of Louisiana at Lafayette9 Methodology  PLCA-R  Case Study 5 dimensions of PLCs – Quan & Qual results  PLCO - Professional Learning Community Organize Illustrates practices within dimensions & phases of change  PLCDR - PLC Development Rubric Provides for individual and small group dialogue reflection

10 Confronting and Renaming the Truth: A Case Study Evans Junior High School Molly Stadalis University of Louisiana at Lafayette

11 University of Louisiana at Lafayette11 Conceptual Definitions Shared and Supportive Leadership School administrators participate democratically with teachers by sharing power, authority, and decision-making, and promoting and nurturing leadership among staff. Shared Values and Vision Staff shares visions for school improvement that have an undeviating focus on student learning. Shared values support norms of behavior that guide decisions about teaching and learning.

12 University of Louisiana at Lafayette12 Evans Junior High School  640 students in grades 4 – 8  65% of students are considered economically disadvantaged (free & reduced lunch)  Many students live in single parent households or with family other than parents.  Subgroup Information: 15% special education, 49% African American, 50% white, 1% Hispanic & Indian  Staff consists of 49 faculty members, librarian, guidance counselor, paraprofessionals, cafeteria/custodial/office staff, 2 assistant principals, and principal

13 University of Louisiana at Lafayette13 Evans Junior High School Professional Learning Communities Assessment – Revised Five Dimensions MSD _________________________________________________________ Shared and Supportive Leadership3.39.47 Shared Values and Vision3.32.53 Collective Learning and Application3.44.43 Shared Personal Practice3.32.52 Supportive Conditions3.27.40

14 University of Louisiana at Lafayette14 Shared & Supportive Leadership  Staff members are consistently involved in discussing and making decisions about most school issues.  The principal incorporates advice from staff members to make decisions.  Opportunities are provided for staff members to initiate change.  Stakeholders assume shared responsibility and accountability for student learning.

15 University of Louisiana at Lafayette15 Shared Values and Visions  A collaborative process exists for developing a shared sense of values and shared vision among staff.  Policies and programs are aligned to the school’s vision.  School goals focus on student learning beyond test scores and grades.

16 University of Louisiana at Lafayette16 A School In Search of Excellence Madison Elementary Virginia W. Lewis University of Louisiana at Lafayette

17 University of Louisiana at Lafayette17 Conceptual Definition Collective Learning and Application Staff at all levels of the school share information and work collaboratively to plan, solve problems and improve learning opportunities. Together they seek knowledge, skills and strategies and apply this new learning to their work.

18 University of Louisiana at Lafayette18 Madison Elementary Demographic Data  Constructed in 1989 - NW outskirts of New Iberia  Near middle income, single-family subdivision  Grade configuration – PK - 6  80% free/reduced lunch - projected to increase to 92% in 2008-2009  Student population – 60% African American, 35% white students, 5% Asian students, less than 1% Hispanic  Most families - middle-income homes/trailer park housing  Low-income housing complex/apartment dwelling in city  School rezoning scheduled for 2008-2009  SPS–2 Stars School of Exemplary Academic Growth 2007-08  Highly qualified and stable staff

19 University of Louisiana at Lafayette19 Collective Learning and Application  Staff shares information  Professionals learn together  Problem solving occurs collectively  Collaboration Sharing Planning Problem Solving Improving learning opportunities for students by improving professional practice

20 University of Louisiana at Lafayette20 Means and Standard Deviations for Dimensions of Professional Learning Communities ___________________________________________ Dimensions MSD Shared and Supportive Leadership3.47.583 Shared Values and Vision3.55.623 Collective Learning and Application3.58.558* Shared Personal Practice3.38.626 Supportive Conditions- Relationships3.50.550 Supportive Conditions- Structure3.45.599 *Highest mean score of all dimensions

21 University of Louisiana at Lafayette21 Mean Scores for Dimensions of Professional Learning Communities ___________________________________________

22 University of Louisiana at Lafayette22 Standard Deviation Scores for Dimensions of Professional Learning Communities

23 University of Louisiana at Lafayette23

24 University of Louisiana at Lafayette24 ResponsesScaleTotal Responses Percentage Strongly Disagree 100.00% Disagree283.33% Agree38334.58% Strongly Agree 414962.08% Collective Learning and Application

25 University of Louisiana at Lafayette25 Collective Learning and Application  Staff meets weekly for grade level meetings  Staff members collaboratively work  Whole Faculty Study Groups (WFSG) facilitated by early release time at district level  Data driven decision making guides instruction and interventions  Multiple data sources evaluate effectiveness of instruction  Instructional staff demonstrates commitment to research based strategies to increase student achievement  Culture of sharing and caring about student learning

26 University of Louisiana at Lafayette26 NEXT STEPS FOR MADISON ELEMENTARY  Ensure schools values and vision continue to center on student learning  Nurture and support teacher leadership at various levels  Conduct needs assessment for changing demographics  Focus on sustainability  Develop mechanisms for increased opportunities for shared personal practice and collaboration as evidenced by  scheduling time for peer observations,  job-embedded staff development  grade-level and cross grade-level meetings  content specific study groups

27 University of Louisiana at Lafayette27 Optimizing High School Redesign: A Case Study Bayouville High School Cheri Hoff Minckler University of Louisiana at Lafayette

28 University of Louisiana at Lafayette28 Conceptual Definition Shared Personal Practice Peers visit with and observe one another to offer encouragement and to provide feedback on instructional practices to assist in student achievement and increase individual and organizational capacity.

29 University of Louisiana at Lafayette29 What It Looks Like  Shared personal practice occurs “where educators collaboratively analyze current practices, experiment with new practices, and assess the relationship between practice and the effects of practice within the community context.” (Mitchell & Sackney, 1999)

30 University of Louisiana at Lafayette30 A Radical, Rigorous Exercise  Teachers meet to rigorously “question, challenge and subvert imposed prescriptions that diminish learning” (Hargreaves, 2008, p. 188). They look for ways to improve learning and performance for all students.

31 University of Louisiana at Lafayette31 Bayouville High School  Bayouville High School (BHS) is one of five public high schools serving the Lafayette Parish Public School System.  For the 2006-2007 school year, BHS earned a rating of “Three Stars” on the State Department of Education’s School Report Card (Louisiana Department of Education) and a growth label of “Exemplary Academic Growth.”

32 University of Louisiana at Lafayette32 Demographics and Vital Statistics  Total student population = 2,251 students  3.3% Asian, 27.1% Black, 3.9% Hispanic, 0.4% Native American, and 65.2% White  52% female and 48% male  28.5% economically disadvantaged  95% of students are fully proficient in the English language  2005-2006 school year – student attendance rate = 92.3% as compared to 94.6% for District and 93.7% for State.  The dropout rate = 3.5% for school as compared to 5% for District and 4.6% for State.  2006-2007 school year, 91% of core courses taught by teachers meeting No Child Left Behind (NCLB) highly qualified definition as compared to 81% for District and 84% for State.

33 University of Louisiana at Lafayette33 DimensionMean Standard deviation ModeSkewnessKurtosis SSL2.670.883-0.45 SVV2.520.773-0.43-0.31 CLA2.720.743-0.440.12 SPP2.330.8020.03-0.50 SCR2.670.743-0.400.02 SCS2.130.8520.12-0.94 SC2.310.863-0.09-0.84 Table 7. Dimension Composites - Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion Dimension Composites

34 University of Louisiana at Lafayette34 Survey Items  Seven items reflect the dimension of shared personal practice.  Results range from a high on item SPP33 (Staff members informally share ideas and suggestions for improving student learning; M = 2.93; SD =0.78) to a low on item SPP31 (Opportunities exist for staff members to observe peers and offer encouragement; M = 2.09; SD =0.83).

35 University of Louisiana at Lafayette35 Histogram of Responses

36 University of Louisiana at Lafayette36 A Formal Structured Process  The responses to items in this subscale of the assessment indicate the lack of a formal process for peer observation, feedback, or collaborative effort to improve personal practice.  One teacher commented, “All collaboration is voluntary and informal.”

37 University of Louisiana at Lafayette37 Sustainable Improvement  McLaughlin (as cited in Schmoker, 2005, p. 144) boldly stated, “The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is developing the ability for school personnel to function as professional learning communities.”

38 University of Louisiana at Lafayette38 The Curious Case of Bayou High School A Case Study Bayou High School Ronald Cormier University of Louisiana at Lafayette

39 University of Louisiana at Lafayette39 Conceptual Definition Supportive Conditions – Structures Structures include a variety of conditions such as size of the school, proximity of staff to one another, communication systems, and the time and space for staff to meet and examine current practices.

40 University of Louisiana at Lafayette40 Demographics  Rural setting (population 5,997)  Declining economy (median income $26,000)  High crime rate / high truancy  Declining student population (300 students)  Free / reduced lunch above 79 % _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________  Grades 9-12  Twenty-four (24) teachers (12 elective / voc / SPED)  Teacher : student ratio @ 1:9  Average Freshman class 108, graduates 49  Accountability Label: School in Decline (Watch List) (School Audits)

41 University of Louisiana at Lafayette41 District Intervention Reform Effort (SID) Year 1- Needs Assessment / Sch Imp Plan (SIP) SID* Year 2 - District Audit – SAM (focus groups, observations, needs assessments) & SIP SID* Year 3 -Two supervisors, PTLC format, 4 Lead teachers, school audit (DAT) & review, job-embedded PD MG* PLCA-R MG* Year 4 - Repeat Year 3 interventions, Curriculum Coordinator (PD), DIG audit** (SIP), PLCA-R MG* * SID = School in Decline, MG = Minimal growth, NG = no growth ** DIG Audit – indicated 1/3 of faculty implementing SIP prescribed innovations with fidelity

42 University of Louisiana at Lafayette42 Comparison of the Six Dimensions Bayou High Dimensions Mean sd Phase 1.Shared Leadership 2.59.655 Initiation 2.Shared Vision 2.87.752 Initiation 3.Collective learning 3.05.652 Implementation 4.Shared Practice 2.89.711 Initiation Supportive Conditions 5. Relationships 2.88.742 Initiation 6. Structure 3.08.693 Implementation

43 University of Louisiana at Lafayette43 Supportive Conditions - Structure When, Where, & How the staff works? (Hord, 1997)  School size Teacher & Student Population / grade clusters  Proximity of staff / logistics Physical plant / schedule & location constructs  Resources Data, materials, expertise, technology, communication  Professional development venue Schedule, organization, series, group logistics, focus  Time Personal / professional, quality / quantity

44 University of Louisiana at Lafayette44 Highlights of PLCA-R (Conditions-Structure)  Receiving a mean of 3.0 or higher Technology / materials available Resource people available (expertise/support) School facility clean, attractive Proximity of staff – ease of collaboration Communication: information among staff Communication: between (district) community Access to organized data Time for collaboration / collective learning

45 University of Louisiana at Lafayette45 Supportive Conditions – Structure as Applied to Bayou High  School size (small, rural) 1:9 teacher student ratio  Proximity of staff / logistics Departments 2-3 teachers / professional period mtgs.  Resources Data-decisions, Expertise (CC, Lead, Sup), technology  Professional development venue PTLC series / Action Research / Focus on initiatives  Time Job-embedded / Prof. period & department meetings.

46 University of Louisiana at Lafayette46 Observations: PLC & Bayou High  Struggling with shared / supportive leadership (m = 2.59, sd =.655) Disorganization / accountability / follow-through (administration)  Implementation Phases denoted for Supportive Conditions-Structure Collective Learning  Analogy: A (bottom-up) foundation has been constructed, but before any additional construction can be attempted - shared leadership / vision has to be reinforced.

47 University of Louisiana at Lafayette47 Are We a Small Learning Community, Professional Learning Community, or a Combination of Both: In Any Case, Are We There Yet? A Case Study Cypress High School Sandra Antoine University of Louisiana at Lafayette

48 University of Louisiana at Lafayette48 Conceptual Definition Supportive Conditions - Relationships Collegial relationships include respect, trust, norms of critical inquiry and improvement, and positive, caring relationships among students, teachers and administrators.

49 University of Louisiana at Lafayette49 Cypress High School  Large High School -1,500  Racial and Social Economic Makeup -60/40 with 40% F/R  Professional Staff - 118 with 36% Masters  SPS – 2 stars, SACS Accreditation  ACT Scores – 20.2  High School Redesign efforts -10 yrs  Change in School and District Leadership 49

50 University of Louisiana at Lafayette50 Professional Learning Community Supportive Conditions –Relationships  School conditions and capacities that support the staff’s arrangement as a professional learning organization  The relationships the staff has with each other that support teachers working together (Hord, 1997- 1998) 50

51 University of Louisiana at Lafayette51 Comparison of Two High School Reform Initiatives Relating to Building Relationships Small Learning Community  Culture of respect and equity focused on student achievement  High expectations for all students  Personalize learning environment-project based learning  Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships  Teacher leaders  Freshman Transition, Career Academies, Advisor /Advisory Sessions-Promotes sense of belonging  Collaboration and Co-teaching  Celebrates successes Professional Learning Community  Culture of Respect and Trust focused on student learning  High expectations for all students  Promotes Risk Taking  Teacher leaders  Sense of Efficacy due to Positive Relationships  Unified and Sustained Efforts to Embed Change  Recognition /Celebrations of Achievement  Systematic and School wide response when students don’t learn 51

52 University of Louisiana at Lafayette52 Means and Standard Deviations for All Dimensions of Professional Learning Communities Survey __________________________________________________________________ DimensionMSD __________________________________________________________________ Shared and Supportive Leadership2.71.503 Shared Values and Vision2.77.464 Collective Learning and Application2.80.499 Shared Personal Practice2.82.510 Supportive Conditions- Relationships2.83.622 Supportive Conditions- Structure2.80.450 Cypress High School PLCA-R Results 52

53 University of Louisiana at Lafayette53 38 Caring Relationships 2.95.773 39 Culture of trust and respect 2.74.810 40 Celebration of achievement 3.14.721 41 Sustained and unified effort 2.53.808 42 Honest examination of data 2.80.808 PLCA-R Results for Supportive Conditions-Relationships Dimension Mean and Standard Deviation for PLCA-R Survey Statements _______________________________________________________ Statement M SD 53

54 University of Louisiana at Lafayette54 Highlights of PLCA-R Supportive Conditions-Relationships Greatest Levels of Agreement and Disagreement #41- School staff and stakeholders exhibit a sustained and unified effort to embed change into the culture of the school. 54

55 University of Louisiana at Lafayette55 In a professional learning community educators create an environment that fosters mutual cooperation, emotional support, and personal growth as they work together to achieve what they cannot accomplish alone. --PLC at Work Where are we Now? How the Small Learning Community initiative can help to advance Cypress High School Professional Learning Community to the institutionalization level of implementation in the dimension of Supportive Conditions-Relationships. How this reported perception of supportive conditions- relationships can be used to address the other areas of the Professional Learning Community that are at lower levels of implementation. 55

56 University of Louisiana at Lafayette56 Assessing Schools as Professional Learning Communities Dianne F. Olivier, EDFL - University of Louisiana at Lafayette Sandra Antoine, University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Iberia Parish Ronald Cormier, University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Iberia Parish Virginia Lewis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette/Iberia Parish Cheri Minckler, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Molly Stadalis, University of Louisiana at Lafayette/St. Mary Parish ???Questions???

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