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Putting Professional Learning Communities into Action AES as a Professional Learning Community.

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1 Putting Professional Learning Communities into Action AES as a Professional Learning Community

2 Henry Ford Said… “Success is merely a function of solving one simple, manageable problem at a time.”

3 Professional Learning Communities The most promising strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement is developing the ability of school personnel to function as professional learning communities. Milbry McLaughlin

4 What Are Professional Learning Communities A group of people who take an active, reflective, collaborative, learning-oriented, and growth-promoting approach toward the mysteries, problems and perplexities of teaching and learning Mitchell and Sackney (2000)

5 Effective PLCs An effective professional learning community has the capacity to promote and sustain the learning of all professionals in the school community with the collective purpose of enhancing pupil learning.

6 Effective PLCs have an impact on: pupils’ learning process and progress, attitudes, attendance individual teachers’ and other staff’s practice, morale, recruitment and retention individual leadership practice organisational learning practices among groups or across the whole school

7 Southwest Educational Development Laboratory - Austin, TX Staff Benefits Reduced teacher isolation Collective responsibility for student success Increased understanding of the roles teachers play in helping all students achieve More satisfaction, higher morale, less absenteeism

8 Southwest Educational Development Laboratory - Austin, TX Student Benefits Decreased dropout rate Less absenteeism Greater academic gains in comparison to traditional schools Smaller achievement gaps between students from different backgrounds

9 Characteristics of Professional Learning Communities Shared mission, vision, values, goals Collaborative teams have an unrelenting FOCUS ON LEARNING Collaborative inquiry into “best practice” Action orientation Commitment to continuous improvement Results orientation

10 Shared mission, vision, values, goals Why do we exist, what is our fundamental purpose? What kind of department do we hope to become? How must we behave in order to create the kind of department we hope to become? What steps are we going to take and when will we take them? By what criteria will we assess our improvement efforts?

11 A Collaborative Culture Creating a collaborative culture is the single most important factor for successful school improvement initiatives and the first order of business for those seeking to enhance the effectiveness of their schools. Eastwood and Lewis

12 The Focus of Collaboration Collaborative cultures, which by definition have close relationships, are indeed powerful, but unless they are focusing on the right things they may end up being powerfully wrong. Michael Fullan

13 A collection of parts that do not connect is not a system. It is a heap. O’Connor and McDermott (1997)

14 Essentials of Collaboration TIME DEFINED PRODUCTS NORMS FOCUS ON LEARNING GOALS RELEVANT INFORMATION ACTION ORIENTATION

15 TIME Regularly scheduled time must be made for departments, teams, and grade levels to meet during the school day and school calendar The expectation is that all school staff will be part of a Professional Learning Community

16 DEFINED PRODUCTS Products of collaboration must be explicit and expected Monitoring products and artifacts assist in assessing the effectiveness of the team

17 Norms of High Performing Teams Willingness to consider matters from another’s perspective Maintaining an action-oriented attitude Seeking feedback about evidence of the team’s effectiveness Engages in proactive problem solving Willingness to confront a team member that violates the norms

18 FOCUS ON LEARNING Teams focus on key questions: What do we want our students to know and be able to do? How will we know if they know it? What will we do if they don’t know it? What will we do if they come to us already knowing it?

19 When Teams Focus on Learning They Must: Clarify the essential outcomes for students in a course, subject or grade level Determine by month, quarter or semester when the essential outcomes will be taught and assessed Develop common assessments

20 When Teams Focus on Learning They: Establish specific targets/benchmarks for proficiency Analyze results Identify and implement improvement strategies Monitor student progress

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22 Quadrant C - Assimilation Students extend and refine their acquired knowledge to be able to use that knowledge automatically and routinely to analyze and solve problems and create solutions. Quadrant D - Adaptation Students have the competence to think in complex ways and to apply their knowledge and skills. Even when confronted with perplexing unknowns, students are able to use extensive knowledge and skill to create solutions and take action that further develops their skills and knowledge. Quadrant A - Acquisition Students gather and store bits of knowledge and information. Students are primarily expected to remember or understand this knowledge. Quadrant B - Application Students use acquired knowledge to solve problems, design solutions, and complete work. The highest level of application is to apply knowledge to new and unpredictable situations.

23 GOALS… Are translated into specific and measurable performance standards Are based on how each team, department or grade level will assist the school in advancing toward its vision and EPSS goal Are monitored continuously Are designed to produce short-term wins and long-term success

24 SMART Teams use S.M.A.R.T. Goals Team goals are: S- strategic and specific M- measurable A- attainable R- results-oriented T- time bound

25 RELEVANT INFORMATION Collecting data is on the first step toward wisdom, but sharing data is the first step toward community. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

26 To inform and impact professional practice, ensure all teachers: Receive timely and frequent information on the achievement of their students Meet an agreed-upon standard of performance or proficiency Compare results to agreed-upon standard Act upon the analyzed information

27 ACTION ORIENTATION Schools, departments, teams and grade levels must: take action based on the information gleaned from the data. design systematic support systems for those students who are struggling. Work constantly toward continuous improvement.

28 Louise Stoll (2004) Professional learning community Working towards sustainability Ensuring supportive structures Creating and transferring knowledge Offering learning opportunities Growing a learning culture Nurturing trust and relationships Making connections Promoting inquiry mindedness

29 AES as a PLC

30 Shared mission, vision, values, goals Why do we exist? What kind of department do we hope to become? How must we behave in order to create the kind of school we hope to become? What steps are we going to take and when will we take them?

31 AES Mission AES Mission Statement: Advanced Education Services addresses gifted students right to be provided with direction, time, encouragement, and resources to realize their potential in order to become confident productive adults.

32 Vision The vision of AES is to be an exemplary gifted program, to advocate for and meet the needs of each gifted student in the Las Cruces Public Schools, and to be an inspiration for all gifted educators.

33 Professional Values-7 Habits of Highly Successful People AES Facilitators are expected to act with character and competence. “ Sow a thought, reap an action; Sow an action, reap a habit; Sow a habit, reap a character; Sow a character, reap a destiny.” Samuel Smiles

34 Habit 1: Be Proactive (The Habit of Personal Vision) AES facilitators are expected to make responsible choices. AES facilitators are expected to be a Transition Figure. A person who stops the negative transmission of negative behaviors to others. AES facilitators are expected to be prepared for IEPs and other AES responsibilities. “I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor.” Henry David Thoreau

35 Habit 2: Begin with the end in mind. (The Habit of Personal Leadership) AES facilitators are expected to make principled decisions based on the four critical questions: What do you want your students to know and be able to do? How will you know when they know it? What will you do if they don’t know it? What will you do if they already know it? “ Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly

36 Habit 3: Put first things first. (The Habit of Personal Management) AES facilitators are expected to follow the six step process to help them act on the basis of importance to organize and execute around priorities. They are expected to share their plans with their administrators. AES facilitators are expected to put relationships first. AES facilitators are expected to relate with students, parents, colleagues and administrators with trust and respect. “What is important to another person must be as important to you as the other person is to you.” Steven Covey

37 Habit 4: Think Win-Win. (The Habit of Interpersonal Leadership) AES facilitators are expected to advocate for their students with maturity (i.e. with courage and consideration). AES facilitators should never side with the parent against school staff or school staff against parent. AES facilitators are expected to communicate equally with the all parties with courage and consideration. To truly advocate for the student, the AES facilitator is expected to help negotiate a win-win. “ Win-win is a belief in the Third Alternative. It’s not your way or my way; it’s the better way.” Steven Covey

38 Habit 5: Seek first to understand than to be understood. (The Habit of Empathic Communication) AES facilitators are expected to listen before they react. AES facilitators are expected to use courage and consideration in problem solving. Communication is the key. “The key to listening is through the eyes and heart.” Steven Covey

39 6: Synergy (The Habit of Creative Cooperation) AES facilitators are expected to seek to understand their school’s culture and needs. AES facilitators are expected to come to their building administrator with a win-win attitude to design a collaboration component that will not only serve gifted education but be a valuable asset to the school community as well. You have something to offer to your school. The school has something to offer your students. By combining those resources, our students will receive the best education possible. “ The essence of synergy is to value differences – to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weakness.”

40 Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw (The Habit of Renewal) AES facilitators are expected to Live! Learn! Love! Leave a legacy! “A long healthy, happy life is the result of making contributions, of having meaningful projects that are personally exciting and contribute to and bless the lives of others.” Hans Selye

41 Goal 1 Advanced Education Services offers gifted students flexible pacing options and opportunities; including accelerated curriculum, creativity and critical thinking skills and transition planning designed to encourage individual progress.

42 Goal 2 Advanced Education Services develops in gifted students an understanding of individual gifts and talents, which leads to: Valuing themselves and others Recognizing and accepting personal differences Using positive communication Strengthening self-efficacy and life resiliency skills

43 Goal 3 Advanced Education Services provides gifted students a framework and forum to explore the benefits of developing leadership skills and investing in their community

44 Goal 4 Advanced Education Services Facilitators serve as consultants to teachers, providing support that focuses on the needs of gifted students

45 Goal 5 Advanced Education Services Facilitators collaborate with parents and community to: To enhance the awareness of academic, social and emotional needs of gifted students To advocate for gifted education

46 Data from Evaluations Program Evaluations completed by AES facilitators Program Evaluations completed by AES facilitators Program Evaluations completed by principals Program Evaluation completed by elementary students Program Evaluation completed by elementary students Program Evaluation completed by parents of elementary students Program Evaluation completed by parents of elementary students Program Evaluation completed by Middle School Program Evaluation completed by Middle School Program Evaluation completed by parents of Middle School students Program Evaluation completed by parents of Middle School students

47 Objectives and Expected Outcomes AES Program Goals, Objectives and Outcomes AES Program Goals, Objectives and Outcomes

48 Policy Case Manager Responsibilities Review acceleration policy Review assignment policy Mileage Supplies Transportation

49 CELEBRATE Promote student learning through celebration Celebrate the learning of teachers

50 Hand in Hand, We All Learn Ultimately there are two kinds of schools: learning enriched schools and learning impoverished schools. I have yet to see a school where learning curves…of the adults were steep upward and those of students were not. Teachers and students go hand in hand as learners…or they don’t go at all! Roland Barth

51 We know how to do this job! -Debra Pickering Let’s focus on what makes a difference and go out there and do it!


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