PLC

Professional Learning Community title
What?

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) provide essential time for educators to analyze student learning data to improve interventions, extensions, and classroom instruction. Like many other professionals who work in teams or have professional consults, teachers need time for professional interaction to maximize their teaching and, more importantly, their students’ learning. It is a research-based practice that is embraced by thousands of high performing schools across Kansas and the nation. And even though PLCs aren’t new, we are one of only a few districts who have chosen to provide additional learning activities for students, at no cost to parents, to relieve the burden of this essential practice for parents. Photo of Jennifer Schenk, PCES Teacher with a quote about professional learning communities

Why?

The answer for this is simple; the one and only purpose is to enhance the educational outcomes for each and every student. The vision for teaching and learning in our district is that we will “ensure high levels of learning for ALL students in the areas of academic preparation, employability skills, and social-emotional development, so that all students graduate college-ready, career-ready, and life-ready for a successful future.” Becoming a Professional Learning Community (PLC) district is essential for us to reach this lofty goal. Educational research is abundant and clear that implementing PLCs results in increased student learning outcomes and increased teacher collective efficacy. The Board of Education has set the goal for the Spring Hill School District to be one of the top two districts in the state. If we are going to attain that status, we must change how we approach student learning in the areas outlined above. We must be bold enough to do what is best for our students, even if it isn’t easy or popular.

Photo of Renee Stallbaumer with quote about professional learning communities
How?

On 26 Wednesdays throughout the school year, time will be provided for teachers to engage in professional activities which have been shown to improve student learning. This will provide the potential for early release at the elementary level and late arrival at the secondary level, but the district will provide learning activities for students during this time to avoid inconveniences for parents. The PLC schedule is slightly different at each level, see below.

High School (Regular schedule 8 am - 3:10 pm)
7:45 - 9:05 am - Teacher PLC time
9:10 am - Academic classes begin
3:10 pm - School dismissed

Middle School (Regular schedule 8:05 am - 3:20 pm)
7:45 - 9:05 am - Teacher PLC time
8:05 - 9:05 am - Student Learning Activity/Club time
9:10 am - Regular academic classes begin
3:20 pm - School dismissed

Elementary School (Regular schedule 8 am - 3:10 pm)
8:00 am - 2:10 pm - Regular class time
2:20 - 3:10 pm - Student Learning/Activity time
2:20 - 3:40 pm - Teacher PLC time

Options for Students/Parents

High SchoolHigh school will start at 9:10 am on Wednesdays that are dedicated to PLC-time. Busses will run one hour later than normal on these days. Students will be allowed to arrive at school at their normal time or arrive later, in time for the tardy bell at 9:10 am. Later start times for students allow for students to sleep later on these days, which has been associated with positive gains in learning. Students who arrive early will have designated study areas and designated places to socialize, both of which will be supervised by school staff.

Middle School – Middle school busses will run at their normal time. Although academic classes won’t start until 9:10 am, students may arrive at any time after 7:40 am. From arrival until 8:10 am, students can grab breakfast and socialize as they usually do. From 8:10 - 9:10 am, there will be a variety of activities from which students may choose. Typical choices will be: various student clubs, quiet study/homework time, character/team-building activities, physical activity, and special speakers. YMCA will direct and supervise these activities with assistance from other school staff, such as paraprofessional educators.

Elementary School – The regular classroom school day will end at 2:10 pm. Parents have the option of picking their student up at that time or letting them stay for PLC-time learning activities. Parents will be asked to “sign-up” for PLC-time activities during enrollment, so schools can appropriately plan for the number of students that will be staying. Busses will run at their normal time, allowing those students to participate in activities. Starting at 2:10 pm, students who will be picked up will be guided from their classrooms to the pick-up car line. After these students leave, students will be consolidated, if needed, by grade level to participate in smaller group learning activities, such as STEM learning projects, character development, and reading time. On a rotation basis, students will also participate in larger group activities, such as team-building and physical activity. All activities will be directed by the YMCA and will be supervised by school staff, such as educational paraprofessionals and YMCA leaders. PLC-time will be an engaging learning time for students, but also provides an optimum time for parents to pick up students to provide additional family time or schedule activities, such as dental appointments.


 

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