Title

Are Professional Learning Communities Worth the Work?

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

The success of the professional learning community (PLC) at Renaissance Elementary School (RES) corresponds to Strand I - Academic Achievement and Leadership. Through the research of Richard Dufour, RES modeled best practices making academic gains in double digits.

Brief Program Description

Renaissance Elementary School has consistently received the Title I Distinguished School Award. However, when the CCRPI was introduced, it was evident a new way of thinking was on the horizon. To insure students remained academically successful, the school created professional learning communities (PLCs). This endeavor required all stakeholders to analyze, assess and create meaningful lessons and common assessments. It required the help of business partners, parents, teachers, administrators and most of all students. Join Dr. DeShazier and her team as they share their steps to making significant gains on the CCRPI with PLCs.

Summary

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) serve as a forum for teachers to learn, plan and analyze student data. Diagnostic, formative and summative assessments must be purposeful, consistent and rigorous in order for students to make significant academic gains. Renaissance Elementary School (RMS) developed PLCs to insure all students made academic progress. Instructional planning meetings were held weekly to create common assessments, rate students work samples and develop standards based projects. Exemplars and rubrics were invented to be sure students understood what “A” work looks like. With the help of student data talks, children were able to discuss their strengths and weaknesses along with developing attainable goals. Business partners sponsored curriculum nights for parents. Parents assisted by reinforcing goals at home with homework. Parent meetings were held to present strategies in math and reading. This hard work resulted in an increase of (2013) 15% points and (2014) 17% points in the academic section of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index. > >

Evidence

o Renaissance used the research from Richard DuFour’s book entitled -Professional Learning Communities at Work. Discussion groups were led by the principal, assistant principal, curriculum support teacher and data support specialist. Specific how-to information about transforming schools and best practices were implemented and evaluated. Specifically, we spent time studying the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards along with scheduling common planning for teacher preparation. Recommendations for improvement were then protected and practiced with fidelity.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Sandra C. DeShazier is currently the principal of Renaissance Middle School in Atlanta Georgia. She has been an educator for thirty years serving as a foreign language teacher and an administrator in elementary, middle and high school. Among the many honors her schools have received are: the National Middle School Career Center, Distinguished Title I School and the Govenor’s Award for Greatest Academic Gains. Along with being named to Who’s Who at Temple University and Florida A&M University Alumni, she was chosen as a participant in the National Board Principal Certification Program -Cohort 1. She holds a degree in Spanish and international business from Temple University; a master's degree from Florida A&M University and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Georgia State University.

Mr. James Payne is an assistant principal at Renaissance Elementary School. He has played an integral role in the school making notable gains on the College and Career Readiness Index (CCRPI) in the areas of math, reading and language arts. In 2011, he was named a Georgia Master Teacher for excellence in student achievement. He earned his bachelor’s degree as Georgia Southern University in early childhood education along with a master’s and specialist’s degrees in educational leadership at Troy University. Mr. Payne is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders, the National Science Teachers Association and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Keyword Descriptors

professional learning communities; data talks; assessment;goal setting;College and Career Readiness Index

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Are Professional Learning Communities Worth the Work?

Harborside Center East and West

Renaissance Elementary School has consistently received the Title I Distinguished School Award. However, when the CCRPI was introduced, it was evident a new way of thinking was on the horizon. To insure students remained academically successful, the school created professional learning communities (PLCs). This endeavor required all stakeholders to analyze, assess and create meaningful lessons and common assessments. It required the help of business partners, parents, teachers, administrators and most of all students. Join Dr. DeShazier and her team as they share their steps to making significant gains on the CCRPI with PLCs.