Industrial High School is a small successful school that currently has a PLC by name, not by definition.
During our PLC meetings the assistant principal was present. We discussed student issues, EOC’s, and technology needs.
Rather that sacrifice our meeting time for activity conflict which occur frequently, we need to create a set block of time for the PLC meetings. We also need to make sure that every faculty member is designated a team so that all of IHS’ teachers can share in the vision.
We currently only assess our students knowledge with the TAKS test. We need to select a national test and use the results to guide student learning from those results. Yes our TAKS results are fantastic, but TAKS is a minimum skills test and our students have the capability to achieve much more.
We have some excellent teachers on our faculty that we can learn a lot from. We can share teaching strategies via PLC and shadowing. If we find an area in which we are weak, we can implement some professional development activities to address those issues. One area in particular is helping “at risk” students learn.
By reshaping our PLC to be effective in addressing student needs and campus/district goals we can ensure that we meet the needs of ALL of IHS’ students.
About IHS 2A school 390 students 26 teachers 1 principal and 1 half-time assistant principal 2010 projected rating= Exemplary 2009 rating= Recognized Rural
Current PLC TEAM 4 Teams x 4 members on each team= 16 26 teachers on campus?????? Teams meet one day out of the week for 45 minutes as long as there is not a schedule conflict. Estimated number of times teams met during the 2009-2010 school year=15 Discussion topics included: technology needs, new EOC’s, student missing work and failures
Definition of a PLC A professional learning community model is a powerful way of working together that profoundly affects the practice of schooling. It requires the school staff to focus on learning rather than teaching, working collaboratively on matters related to learning, and hold itself accountable for the kinds of results that fuel continual improvement. --Richard DuFour
Our improved PLC Plan Goal Number 1: Create a permanent planning period for PLCs to meet. Ensure that all teachers are assigned to a PLC team. Develop a shared vision amongst our team to improve “our” students learning.
Improvement Plan continued Assess our students by using a nationally accredited test such as the SAT or ACT to determine student needs. Use test results to guide curriculum and instruction. Encourage principal to attend meetings. Engage all members in ongoing dialogue during the meeting. Encourage teachers to conduct research that will better server their students.
Improvement continued Encourage teachers to shadow each other in the classroom and share what they learned that can improve the teaching of both the observer and the teacher. Discuss possible needs for professional development activities. Allow time in PLC to examine student work so that we can determine how to address student needs and adjust instruction.
Curriculum Needs Currently IHS has a zero percent dropout rate. Data shows that we have several students who are “at risk”. If we are going to keep our tradition of having a zero percent dropout rate we need to focus on meeting the needs of the “at risk” students.
Steps to address “At Risk” Step one: test students to determine their achievement level. Step two: develop a plan to address student learning deficiencies.
Steps continued Step three: Create PLC sessions to allow team members to share researched strategies that address teaching “at risk” students. Step four: After teachers have implemented researched strategies, they will assess students and determine growth in student learning.
District/school goals PLC’s are a great place to ensure that campus and district goals are carried out. Our current PLC meetings only address 1 or two of our campus/district goals. We shall designate PLC meeting sessions to focus on each specific goal.
Why make the changes? Our school currently teaches to the middle and upper levels of students. Our student populations are changing—this is evident in our enrollment at the elementary and junior high level. If we do not make changes to address the needs of our “at risk” student, our drop out rate will become existent rather than non-existent.