North Adams Community Schools Professional Learning Communities
As stated in AMLE Research Summary - Professional Learning Communities (2012). Association for Middle Level Education:
A professional learning community (PLC) involves much more than a staff meeting or group of teachers getting together to discuss a book they’ve read. Instead, a PLC represents the institutionalization of a focus on continuous improvement in staff performance as well as student learning. Called “the most powerful professional development and change strategy available,” PLCs, when done well, lead to reliable growth in student learning.
In a nutshell, PLCs entail whole-staff involvement in a process of intensive reflection upon instructional practices and desired student benchmarks, as well as monitoring of outcomes to ensure success. PLCs enable teachers to continually learn from one another via shared visioning and planning, as well as in-depth critical examination of what does and doesn’t work to enhance student achievement.
Further supported by Professional Learning Communities (2009). The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement:
The focus of PLCs is ongoing “job-embedded learning,” rather than one-shot professional development sessions facilitated by outsiders, who have little accountability regarding whether staff learning is successfully applied. In addition, PLCs emphasize teacher leadership, along with their active involvement and deep commitment to school improvement efforts. PLCs therefore benefit teachers just as much as they do students.
The purpose of PLCs at North Adams Community Schools is not only to create a concise focus of intentionality of best practices but also to create and cultivate a learning organization for all stakeholders.