Site Meter Josh's Blog: Leadership Retreat, Day 2 - PLC's

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Leadership Retreat, Day 2 - PLC's

Today was Day 2 of the Leadership Retreat. We spent most of the day talking about Professional Learning Communities (PLC's), and spent some of the day discussing legal issues regarding labor. We were joined today by two of our partners - Michael Fullan's team to work with us on PLC's, and the Panasonic Foundation and Ct. Center for School Change who are working with us on systemic reform issues.

Winnie Hamilton and Eileen Swerdlick facilitated the session on PLC's. They were amazing. We worked in mixed groups of 8 comprised of elementary, central office, middle and high school, with no one from the same school in a group. We discussed the research on PLC's so that we can have a consistent and common understanding of what they are. We then reflected on and assessed our own school or unit's level of implementation of PLC's. We also watched a wonderful video of a school that has had great success in increasing student achievement through a PLC approach.

What struck me the most about today was how excited and engaged everyone was around this idea of creating communities of learners who have a single-minded focus on student achievement. This year is going to be an incredible experience for us as we learn together about how to improve instruction for each and every child. I also appreciated the fact that everyone realized that we can't do it alone - no one has all the answers. We have to think like scientists who stick to a rigorous process, constantly look at the data, try different approaches and work together until they get it right. I'm thrilled by the committment that the administrators have to making this work. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity we have to work with Michael Fullan on PLC's.

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