Need for Collaborative Culture
In 2006, administration and the Board of Education accepted the reality that additional improvement in district wide student achievement would only occur in a culture that was both collaborative and student-centered. This would require a paradigm shift from the traditional culture to one focused on student learning and research-based professional development (teacher learning) with all staff working together as professionals for the sake of our students.
Implement Professional Learning Communities
We selected Richard DuFour’s model of a “Professional Learning Community” as the vehicle for our cultural change. This district wide transformation began with the Board and administration learning about professional learning communities through book studies, meaningful discourse and digging into the research. The Board approved schedule changes providing an hour early release of students each week to be used exclusively for large and small group collaboration focused on student achievement.
Create a Shared Vision
In 2011 the District, with input from stakeholders, changed its mission statement to mirror the four tenants of DuFour’s Professional Learning Communities. The mission statement is the basis for our Comprehensive School Improvement Plan which is student-centered and has student achievement as its primary focus. This paradigm shift was slow in the beginning, as with most cultural change, and was not easy. The district continues to cultivate a collaborative culture through the PLC model to improve student learning.
Post by John Lacy | Superintendent
This will be a resource built by the staff for the staff to encourage integration of 21st century skills into every student's learning.