According to educator Richard DuFour, a professional learning community is “an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators.”
As Educare, Donoghue Elementary, and North Kenwood/Oakland Elementary came together to create a model of public education from birth to college, the primary initial mechanism for collaborative, embedded professional development and alignment was Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Guided by a logic model, the PLCs had the following characteristics:
- Across three schools
- Across age/grade levels—members work with children from birth to 3rd grade
- Topic based
- Focused on birth-to-college alignment
Six PLCs were formed, and we share a snapshot of their work to demonstrate how each PLC approached its work. PLC members also discussed what they learned from their PLC experience in a video.