Klea Scharberg

Throughout October: Professional Learning Communities

Ensuring that all children are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged is fundamental for students to become college-, career-, and citizenship-ready. Our policies and practices need to be realigned to support the whole child. Professional learning communities (PLCs) have emerged as perhaps the best, most agreed-on means of continual improvement in instruction and student performance. Whether it be in a single school or online, in study groups, action research teams, communities of practice, or conversation circles, educators working together with a shared focus on learning and accountability help all students learn at high levels.

Join us throughout October as we take a look at collaborative and collegial learning environments where staff members feel safe to express themselves, discuss, and take an active part in the school-improvement process. During this month, make sure to check out the following.

The Whole Child Podcast

Tomorrow you can download the next episode of the Whole Child Podcast to hear from

  • C. Robert Maxfield, associate professor and teacher leadership coordinator in the Department of Educational Leadership at Oakland University in Michigan and cohost of the podcast series “Podcasts for Leaderful Schools,” a program that focuses on the importance of creating effective professional learning communities centered on student success;
  • Steven Weber, director of Secondary Instruction for Orange County Schools in Hillsborough, N.C., and member of the Triangle High Five, a regional collaborative that offers professional development on the topic of PLCs; and
  • Sunndip Panesar, a grades 6–12 online/distributed learning teacher in Vancouver, Canada, and a consultant for Generation: Outreach, where she helps teachers and education leaders overcome the challenges of PLCs and learn how they can be used to effectively affect student achievement.

The Whole Child Blog

Check out the Whole Child Blog throughout October for contributions from experts and practitioners in the field, whole child partners, and ASCD staff who will share free resources, provide examples of effective PLCs, and answer your questions. Be sure to leave your questions, ideas, and stories in the comments.

What Works in Professional Learning Communities

Visit the What Works section for a one-stop (free!) shop to explore issues that must be transformed for us to successfully educate the whole child. Our topic pages are a collection of resources on the topics we address each month. This month, we'll add resources to the Professional Learning Communities topic page. Tell us what has worked in your school and with your students. E-mail us and share resources, research, and examples.

Social Networking

Connect (if you haven't already) with the Whole Child Initiative on Facebook and Twitter to be part of changing the conversation about PLCs with nearly 10,000 people from around the globe.

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