New York School Focuses on Individual Learning Via PLCs

Chatham Middle School, Chatham, N.Y.

Long before the term “professional learning community” became popular, the Chatham staff functioned as such—reading reports of education research, visiting other schools, piloting an advisory program, examining data, and discussing what worked and what needed tweaking. Students are as proud of their Chatham “home” (and their home and classwork that covers every nook and cranny) as they are of the brotherly love that defines school culture. Guidance counselor Jackie Hoffman states, “Every student is an individual, and we make certain that each one gets the nurturing he or she needs.” Chatham’s character-building effort has been sustained by an engaged faculty who listen to students and shape them to lead the charge to change the world.

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