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 to high levels.

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From the Whole Child Blog

Building a Community of Learners

A successful learner is a child who enters school emotionally and physically healthy, feels safe and is ready to learn, is connected to the school and the community, and has access to challenging and engaging academic programs. A successful learner is prepared for further education, work, and civic life. When schools implement this whole child approach to education, they make healthy development, student learning, and academic achievement cornerstones of comprehensive, systematic, and collaborative school improvement.

So, we need to talk. The adults at the school need to talk about how students are learning and what and how teachers are teaching. Effective professional learning communities (PLCs) provide opportunities for adults to learn and think together.

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Whole Child Examples

Elementary Example

Sharing Ideas for Higher Achievement

Sanger Academy Charter School’s designation as a California School to Watch comes as no surprise in a district where collaboration is the key to success.

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All Professional Learning Communities Examples

Elementary Example

Rural Schools Team Up for Success

Middle Grades Example

New York School Focuses on Individual Learning Via PLCs

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Building a Better School Community: Using PLCs to Support Student Success


In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we take a look at collaborative and collegial environments that focus on learning and accountability to help all students learn to high levels.

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Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.