Curriculum & Instruction
Professional Learning Community
A Professional Learning Community (PLC), is a proven practice to promote educator collaboration that increases student achievement. PLCs focus on learning rather than teaching, a culture of collaboration, and a commitment to results. Every decision the district makes supports one or more of the following PLC essential questions:
1. What do we want students to learn?
2. How do we know if students learn it?
3. What do we do if students did learn it?
4. What do we do if students didn’t learn it?
The simple idea of standards-based learning is to ensure transparency in all elements of the learning process: curriculum, instruction, assessment, and reporting. A transparent curriculum involves identification of priority standards. Teachers focus most of their instruction and feedback on these. Transparent instruction means teachers develop activities that help all students achieve. This is where differentiation, remediation, and enrichment come into play. Transparent assessment involves a common understanding among teachers regarding the many ways students might demonstrate proficiency (including both formative and summative assessments). It also involves consistently providing students with clear scoring guides or rubrics before they are assessed. Transparent reporting refers to sharing meaningful grades not for each subject area or class, but for each priority standard.
Standards-based grading is a way to view student progress based on priority standard proficiency. Marks are not a comparison of one student to another, but rather a way to measure how well students are progressing on grade-level/course-level standards. A standards-based grading approach allows parents and students to understand more clearly what is expected and how to be successful in the educational program. In addition, a standards-based grading approach :
- Clearly communicates expectations ahead of time
- Based on complex tasks, as opposed to rote memory
- Occurs when appropriate, not just on scheduled days
- Emphasizes the most recent evidence of learning
- Uses multiple methods of grade calculation to determine grades