Blog

Connecting PLCs and RTI


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The fundamental purpose of the Professional Learning Community process is captured in Big Idea #1: When a school or district functions as a PLC, educators within the organization embrace high levels of learning for all students as the reason the organization exists and the fundamental responsibility of those who work within it. (DuFour et all, 2016) Read more

New Twists on the Old Exam Week

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Over the past few years, our district and our school staff have been working to improve our assessment practices. Most of this has been centered around AFL: Assessment for Learning. In our high . . . Read more

No Excuses for No Homework

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I’d wager that most middle grades teachers spend incredible amounts of time dealing with students and their homework issues. I’m also willing to bet that homework plays a major role in . . . Read more

When Homework Is Not Being Done at Home

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Whenever I present on effective interventions, one of the most common questions I receive is: “Too many of our students just won’t try . . . how do we motivate them to do their . . . Read more

Driven by DIVAS (Data, Instruction, Varied Assessments, and Supports)

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How do educators focus on improving student achievement when demographics and performance challenges seem insurmountable? The teachers at Licking Heights High School recently addressed this . . . Read more

The Seven I’s

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As principal of Viers Mill Elementary School in Montgomery County, Maryland, from 1997 to 2005, I learned a great deal about the benefits of operating as a professional learning community (PLC). As a community, we tried to keep our focus on the four critical questions… Read more

Special Education Used as Intervention

Isn’t the system of interventions what special education is designed to do? Some people think the PLC concept is just another version of special education. They suggest, “If the kids can’t cut it, why not just put them in special education? That’s why we have it… Read more

Teachers Key to Reversing High Failure Rate in Math

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We received a query from a high school principal about the failure rate in algebra in his school. At the end of the first quarter, 44 percent of students were receiving grades of D or F. At the end of the first semester, the rate had increased to 55 percent. When the administration met with the teachers to offer support, teachers took the following positions... Read more

Student Grouping in a PLC

We received a message from a school that had concluded assigning students to academic classes based on their ability was the best way to promote differentiated instruction for students. While we . . . Read more

How Will We Respond When Students Don’t Learn?

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It is essential to implement both professional learning communities (PLC) and response to intervention (RTI) because these complementary processes are considered research-based best practices to . . . Read more