Apply to Be a Model PLC
Overview for Recognition as a Model PLC
Thank you for your interest in serving as a model professional learning community (PLC). To receive this honor, a school must:
- Demonstrate a commitment to PLC concepts.
- Implement those concepts for at least three years.
- Present clear evidence of improved student learning.
- Explain the practices, structures, and culture of the school or district, and submit it for consideration to the PLC Review Committee using our online submission process.
- Update school or district information on the site each year to show your data continues to meet the criteria of a model PLC.
Before You Apply
We recommend gathering the following information and documents before you begin:
- Demographic data
- Racial/Ethnic percentages (if applicable)
- Student achievement data from the past three consecutive years, with a basis of comparison between your school/district and that of your state/province
- Awards and recognition
You will also need to prepare responses for the following:
- Tell us how you created a successful PLC. (Recommended word count is 250–750.)
- Explain how you built high-performing, collaborative teams to focus efforts on improved student learning. (Recommended word count is 150–500.)
- Describe the strategies used to monitor student learning on a timely basis. (Recommended word count is 150–500.)
- Share how you created systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning. (Recommended word count is 150–500.)
Our panel of expert PLC practitioners will use the above criteria to assess each school or district. Please consider carefully whether your school or district meets each criterion. Want to see examples of what you’ll need to submit before you get started? Visit the See the Evidence page for sample information and data.
Guidelines and Tips for a Successful Application
- Ensure your data shows three years of successful implementation and sustained improvement, with a basis of comparison between your school/district and that of your state/province.
- Once you start the application process, you can save your work and come back to it at any time. To access your saved application, sign in to Your Profile and click Manage Schools. You’ll be able to pick up on the step where you left off.
- You will have the opportunity to review your completed application before it is submitted. Please double-check that each required text box is filled out completely. Simply writing “see attachment” in a text box will not meet application requirements.
- Before submitting your application, we recommend sending the application to several members of your team for review. You can do this by copying the URL of the application preview in step 8.
After You Apply
- After the committee has reviewed your application, you will receive an email of approval or explanation of needed improvements. The committee may also contact you directly if any application revisions are needed.
- Approved schools are required to update their data on an annual basis. To upload new data, sign in to Your Profile and then click Manage Schools. Here you can access your existing application, make the necessary updates, and resubmit your application.
- You can upload additional contact information at any time. When you sign in to upload your new data each year, we recommend updating your contact information too. To do this, sign in to Your Profile, click Manage Schools, and then click Manage Contacts.
- If your application is not approved, we encourage you to continue your school improvement efforts and resubmit another application in the future.
Criteria for Selection
Evidence of a Commitment to Learning for All Students
Teachers work in collaborative teams to build shared knowledge regarding state standards, district curriculum guides, the content and format of high-stakes assessments, and the expectations of teachers at the next level to clarify the essential knowledge and skills all students must acquire to advance.
Collaborative teams of teachers have clarified the specific proficiency standards students must achieve on each skill and the criteria they will use in assessing each student's proficiency. They have practiced applying the criteria to ensure consistent, reliable assessment of student learning. They help students understand the criteria and students use the criteria to monitor their own learning.
The school has a process for carefully monitoring each student's learning on an ongoing basis. This frequent monitoring of student learning includes common assessments created by the collaborative team of teachers responsible for the same group of students.
The school has a process for responding when students experience difficulty in learning (rather than leaving it to the individual classroom teacher to resolve). This coordinated process ensures students receive additional time and support for learning in a way that is timely, directive (rather than invitational), and systematic. Students do not miss new instruction to receive this additional support.
The school has a process for enriching and extending the learning for students who are proficient.
Evidence of a Collaborative Culture
Teachers are organized into collaborative teams by course or subject area. Members of teams work interdependently to achieve common goals for which they are mutually accountable.
Teachers are provided with time to collaborate during their contractual day.
Teachers use their collaborative time to engage in collective inquiry regarding issues directly related to student learning.
Evidence of a Focus on Results
Each team has identified SMART goals that are aligned with one or more school goals. The SMART goals focus on student learning and require evidence of improved student learning in order to be accomplished.
Teams regard ongoing analysis of results as a critical element in the teaching and learning process. They gather evidence of student learning from a variety of sources to inform and improve their individual and collective practice as part of a process of continuous improvement.
Each teacher receives frequent feedback regarding the success of his or her students in achieving a standard using agreed-upon assessments in comparison to the other students attempting to achieve the same standard. Transparency regarding results helps teachers learn from one another.
Student achievement in the school is clearly improving across the curriculum. High-performing schools are able to sustain their achievement over time.