Blog

Preparing for the School Year with a Focus on Learning

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I have mentioned before that I met a mentor of mine, Dr. Sharon Kramer, in the summer of 2015. After going through what we did or did not have in place as a district, she asked the question . . . Read more

Introducing Our New Two-Part Documentary on PLCs

The professional learning community (PLC) process has become increasingly recognized as a powerful strategy for sustained, substantive school improvement. But do you know where PLC began and how it . . . Read more

Creating a Culture of Collaboration After COVID

As Robert John Meehan so eloquently stated, "The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspectives."  . . . Read more

Clarity precedes competence: Remembering the essence of a true PLC

Have you ever been in a meeting where people were using words, buzzwords, and you quickly understood that your colleagues did not have the same definition or understanding of the words used during . . . Read more

Turning a Vision into a Reality

Educators around the world are hopeful for a bright start to the next school year and a return to a new normal. It’s for all of these reasons administrators work with great intention to set . . . Read more

From Disaster to Success: Our Strategy Implementation Guide Design Story

When campus and district leadership started the journey on the strategy implementation guide (SIG) process, we saw the big picture. We knew it would help us guide our teams and provide specific . . . Read more

PLCs: The Path to Educational Equity

At Alisal, we know that being a Professional Learning Community means focusing on efforts on the four crticial questions. We know that we use data, not feelings, to drive what takes place in our . . . Read more

Pandemic Proved Importance of PLCs

At the start of the pandemic, our teachers struggled to know what to teach, how to teach, and most importantly, how to ensure high levels of learning for their students in a remote format, despite . . . Read more

Intervention: The Critical Safety Net

I've got to be honest, when I see people engage in recreational hobbies like free-climbing, I get extremely nervous. Perhaps the biggest reason is due to my severe fear of heights. I tend to . . . Read more

The Three Big Ideas That Drive the Work for Lead Learners

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“The most powerful and effective role the principal assumes is that of lead learner, not expert or ‘all knowing one.’” (Kramer & Schuhl, 2017, p.9) Phew...now . . . Read more

Why a Strategic Implementation Guide is a Must for a PLC

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When I first was introduced to the concept of professional learning communities, it just clicked. This is how we should lead our campuses. Read more

Better Together

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“A small team, committed to a cause bigger than themselves, can achieve absolutely anything” (Sinek, 2020). Over the last year, with all of the turmoil and change in the world, one thing has remained constant: our unwavering dedication to student growth and achievement. Within that statement, the most important word is “our.” Read more

From Theory to Practice: A Jigsaw Approach to an Elementary Master Schedule

Creating a highly collaborative school culture and high performing teams is multifaceted and can take many years to establish. Creating and maintaining a system of excellence is a hard job! Schools do not become great overnight and they certainly do not remain great without constant evaluation of systems and practices. The fundamental purpose of a school is learning, not teaching. Read more

Mrs. Gorman Changed My Life

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Not in an awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, hoping-Disney-buys-the-movie-rights type of way. But she was a life-changing teacher nonetheless. She was my English teacher in 1985, during my 7th-grade year at Richardson North Jr. High School in Texas. Read more

It’s Time to Get R.E.A.L.

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The start of the 2020-21 school year has been anything but business as usual. We have found ourselves navigating uncharted territory, tasked with reimagining teaching and learning amidst a global pandemic. Read more