Entries by Mary Ann Ranells

Joyful Noise


The framework, process, and structure of professional learning communities often consume our thoughts and actions as we strive to increase student achievement by constantly focusing on answering . . . Read more

Why Size Doesn’t Matter


I have been blessed during the past 43 years to work in amazing school districts of all sizes—one as small as 600 students to one as large as 37,000 students. Time after time, school after school, district after district, we have learned size simply doesn’t matter for four main reasons. A highly functioning PLC continually examines and improves its capacity through four main elements: Organization, Execution, Persistence, and Celebration. Read more

Team Within a Team


The Lakeland Joint School District serves 4,100 students in 11 schools. Our journey as a PLC has helped us focus on the three big ideas: learning, collaboration, and results. One of our greatest . . . Read more

Idaho Leads Through Collaboration


The Idaho Leads Project is a professional development team focused on strengthening leadership capacity in K–12 schools in order to ensure the success of all Idaho students in the 21st . . . Read more

How Low Can You Go?


Our state legislature recently passed three major educational reform bills. The first one significantly restricts collective bargaining by local unions. The second mandates a pay for performance model based on school-wide achievement, and the third requires increased use of technology and online learning for high school students. Other than the pay-for-performance bill, introduction of these bills was done without input from educators or stakeholders. Read more