Professional Learning Communities are increasing student achievement in LPS
For the past four years, Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) have provided time for teachers to meet together in teams to analyze data, solve student learning challenges, and improve instruction. These PLC meetings occur during 10 late-start morning throughout the school year. While teachers also meet at other times when they can, PLCs represent the only times set aside specifically for teachers to look at data and have the important conversations about how to help each child achieve at higher levels.
During these meetings, teachers discuss:
1. What is essential for students to learn?
2. How will we know when each student has learned it?
3. How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?
4. How will we respond when a student already knows it?
It’s important to remember that no instructional time is lost during late-start mornings. The calendar was restructured, and seven minutes were added to every school day when PLCs were first implemented.
Students are clearly benefiting from this collaborative effort among teachers
LPS students continue to outscore the state average by as much as 22 percentage points proficient and advanced in all grades and all subjects tested on CSAP
LPS ranks at the top in 14 of the 27 areas (all grades and all subjects tested) compared to other Denver area school districts. LPS ranked in the top three in all 27 areas tested.
LPS students demonstrate the greatest growth in elementary reading and writing and high school writing and math among Denver area school districts.
LPS is the only Denver metro area school district to be Accredited with Distinction, the highest academic accreditation rating given by the Colorado Department of Education. There are only 14 out of 178 school districts in Colorado that have been Accredited with Distinction!
LPS high schools have the highest graduation rate and the lowest dropout rate of any high schools in the Denver metro area.
In 2007, when PLCs were first implemented, 78% of all students were on or above grade level in reading, math, writing, and science. Today, 82% of all students are on or above grade level in reading, math, writing, and science.
Principals report that classroom instruction is much better than it was five years ago because teachers now have time to share best practices with one another, which strengthens everyone’s efforts.
“It continues to be our firm belief that our students deserve the very best instruction and individual attention that we can provide, “said Connie Bouwman, assistant superintendent of learning services. “PLCs make this possible, and the evidence that this approach works is very clear. It’s exciting to see our students making such impressive academic gains.”