I will be presenting at the North Dakota PLC Summit this week. As I was preparing my presentation I put together a few suggestions for districts that are exploring embedded PLC time.
We cannot expect this work to occur during their prep, after school, during lunch, before school and etc. I believe we must embed a specific time that is consistent across the district.
Find a consistent time that works for your district. The time should be consistent across the district. This will help administrators support each PLC. This will also help with vertical meetings that will need to occur to address gaps and overlaps with curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Meetings should occur at minimum once per week. If we aren’t meeting once per week we forget about our focus and it's harder to get back on track and use the time efficiently.
We need to ensure that this time is protected and considered sacred. People will try to consume this newly found time with meetings that don’t matter. Administrators need to protect this time. That means no practices, activity meetings, advisor meetings, and etc. The only thing that occurs during this time are activities that are associated with the PLC.
Target Wednesday morning for the day to implement PLCs. I truly believe there isn’t a better time than Wednesday morning. I don’t want our coaches and advisors to miss this time due to practice. There are typically less events and vacation days on Wednesdays.
What will you do with the students? We still allow all students to be dropped off at their regular times. In the elementary school, we have upwards of 100 students that head to the library to read silently, read with a friend, or be read to. This alone has been a positive for kids. For the remainder of our students we have our para educators supervise students.