The Grande Prairie Public School District is committed to the continuous improvement of student achievement and learning opportunity for every child in our schools.
The District has chosen the Professional Learning Community (PLC) concept to help us move into the modern era of learning. PLCs help develop an environment where teachers are no longer behind closed classroom doors, trying to survive the rigors of education alone.
In a Professional Learning Community, everything teachers do is focused on three guiding questions:
1. What is it we expect students to learn?
2. How will we know if they have learning it?
3. What will we do if students haven't learned it?
Embarking on the PLC journey is a change from the status quo as it requires a high degree of collaboration and demands teachers work together on all areas of teaching and learning. Teachers and administrators work together in grade level or subject specific teams that pursue common goals such as curriculum focus, common assessment and plans for responding to students who are not learning to the best of their ability.
Characteristics of PLCs include:
- Supportive and shared leadership
- Shared values and vision, including an unwavering commitment to students learning
- Collective learning where school staff collectively seek new knowledge and practices
- Supportive conditions to ensure the sustainability of the collaborative atmosphere
- Shared practices by school staff where a teacher's ideas and methods are reviewed by and shared with colleagues
By participating in a Professional Learning Community, educators in the Grande Prairie Public School District create an environment that fosters mutual co-operation, emotional support and personal growth. They are working together to achieve what they may not be able to accomplish alone. They are changing the classroom focus from a teaching environment to a learning environment with an overall goal of improving student achievement and success.