Professional
Learning
Communities
Creating, Launching, and Sustaining
Collaborative Teams in Departments
and Offices
Michael Cieslak, Instructional Services
Laura Elliott, Assistant Principal, Island Creek ES
Laura Schanes Romstedt, Information Technology
Outcomes
• Understand the research and history
behind professional learning
communities
• Learn about the PLC journey for
Instructional Technology Department
and Professional Learning and
Accountability
• Make connections to what
collaborative teams might look like in
your place of work
Who’s In the Room?
Please introduce yourself to your
neighbor in front of you and behind you.
Name
Role
Department
What you hope to get from this session
Which picture best describes your knowledge and
experience of Professional Learning Communities??
A
B
C
D
Which picture best describes your school
or department’s implementation of
Professional Learning Communities??
A
B
C
D
PLC Background
• FCPS has been promoting and developing
PLCs in schools in varying degrees for 11
years.
• In FY10 a shared vision for PLCs for central
offices in FCPS was established and
introduced at Leadership Conference.
• Dialogue initiated about what PLCs mean
for departments
We learn. We collaborate. We deliver results.
We are FCPS.
A Shift in Focus:
Elements of High Functioning PLCs
• Shared and supportive leadership
• Shared values and vision
• Collective learning and application
of learning
• Shared personal practices
• Supportive conditions
Shared Leadership
When asked about staff
involvement in the process of
making decisions –
Shared Values and Vision
“Sharing vision is not just agreeing with
a good idea; it is a particular mental
image of what is important to an
individual and to an organization.”
Collective Learning and
Application of Learning
Shared Personal Practice
Supportive Conditions
Which five “Elements of HighPerforming Teams” are already present
in your office or department?
PLC Framework: 3 Big Ideas
CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT FRAMEWORK
• Learning as our Fundamental
Purpose
• Building a Collaborative Culture
• A Focus on Results
Information Technology
Learning As Our Fundamental
Purpose (IT)
Information Technology’s (IT) fundamental
purpose, our Mission, is:
•To provide technology leadership,
products, and services to the FCPS
Community.
•To manage division-wide information
resources, ensuring security and integrity
to the FCPS Community in support of
learning for all students.
Building a Collaborative Culture (IT)
• IT is committed to working together to
achieve its overarching goals and our
collective purpose of supporting learning
for all students.
• IT cultivates a collaborative environment
where work is performed by high
performing interdependent teams, trust is
fostered, open and honest communication
is promoted, and information is shared
freely and transparently in order to
achieve results.
A Focus on Results (IT)
• IT assesses the efficiency,
effectiveness and level of
customer satisfaction with our
work, based on measurable
results.
• Data is used to make informed
decisions that promote continual
service improvement.
A Focus on Results (IT)
The following critical questions are used as
input into the continual service
improvement process:
• What do we want to do to support
student learning? (plan)
• What are we doing to support
student learning? (do)
• How will we know when our support
of student learning is effective?
(check)
• How will we enrich and extend our
support of student learning? (act)
Reflection
What connections are you
making?
Professional Learning and
Accountability
Office of Professional
Practice
Our Fundamental Purpose (OPP)
The Office of Professional Practice
ensures that all FCPS employees
engage in professional learning
that enhances skills and practices
that inspire, enable, and empower
students to learn.
Our Operational Expectations
Big Idea 2: Culture of Collaboration
The Professional Learning Community
in OPP
OPP PLC
Team
Team
Dialogue and
Discussions
Better
Results for
our Clients
(shared mission, vision, values,
goals)
Team
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING AND TRAINING
OPERATIONAL EXPECTATIONS MONITORING REPORT
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Big Idea 3: Focus on Results
Better and
better results
for clients
Continuous Improvement
Plan
Do
Study
Act
Focus on
Results
3.Each team will regularly monitor
progress towards goal and adjust
accordingly.
2. Each team will use available evidence
to set SMART (strategic, specific,
measurable, attainable, results-oriented,
and time-bound) goals.
1. Each staff member will be a member of a
collaborative team (within OPP or interoffice)
Effectiveness ~ Efficiency
Customer Satisfaction ~ Completion of Initiative
OPP PLC Big Ideas 1,2, 3
Provide career
enrichment and
advancement
opportunities.
Develop collaborative
teams and professional
learning communities
Team
Team
Team
Support and
Provide Superior
training designed to
increase individual
and team
effectiveness
Team
Team
Team
Team
Measure
Action Steps
GOAL
Continuous Improvement
Identify and
develop a diverse
pool of strong
leaders to ensure
leadership
continuity.
How might your office or
department define the 3 Big Ideas?
What We have Learned…
Baby Steps…
PLC Core Focus Team
– Creation of common
language
– Modeled a PLC
– Created templates
– Helped each other
– Adaptive Schools training
Framework for Implementation
within IT
• Leadership Buy-In
• Started with one IT offices (IT Support
Services)
• Shared with and got buy-in from IT
Senior Management
• Provided Training (PMs and leaders
within ITSS)
Modeled within project teams
Standard vocabulary, agenda, etc)
Framework for Implementation
Within IT
Continues…
• Feedback to Senior Management Team
• Support from other IT offices
– Completion of Framework (3 Big
Ideas)
PLC in IT
– Adaptive Schools training
– Creating our own PLC
– Goal: provide recommendations for
next steps within IT
– PLC interdepartmental cohort groups
Lessons Learned…
The process…
• Starts off fuzzy… (no bullets)
• Requires consensus (and we’re not
there yet)
• Takes time
• Requires leadership buy-in and support
• Requires training
• Requires time to maintain/sustain
Lessons Learned, continued
You are not alone…
• Support
• Leadership Team
• PLA
• Other departments
• Other PLC cohort members
Which picture do you connect with
now?
PLC Cohorts 2, 3, 4, 5
• All Cohorts met on May 30, 2013
• Cohorts will meet monthly beginning in
September to learn about professional
learning communities and begin to
implement their knowledge in their
offices and departments
Other resources
http://www.fcps.edu/pla/opp/plc/index.shtml
Link to PLC eLearnIT Course
http://www.fcps.edu/it/elearnIT/
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