The Arkansas Department of Education, in partnership with Solution Tree, an educational publisher and professional development provider, announces the second cohort of schools for the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ project.

In addition to the first cohort of 11 schools and one district designated in 2017, eight schools and two districts have been selected to serve as working models for the Professional Learning Communities at Work project for the 2018-2019 school year. As part of the project, these schools will receive up to 50 days of training, coaching, and support to build and sustain a strong culture of collaboration that will enhance student learning.

Schools were selected through a rigorous application and evaluation process. A panel of education professionals reviewed applications, and the ADE selected the following schools to receive support from Solution Tree:

Blytheville Primary School in the Blytheville School District East Pointe Elementary School in the Greenwood School District Greer Lingle Middle School in the Rogers School District Gurdon School District Hamburg High School in the Hamburg School District Howard Perrin Elementary School in the Benton School District Murrell Taylor Elementary School in the Jacksonville North Pulaski School District Oaklawn Visual and Performing Arts Magnet in the Hot Springs School District Quitman School District Rivercrest Elementary School in the Rivercrest School District  

“It has been exciting to see how the PLC at Work process is benefiting not only our teachers but our students here in Arkansas,” ADE Commissioner Johnny Key said. “I have seen first-hand how schools are collaborating and effectively implementing the process so that each student is showing growth. Our statewide PLC project supports the growth we expect to see with the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act this fall.”

“As we enter year two of our ongoing collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Education, all of us at Solution Tree are delighted to see the progress and accomplishments of the first cohort of schools,” Solution Tree CEO Jeff Jones said. “We look forward to welcoming the second cohort, as they implement and develop truly transformative professional learning communities for their educators and students.”

Selected schools will be matched with a certified PLC at Work associate from Solution Tree and receive intensive job-embedded training, observation and coaching. The schools will create action plans that focus on increasing student achievement through aligned curriculum, formative assessments and proven instructional strategies. During the second year, schools will deepen their understanding and focus on implementing multitiered systems of support, followed by strengthening their systems and sustaining the process in year three.

Act 427 of 2017, which amended Arkansas Code Ann. § 6-20-2305(b)(5), provides funding for the project. For more information, please visit the ADE website at http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/special-projects/professional-learning-communities-in-arkansas and follow this project on social media using #PLC4AR.

Quitman School District is among only eight schools and two districts selected by The Arkansas Department of Education to participate in the Cohort 2 PLC Pilot (see the list of schools here: Cohort 2 Schools.) The project will include a three year commitment with Solution Tree and the ADE. QPS Staff will receive intensive on-site support as we implement, deepen, and sustain the PLC at Work process. Assistant Superintendent Stacks states, “We are so grateful to ADE for this opportunity to partner with the ADE and Solution Tree to increase student achievement, staff learning and collaboration.” #PLC4AR. State officials have set aside $8.5 million for this 2019 PLC Pilot Program.