|White River School District staff members have been working to change
the way we look at teaching and learning. Our goal is to shape the
White River School District into one of the top performing and
functioning districts in the state and nation. We believe one of
the best ways to accomplish this is by focusing on student
learning in staff teams called Professional Learing
Communities. National data and research strongly supports this strategy. The model for our PLC process is based on the work of Dufour, Dufour and Eaker. In most schools across the state and nation, teachers work in
isolation, behind closed doors, without the opportunity to
collaborate with their peers. We are changing that culture
through this process.
Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, we implemented a one-hour late-start time every Monday. During this common time, our teachers meet in grade level or department teams. Their work during this time is strictly dedicated to examining student work, developing common assessments and collaborating on instructional strategies. Using student data, they also work to design additional time and support for students who need it, and enrichment for students who already 'get it'. In White River we made a commitment to our school board, staff, students and community that this time would be used to improve student learning, and our state test scores have reflected that commitment.
On your left you will find
additional links and resources related to the PLC process, and specific
information about what that looks like in our schools.
We have frequent requests from other districts in Washington state and around the country to observe our teachers doing PLC work on Monday mornings. We believe that collaboration extends outside the boundaries of our own district. We also want to ensure that our teachers have time to accomplish their own work.
We have four Mondays set up during the 2012-13 school year when we welcome guest educators to come in and ask questions and observe. Included in the site visit fee is a one hour training, "What Would a PLC Look Like if We Really Meant It?" with Janel Keating, White River Deputy Superintendent and co-author with Dr. Robert Eaker, of Every School, Every Team, Every Classroom: District Leadership for Growing Professional Learning Communities at Work (2011).
The site visit fees are used directly for staff development. You can find more information and a visitation form in the menu to the left.
Below are some comments from last year's visitors:
"I wanted to touch base with you and thank you all for your hospitality during our visit. The principals all agreed that the visit to White River was the highlight of the trip. The knowledge they gained there far outweighed the NAESP conference!" Falcon Zone Schools, CO, Curriculum Director
"Thanks so much! I appreciated your time! Our visit was so impactful that we want to approach our admin about your model right away." Ellensburg School District, teacher
"WE are feeling the need to thank YOU for the opportunity to visit your schools and discuss authentic PLC process." Tacoma Public Schools, teacher
"The teachers were extremely helpful and I learned a lot from my time with them. Thanks for the wonderful opportunity!" Selah School District, teacher