Nationally, fewer than 200 schools have been recognized as a DuFour Model PLC School.
A professional learning community promotes collaborative learning among colleagues. The Professional Learning Communities at Work model, created by noted national educators Richard and Rebecca DuFour, is a network of schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved instruction for students is ongoing, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students.
Model schools are recognized based on strict criteria, including demonstration of a commitment to PLC concepts, implementation of these concepts for at least three years and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period. Once measurable results can be seen, the school’s practices, structures and culture are explained and submitted for consideration by the PLC Review Committee.
Northwestern Principal Jasmine Kullar credits the school’s success to her staff who pushed past their comfort zones and took on a new challenge.
“Our pass rates on the [Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests] have always been very high, which is why changing anything can be difficult,” she said in a press release. “But when we began focusing on our ‘exceeding’ scores, [which is the highest scoring category], we realized there were some changes that needed to be made because so many more of our students are capable of scoring in that category. As a result of our work with PLCs, our exceeding scores have consistently increased over the last three years.”
Fulton County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa said he applauds the efforts teachers at Northwestern have made to improve student learning and instruction.
“Their self-examination and willingness to alter their teaching style is resulting in more effective instruction,” he said in a news release.
Avossa said he welcomes collaboration with other PLC model schools as Northwestern is now part of the PLC network.