District-Level PLCs

Use these resources to explore the ideas expressed in .

  1. - Ground Rules, or Norms, are important for a group that intends to work together on difficult issues, or who will be working together over time.  They may be added to, or condensed, as the group progresses. Starting with basic Ground Rules builds trust, clarifies group expectations of one another, and establishes points of “reflection” to see how the group is doing regarding process. Materials: Stickies. Chart Paper.  Using a T Chart to delineate norms of structure on one side and norms of conduct on the other helps to clarify who, what, when and how.  Norms are the bedrock of successful PLCs. Attention to these, and continual re-visiting before and after EVERY meeting is essential.
  2. - An engaging tool for “visioning”: what a school can be. This protocol is adaptable to any good driving question (“What our school or district look like as a PLC?”) and creates the groundwork for creatively approaching Vision (what we want to be)  and Mission (how to get there).  A modified version for school teams is also available in Step 2 Resources.
  3. - The vision statement, created before the mission statement through the Futures Protocol, communicates an ideal end result, a vision. It reflects values and beliefs, and should inspire and challenge. A vision statement does not describe what a company does, nor does it describe how a company operates.  Rather, a vision statement details an ideal end result, a state of being that the company would like to achieve. A vision for the school is an ideal. It is a picture of an ideal state in the future. The vision is the foundation for the mission, goals, plans, and activity of an organization.
  4. - Teachers often bring examples of work –in- progress, often the materials relating to an exhibition or project, cumulative assessment or student performance. The facilitator guides the group through a series of deepening levels of understanding—which culminate in warm and cool feedback; or student or teacher work they have a question about I terms of “tuning” it to better achieve their goal; to develop more effective curriculum plans, assignments, or assessments; To develop common standards or assessments for students’ work. To reflect on and gather ideas for envision of classroom practice.
  5. - To get feedback on a process or piece of work when the teacher, student, or group is experiencing difficulty, or when additional minds could help move it forward if the presenters feel “stuck”.
  6. Initiative Alignment Protocol - MS Word; PDF - Teams may use this protocol to get a sense of all of the initiatives going on in a district (or school) and how they connect to one another.  It gives team an opportunity to begin to prioritize initiatives and decide to focus on ones which have greater potential for impact on students. ( no downloads for this documents??)


U.S. Department of Education

  • Collaboration through Professional Learning Communities: Sanger Unified School District, An overview of how Sanger Unified School District implemented PLC work.
  • How do Principals Really Improve Schools, Rick DuFour and Mike Mattos. An article from Educational Leadership on how principals can lead efforts to collectively monitor student achievement through PLCs.