There are regularly questions from members regarding Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The following FAQ is based on a document created by the plc committee and attempts to answer a number of those questions. Our current Letter of Understanding governing PLCs can be found in our contract.
Why can’t we have half day PLC?
Currently, a school day must include 300 minutes of instruction for students to county as an attendance day. If we have longer PLCs (even if there were fewer of them), those days would not count as attendance days and would require additional days to be added to the school calendar.
Why can’t I work in another location?
You can! PLCs may work in another location, but those involved should work with their administration. An alternative location should be a professional setting. For example, IMC specialists may choose to meet at a library or nurses may arrange to meet in a hospital or healthcare setting.
Why can’t I collaborate with other educators?
Collaborating with other educators is allowed. Staff who wish to meet with other staff in their building or within the district should make arrangements with their administration.
Why can’t we bring in an expert in a particular topic?
A PLC can absolutely bring in an expert to work with on a particular topic. Due to logistics and potential costs, this should be arranged with your administration and may require input or approval from others in the district.
What guidelines should be followed when planning/structuring team meetings?
Please refer to the PLC Guiding Document.
Does our PLC have to have pre or post data?
PLCs should be using data to help them decide if they have made progress toward or met their goal. It does not need to be a pre/post test combination.
What do you do with a PLC member who is not actively participating?
There may be reasons someone is not actively participating, although attendance and professional participation is expected of everyone. It is a good idea to establish group norms when a new PLC is formed and then to review those group norms at the start of every year or semester. There should be minutes or a recording document kept for each PLC and attendance should be recorded.
How would our PLC do a book study or host a speaker if it requires funding?
Please refer to PLC Guiding Document. If funding is needed, a request should be made to the appropriate building and/or district administration.
What is the timeline for a PLC?
It depends on the nature of the PLC goal. It could vary from a few meetings to an entire year.
What documentation is required after each meeting?
Please refer to the Sample Recording Document. Actions/Data/Results could be in bullet point format or short explanations. Long and detailed information is not required.
Can my PLC meet virtually?
If members of different buildings would like to collaborate, teams may meet virtually. Members are still expected to be at a Unit 5 facility unless arrangements have been made with administration for an approved alternative professional setting.
Can paraprofessionals be members of a PLC?
Yes! Paraprofessionals may join and participate in a PLC. This is a great opportunity for collaboration and professional development. Paraprofessional who are interested in participating in a PLC should make arrangement with their administrator to avoid scheduling conflicts.