What is PLC?

On September 4, students spend time with friends during a period of free time. Any break from school is always appreciated. (Photo by T.Dent)

On September 4, students spend time with friends during a period of free time. Any break from school is always appreciated. (Photo by T.Dent)

Taylor Dent, Staff Writer

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USD 230 instituted something new this year: PLC days, which take place every Wednesday except when the schools have a four day work week. For many students, the late start times that come with PLC mean more sleep, or time to complete homework in the morning. However, these days were actually designed for the teachers. PLC stands for “Professional Learning Community,” and it is a way for teachers to have intradepartmental professional development days every week. 

“[Before PLC Wednessdays], professional development was being done on the given days when the students had two-hour early release days,” Marc Williams, principal, said.

Previously, the time teachers needed to collaborate within their department was extremely sporadic, and something different was needed, so the district turned to two guaranteed hours of development every week to improve both the ways that teachers teach and students learn.

“Ultimately, I think that PLCs will be very effective, because once a month [for] twenty minutes is not enough time to meet with a department,” Kerri Rodden, English teacher, said. 

She went on to add that the extra time they now have gives her department the time to go over things like test scores to determine how well students are retaining information. Teacher-to-teacher work is crucial to maintaining an effective learning environment. If teachers never got any time to work with one another, then the learning environment of the school would greatly suffer.

Students are finding benefits in these late starts as well.

 “It really lessens the stress on a school day, because you don’t have to get up and go straight to school, because I like to get up at the same time but still do things,” Morgan Lahner, 10, said. Many are finding that they actually have the time to both make and eat a good breakfast, which they often do not do otherwise.

No matter what they may use the time for, everyone can agree that these new PLC days will be a huge benefit for all.

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