The PBCCTA and PBCSD have been in regular communication regarding the PLC abuses that have been occurring at a number of schools throughout the PBCSD.
The Superintendent and his staff have taken the following steps in the past week to ensure that all school based administrators are aware of the following:
- – The Superintendent/Deputy Superintendent are personally meeting with each principal grade level group at their regular monthly meeting, to make clear and reiterate to them, “…what a PLC/common planning is and is not.” This should lead to a clear distinction between acceptable and unacceptable actions taken by school administrators, as it relates to PLCs. It has been made clear that, “…the PLC is a teacher-led group…”.
- – The District has directed all school administrators attention, once again, to the most recent bulletin regarding PLCs that stated these meetings are “recommended”, and not mandatory , or in any way contractually obligated. The Superintendent has made clear that, “…although highly recommended as a best practice, common planning is not mandatory…working together to improve student achievement should be the work of everyone in the school, regardless of PLC attendance.”
- – District staff is providing additional professional development and training to school administrators and teachers regarding PLCs. This will help clearly define what should and what should not occur, as it relates to these optional meetings.
- – The Superintendent and his staff have shown good faith efforts to continue working with the PBCCTA, to address individual school concerns brought to their attention.
**It is also worth noting that multiple school board members have listened to our concerns and conveyed them directly to the Superintendent and his staff. Like everyone else, they fully support the concept of the PLC and increased opportunities for teacher collaboration. However, they share our concerns regarding PLCs being presented as mandatory, when the District has emphatically stated they are optional.**
If you are still encountering PLC related activities, communications, or language from your school administration that implies that these meetings are mandatory or that consequences of any kind will befall you for not attending, please follow the steps below to allow PBCCTA to take appropriate action:
- 1. Document everything. If you receive any written communications by way of handouts or emails, make sure you save them. These will be extremely important in addressing any PLC related issues, as they would provide evidence of the abuses that may be occurring.
- 2. Send any and all information directly to President Katz (firstname.lastname@example.org). Examples would include any communications between school administrators and teachers, your personal account and interactions with administrators who have stepped over a line regarding PLCs in any manner, or anything else you believe to be pertinent to addressing your concerns. President Katz will directly contact the administration at your school site, as well as Superintendent Avossa and Deputy Superintendent Christiansen. Your name will ALWAYS be kept anonymous when PBCCTA approaches school and district administrators to remedy these issues.
It is the honest belief of the PBCCTA that the negative examples of PLC activities that are occurring throughout the district are the direct result of individual school sites and their respective administrations crossing the line between entirely appropriate, teacher-led, optional PLC meetings and administration-led, mandatory PLC meetings.
The District and Superintendent have shown a commitment to reigning in these abuses, and for that we do applaud their efforts.
It is also important for PBCCTA to state that in many schools, PLCs have become an indispensable means of fostering greater teacher collaboration and growth in teacher capacity in the classroom. All of which undeniably benefits our students and improves their potential learning gains. The common thread at schools where successful PLCs are occurring is they are teacher-led, stay focuses on issues deemed important to teachers (not administrators), do not include forced Professional Development pieces during your planning, and are truly optional and visit no negative ramifications on teachers who elect not to attend a particular meeting (or all PLC meetings) for that matter.
If you have any questions or concerns please email President Katz (email@example.com) and he will put all effort necessary into addressing said concerns.