Heritage Middle School in Catoosa County was recently recognized by Solution Tree for its sustained success in raising student achievement. Heritage Middle School’s implementation of the Professional Learning Communities at Work process was a major contributing factor in the improved achievement of its students.
PLCs are schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve the students. The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to focus on learning, build a collaborative culture, and create a results orientation.
Responding to news of the recognition, Principal Melissa Butler said, “The faculty and staff at Heritage Middle have worked tirelessly over the past few years to make collaborative work and a focus on student learning the cornerstone of our instructional practice. Our teachers believe that every single student can learn at high levels of mastery, and I am incredibly proud of their efforts to create a learning environment that supports this belief. I am honored that HMS has now been recognized as the first middle school in the state of Georgia to earn the status of being a Model PLC school, but I’m even more proud of what that title actually means for the future of every child who walks through our doors.”
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 must explain its practices, structures, and culture and submit its application for consideration by the PLC Review Committee.
Superintendent Denia Reese said, “I am thrilled that Solution Tree recognized the hard work and dedication of teachers and administrators at Heritage Middle School with their Model PLC distinction. I have witnessed their relentless focus on individualizing instruction so every child achieves success at high levels. In order to ensure high levels of student success, teachers and administrators have been diligent in implementing PLCs with fidelity. The system’s value statement is every child, every day, without exception. HMS is the epitome of this value statement.”
According to the Champions of PLC at Work, educators in the schools and districts selected for this recognition have shown “a sustained commitment to helping all of their students achieve at high levels. They have been willing to alter the structure and culture of the organization to reflect their commitment. We applaud them and congratulate them for achieving this very significant milestone on the never-ending PLC journey.”
Recognized model PLC schools are listed on allthingsplc.info, where they share implementation strategies, structures, and performance with other educators interested in improving their schools. Tools for team collaboration, articles and research about PLCs, blog posts, and other related resources are also available on the site. The site was developed and is maintained by Solution Tree, a leading provider of educational strategies and tools that improve staff and student performance. For more than 20 years, Solution Tree resources have helped K-12 teachers and administrators create schools where all children succeed.