Setting up your PLC
The first month of the PLC will be devoted, in part, to determining how your group will work. Roles need to be determined, processes established, and the community building that is essential to an effective team needs to begin. Please note that it is YOUR PLC. This means that the ACCESS team will provide you with a framework for monthly meetings and also the supports necessary to facilitate the group. Ultimately, this professional development effort belongs to the members of the PLC. The members have the capacity to make it a valuable experience. They determine the needs of the group and they ask for resources and help when needed. It is up to the group to document the group's progress and to communicate the group's accomplishments. ACCESS empowers teachers to create curriculum. The PLC is one resource that the members have to support each other, share ideas, ask for help and move forward in the implementation of ACCESS. Your administrator will arrange someone to convene the first meeting where the members will identify the roles that each person will assume as you begin to develop your curriculum support system.
To get the PLC started, the initial meeting conveners should cut and paste the message below, fill in the blanks, make adjustments as appropriate and email the announcement with Advanced Agenda for week 1 to the members of your PLC. This email template is provided to make your work as easy as possible. Feel free to tweak the text as needed.
Dear Fellow Members of the ACCESS PLC,
I have been asked by (insert name of administrator who asked you) to convene the first meeting of the ACCESS Professional Learning Community or PLC. We will be meeting for two hours each month starting on (insert date of the first meeting) at (insert location of the first meeting). At the first meeting, we will review the dates, times and locations of future meetings.
While I will be sending out advanced agenda’s and facilitating our meetings, the ACCESS Curriculum team has prepared materials and resources that will guide us through the PLC this year. Approximately two weeks before each meeting, I will send out an advanced agenda that will include readings and preparations that classroom teams will need to complete together for the meeting. If you are the sole instructor in your classroom, let us talk about how you can partner with another ACCESS PLC member to form a team. During the ACCESS PLC meeting, your preparations will become part of the discussion so it is important that you come prepared.
I have included the advanced agenda as a link to this email. Please come prepared for our opening meeting. I look forward to working with you all this year.
(Insert your name/s)
Monthly Advanced Communication
Two weeks before each PLC meeting you will receive an email from the ACCESS team with the advanced agenda for the next meeting. This agenda will include the topic for the upcoming meeting, reading assignments, questions for the classroom teams to answer together before coming to the meeting and an invitation to request topics to be addressed at this meeting or, if more appropriate at a future meeting.
Monthly Meeting Guides
With the advanced agenda, facilitators will also receive a PLC Monthly Meeting Guide that includes the documents needed for the day of the meeting. This guide will include discussion prompts, sign in sheets, monthly progress records and goal statements for the following month. Resources offered by ACCESS can be shared via the website and technical assistance can also be requested.
Tips for Facilitators
Intentional and welcoming facilitators are an important factor in a successful PLC. Check out this short video for some great facilitation techniques. We strive to provide facilitators with the tools to have thoughtful and productive meetings.
Seeking Ohio Step Up to Quality Approval for your PLC?
Some programs would like to use the PLC toward their professional development hours required by Ohio's voluntary quality and improvement rating system, Step Up to Quality. If your PLC has this need, there are some extra steps that you will need to follow.