Hector P. Garcia Elementary School has one of the best Professional Learning Communities (PLC) in North America.
The Temple ISD elementary school is being recognized by Solution Tree for its sustained success in raising student achievement, and is only one of about 200 schools and districts in the United States and Canada to receive this honor.
Hector P. Garcia’s successful implementation of the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process was a major contributing factor in the improved achievement of its students.
“We are honored to receive this recognition,” Garcia Elementary Principal Sandra Reyes said. “Our goal at Garcia was to improve student learning. In order to accomplish this, we knew that new processes had to be put in place. We began by making a commitment to meet regularly, share our expertise with each other, and work collaboratively to improve our teaching skills. This led to the improvement of academic performance of our students, and since that commitment our campus has performed extremely well. The timing of this application was perfect because it came off the heels of the Solution Tree PLC Training that all campuses in Temple ISD participated in last year. All of this lines up Garcia for even more instructional success in the future.”
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 those students. The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to:
- Focus on learning.
- Build a collaborative culture.
- Create a results orientation.
“The Professional Learning Community process is embedded into the culture of Hector P. Garcia Elementary,” said Christine Parks, Temple ISD Executive Director of Elementary Education. “The entire campus is committed to working collaboratively to deliver rigorous instruction, assess student progress, reflect on data, and provide intervention support to ensure student success. This is evident in their latest academic results as well.”
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.
According to Richard DuFour, Rebecca DuFour, Robert Eaker, and Mike Mattos, 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.