Professional Learning Communities


What is a Professional Learning Community?


Professional Learning Communities (PLC) are elementary, middle/junior high schools, and high schools that apply the concepts of a shared purpose, collaborative activity, and collective responsibility for results in student learning and achievement. It is a school improvement model that focuses on learning, guiding schools in finding the answers to four corollary questions:

  1. What is it we expect students to learn?
  2. How will we know what they have learned?
  3. How will we respond when they don’t learn?
  4. How will we respond when they already know it?

PLC’s are educators committed to working collaboratively in ongoing processes of collective inquiry and action research in order to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLC’s operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous, job embedded learning for educators.


What is the foundation for a Professional Learning Community?


Professional Learning Communities are built upon the 4 pillars that provide direction for the school as an organization and for the individuals within the school. These pillars are the mission, vision, values and goals that focus on the questions of:

  1. Why do we exist?
  2. What kind of school do we hope to become?
  3. How must we behave in order to create the kind of school we hope to become?
  4. What steps are we going to take and when will we take them?


How can my school become a Professional Learning Community?


Comprehensive training and support is offered through South Central Regional Professional Development Center that ranges from overview presentations, to the summer academy, to meetings throughout the school year, to the Powerful Learning Conference, to on site visits. Contact SCRPDC to discuss your school’s interest in becoming a Missouri Professional Learning Community.