PLC Team Attends Atlanta Conference

Casey Miller, Staff Writer

Campolindo teachers and administrators recently convened in Atlanta, Georgia, to discuss how the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model can better help students meet academic goals.  Counselor Jenna Wrobel explained, “Because PLCs re-emphasize engaging teaching and best practices, they will benefit all students.”

According to Wrobel, growth areas for Campo include reducing the achievement gap, the gap between higher-achieving students and lower-achieving students.  Another goal the administration has is reducing stress among students and staff.  More time has now been set aside for teacher collaboration. “If one class does a great activity, why wouldn’t I want to trial it?  Without space and time to collaborate, good ideas get isolated,” teacher Lindsay Webb-Peploe said.

“We are trying to improve student learning through teaching technique and assessment,” teacher Tom Renno said.  All teaching and counseling staff are now involved with PLC training.  Many members of staff have been to conferences, such as the one in Atlanta.  “There is a team, with a representative from every area of the curriculum, who meet monthly to discuss goals and progress,” said Wrobel.

“There were key speakers every day,” leadership teacher Dino Petrocco said about the conference in Atlanta.  “We debated everyday throughout the course of the conference to think about what we do well and how we can change.”  Math teacher Ken Ingersoll added, “We were flown to Atlanta using MEF [Moraga Education Foundation] money set aside for staff development.  We were lectured in the banquet hall of the South Tower in Atlanta.”

As for the changes to be seen at Campo, vice principal Scott Biezad said, “Students hopefully won’t notice the difference because we have such good teachers.”

Wrobel said, “We’re just starting; PLCs don’t have a finish line.  It’s about creating a permanent and lasting culture shift on campus that focuses on student learning, ongoing professional development, and ongoing self-evaluation of what we do and how we can do it better at Campolindo.”