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ABCs and 123s: A Look at the

Effectiveness of PLCs at
Gretchko Elementary
Thomas DeGrand
Sally Drummond
Gregory Ristau
Dianne Shepich
----Oakland University (EdS)
May 14, 2016

When something is truly a priority in an


organization people do not hope it
happens; they develop and implement
specific plans to ensure that it happens.
Dufour, Dufour, Eaker, & Many (2006)

Four Critical Questions of PLCs


1.
2.
3.
4.

What do we want students to learn?


How will we know if they have learned it?
What will we do if they didnt learn it?
What will we do if they already know it?

Gretchko Elementary Demographic Information

400 students in grades Kindergarten and First


17% Free and Reduced Lunch Population
One of five elementary schools in the West Bloomfield School District located
in Oakland County, Michigan
Six sections of Kindergarten and eight sections of First Grade

Action Research Questions


1. To what extent has the PLC process been implemented in kindergarten at
Gretchko Elementary?
a. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the kindergarten PLC?
b. What are the kindergarten staff opinions about the extent to which PLCs
have been implemented?
2. To what extent has the PLC process been implemented in first grade at
Gretchko Elementary?
a. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the first grade PLC?
b. What are the first grade staff opinions about the extent to
which PLCs have been implemented?

Action Research Questions Continued


3. How effective has the kindergarten PLC been at improving student achievement
in English Language Arts?
4. How effective has the first grade PLC been at improving student achievement in
English Language Arts?

Data Collected
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Staff surveys
Student surveys
PLC meeting observations
Student reading assessment data
Student writing assessment data

ELA Data Analysis - Kindergarten

ELA Data Analysis - First Grade

ELA Data Analysis - Kindergarten

ELA Data Analysis - First Grade

Staff Survey Results


PLC Strengths

Collaboration, use of common assessments, administrative support, analysis


and use of data, creation of SMART goals, established interventions

PLC Areas of Improvement

Allocation of meeting time, amount of SMART goals, length of meetings, more


time for across grade level collaboration

Conclusions

Staff effectively collaborates and analyzes reading and writing data to


develop student interventions to increase student achievement
Staff is moving toward the use of multiple data sources to determine
research-based interventions for students at MTSS tiers two and three
The data collected indicates strong student growth due to quality instruction
and the implementation of interventions for struggling students
Elements of a well-functioning PLC are evident; staff generated agendas,
posted norms, SMART goals, collaboration around data sources, and specific
facilitation roles

Recommendations
Prepare for changes in current PLC strategies to account for the
addition of second grade at Gretchko Elementary
Investigate the development of a summer reading program or other
research based strategy to address summer loss in ELA scores
Evaluate the quality and quantity of SMART goals at Gretchko
Elementary
Address staff concerns regarding the time needed to effectively
implement PLCs

Implications for Future Research


Addition of second grade at Gretchko and how it will impact the
current culture and framework of PLCs
Investigation of other school district models with regard to how the
PLC model is implemented efficiently and effectively
Interest Based Bargaining provides an avenue for improving current
PLC frameworks

For More Information


Contact:
thomas.degrand@wbsd.org
sally.drummond@wbsd.org
greg.ristau@hvs.org
dshepich@yahoo.com