Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Professional Learning Communities in Arkansas

Pilot Project

The Arkansas Department of Education, in partnership with Solution Tree, is developing and expanding professional learning communities within schools. These schools will serve as working laboratory schools for the PLC at Work™ process, conducting action research and sharing best practices with other schools throughout the state.  

Intended Outcomes

  • Each school in the project will realize increased levels of student achievement through teacher collaboration, a relentless focus on learning, and a results orientation. 
  • Successful strategies (collaboration, assessment, Response to Intervention (RTI), instruction, engagement, etc.) will be identified, implemented and shared with other schools within the project and throughout the state.

What is a Professional Learning Community?

A professional learning community is an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. PLCs operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators.

The very essence of a learning community is a focus on and a commitment to the learning of each student. When a school or district functions as a PLC, educators within the organization embrace high levels of learning for all students as both the reason the organization exists and the fundamental responsibility of those who work within it. In order to achieve this purpose, the members of a PLC create and are guided by a clear and compelling vision of what the organization must become in order to help all students learn. They make collective commitments clarifying what each member will do to create such an organization, and they use results-oriented goals to mark their progress. Members work together to clarify exactly what each student must learn, monitor each student’s learning on a timely basis, provide systematic interventions that ensure students receive additional time and support for learning when they struggle, and extend and enrich learning when students have already mastered the intended outcomes. 

Act 427 of 2017

Act 427 of 2017 is an act that requires that any increase in professional development funding each school year be used for professional learning communities.

For more information, please contact:

Tina Smith, Director of Policy and Special Projects
Arkansas Department  of Education
Four Capitol Mall, Room 305-A
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-3667
Email: Tina.Smith@arkansas.gov

State Standards

Learn more about the standards that define the knowledge and skills Arkansas students should have in order to be ready for college and careers.

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Licensure & Certification

Find critical information about renewing Arkansas educator licenses, adding areas of licensure, licensing by reciprocity from other states, background checks and more.

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