1. Professional Learning Communities
A Guideline for Data Discussions
1. The primary purpose of a Professional Learning Community is to use data to
make informed decisions about instruction, with ultimate benefit to all students.
2. By the end of each PLC meeting, you should have a better idea of where your
students are as a group, as individuals, and/or in teams, and should also have had
an opportunity to discuss ways to change or improve instruction to better meet
3. PLC’s ARE NOT times to share discontent with a program or a group of students
unless it is focused on problem-solving: What can we do to make this better?
4. PLC’s ARE a time to share data notebooks and use them to tweak our instruction
to better meet the needs of the students. This may be a time to decide what types
of information you will put in your data notebooks.
5. Some questions to use to guide your discussion today:
A. What kind of data do we collect on our students? Name every kind, not
just the obvious ones like LOA’s and EOG’s. As classroom teachers, you
are still the most knowledgeable person in the classroom when it comes to
your kids. Think of the conversations that you’ve had with others where
you’ve said, “I know that Susie can read fluently, but she just doesn’t test
well.” What data or evidence do you have that she can read fluently?
How can you use your own documentation to show this? If Susie is not
reading fluently on AIMSWeb, does that mean that she is an at-risk
student? What other indicators cause you to believe she is or is not an at-
B. How can we SYSTEMATICALLY and PURPOSEFULLY use this data to
drive our instruction? How will we identify students who are/are not
C. What changes do we need to make to our program/schedule/lessons/family
communication/newsletters to address the needs of our students? Which
member(s) of our team can we tap for expertise? What ideas can we
D. Which group of students do we need to focus on? How are we meeting
the needs of at-risk students? AIG students? Average students?
E. How will we know if the change(s) we made are working? What kind of
evidence/data do we need for our next meeting to prove that our new
program is working?
6. By the end of your meeting today, you should have figured out an agenda that will
work for your team each time you get together for a PLC meeting. The agenda
should minimally have: 1. How each meeting will start. 2. What each person
must bring to the meeting. 3. Which items will be reported out by each member.
4. How decisions will be made about next steps. 5. What the focus of the next
meeting will be.