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Utah Districts Institute Common Planning Time

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There seems to be a lot of interest these days in on-the-job teacher training provided through professional learning communities, or teams of teachers that meet to review student data and samples of student work and compare teaching strategies. Now some districts in Utah are rearranging their school schedules to give teachers paid time to work this way, according to this story.

Two of the districts will start Fridays 60 to 90 minutes late, or end school early, to facilitate the common planning time.

The story gives some great examples of how this kind of professional development can be utilized. Teachers in one school, the story notes, decided to come up with some common math formative assessments. When they compare the results from these test, the teachers determine which teaching strategies were more fruitful.


1 Comment

This can be an excellent strategy for schools, districts, etc. that implement PLCs effectively. In Oakland, where I currrently work, we have seen mixed results with such a change in schedule. The principals and teachers that value this time are able to be thoughtful about their practice and make impactful changes in their classrooms and schools. On the other hand, many schools without effective leadership do not have a plan or vision guiding their PLC work and therefore these meetings end up being planned the night before (if they are planned at all), staff attendance is low, and little is accomplished if staff members to attend.

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