31 August, 2012 (All day)
As we begin a new year at Morgan High School, I am excited to renew many of the relationships I have with our wonderful students. As staff members of Morgan High School and Morgan School District, we are always looking for ways to improve our school system and continue to provide the students of this great valley a top quality education.
Beginning this year, MHS will begin participating in Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The elementary schools and middle school have been actively participating in PLCs for quite some time and have had a successful outcome because of their participation. Last school year, we participated in the state accreditation process. One of the areas of focus and concern was conducting PLCs at the high school level.
So what is a Professional Learning Community? A PLC is composed of collaborative teams whose members work interdependently to achieve common goals for which members are mutually accountable (DuFour). What will the collaborative teams focus on? Each week PLC teams will meet and focus on one thing: a commitment to learning for each and every student. How will staff members accomplish that goal? They will participate in many activities as a whole staff as well as collaborative teams. They will learn best practices, as well as look at current test scores, trends and issues within the school. We are in the beginning stages of the PLC process. We understand that this is a lengthy process, and it will take time to master and become as efficient as the other schools within our district.
Our goals for MHS professional learning communities will be to:
-Gather evidence of current levels of student learning.
-Develop strategies to build on strengths and address weaknesses in that learning.
-Implementing those strategies.
-Analyze the impact of the changes made and decide if effective or not.
-Apply new knowledge for continuous improvement.
As you can see, a PLC is a working organization that will take not only this year but an accumulation of years to come. I feel it is a step in the right direction for educators and students alike.
One of the big changes to help accommodate our goals was a change to the daily bell schedule. This school year we will begin class on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:40 a.m., and end every day at 2:30 p.m. Wednseday will be a late start day for students. School will begin at 9:25 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m. I think it is important to know that staff members will be participating in their PLC meeting every Wednesday morning from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. During this time, they will be discussing the issues that were outlined above. I would like parents to know that from 8:20 a.m. to 9:20 a.m., teachers will be available in their classrooms for what we are calling “Consultation Time.” Students will have the opportunity to gain extra help from teachers in specific subjects, and make up missed assignments and/or tests. This will be a great tool in meeting the needs for all students and helping each student meet their academic goals.
I am excited for the future of Morgan High School. Challenges and changes are never easy, but with our great staff and the best students in the state, we can move forward and meet the needs of our ever-changing society. I look forward to working with each of you this school year.