A core principle of a professional learning community (PLC) is the attention to student learning. However, adult learning is just as important. This learning happens in a variety of ways. For example, a PLC operates under the assumption that on-going, job-embedded learning for educators is the key to improved learning for students. Through the collaborative process, teachers focus on student learning, identify needs, and engage in collective inquiry about best practices that will address the current needs. This embedded learning is supported by the structure of weekly late starts and early outs and allows educators to respond to student needs in a timely manner.
Technology integration is another priority for the Cedar Falls Community School District. The goal is to integrate technology in support of a curriculum which will provide innovative, challenging, and effective learning experiences that will enable all students to succeed in the global community.
Instructional Practices Inventory
Teams from each building participate in Instructional Practices Inventory (IPI) training. This is a comprehensive school-based continuous improvement process that includes data collection of instructional practices and student engagement. Buildings set and monitor goals based on this data in an effort to increase student achievement.
Providing a safe and healthy learning environment is an on-going priority for Cedar Falls Community Schools. The District’s Safety Committee has extensively researched the options for best practices in emergency situations and has recommended adopting a plan that gives teachers and students options to increase survivability. These options save lives whether they are used in a school building or elsewhere in the community and are based on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Run, Hide or Fight” recommendations.
Response to Intervention (RtI)
At the K-6 level, all schools are engaged in Response to Intervention (RtI) training. This decision-making framework complements the PLC process through the use of data and the focus on learning at high levels for all students. For more information about RtI, visit : http://educateiowa.gov/index.php?option=com_content&id=2562