SNSD Uses State Grant To Implement Professional Learning Communities

Smackover-Norphlet School District teachers are currently benefiting from a grant awarded last spring, with the end goal being an even more significant benefit to SNSD students in the near future.

SNSD faculty are undergoing training provided by Solution Tree, a professional development company out of Bloomington, Ind., to implement a program of Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs. This training is made possible by a grant of more than $300,000 provided to SNSD last spring from the Arkansas Department of Education. The goal is to fully implement the program in SNSD over the next three years.

“What a compliment to our district in being selected by our state’s Department of Education to implement this program,” said Robby Frizzell, SNSD Superintendent of Schools. “We embrace the responsibility of being a leader in our region for the PLC process, and I commend our teachers for embracing PLCs and for the work they have done so far in the implementation process.”

PLCs are a process by which educators collaborate in recurring cycles to achieve better results for students. The teacher collaboration establishes a standard, viable curriculum by identifying essential state standards and developing units around these standards.

The overall goal of the program is to create a community of educators that are continuously learning with and from each other in order to create better learning opportunities for students in their classrooms.

The training includes on-campus instructors who model and guide the teachers and administrators through the implementation process. The current goal for Smackover-Norphlet is to have essential standards identified with units developed around these essential standards by the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

The district’s partner, Solution Tree, has worked since its creation in 1998 to transform education worldwide by empowering educators to raise student achievement.

With more than 48,962 educators attending professional learning events and more than 5,500 professional development days in schools each year, Solution Tree helps teachers and administrators confront essential challenges. Solution Tree has a catalog of more than 500 titles, hundreds of videos and online courses and is the creator of Global PD, an online tool that facilitates the work of professional learning communities for more than 20,000 educators.