Lemoore school district's Liberty Middle School earns 'Model Professional Learning Community' honor

By The Leader Staff
Lemoore Liberty Middle School
Lemoore Liberty Middle School

It was almost a year ago – March 13, 2020 – that Lemoore’s Liberty Middle School planned to celebrate its recognition by Solution Tree (a national organization that offers professional learning opportunities for educators)  for its designation as a Model Professional Learning Opportunity School.

Last year’s fete was yet another state or national honor the local school has received in the last few years. Liberty Middle school, no stranger to national recognition, was one of five middle schools in California and one of 62 middle schools in the nation to be recognized for its efforts to improve learning for all students.

Professional Learning Communities are schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students. The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to:

1.            Focus on learning.

2.            Build a collaborative culture.

3.             Create a results orientation.

According to Lemoore Elementary School District Superintendent Cheryl Hunt, schools are recognized based on strict criteria, including demonstrating a commitment to PLC (Professional Learning Communities) concepts, implementing these concepts for at least three years, and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period. Once measurable results can be seen, the school must explain its practices, structures, and culture and submit its application for consideration by the PLC Review Committee.

“We were thrilled to have Liberty Middle School honored for its commitment to focusing on these three essential principles which dramatically affect student outcomes,” stated Hunt in a press release to The Leader.  “At that time in March, we had planned a celebration event to honor the students and staff for this outstanding accomplishment. However, the event was canceled due to COVID and our school closure. We don't want to walk past an opportunity to share some good news about our school and staff.”

According to the Champions of PLC at Work™, educators in the schools and districts selected for this recognition have shown “a sustained commitment to helping all of their students achieve at high levels. They are schools that were willing to alter the organization's structure and culture to reflect their commitment.

Recognized model PLC schools are listed on allthingsplc.info, where they share implementation strategies, structures, and performance with other educators interested in improving their schools. Tools for team collaboration, articles, and research about PLCs, blog posts, and other related resources are also available on the site. The site was developed and is maintained by Solution Tree, a leading provider of educational strategies and tools that improve staff and student performance. For more than 20 years, Solution Tree resources have helped K–12 teachers and administrators create schools where all children succeed.

The Model PLC designation wasn’t the local district’s only honor last year. In March of 2020, Liberty Middle School was one of four schools across the nation recognized as a “High Flying School” in Savannah, Georgia, by the National Youth At-Risk Conference for the work they do to support at-risk youth.
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