Early out Wednesdays in Sidney Schools---What’s it all about?
By Kelly Johnson, SMS principal
Since August 27, 2014, Sidney Public School studentshave been enjoying getting out of school an hour early. This will continueevery Wednesday for the remainder of the school year. Staff at all buildings, however, are notenjoying time off! Instead, they arebusy working together on various teams across the district with one overall purpose-STUDENT LEARNING!
The official title for this time of working together is called Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). Teams are varied withineach building by either the subject taught and/or grade level. From grades K-5, teachers work with others intheir grade level to share ideas, tests and assignments, and teachingstrategies to improve student learning. Specialist teachers serve on these teams in various capacities as well. Teachersin grades 6-8 are on two teams. Once amonth the grade level teams meet to discuss students who are at-risk of notbeing successful in their grade and for the other three weeks of the month,teachers are grouped by curriculum areas. Teachers at the high school are on subject specific teams only.
One could compare PLC’s to a well-organized sportteam, orchestra, or dance group. On a football team, for instance, you haveseveral specialized coaches serving under one head coach all striving for thesame goal, winning the next game! Different coaches work on different skills. Thesame is true of PLC work. While subject areas vary, there are many similarskills needed in each curricular area and these teams work together to find thebest possible strategies to help our students be successful.
Please view the PLC link on the Sidney Public Schoolswebsite. Here one can find our district vision and mission statements, as well as our commitments and goals. Feel free to contact any principal for more information.