A Road Map to PLC Success  book cover
1st Edition

A Road Map to PLC Success

ISBN 9781138223554
Published March 9, 2017 by Routledge
134 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Educators often have trouble properly implementing Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) because they simply don’t know how the process is supposed to work. By cutting through the fluff and generalities, this book provides a clear road map that takes school leaders step-by-step through the entire PLC process. Each chapter addresses a foundational component or protocol necessary for building successful team-based learning communities, using real life examples to help teachers and leaders understand how to integrate this process and avoid common pitfalls that inhibit implementation. Whether you’re just starting the PLC process or you’re looking to get more out of your PLCs, this book will lead you to continued student and teacher growth, regardless of current achievement levels, socioeconomic status, or impending curricular changes.

Table of Contents


Meet the Author



Chapter 1: What page are you on?


Common Terms with Uncommon Meanings

Formative Assessments

Summative Assessments

Chapter 2: Getting Started


Chapter 3: Understanding the Process part 1

Pace Yourself

Pacing Guide

Unpacking Standards

Learning Targets and Alignment

Curriculum Guides

Common Lesson Plans


Chapter 4: Understanding the Process part 2

Common Assessments

Determining Proficiency

Planning Common Assessments

Making Common Assessments

Length of Assessments

Standards per Assessment

Vetting Common Assessments

Common Reassessments (Quizzes vs. Tests)



Raising the Bar


Chapter 5: Understanding the Process part 3

Using the Data

Using Common Assessment Data

Too Cold

Too Hot

Just Right

Four Letter Words

Make Time to Target Student Needs

Scheduling for Students with Special Needs

How Does Grading Work?

What Students are Reassessed?

How are Students Reassessed?

Minimum Grading Policy


Chapter 6: Guiding the Conversation


The First Meeting

The Second Meeting

The Third Meeting

Meeting Overlaps

Chapter 7: Avoiding Common Pitfalls


Focus on Core Instruction

Beware the Land of Nice


Getting Started

Too much Too Soon



All or Nothing VS Something is Better Than Nothing

Chapter 8: putting it all Together

Mapping out the Process, Foundations, and Protocols

Understanding the Process

Plan your Protocols



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Dr. Sean McWherter is Executive Director of Support Services for Asheboro City Schools, North Carolina, USA.



Analyzing common assessment results through the data-driven decision making process in order to adjust instruction and improve student learning is the essential purpose of a true PLC. The value of McWherter’s book is in its practical, how-to approach that all administrators and teachers can follow to ensure that their PLCs are functioning at maximum potential: laying the proper foundation first, following established protocols, and avoiding the pitfalls that block effective collaboration.

  • Larry Ainsworth, author of Common Formative Assessments 2.0: How Teacher Teams Intentionally Align Standards, Instruction, and Assessment



"A Road Map to PLC Success is a great tool for educational leaders and administrators.  It breaks down the steps in creating or revamping the Professional Learning Community (PLC) in the school setting.  PLCs have been around and well-established for over a decade, yet most are not meeting their full potential.  This book helps leaders understand the process of creating a successful PLC. It offers real-life examples and is easily readable.  I’d highly recommend for anyone wanting to start the PLC process or revive their current PLC."

  • Amy Ramsdell, Ed.D., Assistant Principal, Ozark High School, MO