CONTACT:  Michele Clark
Communications Coordinator

Vol. 45, No. 10
Feb. 7, 2011


Schools Recognized as Model Professional Learning Communities


Seven schools across the state have been recognized by state education officials for outstanding performance in the Missouri Professional Learning Communities Project.  This school-improvement model promotes teachers working together as teams with the focus on individual student achievement and education goals for all students.


Recipients of the 2010-11 Missouri Professional Learning Communities Exemplary Schools Awards were:

  • Robinson Intermediate School, Aurora School District
  • Rushville Elementary School and DeKalb Middle/High School, Buchanan School District
  • Dewey Elementary School, Chillicothe School District
  • Hallsville Intermediate School and Hallsville High School
  • Lathrop Elementary School


The schools were recognized and showcased by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at the recent Powerful Learning Conference held at Lake of the Ozarks.


The Missouri Professional Learning Communities Project began during the 2003-04 school year, and nearly 300 schools have participated since its inception.  In addition to a strong team focus on student learning, commitment and participation in training by school leaders are key components of becoming an effective professional learning community.


Professional learning communities were found to be one of the most effective school-improvement programs in the state, according to an implementation audit conducted last year by the Colorado-based Leadership and Learning Center.  The report by founder Dr. Douglas B. Reeves suggested that professional learning communities could have the greatest potential impact on student achievement.


With the results of Reeves’ implementation study, Department specialists conducted further investigation into the practices and identified the seven schools as “deeply implementing” the process.  The specialists were looking for evidence of a collaborative culture that focuses on the learning of all students by using data to make decisions.


“Being a professional learning community is truly a way of being," said Mary Ann Burns, director of the Department’s school improvement initiatives.  “These schools are doing great things for their students and can serve as models for other schools.”