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Professional Learning Communities

Professional Learning Communities

Robby Frizzell

In the spring of 2022, Smackover-Norphlet School District was awarded a grant from the Arkansas Department of Education totaling more than $300,000 for the purpose of implementing the PLC process in our district over the next 3 years. The overall goal is to increase student learning in our district.

So What Is A “PLC?”

PLC stands for Professional Learning Community. It is a process in which educators collaborate in recurring cycles to achieve better results for our students. During these “team” meetings, educators analyze student data and collaborate on best teaching practices for each student for which the team is responsible. Our goal is to make SNSD a community of educators who are continuously learning in order that our students learn more.  As a district, we are committed to answering the 4 critical questions of the PLC process for all of our students:

  • What knowledge, skills, and dispositions should our students learn? 
  • How will we know when each student has acquired these?
  • How will we respond when some students do not learn? 
  • How will we extend the learning for students who are already proficient?  

SNSD - Where Are We Now?

Currently, all PLC teams in our district are in the planning phase. Each team is in the process of determining the essential state standards that apply to its academic subject area.  

Terms To Know

ESSENTIAL STANDARD: Essential standards are those state standards that are determined by PLC team educators to have skills and knowledge that are expected to be retained beyond the unit and course, can be applied in more than one subject area, are prerequisite skills for the next course or grade level, and prepares our students for high-stakes external exams. Units are developed around these essential standards to form a guaranteed and viable curriculum for all team educators to follow.   

LEARNING TARGETS: What each student must learn in order to demonstrate proficiency in an essential standard. 

UNIT: The lessons that are determined to be necessary for students to learn the learning targets associated with an essential standard.  

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS: An assessment that informs both the teacher and student as to the appropriate next steps in the learning process.  Formative assessments answer the following questions:

  1. Who needs intervention and who needs enrichment?
  2. What should be the next steps in the students' learning?
  3. What are the individual strengths and weaknesses of the teacher?
  4. Are there areas where many students are struggling indicating a need for new teaching strategies?

District Goals

District SMART Goal for 22-23 - The subject areas of Math and Literacy at each grade level in the SNSD will establish a standard, viable curriculum by identifying essential state standards and developing units around these standards by the end of the 22-23 school year.


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Contact Information

Smackover-Norphlet School District
#1 Buckaroo Lane
Smackover, Arkansas 71762

Normal operating hours are 7:30am till 4:00pm Monday thru Friday

Summer hours are 8-4 Monday thru Thursday

Phone: 870-725-3132
Fax: 870-725-1250