To: Our Pioneer Peak Families
From: Josie Schubert, Principal
Making Sense of Professional Learning Communities & the Impact on Families
The Mat-Su School District is implementing a time during the workday for educators to solely reflect and adjust instructional practices based on essential standards and specific student needs. This time has been labeled PLC, Professional Learning Communities, but Pioneer Peak is calling it Team Time. The most obvious immediate impact on families is a later start time on Monday mornings to give educators the opportunity to focus on instruction delivery and effectiveness. The two driving forces behind this schedule shift are the educational impact of the pandemic and the assessment data indicating Alaska’s poor performance in preparing our kids academically for their futures. Our hope is that any negative impact on our families will be greatly offset by the positive academic gains for our students.
Across the Nation educators are grappling with academic loss due to the pandemic. Many factors have contributed to this loss, including but not limited to, time out of the traditional classroom, economic inequities leading to lack of access, transiency and homelessness, and mental and physical health concerns. Throughout this unprecedented time, we have had to adapt and deliver academics differently. We learned from this experience and have embraced practices that will continue regardless of global health concerns. However, many students suffered a loss of educational gains during this time.
Aside from the last two years of the current pandemic, Alaska has a history of underperforming academically in comparison to schools across the Nation. Our teachers work very hard and are extremely skilled, but the overall gains do not match up with their level of commitment and expertise. As a school, PPE teachers are amazing, hardworking, and dedicated to teaching and our assessments are not reflecting the growth our students should earn given the massive amount of effort from their teachers.
As a school we need to do better in preparing our students. This Team Time will focus on the following:
- Clarify essential standards and ensure instruction is delivering lessons on those standards
- Sharing, reflecting, & adjusting instructional practices
- Addressing the needs of the students that are not learning the standards for their grade & subject area
- Addressing the needs of the students that have mastered the required standards and are ready to advance
Team Time at Pioneer Peak will be a collaborative effort to improve instruction. This is a process that does not have a finish line and will take time to implement and master. We appreciate your patience as we adjust to this new change. Below are the logistics:
- Our school doors will open at 10:00, school will start at 10:15
- Students that are dropped off at school can enter the building at 10:05, there is no supervision for students prior to this time
- Breakfast will continue to be served on Mondays
Feel free to call or email with any questions or concerns, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (907) 861-5702