School administrators learn about collaboration

Liz Talbot, left, and Mike Sanchez, the superintendent of schools, pose for a picture with Rick and Rebecca DuFour.

The San Benito County Office of Education sponsored a two-day workshop Jan. 7 and 8 at San Juan Oaks with Rick and Rebecca DuFour discussing ways to strengthen the professional learning communities in San Benito.

The presenters have offered their seminar worldwide and have published many items on the topic.

“This has been a three-year endeavor to bring the DuFours to our area,” said Liz Talbot, the director of special programs for the San Benito County Office of Education, in a press release. “The presenters are in such demand that we felt fortunate to receive an email from Rick DuFour on Aug. 18 that these two dates had come available.”

The participants were largely from Aromas-San Juan Unified School District, Hollister School District, North County School District and San Benito High School District.

“It was wonderful to have so many educators in San Benito County hear the same message and receive tools to strengthen their PLCs,” Talbot said.

The idea of PLCs is that it is an ongoing process in which educators learn and collaborate together.

“Collaboration is defined as a systematic process in which we work together interdependently, to analyze and impact professional practice in order to improve our individual and collective results,” said DuFour, DuFour, & Eaker, in a statement.

Participants during the two days learned about the seven steps to PLCs and tools for measuring progress.

“The Aromas San Juan USD views the work in PLC as a means to sustain academic improvement,” said Willard McCabe, the superintendent. “Our staff is motivated to raise the bar for our students and reach new heights.”

Jennifer Bernosky, the superintendent and principal of North County Joint Union School District, said the model ensures teachers are not working in isolation.

“Working as a team and collaborating on the data from assessments will provide teachers the tools to reach every child skill by skill,” she said.

Superintendent of the Hollister School District Gary McIntire said the program gives teachers tools to ensure every student succeeds.

“The research clearly shows that the most effective schools constantly monitor each and every student and provide interventions immediately, before any student fails t learn,” he said.

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