White River hosts education workshop

More than 325 educators are expected in Buckley Friday and Saturday as the White River School District, Solution Tree and the Washington State Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development host a professional development workshop.

The workshop, titled District Implementation of Professional Learning Community Concepts, begins Friday evening and continues all day Saturday at White River High School.

“Our goal is to get more kids to learn more and share that,” said White River Deputy Superintendent Janel Keating, who will be a presenter.

Presenting along with Keating will be Eaker, as well as representatives from the Tumwater, Franklin Pierce and Sumner school districts and a middle school principal from Orem, Utah, who has seen intervention success at his school.

Eaker is co-author of seven books on the topic of PLCs. Together the pair have co-authored numerous articles and work with school districts across Washington and the United Sates.

Teachers and administrators from Montana, Oregon, South Dakota and British Columbia are expected, as well as representation from Washington state from Pullman, the Tri-Cities, Spokane and the I-5 corridor.

White River has gained regional and national attention for its work embedding professional learning communities district-wide.

Since 2006, White River has been implementing professional learning community concepts and practices. The three legs of the program include an intense and passionate focus on learning, a shift from a culture of teacher isolation to a collaborative culture characterized by high-performing collaborative teams and an focus on results.

The White River administrative and teaching staff will be part of the presentation explaining “how they do it.”

“It’s a real sense of pride for our school district and for our staff,” Keating said. “It should be for our community too.”

This is the second year, White River has played host for the event, which is usually slated for June.

Requests to observe and visit the White River district’s Monday morning PLC late starts had grown so much over the past few years they were becoming difficult to handle. Solution Tree and WSASCD stepped up to team with the district to create the workshops.

With recent district budget cuts, the workshop also provides the White River School District with the money to continue its PLC program.

Workshop fees cover Eaker’s appearance, and staff are paid for their time. After expenses last year, White River kept about $26,000.

Keating said the two days provide educators a chance to talk and work alongside other educators.

“It’s going to be a great,” she said. “It really should be six days long because you want to get to every session.”

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