School Program Gains Recognition

Sheridan schools are gaining attention in the state and in the nation for academic achievements, and Sheridan County School District 2 Superintendent Craig Dougherty credits a method of teaching that turns schools into what administrators call Professional Learning Communities.

The superintendent says the program started several years ago in District 2's lower grades.

Assistant Superintendent Terry Burgess said teachers of the same grade level and/or class schedule meet weekly to discuss what they're doing. They may be joined by parents, reading specialists, special education teachers and school staff.

The assistant superintendent said teachers agree on the same standards at the same grade levels, and students are taught to those same levels. Meetings include not just what will be taught, and how, but how to help students learn.

Teachers and administrators say the goal is to improve learning for all students. The assistant administrator said the district's approach isn't a common practice in education, but it appears to be paying off for schools in Sheridan.

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