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Otto Middle School Approved as a Model Professional Learning Community

December 19, 2019

Otto Middle School has been recognized by Solution Tree for its sustained success in raising student achievement. The school's successful implementation of the Professional Learning Communities at Work™ process was a major contributing factor in the improved achievement of Otto students combined with the hard work and commitment of the Otto staff.

Otto Middle School Bobcats

In Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve students. The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to:

  1. Focus on learning
  2. Build a collaborative culture
  3. Create a results orientation

Otto Middle School Principal Antoine Spencer had this to say about the journey, "When we began our work towards becoming a Model Professional Learning Community in 2014, I was proud of the staff and students at Otto, but believed we could raise the bar higher for every Otto student. Over the past five years, our school has explored our growth mindset, our staff and student strengths and discovered how to collaborate to improve student success with an end result of increased academic growth. Our Otto staff is highly dedicated and has given much time and effort to achieve this distinction. We at Otto are honored to be approved as a model PLC and believe we are on the right track to continued improvement in student learning and to maintain a culture of high expectations for all our students.”  

View the Otto Middle School PLC as posted on All Things PLC.

PLC schools are recognized based on strict criteria, including demonstration of a commitment to PLC concepts, implementation of these concepts for at least three years and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period. Once measurable results can be seen, the school must explain its practices, structures, and culture and submit its application for consideration by the PLC Review Committee.

According to the champions of PLC at Work™, educators in the schools and districts selected for this recognition have shown “a sustained commitment to helping all of their students achieve at high levels. They have been willing to alter the structure and culture of the organization to reflect their commitment. We applaud them and congratulate them for achieving this very significant milestone on the never-ending PLC journey.”

Recognized model PLC schools are listed on, where they share implementation strategies, structures, and performance with other educators interested in improving their schools. Tools for team collaboration, articles and research about PLCs, blog posts and other related resources are also available on the site. The site was developed and is maintained by Solution Tree.

Otto Middle School is now eligible to apply for the annual DuFour Award in fall of 2020. The DuFour awards recognizes the highest-performing PLCs from around the globe honoring one outstanding Model PLC that demonstrates exceptional levels of student achievement. The winner of the award receives $25,000 and five free registrations to the Summit on PLC at Work®.

Congratulations to the Otto Middle School staff and students for their commitment to excellence.