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FIRST Education
PLC Center 


“It’s hard to keep people focused during collaboration.”

“We collaborate about standards, when do we talk about the challenges in my class?”

“Every outcome is important—they’re all essential!.”

“This might work for departments like English or Math, but I am the only Spanish teacher—who do I collaborate with?”

“Getting ready to lead collaboration time feels like another prep.”
“Can I collaborate by myself?”


Do any of these sound familiar? Do they sound similar to things you hear when you are working in your PLCs? If so, you are not alone. Thousands and thousands of districts across North America and the globe have spent time, effort and resources over the last two decades to create embedded time within the school day for educators to collaborate. And while the research behind professional learning communities collaborating to improve their teaching is clear, the application of professional learning communities and collaborative time can be foggy for educators at all levels of the system. At The PLC Center, we help educators connect their collaborative work and professional learning to OBSERVABLE IMPACT - the changes in practice that students, educators, district staff and community members can actually observe that make a difference to our students and our results in our schools and our classrooms. 


And if you and your teams are interested in building collective efficacy, the number one factor that influences student achievement, global thought leader and author of Collective Teacher Efficacy Jenni Donohoo says “Collective efficacy is strengthened when collaborative teams see the results of their combined efforts, and they will do so by engaging in the Observable Impact process.”

Based on the thinking of Cale Birk and Dr. Garth Larson, The PLCs for Observable Impact Model has led to impact in schools all over the world. The Observable Impact Model is based on five questions for collaborative teams.  The Collaborative Questions of Observable Impact (aka. VELAI) are: 

  • What’s our observable (V)ision for Teaching and Learning? 

  • What’s our  (E)vidence-Based Reality?

  • What’s our (L)earning

  • What’s our (A)ction

  • What’s our (I)mpact

The PLC Center empowers collaborative team leaders, school leaders and district leaders to develop the capacity of their PLC teams to improve teaching and learning by connecting their actions to impact in their classrooms with students and educators.  And now, the tools and protocols of THE PLC Center are being used by districts around North America to build collective efficacy in their schools!


The PLC Center’s Mission is to provide Collaborative Teams with the necessary tools and protocols to truly function as a Professional Learning Community and increase the observable impact in every classroom as a result of each team’s collaborative actions.


Our Vision at The PLC Center is to ensure that ALL collaborative teams globally feel confident, competent and empowered to meet the diverse needs of all students they serve. By providing a clear process for collaboration, with practical tools and protocols, ALL schools will create a more observable impact within their schools and classrooms. 

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our services

The PLC Center uses educator-designed and team-tested tools and protocols to meet districts and schools where they are at and move them from an INTRODUCTION to the Observable Impact Model, to an INVESTIGATION of how the model fits their context, to the INTEGRATION of the processes of PLC 2.0 in connect their district-wide and school-wide actions to the impact on their classrooms. Districts and schools can choose from a combination of highly practical, hands-on learning experiences including


FIRST Education

PLC Institutes 

Our PLC Institutes provide multiple keynotes and breakout sessions that help PLCs not only understand what it means to operate as a PLC, but each session provides teachers and administrators with practical tools to maximize the observable impact of their collaborative actions.  Attendees at our PLC Institutes not only walk away energized for the PLC work, but also feel like solutions are provided to the common challenges they have been seeing in their PLCs for years. Join us virtually or in person for an upcoming PLC Institute.


PLC Center Keynotes

Keynotes provided by the PLC Center are given by global thought leaders with a proven track record for success when it comes to the PLC structures within their buildings. Our Keynotes are relevant, energizing and most importantly, practical to ensure attendees walk away with a clear understanding of what a PLC is and what a PLC is not in today’s schools. Our Keynote titles include: 
ReThinking PLCs in Today’s Schools!
What’s the Observable Impact of Your Collaborative Efforts?
Building Collective Efficacy Through Your PLCs
We Don’t Change Data by Looking at Data
FInding Time for Observable Impact in our PLCs

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PLC Center Virtual Workshops

Our PLC Center workshops focus on tools and protocols to help build the capacity of district, school and team leaders to model the collaborative processes of a highly functioning PLC. Each workshop is designed around one of the proven tools to help each school's PLC know what they can focus on during their PLCs for months to come.


 PLC Center On-Site Coaching

The PLC Center provides On-Site coaching to ‘get in the trenches’ with collaborative teams to build context-based capacity in real time with real people and real instructional challenges that matter to leaders and educators. Our On-Site coaching is customized to meet the realities of each school and has proven to be successful in schools all over North America.

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PLC Center Virtual Coaching

The PLC Center understands that virtual support is much more normal in today’s educational world. We provide immediate feedback and instant support with PLC leaders and PLC teams to ensure they have a clear focus on working through their instructional challenge and that each team is confident in the tools provided by the PLC Center to maximize their observable impact in ALL of their classrooms.


PLC Center Written Resources

The PLC Center continues to provide the highest quality of resources to help PLCs continue to connect their actions in their collaborative time to the observable impact they see in their classrooms. Always focusing on short and practical resources, check out our PLC resources below: 
ReThinking PLCs: coming January, 2023
PLC 2.0: Collaborating for Observable Impact in Today’s Schools


Contact Us to learn about our full library of PLC 2.0 Video Learning resources.

Our Team

Cale Birk

Cale Birk
Director of
THE PLC Center

Gabe Hackett

Gabe Hackett
Associate Director of
THE PLC Center


Garth Larson
Co-Founder and CEO at FIRST Educational Resources

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Christie Dugan

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Mark Flaten

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Dennis Griffin, Jr.

Amanda Ironside

Amanda Ironside

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Nicole Mashock

Patrick Larkin

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Contact Us to Learn More

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