Learner FIRST


Transforming School Improvement Plans




All Sessions Take Place on Zoom


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“What is the impact of our school improvement plans?”


Have you ever asked yourself a question like this? For anyone who has been a part of school improvement, they know that creating ‘the plan’ is a large and complex task. From involving the school community in writing mission and vision statements, to gaining consensus on SMART goals, to creating action plans and achievement metrics, just getting the plan written can be a daunting task. And in a time when impact has never been more important, how can we ensure that the time and energy spent on writing our improvement plan actually leads to impact where it matters the most--in the classroom with students and educators? 


If you would like to learn more about creating a plan that moves beyond ‘words’ and ‘actions’ to ‘impact that can be observed in classrooms’, this upbeat and practical workshop is for you! Join Cale Birk and Garth Larson, co-authors of PLC 2.0 - Collaborating for Observable Impact in Today’s Schools and The PLC 2.0 Toolkit to learn about the Observable Impact Model and sample the user-friendly, differentiated tools to co-create the engaging and compelling improvement plans that lead to impact AND build the collective efficacy of educators along the way! 



Cale Birk

Cale Birk is the Global Director of the Learner FIRST Center for Observable Impact. He is also a former District Principal of Innovation from Kamloops, and imagineer and co-author of "PLC 2.0 - Collaborating for Impact in Today's Schools", "The PLC 2.0 Toolkit" and "Changing Change Using Learner-Centered Design". As a former high school Principal of a model professional learning community school, Cale helps districts, schools and industry leaders answer the question "What is our observable impact?", the observable changes in practice that make the difference for all learners. In addition to his work as an author and facilitator, Cale has done a TED Talk on changing the learning experience in schools, and given keynote addresses and workshops in Canada, the United States, Asia and Australia and has been the keynote/featured speaker at conferences in Maryland, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Maine, Hawaii and Quebec.  The father of two daughters in the K-12 system, Cale is passionate about helping educators and leaders experience and model the learning experiences we want for our students in their classrooms.

Garth Larson, Ed.D is the Co-Founder and President of FIRST Educational Resources. Garth has previously worked as the Director of Learning for the Winneconne Community School District in  northeast Wisconsin, was an elementary principal in two separate buildings and started his career in education as a high school speech and English teacher. In 2011, Garth formed Wisconsin Educational Resources (now FIRST) with a focus on improving student achievement across the United States. Since 2011, over 1500 school districts throughout the globe have become partnership districts with his company. Garth currently consults to school districts around the world and provides customized professional development around a variety of topics, mainly Professional Learning Communities 2.0, Learning-Centered Grading Practices, Leadership and School Improvement and Response to Intervention. Garth is also the co-author of PLC 2.0: Collaborating for Observable Impact in Today’s Schools with co-author Cale Birk, Collaborative Systems of Support: Learning for ALL with co-authors Tom Hierck and Chris Weber, Target-Based Grading in Collaborative Teams: 13 Steps to Moving Beyond Standards with co-author Tom Hierck, Grading for Impact: Raising Student Achievement through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System and Target-Based Grading in Collaborative Teams.


Garth Larson