PLCs in your School

Solution Tree to offer two workshops

Prairie Lakes AEA will host two, full-day workshops lead by Jonathan Vander Els from Solution Tree. These work sessions will be from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 20, 2017 and Feb. 20, 2018 in the Black Hawk Lake Conference Room in the PLAEA office in Pocahontas. Cost is $200 per person which includes both days of the workshop and lunch. Teams of 3 educators from the same building/district will pay $500 total for all 3 participants."


Workshop is limited to 80 participants.


Jonathan will deliver two full-day sessions to attendees. The Sept. 20 workshop will provide a baseline understanding of key concepts and vocabulary and build shared knowledge necessary to become a PLC at Work™. Participants will understand the three big ideas of PLC at Work™:


  • A focus on learning
  • A collaborative culture and collective responsibility
  • A results orientation


And, will develop a common understanding of the four critical questions of a PLC:
  1. What do we want our students to learn?
  2. How do we know if they have learned it?
  3. How will we respond when our students don’t learn?
  4. How will we respond when our students do learn?


We are developing 2-3 virtual connections between the two workshop dates to continue the learning and connect with fellow workshop participants. We will identify successes, work through challenges, and widen our own personal learning network!


The Feb. 20 workshop will build upon the September foundational work, and look to move attendees towards implementation, dealing with such subjects as:

  • Singletons
  • Common Assessment
  • Resisters
  • Resources for ongoing growth and support

Jonathan Vander Els

Jonathan G. Vander Els is the executive director of the New Hampshire Learning Initiative (NHLI), a foundation created to serve as a catalyst for innovation in education in New Hampshire. NHLI supports the scaling of a fully integrated, personalized, and competency-based preK–20 system in the state.


Jonathan was formerly the principal of Memorial Elementary School in the Sanborn Regional School District in New Hampshire. Under his leadership, Memorial Elementary School has become a nationally recognized model professional learning community and competency-based learning environment.


Jonathan has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences on PLCs, competency-based education, teacher leadership, and assessment. He is actively involved in the New Hampshire Performance Assessment of Competency Education (PACE) initiative and leads the State of New Hampshire’s effort to integrate skills and dispositions into curriculum, instruction, and assessment.


Jonathan earned a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s degree in elementary education, and a specialist degree in educational administration and supervision from the University of New Hampshire. He holds elementary education, principal, and superintendent certification in New Hampshire.