Hellstern Middle School is the first Springdale school to earn the Model Professional Learning Community School designation.

Members of the Springdale Public Schools' administrative team surprised the school's staff with the recognition May 29 at Hellstern's end-of-year faculty meeting.

All 31 Springdale schools participate in the Professional Learning Community process.

"Our whole district has been working so hard," Dr. Allison Byford, Hellstern Middle School principal, told her staff at the meeting. "To be the first is incredible."

Model PLCs are some of the highest-performing schools around the globe, according to the Solution Tree website. Solution Tree is a professional development company and publisher of educational material for K–12 educators.

mjordan2@sdale.orgModel PLC Schools must meet the following requirements to qualify for the designation:

• Demonstrate a commitment to PLC at Work concepts

• Implement those concepts for at least three years

• Present clear evidence of improved student learning

• Provide data on a yearly basis that shows they continue to meet the criteria of the PLC at Work process


Melissa Fink, Springdale Public Schools P-7 associate superintendent, congratulated Hellstern Middle School for its remarkable achievement.

"Being the first school in our district to be designated as a Model Professional Learning Community School is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the entire staff," Fink said. "We are incredibly proud of the school faculty for all they have accomplished on their PLC journey, and we are excited to celebrate their exemplary work. This recognition highlights their commitment to fostering a collaborative and effective learning environment for the benefit of all students."

The PLC process is built on the three foundational pieces of a focus on learning, a collaborative culture with collective responsibility and results orientation.

Springdale Public Schools' teachers work in collaborative Professional Learning Community teams to determine:

  1. What do we want our students to learn?

  2. How will we know when students learn it?

  3. What do we do when students don’t learn it?

  4. What do we do when schools have learned it?