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Professional Development

VITAL Collaboration: Developing and Revitalizing Professional Learning Communities

Looking to create or revitalize a data-driven professional learning community (PLC) that will drive schoolwide improvement in teaching and learning? Our year-long, research-based VITAL Collaboration is designed to optimize PLC effectiveness.

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What You Will Learn

VITAL Collaboration draws upon the research of school improvement science, visible learning, professional learning communities, lesson study, and standards-implementation to inform its approach to improving teaching and learning. Use VITAL Collaboration to:

  • Foster deep professional collaboration through a proactive, intentional approach to professional learning communities (PLCs)
  • Increase leadership capacity to support and sustain meaningful collaboration among staff
  • Help educators learn to use data to set goals for improving teaching and learning
  • Foster standards-driven conversations to optimize teaching and learning

Who Will Benefit

  • School and District Leaders, PreK-12
  • Instructional Coaches
  • Teachers, PreK-12
  • Title I Staff
  • Paraprofessionals

How VITAL Collaboration Can Help You

The following are key intended outcomes of professional learning around VITAL Collaboration:

  • Increased student learning
  • Enhanced teaching practices
  • Optimized professional collaboration
  • Stronger leadership
  • Improved school culture and climate

Service Details

A full year of professional learning for VITAL Collaboration (10–24 days of on-site support) typically includes a combination of the following:

  • VITAL Collaboration
  • Onsite training and technical assistance for district and school leaders
  • Copies of the VITAL Collaboration Facilitator’s Guide for all school and teacher leaders (excerpts available below)
  • Baseline assessment and report of professional learning capacity and practices using the VITAL Collaboration Survey
  • On-site training and technical assistance for teacher leaders that includes
    • Ongoing modeling, co-planning, and guided practice.
    • Ongoing support and feedback to support implementation.
  • End-of year assessment and report to measure improvements in professional collaboration and its impact on teaching and learning

What Makes This Service Unique

VITAL Collaboration differs in a variety of ways from other approaches to foster professional learning communities and improve teaching and learning. Some key differences include the following:

  • VITAL Collaboration provides an approach to PLCs that is more structured and rigorous than traditional models
  • Rigor is ensured through a suite of standards-driven protocols that are designed to foster deep conversations that propel effective feedback about teaching practice
  • The VITAL approach to professional collaboration encourages teachers to use student data to set clear goals for enhancing their teaching that will improve student learning
  • Through VITAL Collaboration teacher and student growth are made visible by looking at artifacts of teacher and student learning, including teacher lessons, observations and videos of teaching, as well as student work and data.


The cost of services is based on the service model selected by the school or district, and will be included in a service proposal.

Learn More

For more information about VITAL Collaboration and how it can improve teaching and learning in your educational context, contact Kevin Perks at 781.481.1110 or at

Download excerpts from WestEd’s VITAL Collaboration Facilitator’s Guide