“Keeping it Real”
Deeper Learning Goal: Spring Creek students will leave school with the How, When, and Why to apply the Knowledge, Understanding, and Skills they’ll need to face the challenges of post-secondary, career, and life.
Theory of Action:
If we take a school-wide approach to design for making learning visible, student-centered in each classroom, and intentionally focused on authentic projects, then students will understand critical thinking and know where they go next to develop their critical thinking skills.
What does reconciliation look, sound, and feel like?
Sustainability is our outreach to the community. Are our practices sustainable, is our school contributing to the health of our community/planet?
Reading is the door to everything. Skillful readers have access to the information they need to do the work our goal demands.
In classrooms where deeper learning is the focus, you find students who are motivated and challenged—who look forward to their next assignment. They apply what they have learned in one subject area to newly encountered situations in another. They can see how their classwork relates to real life. They are gaining an indispensable set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs, including:
- Mastery of Core Academic Content: Students build their academic foundation in subjects like reading, writing, math, and science. They understand key principles and procedures, recall facts, use the correct language, and draw on their knowledge to complete new tasks.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Students think critically, analytically, and creatively. They know how to find, evaluate, and synthesize information to construct arguments. They can design their own solutions to complex problems.
- Collaboration: Collaborative students work well in teams. They communicate and understand multiple points of view and they know how to cooperate to achieve a shared goal.
- Effective Communication: Students communicate effectively in writing and in oral presentations. They structure information in meaningful ways, listen to and give feedback, and construct messages for particular audiences.
- Self-directed Learning: Students develop an ability to direct their own learning. They set goals, monitor their own progress, and reflect on their own strengths and areas for improvement. They learn to see setbacks as opportunities for feedback and growth. Students who learn through self-direction are more adaptive than their peers.
- An “Academic Mindset”: Students with an academic mindset have a strong belief in themselves. They trust their own abilities and believe their hard work will pay off, so they persist to overcome obstacles. They also learn from and support each other. They see the relevance of their schoolwork to the real world and their own future success.
SD 48 Competencies: Learn, Critical Thinking, Contribute, Collaborate, and Create.
When students are developing knowledge, skills, and academic mindsets simultaneously, they learn more efficiently. They acquire and retain more academic knowledge when they are engaged, believe their studies are important, and are able to apply what they are learning in complex and meaningful ways.
Mastery of academic content is critical to a student’s future success in college, careers, and life, so it is the foundation of—and never overlooked in—deeper learning classrooms.
Read more in-depth definitions of this set of knowledge, skills, and beliefs.
Key Data Points that drive our Improvement Plan
There are so many reasons to celebrate student successes, teacher innovation and creativity at Spring Creek. Yet, last year some other data spoke up:
Students told us in a survey that the one competency they need to work on most is Critical Thinking
We consider EDI data. Our results show lower than district levels of vulnerability, emotional maturity being the highest single indicator.
Reading Coaches program: we saw conflicting data on this after its first year. Anecdotal evidence suggested it was successful at improving reading confidence and love of reading. Our exit survey showed no change. However, the EDI shows only 4 vulnerable readers at the end of the year. We had Reading Coaches and a Home Reading Program as new approaches to literacy last year.
MDI data showed us that our grade 4 students last year reported low connectedness, 16% saying that there were no important adults at the school.
However, on the Gr 4 Student Learning Survey, only 2 responded similarly. Learning to care for their mental health and their bodies showed high number of kids saying never (26% and 23%). Grade 4s have a strong academic focus (reporting very high rates of improvement in reading, writing, math, and trying one’s best in academics)
Our School Data show the grade 4s with stronger than the Canadian average for positive relationships and positive sense of belonging. They also report higher than normal levels of moderate to high anxiety, yet a larger percent of students said they have a consistent advocate at school, someone they can go to for advice. Fewer students than the Canadian average said that class rules for behavior were clear. This is also true for what the kids thought was expected of them academically.
A review using the snapshot tool in OurSchool shows data from grade 5 girls that is curious. In each area, the grade 5 girls’ results were lower in the positive topics, and higher in the negative. Quite a contrast to all of the other cohorts. This appears to be an outlier, as no other data results are similar.
SWW shows 28% of Gr 3 Not Yet Meeting expectations (NYM), and 72% Meeting Expectations (ME); Gr 6 is 18% NYM and 82% ME.
School Letter Grade Scan: similar as last year, – decrease from first to final report in % of students with C or C-.
Links to specific data sets
Key Strategies for Improvement
Direct Evidence to be collected this year:
Student self-assessment on competencies. This is for the spring as a follow up to last year’s survey.
Objective data to be collected during Learning Rounds
Rubric or continuum of critical thinking that teacher teams can use for assessment within projects.
Displays of critical thinking will be evident in every classroom.
School committee will oversee our learning.
Classrooms are oriented for collaboration, flexible spaces exist in each room, have a variety of resources available, students have voice and choice in each room.
Each teacher can share at least 4 authentic projects each year.
Learn about colonization (pre-contact culture also), what it was, what it means now.
Promote developmentally appropriate learning for all of our students.
Learn more about residential schools from survivors.
Develop with classes ways to show love and kindness.
Keep it Simple
Keep it Honest
Keep it Real