“Keeping it Real”
If we take a school-wide approach to design for making learning visible, personalized, 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.
Our surveys of the students were our primary technique to drive our theory of action.
Our dive into the OurSchool, MDI, and Student Learning Surveys showed us that Belonging and Critical Thinking are prime areas for our focused attention.
Staff and parents have participated in data review, and in creating a Theory of Action around critical thinking. A next step is to create the visible aspect of our work so that students reference their use of critical thinking.
Pro Social Learning Environments decrease status, develop a student’s metacognition and social cognition, and contribute to greater social and cognitive competencies which in turn develop critical thinking skills.
Belonging and Boundaries: these pillars will shape our interactions with students this year.
What does the large-scale data dashboard tell you about the achievement of ALL students in your school?
How are you comparing the various sources of data (triangulating) to shape your thinking and/or confirm your actions?
Our process with the large data surveys was to take the results to staff first, with the intention of connecting what they are noticing in one survey, with similar data in others. We were explicit in our interest in Real World Project, Competencies, Anxiety, and Safety.
Next we engaged our parent volunteers.
From these two rounds, the following information gathered attention from all:
Safety at School is important and up to 50% indicated feeling unsafe at some time.
Belonging: a concerning percentage of students in surveys indicated that they felt that they didn’t belong.
Anxiety: 24% (above Cdn avg) feel moderate to high levels of anxiety.
Competencies: last year students reported in the OurSchool Survey that they are spending more time on Critical Thinking, yet still feel like that is the area where they need the most improvement, from our own competency scan.
Given these broad responses, we are looking to Pro Social Learning Environments as one structure that can address student concerns over safety, belonging, and anxiety.
What will staff and students know/understand and be able to do as a result of your school improvement planning efforts?
Students will know which critical thinking skills they can use, and which new ones they can acquire.
Students will understand reconciliation, what it is, and how they are part of this process.
Staff will engage students in regular use of inquiry in their classrooms.
Staff will understand any changes they need to make to counter the effects of anxiety for their students.
What research have you considered in selecting your chosen instructional strategies and structures?
Background Information on Multiage Groups, Pathways Refresh articles related to classroom environment.
What instructional strategies and structures are currently working in your school?
Instructional strategies: we continue to build our capacity in differentiation and personalization
Goal Setting Sessions continue to give each student and parent with their teacher a chance to create and record the student’s learning goals. This will lead into students work on the MAP.
What new strategies or structures do you plan to use? Why?
Classroom environmental strategies. Research link: Affecting the lighting, choice of textures within the classroom, varied seating options, movement friendly spaces are some of the changes we are exploring.
Code of Conduct strategy. We are completing a process of using the medicine wheel as the framework for reviewing our school’s code of conduct. Our intention: have every student’s voice be represented.
Once collated, a group of students reviewed these value statements from the students and provided feedback on changes they think we should make to the Code of Conduct. Parents and staff have previewed this, and both will be our next groups to review the changes.
Pro-Social Learning Environments: after a year of discussion, learning, and hard work, our French Immersion staff have begun teaching all the LFI grades in each of the four classrooms.
Community Partnerships with WCSS to connect students with individual services
Scheduling student-led activities at lunch hour, for example, KIN ball as an inclusive, cooperative game to introduce to our school. It promotes participation of people of all abilities
Reconciliation: We look forward to developing ties to Squamish Nation. We learn on the shared territory of Squamish and L’ilwat Nations: there is not yet a connection to Squamish Nation at Spring Creek.
How do you monitor strategies and refine them as required?
Collaboration between teachers and district support staff, Pro-D share outs, check-ins at Staff meetings.
What is your professional learning plan for staff?
Expert Infusion Opportunities: eg Literacy Assessment, Classroom management.
Site Based Job Embedded Learning: Inquiry based learning models for short and long term work in classrooms.
Continued learnings about Reconciliation, with deeper connections using the Four Blankets.
Continued learning about how the classroom’s physical space, layout, lighting, textures, etc impact learning for students.
How is your budget aligned with this School Learning Plan?
Students at the center of each class: We will continue ensuring that there are tables, couches, carpets available that are safe for school use.
Keep it Simple
Keep it Honest
Keep it Real