As we develop our focus of inquiry, we are driven by the needs of our school community. We have scanned our school community through a variety of means, including surveys, interviews, observations, class review meetings, School Based Team meetings, RTI Team meetings, and staff meetings. We have discovered a clear need to focus on academic and social/emotional intervention in order to give our Skyhawk community its best chance at success in learning and life as global citizens.
Scanning our Skyhawk Community
We have been engaged in a Response to Intervention model of support to identify which students are most at risk in both academic acheivement as well as social/emotional vulnerability. We have involved our staff in ongoing conversations about their students during class review meetings where we analyze each class' RTI Pyramid. Support is determined by need and implemented based on collaborative discussions with the School Based Team and classroom teachers. Our scan of the effectiveness of our RTI model and the needs of our students is ongoing through weekly RTI Team meetings and class review meetings each term.
The results of our scan demonstrate a need to attend to both the academic needs of all of our students, particularly our most vulnerable, but also that the need to support our students' social/emotional well being is prominent. There is also a need to support our staff as the requirements of the re-designed curriculum continue to be implemented.
Our existing RTI Model of Support is continuing to become embeded in our common language and has become the framework for our approach to supporting our students' academic and social/emotional progress. We have gone deeper into our understanding of our students and how best to align our practices and structures in order to support their needs. Our learning this year will be a team oriented approach to best practice around the Core Competencies, Communicating Student Learning, and social/emotional support and intervention.
Developing a Hunch
In order to move forward, we needed to understand where we are with our learning. Our staff participated in an activity during the 2017 Implementation Day which allowed them to reflect on their practice. We used the OECD 7 Principles of Learning to stimulate this reflection and designed a carousel activity with each of 7 Principles of Learning at an individual station. Teachers went to each station to share how they are attending to each of these 7 Principles within their own classroom. We will continue to give teachers an opportunity to reflect on their practice through "best practices share outs" at our monthly staff meetings. One of the 7 Principles of Learning is that learning is social by nature and we believe that these opportunities to share best practices will further align our staff in its mission to support all learners at Springvalley Elementary School.
Our learning is framed around the Core Competencies of the Revised Curriculum and how to best deliver the best learning opportunities to our diverse students. Our teaching staff is embeding a variety of practices and structures into the learning environment of Springvalley Elementary in order to ensure the success of EACH learner. Such practices and structures are meant to attend to the academic and Social/Emotional learning of our students. Our Response to Intervention model of support helps us identify how students are progressing. In addition to our weekly RTI support staff meetings where student progress is discussed, our teaching staff has regular opportunities to collaborate with each other on student progress, best practices in teaching and learning, Communicating Student Learning, and Social/Emotional structures. Our school is engaging in the following programs and structures to enhance the learning both students and staff:
- Response to Intervention
- Play is the Way
- Daily 5
- Kindness Initiatives
- Reading Power
- Writing Power
- Several teachers are involved in district programs (Leadership Academy, Novice Teachers 1&2, UBCO Mentors)
- Genius Hour / Passion Projects
- Working with the Instructional Leadership Team
- Working with the District Learning Technology Team
- Best Practice share-outs at monthly staff meetings
- Trauma Informed Classrooms
- Ross Greene "Lost at School" staff book study
The above Learning is meant to be sustainable and staff has committed to these structures in order to test its effectiveness over time. We will collectively proceed down this learning journey, building our capacity and deepening our learning, in order to see long term, sustainable improvement for each of our Skyhawks. We will continue to monitor our growth through data analysis and reporting, culture checks, and regular conversations will students, staff, and parents. We are working towards a learning environment where students are the voice of their own learning and where they articulate this learning through effective and meaningful mediums and processes.
- Knowing what you want to accomplish for your learners and having specific ways to determine how you are doingâ€”early in the inquiry process
- Setting high expectations that your actions will make a substantial difference for ALL learners
- Setting the stage for what comes next
Checking is NOT:
- A routine to follow at the end
- Seeking some difference for some learners
- Judging the capacity of learners to succeed
- Justifying your actions