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New frontiers for new learning
Category Archives: School Improvement Plan (SIP)
October 16, 2013Posted by on
This year, we are fortunate to have four Educational Assistants assigned to our school. Educational Assistants support our school’s work and the work as outlined in our board’s Special Education Plan. We have two special education assistants: Ms. Kim and Ms Massaro. We also have two Child and Youth Workers: Mr. Van Horne and Ms McKenzie. Each staff member brings different skill sets to our school, but the overall work remains the same: supporting all of our students to improve student achievement, success and well bring.
Our educational assistants hired by our Board are also trained in a number of ares including:
– Working as part of a school team;
– Behaviour management, de-escalation strategies, and developing safety plans;
– Supervision of students;
– Physical care of students;
– Health and safety of staff and students;
– Accommodations for students with special education needs.
Our educational assistants work in different classrooms and assist with yard supervision throughout the day. This year, all four of our educational assistants are new to our team. Both Ms Bongard and myself have been so impressed with how they have quickly become active members of our school community and have supported our school improvement plan so readily. We appreciate the hard work they do for all of our students each day. We also want to thank them for attending our Meet the Staff event at the beginning of the month.
If you haven’t had a chance to meet our Educational Assistants yet, please do. Feel free to introduce yourself to them at either the beginning or end of our school day.
Mr. Collins & Ms Bongard
October 9, 2013Posted by on
We sometimes think of learning as “something that students do”. This week, I also want to share some of the professional learning our staff engages in both inside and outside of our school. The scope of that learning is very wide so I won’t be able to capture every opportunity here, but want to share a few examples with you.
Many of our staff take courses that lead to additional qualifications or certification including: workshops, online courses, conferences, Additional Qualification courses and training sessions. Lots of our staff enjoy reading as a means of professional development that includes: professional books, magazines, publications from professional organizations, and scholarly articles. Staff use online opportunities for learning including: websites, online chat rooms, twitter professional learning teams and e-learning modules. Finally, many of our staff participate in face-to-face learning opportunities such as: after school workshops, book studies, learning networks and even visiting host schools or classrooms. Last weekend, some of our staff participated in our board’s Google Camp that brought together over 500 staff from across our board.
This year, as an administrative team, Ms Bongard and myself are also supporting job embedded learning opportunities for teams of staff to work collaboratively. So far, three teams have met in teams that have also included our school’s Literacy Teacher and Teacher-Librarian, teachers, Ms Bongard and myself. We have made a commitment to meet early in the year, learn, implement our learning and thinking in our classrooms and then reconvene 6-8 weeks later to monitor our work. We work through a cycle of determining student learning needs, planning, teaching, assessing, evaluating student progress and assessing overall results. It is complex work, but Ms Bongard and myself must say, the sessions so far have been rich. We appreciate the staff’s commitment to building professional learning communities at our school.
Finally, you may wonder what happens on Professional Activity Days that occur throughout the year. This Friday for example, our school will focus on our School Improvement Plan. Our Director, Ken Thurston shared a number of key ideas for our work this year in his annual address at our board’s leadership conference that will also help to frame our work Friday. We will also spend time working in teams, exploring Learning Goals and Success criteria to support student achievement, exploring the questions we ask within our math lessons, planning for differentiation within our work, developing our school’s “Challenge of Practice” (more to come on this) and examining some new resources we have purchased as a school. And so, the day too will be rich.
One final way we often don’t think about is the learning that happens with students each day. We love the times when, be it a lesson, task or discussion, we learn from and with our students.
Again, it is difficult to capture the wide variety of ways that our staff engages in learning. Perhaps it is best to say “learning, it’s everywhere”.
Please let us know about the learning you engage in.