Update: September 2019
At our year-end Staff Meeting, we came together to discuss where we were at with regards to our School Goals. We noticed that we were at a bit of a crossroads in terms of our school focus, especially since the full implementation of the redesigned curriculum. Our discussion centered on the following questions?
Do our current goals or 'areas of focus' as identified in the last 4-5 years, actually reflect the 'action' or 'work' that we are currently engaging in both in classrooms and as a school?
We also agreed that the 'literacy' and 'numeracy' pieces are critically important and in many ways, the reason schools exists. The question is, instead of literacy and numeracy being identified as 'goals,' should we not simply assume they underscore all the work we are doing? Thoughts?
It is evident that we are still focused on the social-emotional piece. Social-Emotional Learning continues to be a top priority in all feedback we receive from staff, parents and students. The social emotional learning journey began in September 2016, when staff participated in and were trained in Play is the Way activities. Play is the Way is a program designed to support and develop social emotional learning.
As a result of our discussions, we identified our goals for 2019-2021. Click here to view.
Part of the inquiry process in schools is making use of community partnerships. Building connections with our community helps draw in viewpoints and expert feedback that in turn helps build the 'adaptive expertise' when co-planning activities and initiatives that strive to build deeper learning and learner agency for our students.
We have partnered with Plant a Seed Foundation, Wild Schools BC, the BC Construction Association, the local Senior Care Home, TD, Tolko, HCTF, Kel Lake Greenhouses, West Coast Seeds, Southern Interior Construction Association, and Okanagan College's Women in Trades Program to support inquiry based learning, which has been thriving in our Intermediate Learning Community.
In September 2019, one of our classrooms started an inquiry project with the District of Lake Country Fire Inspector.
Structures Supporting Inquiry
Many teachers are working with the Instructional Leadership Team and last year as well as this coming year, the Collaborative Learning Services consultants, as well as teams of teachers and administrators from other schools across the district who have learning communities. Collectively we know this collaboration around inquiry is impacting the positive culture of our school. We often wonder if there are other ways to 'measure' our success in the core competencies. For example, how can we find a way to measure what we are hoping to achieve - increased student agency, the ultimate goal of what our work these days is focusing on?
The biggest impact accelerating inquiry in our school has been implementing structures and frameworks that allows teacher to co-plan, co-teach, and co-assess as this allows for high levels of adaptive expertise which ultimately leads to higher quality learning tasks and student engagement (i.e. school-wide Maker Day, Expo of Awesome, Showcase of Learning etc.). These school-wide events helped teachers develop a growth mindset around inquiry.