Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
Adams Road Elementary opened in September 2010. It is located in the Cloverdale/Clayton area and the school was a welcome addition to the fast growing community. In eight years it has more than doubled its enrolment. The Adams Road catchment is a combination of established homes, newer single-family homes combined with multi family dwellings. Our school is expected to have steady growth for sustained enrolment for several years. The school community welcomed a 10 classroom addition that opened in September, 2016. The Adams Road community is very active in the school, interested in their children’s education and supportive of school initiatives. The parents at Adams Road work together, helping to build a positive school community with special events and fundraising to support the school. The PAC plays a very active role in building a positive learning community. Many parents volunteer on a regular basis around the school, in classrooms and on school field studies. They work to create a positive school culture that is a key component of a successful school. Since our opening, the staff, students and parents have been working together to build a positive, connected and engaged school environment. At Adams Road, we have been supporting the development of Social and Emotional skills including self regulation, empathy, problem solving and emotion management. Our school focus is to work with students, staff and parents to help develop our students’ overall social and emotional competence.
Why Social and Emotional Learning at Adams Road?
- A school needs to build a positive school culture and a sense of belonging for our students.
- A school needs to establish clear expectations for positive behaviour.
- With many new students each year, there is a need to build connections, a sense of belonging and a positive culture.
- Effective schools develop school–wide, consistent approaches around SEL that involve all stakeholders.
- Our observations and assessments of students shows a need for explicit instruction in the following areas: empathy, respect, self management/self regulation, problem solving/decisions making.
Reflections About our Learners’ Strengths: – enjoy literacy, read-alouds – strong oral language skills – curious, inquisitive – enjoy hands on, interactive learning – enjoy fine arts, creative – active, kinesthetic learners – social, outgoing
Stretches: – independence, self confidence – taking responsibility for actions – problem solving skills – social skills – empathy – self regulation – skills for learning (listening, focus, attending to tasks, organizational skills) – managing emotions, stress, anxiety
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
What is Social Emotional Learning and Why is it Important?
Social-Emotional Learning is one of the Surrey Schools Learning by Design Priority Practices. Social Emotional Learning has a large body of research that supports it importance as a foundational component of successful schools. CASEL (Collaborative for Academic and Social-Emotional Learning) is the leading organization promoting SEL practices http://www.casel.org VIDEO: Introduction to Social-Emotional Learning
BC CURRICULUM CORE COMPETENCIES
The core competencies along with literacy and numeracy foundations and essential content and concepts are at the centre of the redesigned BC curriculum and assessment. Core competencies are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need to develop in order to engage in deep learning and life-long learning. Linking closely to our work in social-emotional learning is the Personal and Social Core Competency. This is the set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society. Personal and social competency encompasses the abilities students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world. Specifically linked to our work in SEL is Personal Awareness and Responsibility. This includes the skills, strategies, and dispositions that help students to stay healthy and active, set goals, monitor progress, regulate emotions, respect their own rights and the rights of others, manage stress, and persevere in difficult situations. Students who demonstrate personal awareness and responsibility demonstrate self-respect and express a sense of personal well-being. Also closely linked to SEL is the area of Social Responsibility. Social Responsibility involves the ability and disposition to consider the interdependence of people with each other and the natural environment; to contribute positively to one’s family, community, society, and the environment; to resolve problems peacefully; to empathize with others and appreciate their perspectives; and to create and maintain healthy relationships.
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
Over the past 3 years, our staff has worked on developing school-wide universal supports for Social and emotional Learning (SEL). Our specific inquiry questions help focus our work and a whole community.
Our 2 school-wide inquiry focus questions are:
1. Will the universal/school-wide teaching of Social and Emotional Learning through the ‘Second Step’ and ‘MindUp’ programs improve our students social and emotional learning skills?
2. How can we build upon the universal supports to target our tier 2 students’ social emotional competence?
During the 2015-16 school year our grade group cohorts worked together to develop specific, needs based, inquiry questions to focus on with their students.
The focus question for each grade group inquiry team:
K- Will a focus on explicit teaching of self-regulation skills improve student transitions into school?
1- How can we help support and teach our students emotion management and impulse control?
2- How can we build independence and confidence in our students?
3- Will the explicit teaching of Second Step Problem Solving skills help build our student’s ability to resolve conflicts peacefully?
4/5- Will focusing on developing students self-confidence and self esteem improve their feelings about school?
6/7- Will focusing on self-esteem improve social relationships and a help develop a culture of care in our students?
LST/SBT- how can we develop targeted supports to improve our tier 2 students social-emotional skills?
4. What professional learning do we need?
Guiding Principles of our work:
• based on positive, proactive approaches
• utilizes the Universal Design for Learning framework (3 tiers)
• requires school wide ownership, shared responsibility, consistent approaches
• requires direct, explicit, consistent instruction and reinforcement to all students
• restorative vs. punitive
• based on current research and recommended programs/resources
BUILDING CAPACITY IN SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING AND POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT
PROFESSIONAL LEARNING FOCUS:
- Universal Design model for Supporting Social and Emotional Learning (3 tiers)-school wide, classroom and intensive SEL supports for students
- ‘Second Step’- School-wide training and implementation-Kindergarten to Grade 7 Second Step Overview ppt
- ‘MindUP’ – School-wide training and implementation- Kindergarten to Grade 7 http://www.mindup.org
VIDEO: Hawn Foundation ‘Mind Up’ overview
- Zones of Regulation- focussed as targeted support (tier 2- Childcare Worker, LST, counsellor, etc) some classes using tools for all students in the classroom http://www.zonesofregulation.com
5. What is our plan?
STRATEGIES & STRUCTURES- Building a Positive School Culture and a Sense of Belonging
- Established clear Code of Conduct as per District Policy
- Kindness Kickoff – In January of 2018, we initiated a “Kindness Kickoff” to foster an atmosphere of kindness and respect in our school community. School wide kindness activities, assemblies, and random acts of kindness initiatives are just some of the highlights that our newly founded Kindness Committee have developed. Students have also been encouraged to extend their kindness to the community, and our “Bee Kind” campaign was shared with parents in our school newsletter and at a PAC meeting.
- Refinement of our School Based Team Model to provide more timely, proactive, action oriented supports and strategies. New process called ‘Supporting our Students Together’ (SOST), which is essentially having support teachers/case managers support classroom teachers as they prepare for SBT.
- Pro-D spent on MindUp/Mindfulness (Admin Day) in September, 2017
- “Curriculum Cafes”- offered to staff at lunch and after school to support SEL practices, facilitated by our District SEL Coordinator
- Three staff members attended the district SEL Dinner Series, and presented at a staff meeting
- SEL Staff Book Club is reading “Mindful Teaching and Teaching Mindfulness” to support their SEL professional development.
- collaboration time provided for ongoing grade group inquiry questions/planning
- Student Leadership Team
- all grade 6 & 7 students help lead team time, assemblies, charitable events, school events, etc.
- leadership conference for all our student leaders is held each year with keynote speakers, leadership sessions, team building events, etc.
- student leaders attend an outdoor education camp each year at Camp Elphinstone
- Student Crossing Guards are taking a leadership role in keeping our school community safe before and after school
- Intermediate “Greeters” are helping to walk young primary classes to their classes in the morning, creating positive connections and a safe, welcoming environment in the mornings
- A wide variety of school events are held each year to promote a sense of belonging and connection to our school including field trips, in school special presenters, community presenters, sports teams, student fine arts performances, etc.
Tier 2- Targeted Supports Students with identified areas of need receive Social and Emotional support, in addition to the regular classroom program. These students are identified through our DESSA assessment, classroom teacher observations, parent requests, etc. Our School Based Team members support these students in a variety of ways including:
- collaborating with classroom teachers around strategies for positive behaviour supports
- working with parents to share information and strategies, accessing additional supports
- working with teachers and parents to create positive behaviour support plans
Our Child and Youthcare Worker supports a variety of students in the following ways:
- daily check in/check out program- students with targeted behaviour support plans
- recess and lunch social skill groups
- targeted group support using “Zones of Regulation”
- in class support with self regulation, skills for learning, emotion management
- support teachers with positive behaviour support strategies
- ‘parent connect’ parenting program for Lord Tweedsmuir Family of Schools
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
Reflections from Staff
- our whole school is focusing on SEL strategies, it is a priority for all
- continue with whole school using Second Step- we are seeing positive results
- knowing the whole school is using the Second Step program helps build skills across all grades
- focusing on SEL skills is having a positive impact on academic success
- adding in more focus on self regulation in addition to Second Step (ie. Zones of Regulation)
- stay the course, SEL is still the main area of need in our school community and it takes time to really develop these skills in our students
- staff feel very supported by our school based team members- helping build our skills to support SEL in our students
- connecting and working with parents and building partnerships is key to our success
- students requiring additional SEL support are being supported by wrap around support from classroom teacher, CYCW, Counsellor, LST, Principal
Reflections from Students when asked “ what can we do to make our school an even better place for our students?”
- work on treating others with respect
- using more technology
- following school rules
- helping each other
- staying calm and in the ‘LOOP’ of Respect
- making sure everyone is included
- make learning and school more interesting
7. Based on the evidence, does our inquiry require adjustment?
During the 2016-17 school year we are focussing our next steps on:
- linking our SEL work to the Personal and Social Core Competencies from the revised BC curriculum
- working on student self assessments of personal and social competencies with a focus on Social Responsibility and Personal awareness and Responsibility
- exploring ways to document and highlight student learning in Social and Emotional Learning
- communicating student learning with our school community