Part 1: Analysis of Context

1. What do we know about our learners?

Welcome to Cloverdale Traditional School!

Welcome to Cloverdale Traditional School! We are a choice school in the Surrey School District. Our school code of conduct, “A community of caring, respectful and responsible learners” reflects how we all learn, work and play together. We are home to approximately 300 students, a dedicated and hardworking staff, and a caring and engaged community of families. We currently house a District-based Intensive Literacy class, who enroll in our school for one year. We have a very supportive parent group, led by an active PAC executive who bring the school community together through ongoing events and activities.
 
We see ourselves as a “modern” traditional school in that we follow the current BC curriculum and Surrey School District’s vision for learning, “Learning by Design.” https://surreylearningbydesign.ca/. Students have a uniform dress code and are largely driven to school from across the District. Our school welcomes all learners and supports every child in reaching excellence in citizenship, academic achievement, and in developing a “growth mindset” to promote effort and persistence in learning.


In addition, staff have agreed that expanding student awareness of diversity including weaving First Peoples Principles of Learning into our daily experiences and highlighting Aboriginal content will benefit all students.
 
Staff describe our students as eager to learn, and ready for school experiences. Our students act respectfully and responsibly towards one another as well as adults. They are eager for leadership opportunities and perform these leadership jobs reliably. Data gathered from a 2016 Student Learning survey revealed that students enjoy active, hands-on learning experiences such as those addressed in the ADST curriculum (Applied Design, Skills and Technology) as well as opportunities to engage with technology for learning. Many CTS students are involved in sports teams inside and outside of school and are excited to participate in Physical and Health Education experiences. The survey highlighted their interest in developing two competency areas:  critical thinking and creative thinking.

2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?

Along with a strong desire to achieve academic excellence, staff have noticed that some students display a “fixed mindset” rather than a “growth mindset” about their ability to learn. This reflects a belief that intelligence is fixed, and cannot readily change, rather than seeing making mistakes as a necessary part of learning.  This can lead to avoiding challenges or giving up easily. Some students have expressed feeling pressure to get good marks or grades and can appear anxious in class, particularly when taking tests.  Teaching staff know that anxiety can impede learning and believe we can achieve greater academic success by increasing students’ social-emotional resiliency. Specifically, staff are focused on supporting students to shift their thinking from a fixed mindset to a flexible one in which the process of learning can be effortful, engaging, and collaborative.

Part 2: Focus and Planning

3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?

Our inquiry plan has been focused on a broad goal of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) since 2016. In the 2017-18 school year, staff formed smaller groups and narrowed their focus to two aspects of SEL: Developing a Growth Mindset for Learning and Creating an Inclusive Classroom.

Developing a Growth Mindset

  • In what ways can we support students to view mistakes as opportunities for growth and reflect on their learning through teaching explicit growth mindset lessons? 
  • How might the use of specific language in the classroom (ie. “I can” statements) support students to articulate and reflect on what they can do, and what they need to do to improve, as evidenced by their journals and ongoing FreshGrade reflections? 
     
    Creating an Inclusive Classroom
  • How might focusing on explicitly celebrating individual student strengths and qualities, such as reading stories about different types of people and their challenges/successes, promote a classroom climate that is more accepting of every child, as evidenced in daily interactions, projects, and ongoing assignments? 
     
  • In what ways might a more collaborative learning environment which includes regular class meetings, group problem-solving tasks and the SEAL strategy (Stop, Explain, Affirm, and Acknowledge) support a more inclusive classroom and school culture?
     
    Our inquiry questions align with the Personal and Social Core Competency. As part of the ongoing nature of the inquiry cycle, staff continue to collect and discuss evidence, and refine their questions. Each inquiry group includes a range of grade level classroom teachers, non-enrolling staff, (music teacher, teacher-librarian, LST, IST) as well as EAs. In this way, we hope to share key messages and positively impact learning K-7.

4. What professional learning do we need?

Where have we been?  Where are we going?

2016-2018

INQUIRY TEAMS
Staff team participated in a District inquiry process focused on Social & Emotional Learning
Changing Results for Young Learners
Primary CSL Inquiry Project
Intermediate Differentiated Instruction Inquiry Project

ZONES OF REGULATION
common “Zones” language and strategies across grades
Staff completed case studies
Surveys of staff, students and parents regarding self-regulation understandings and strategies.  

2017-2018:
Ongoing SEL Lunch & Learn sessions with Tauyna Shaw, District SEL helping teacher
Introduction of the Second Step program and Friends for Life program

GROWTH MINDSET BOOK CLUB
Lunch & learn sessions with The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher’s Month -by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve.
Staff share successes, strategies they are working towards and questions they have.  

2018-19:

ALIGNING RESOURCES
SEL tools including calm down tools, wiggle cushions, wobble stools, flexible seating, noise cancelling headphones as well as an enhanced Integration Support Teacher room support our goals of inclusivity, diversity and flexible learning environments.

NEW SEL RESOURCES
Lunch & learn sessions exploring new SEL apps and picture books.

FRESHGRADE PORTFOLIOS
12 out of 13 teachers are communicating student learning using FreshGrade portfolios.
Ongoing student assessment and reflection emphasize a growth mindset focused on process, rather than products.

CONTINUUM OF LEARNING – PROFICIENCY SCALE K-7
Intermediate teachers recognized that letter grades can be significantly stressful for some students. They chose to use the Proficiency Scale language rather than reporting or assessing with letter grades.
This change in assessment practice has been anecdotally positive for staff, students and families.
Consistent language from K-7 emphasizes a continuum of learning and encourages formative assessment practices.

SURVEYS
A survey for Intermediate students in grades 6 and 7 and for Parents has been drafted regarding this change from letter grades to Proficiency Scale.

PARENTS /PAC
The PAC have invited guest speakers to speak with parents on reducing stress and anxiety and fear of failure, as well as Safe Schools. Ongoing sharing of social emotional learning experiences and resources with parents at PAC meetings and TSAC meetings

NEXT STEPS: CONNECTING TO PRIORITY PRACTICES

We have just begin to connect our work to District Priority Practices:

Curriculum Design
Teachers attend to the social aspects of learning while creating environments that encourage students to take risks and express different viewpoints/perspectives.
Teachers craft learning intentions incorporating student voice, choice and flexibility.

Quality Assessment
Creating and sharing learning intentions, co-creating criteria, using ongoing descriptive feedback, self and peer assessment have become important as we no longer use grades
 
Instructional Strategies
designed with a recognition that learning is influenced by: social and cultural context, background knowledge and understanding, and individual needs, interests and passions.

SEL
fostering a classroom climate that increases student personal, positive perception of well-being and belonging;
appreciating the dynamic and vital nature of high-quality student-teacher relationships that will positively impact school engagement and student success;

CSL
Ongoing, timely, woven into the other strands
Consistent language K-7

5. What is our plan?

Surrey’s vision for learning, “Learning by Design”guides our decisions around student learning and offers ideas for deepening our inquiry process.  The vision is articulated by three interwoven strands:
 
Learning
Learning honours our diverse cultures and traditions and is:

  • Inspired by individual passions and interests. 
  • Connected to real-world experiences and challenges. 
  • Demonstrated in powerful ways both individually and in groups. 
  • Supported by all who work with, and for our students.

Structures

  • Time, physical space, access to information, and connection to community provide the flexibility to support powerful learning.

Tools for a Digital Age

  • Tools that enable digital citizenship support access to information, and demonstrations of learning.
  • Tools to support learning extend beyond digital technologies.
     
    Next steps:
    Developing a Growth Mindset – Tools and Structures to Support Learning:
  • An ongoing connection to the district SEL helping teachers
  • Opportunities to observe colleagues and share strategies and practices
  • Continued focus on class meetings, Zones of Reg common language, MindUp breathing and calming strategies
  • Explicit emphasis on formative assessment practices, opportunities to make mistakes, re-do, and keep going
  • Book club using The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher’s Month -by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve.
  • Student surveys for grade 6-7 about learning using the Proficiency Scale language.
  • Continued exploration of apps, digital resources and picture books to support growth mindset in classroom
     
    Creating an Inclusive Classroom – Tools and Structures to Support Learning:
  • An ongoing connection to the district SEL helping teachers;
  • Opportunities to observe colleagues and share strategies and practices
  • Continued focus on class meetings, Zones of Reg common language, MindUp breathing and calming strategies
  • Book club using The Growth Mindset Coach: A Teacher’s Month -by-Month Handbook for Empowering Students to Achieve
  • Continued exploration of apps, digital resources and picture books to support inclusive classrooms, recognize and celebrate differences
  • Integration of art, story and drama to bring inclusive classroom concepts to life
  • Continue with First peoples in Residence, drum making and integrating FPPL ito daily classroom practice

Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate

6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)

  • Classroom level data such as anecdotal evidence of learning and growth related to inquiry questions.
  • Student Survey data regarding how to learn (Proficiency Scale vs letter grades)
  • Parent Survey data regarding how to learn (Proficiency Scale vs letter grades)
  • Look at alignment of inquiry plan with District Priority Practices

7. Based on the evidence, does our inquiry require adjustment?