Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
Goldstone Park Elementary School began operation in September 2013, The Goldstone Park catchment is a combination of established homes, new single-family homes combined with multifamily dwellings. The school opened with an enrolment of 300 students and has now increased to 740 (Sept 2019). Our school is expected to continue to have steady growth for several years. The Goldstone Park community is very active in the school, interested in their children’s education, and supportive of school initiatives.
The staff, students, and parents have worked hard to build a positive, connected and engaged school environment where everyone feels a sense of belonging.
Staff and students have positive interpersonal relationships
There is high student and staff engagement and connectedness. Collaboration and professional learning are important to staff.
There is a strong foundation of social and emotional learning based on the last four years of using the Second Step program.
At Goldstone Park we value…
COMMUNITY – belonging – helping others – family – friendship – happiness – humour – peace
We care about and contribute to the well-being of our community. We strive to make Goldstone Park a happy, peaceful place where all our students, staff, and families belong.
INCLUSION -attachment, acceptance, involvement, empathy
We promote and encourage inclusion through the use of the UDL framework. We respect strengths and stretches and provide students with the tools they need to be successful.
LEADERSHIP – integrity – authenticity – honesty – responsibility – loyalty – accountability
We have the courage to do the right thing. We are honest. We are accountable for our actions. We treat others the way we would like to be treated. We are all responsible for all our students.
TEAMWORK – collaboration – involvement – positive relationships and communication – respect
We support each other. We trust each other. We respect each other. We value everyone’s ideas and we enjoy working together for the benefit of all. We communicate our ideas in a positive, respectful way.
LEARNING – creativity – growth – excellence – knowledge – personal development – success
We try our best. We are committed to continuous improvement; we recognize all experiences as important learning opportunities. We are innovative and we welcome new ideas and creative thinking.
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
Overall the focus on SEL from the past four years has resulted in student’s feeling a strong sense of belonging and connectedness to the school and community.
Evidence gathered from K, 1, 2, 4 6 provided a snapshot of student’s who had been struggling with behaviours a the beginning of the school year and how they had grown by March in making positive choices.
The three way conferencing done by various teachers from K, 1, 2 and 6 were very well received by parents making them feel far more connected to their student’s learning.
The creation of a school garden this past year contributed to student’s feeling calm and promoted environmental stewardship overall.
Results of the 2018/19 MDI from the student survey as well as surveys conducted by the teachers have given us evidence of success and evidence of areas requiring either more attention or new areas for us to focus on.
In regards to the MDI survey, students reported having a strong sense of connection with both adults and peers in the school. Student’s identified “at my school there is an adult who believes I will be a success” at 78%, which was above the District average. They also reported having a strong, 83%, relationship with adults at home. Students reported a high sense of empathy, pro-social behaviours, and self esteem. They reported a high academic self confidence. “I am certain I can learn the skills taught in the school this year.” and lastly a high degree of school belonging. “I feel like I am important to this school.” When asked about “Cyber, physical, verbal and social bullying, the students scored well above the District average “Not at all this year ” in all four categories.
An area the students identified as needing attention is in long and short term self regulation. Teachers are also seeing / experiencing the need to teach specific self regulation strategies and self regulation language in their classrooms. Student’s are less able to critically think about their actions and behaviours and how they affect their learning and the learning of others. The MDI survey also indicated a need for specific targeted instruction on self regulation overall so this will be one of the areas of focus over the 2019/20 school year.
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
Will the shift to a UDL approach in specific teaching areas help improve self regulation of all of our learners?
How can we promote critical thinking through the teaching of self-regulation strategies?
4. What professional learning do we need?
Our Professional development days in the summer and fall focused on UDL. The fall ProD was specifically geared to literacy and numeracy. Teachers chose the areas that they felt needed the most improvement and where they felt they had the most challenging behaviours with students. Some are focusing on numeracy, others on literacy.
Others are moving to using Second Step language and strategies throughout the day and not just as lessons taught in isolation.
Teachers are at various stages in their knowledge and use of UDL. Some are well versed in the strategies and others are at a beginning stage.
Staff who were interested were provided with Professional resources.
Number Talks Open Questions
The Book Whisperer, Culturize Every Student.
Reading Power, Writing Power, Powerful Understandings
Daily 5 Literacy, Daily 5 Math
Participation in the Dinner Series with Faye Brownlie, Leighton Schelton, Shelley Moore
Staff meetings have a PRO D focus at the start of each meeting.
Videos, open ended questions and readings all focus on various aspects of UDL.
5. What is our plan?
Power of YET
Language introduced through monthly assemblies and “mascot” YETI.
Review of Growth mindset language for teachers at monthly staff meetings
Tie in to the language and goals as stated in the Core Competencies-Posters for each room
Critical Thinking; Book Clubs targeted to areas of interest/need
Math Workshop Five Steps to Implementing Guided Math, Learning Stations, Reflection and more
The Daily 5
Professional Development Book Clubs at lunch;
Onward, Calm Alert and Learning, Mind Up
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
Anecdotal from Classroom teachers in regards to student’s and self regulation in class
Self reflections by students’s on self regulating
Less referrals to the office from lunch and recess incidents stemming from non self regulating behaviours
Teacher comments on report cards regarding self management of behaviours
7. Based on the evidence, does our inquiry require adjustment?
Based on conversations in staff meetings, grade group meetings, with CCW and counsellor and SBT,
efforts to help with self regulation seem to be having a positive effect.
Students in self reflections were able to identify:
- Ways to calm down
- Ways to get on track
- Show an understanding of making mistakes and keeping trying
- Identify strategies to maintain focus though movement breaks, headphones, fidgit toys