Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
McLeod Road Traditional School is a choice school located in the south zone of the Surrey School district. We have a steady student population of 211 who come from a wide variety of neighbourhoods from all over Surrey.
McLeod Road Traditional School has a strong, supportive PAC who has enabled the school to move forward by supporting us to purchase tech tools and playground structures and hosting special school events to support the wide variety of learning through a wide variety of ways.
We have the unique position of having many of our students stay together for most of their elementary school years. We have a community of learners who truly grow together.
2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?
After completing an initial scan of the state of our students’ social/emotional learning in January 2015, the staff at MRT concluded that students are having some difficulties with social responsibility. We noticed that students have a difficult time solving problems and communicating with each other and with self regulation skills. As well, anxiety to perform and behave well is evident in the intermediate grades.
To find out more, we decided to collect data through three different methods:
- We had our students complete a student survey,
- Teachers filled out a quick social responsibility performance scale on each student
- Observations and discussions with students, parents and staff related to the social responsibility of our students were completed.
Here are the results:
Teacher Quick Student Social Responsibility Scale
Staff, Student and Parent Observations re: areas related to social responsibility needing further attention
Part 2: Focus and Planning
3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?
Social emotional learning is a broad area of the currriculum that consists of three interrelated competencies:
- Positive Personal and Cultural Identity
- Personal Awareness and Responsibility
- Social Responsibility
Looking at the data, as a school, we decided to focus on 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. Social responsibility consists of four facets;
- Contributing to Community and Caring for the Environment.
- Solving Problems in Peaceful Ways
- Valuing Diversity
- Building Relationships
Since each class is different, each teacher has chosen their own inquiry question to work through. This plan outlines each teacher’s process through the spirals of inquiry.
Here are some of their questions:
- How can I help my students build self regulation skills to create a calmer, more productive learning environment?
- What can I do to get my students to develop empathy for each other, the local environment and community?
- What skills can I teach my students so they can solve problems without adult guidance?
- How can we help our class achieve better focus during independent and group activities?
- By exposing students to the lend-a-hand program, will they become stewards and be responsible for an assigned environment?
- How can we create an environment of acceptance where students are supportive of their peers?
4. What professional learning do we need?
We have participated in a few professional development opportunities to help us with our inquiries.
- What is inquiry? Staff has been introduced to the spirals of inquiry
- School Vision Planning: Staff spent a day with Selina Millar, a district helping teacher, to come together with a common vision related to our inquiry questions.
- Social Emotional Learning Helping Teacher, Taunya Shaw led a workshop about the Second Step and MindUP programs.
We are planning for the following professional development:
- Karen Coumant, Literacy Helping Teacher will be invited to lead a session on using picture books as an aid for reflection and to help teach skills related to social responsibility.
- Research strategies/programs that can help with reducing anxiety in our students.
- Visit classrooms outside of our school to create collaborative relationships and observe strategies related to our inquiries in action.
5. What is our plan?
- Take part in professional development related to our inquiry questions.
- Touch base every staff meeting on how our inquiry is going (discuss observations, pose questions, collaborate).
- Implement the Second Step and/or MindUP program in our classes.
- Meet individually or with small groups of students to discuss how students are reflecting on social responsibility on Fresh Grade.
For more information about the Second Step program click here
For information about the MindUP program click here
Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate
6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)
- We will have students complete the student survey again at the end of the 2017/2018 year to see if any of the results change.
- We will have teachers complete the Social Responsibility Quick Performance Scale on each of their students to see of any of the results change.
- We will have discussions with students to see if they are able to share if they know and use strategies to help with problem solving and their anxiety levels.
- We will have discussions with lunch time supervisors, secretaries, counsellor, teachers and principal to see if there has been a noticeable change in students needing adults to help them with problem solving.