Part 1: Analysis of Context
1. What do we know about our learners?
Simon Cunningham is a Level 4 Inner City School that houses three distinct programs: the Neighborhood (English) Program, an Early French Immersion Program and a Special Needs Low Incidence classroom. The total population is 586 students, with:
· 317students in our Neighborhood Program
· 265 French Immersion students
· 6 students in the Low Incidence classroom
We have a highly diverse student population with 39 languages other than English spoken at home. We also have 233 students designated as English Language Learners, 41 students with special needs, and 19 students of Aboriginal ancestry.
In terms of our teaching and support personnel, there is a healthy combination of both more experienced and newer staff in our school and every one of them works as part of a team to ensure that we provide the best services and support possible to our students. There are many programs, teams and clubs available for students to participate in outside of class time and these extracurricular initiatives are all sponsored by our teachers.
The students that we teach come from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. While many of our French Immersion students come from outside of our catchment area, those who live in the neighborhood and attend school in our English classes can come from homes where there are many needs. Many of our families are recent immigrants, many work at entry level jobs, and many are single parent families which struggle. Due to the additional support that our students require we have both a breakfast and a lunch program, both of which have seen increased participation in the last year. Recently, we have added “Attendance Matters” to the support that we provide to students and their families. However, regardless of the family background, the parents are very supportive of their children and the school and will become involved wherever and however it is possible for them to do so.