Clayton Heights Secondary is located on the shared, unceded, traditional territory of the Katzie, Semiahmoo and Kwantlen First Nations. We are a community where all students are encouraged to be inclusive and responsible citizens who participate in intellectual, artistic and athletic pursuits. With the guidance and encouragement of the school community, students are challenged to create, to anticipate and to dream.
Our students understand and accept their rights and responsibilities as citizens and participate in civic and social groups. They explore social, environmental and technological issues and advancements facing the nation and the world, while developing skills and understandings needed to pursue interests and utilize personal talents. Students are provided the opportunity to investigate career and educational options appropriate to their individual passions. All members of our school community are challenged to better understand the importance of maintaining physical and emotional well-being and develop decision-making, planning and resource management skills needed for their role as critical participants in a democratic society.
Our school is founded on the belief that service learning should be an integral part of all learning experiences. Student leadership programs support all aspects of student leader development, student involvement, and student leadership experiences at school.
The program is guided by the philosophy that leadership is about action, not position, and that all students have the capacity to make meaningful contributions during their school careers and beyond.
At Clayton Heights, our team of educators strives toward creating a school community that is equitable and meets the individual needs of our learners. We believe that positive relationships and connection form the foundation for an environment that is conducive to learning. Students succeed when they feel valued and cared for. Our Student Learning Plan focusses on the development and application of Social-Emotional Learning strategies, which promote student well-being, self-awareness and management, positive relationships, and responsible decision-making.
“Educational equity means that every child receives whatever they need to develop to their full academic and social potential and to thrive, every day, both academically as well as social-emotionally. Every child has a right to feel loved and cared for and to feel that they belong to a community. Emotional well-being is as important as academic success in this definition of educational equity.” – Elena Aguilar
Supporting students so they can successfully graduate means focussing on the skills needed to be proficient across all subject areas, as well as being competent in the core competencies of communication, critical and creative thinking and personal and social responsibility.
Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Our learners can identify their emotional needs, and demonstrate self-regulation to find support and success at CHS.
In the Spring of 2021, we surveyed approximately 50% of the school population, including all of our Transitions students, about their perceptions of the school culture and their connection to school.
As we continue our emergence from the pandemic, we have become increasingly aware of the mental health of our students. Students from grades 8 to 12 consistently listed mental health as the greatest barrier to their enjoyment of school.
To address the needs at Clayton Heights, we have provided bi-weekly lessons on mental health. These "Mental Health Moments" have given students the knowledge and resources to identify emotions and supports within the school to assist in their self-regulation skills needed to be an engaged learner and positive member of the CHS community. Students were asked to identify any topics that they wanted to learn more about (i.e. internet and social media safety, being more than a bystander, bullying, positive connection, etc.). The students felt empowered to voice their concerns and share topics that were of upmost importance to them. An example of one of the Mental Health Moment lessons has been included below:
Students discussed these topics in greater depth throughout the semester. Many students expressed that the learning environment in their classrooms was welcoming and encouraged them to feel comfortable discussing topics surrounding mental health with their peers.
Positive Personal and Cultural Identity and Social Responsibility
Our learners can identify their passions and interests and make connections to the CHS community.
"Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives." Brene Brown
In an effort to provide contexts for connection and a sense of belonging, our school has undertaken a number of initiatives aimed at increasing student engagement and sense of belonging at the school. We value celebrating each individual's personal identity and believe in creating an inclusive and safe space for all students. The following pictures provide just a small sample of the return to school activities that students engaged in this year. At CHS, teachers share their passions in clubs to connect with students outside of the classroom and build a community through shared interests. Students often volunteer their time in projects that give back and support both the school and local community. These events have also provided staff and students with an opportunity to learn from one another, celebrate diversity and nurture a culturally inclusive environment.
Cloverdale Community Kitchen Mental Health Awareness Week Craft / Art Club
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Club - Eid and Lunar New Year
Pride Arch / SOGI Education
Jeff AD Martin Presentation on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion - #YouAreWorthIt!
Clayton Heights Athletics Spreading Kindness
Indigenous Games in PHE for First Peoples in Residence Week
Supporting students so they can graduate successfully, develop positive relationships, and nurture their passions and strengths to be positive, caring, inclusive community members is our focus at CHS. We aim for all students to be provided with daily opportunities to develop Social-Emotional learning skills and capabilities, as well as, build competence in the core competencies of communication, critical and creative thinking and personal and social responsibility.
"Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions" (CASEL, 2022).
At CHS, our educators support students in developing positive and successful academic, social and emotional transitions in their journey through:
In order to identify our students' strengths and areas of growth, as well as, highlight and assess our supports, we tracked Social-Emotional Learning in two cohorts of learners who were recommended for our Transitions program. The CHS Transitions program focuses on academic skill building, student connection, and social-emotional learning. Support is provided so students are able to develop a growth mindset and motivation to achieve their goals for the future.
Student Learning Goals
For some students, the struggle to meaningfully engage in school has been a greater challenge. Our support team worked this year to identify grade 9 students that were at risk of not successfully transitioning into the grade 10 to 12 graduation program.
This cohort of students was supported throughout the year by a dedicated transitions teacher, alongside the youth care workers, safe-school liaisons, and counsellors. Through the creation of a dedicated drop-in space, weekly check-ins, academic support, attendance follow up, and in-class support, many of these grade 9 students made significant academic and social progress and built positive connections to the school community. Our Transitions students were encouraged to discover their passions and to engage in activities that would connect them back to the learning environment (i.e. physical exercise and trips to the weight room, art, gaming club, etc.). Furthermore, they were equipped with the skills necessary to build resiliency, self-regulation, compassion and engage in restorative justice and conflict resolution.
Students were asked to identify what they believe are the most important skills to develop as a student. Our Transitions program teacher used these survey results to provide a framework for the supports that were offered.
|“September till January had been a real struggle for my son transitioning into grade 9,. In January, the Transitions teacher took my son on as one of his students to support. There has been a huge change in my son this semester having him there for support.|
The Transitions teacher has done weekly check-ins with him and made him feel comfortable in the school and able to talk to him. Whenever there were any issues in class or when he needed support or follow ups with teachers, the Transitions teacher has been there right away to support my son. He created a plan to help make him successful this semester. Having the Transitions teacher there for support has been great.” – Parent feedback on Transitions Program
Senior Transitions: Skills for Success
We have also worked to provide additional layers of support to grade 11 and 12 students at risk of not successfully completing the graduation program. In our “Skills for Success” class, this cohort of students learned about and practiced growth mindset strategies, and explored goal-setting and approaches to personal organization. In addition, this program monitored the student's academics, providing the guidance and support so they could see success across all their classes, with a focus on Social-Emotional Learning (self-awareness, responsible decision-making and strategies for overall well-being).
Our learners are developing their Social-Emotional skills and capacities. In the areas of self-awareness and reflection, mental well-being, responsible decision-making and positive connection and belonging, students demonstrated an increase in their ability to:
1. Identify strategies to promote mental well-being
2. Identify their passions, strengths and areas for growth
3. Reflect on their learning needs and styles
4. Identify a trusted adult or activity that is connecting them to the school
Our learners can use self- assessment and reflection to develop awareness of their strengths, preferences and skills.
Student weekly / daily learning plans: The following sample provides examples of scaffolded organizational and self-management tools which students were encouraged to use throughout the semester. Students used the weekly planner (blue) to keep track of school and personal responsibilities. The daily planner (yellow) helped students to organize and prioritize work that they needed to complete. This provided students with a visual checklist, which eased some of the stressors of increasing academic rigor and social pressures.
.Reflections on the learning process: Throughout the semester, students were given opportunities to reflect on the learning process and their role in it. By inviting students into conversations and dialogue around the ways they learn, they were increasingly able to demonstrate a greater self-awareness of what they need in order to learn. This metacognition proved especially valuable for senior students. Furthermore, students were given the opportunity to reflect on Social-Emotional Learning opportunities that would nourish a positive learning environment.
Students will be able to evaluate and explain strategies for promoting mental well-being.
Students can demonstrate an increased sense of belonging and connection, school engagement and participation.
Our Transitions teacher has connected with our students and has developed a trusting relationship with many of them. By getting to know the students, listening to them and providing opportunities to discover their passions, a sense of belonging and connection has formed.
All students will continue to focus on their social-emotional learning as part of the personal and social responsibility core competency. Students will continue to practice SEL skills across different contexts and cultures. CHS Staff are continuing their professional growth in the area of SEL learning in order to support our students. Our SEL Lead has been working with a group of colleagues to develop various initiatives to promote SEL amongst our staff and students.
Our Transitions program will continue to support our vulnerable learners through building connection, providing support in academics, working on social-emotional learning, and goals for the future. We will also be offering targeted support for our Indigenous learners.
Graduation is a celebration of being a well educated citizen who has identified their passion and skills to make a positive contribution to the community. Our graduates have post secondary plans for the future, can identify their strengths and interests, and are able to be caring, just, inclusive community members who contribute positively to society.