École Jessie Lee 23-24

OUR CONTEXT

We are located in South Surrey on the traditional shared territory of the Semiahmoo First Nations. Our school is nestled in a beautiful neighbourhood surrounded by nature, blocks from the ocean and yet so close to urban comforts. Our approximately 400 students come from diverse backgrounds that make up our collaborative school community. We even have two late French Immersion classes. Our parent group, teachers and support staff all work together to contribute to a warm, welcoming place of belonging for all. 




At Jessie Lee our school goals are to .... Be Respectful Be Co-operative Be Safe .....This makes Jessie Lee a place where everyone belongs!


Jessie Lee Elementary was built in 1974 and named after Jessie Lee, who was a teacher at both Ray Shepard and White Rock Elementary before she served on the city council for several years supporting her community. She was active in the community, as a member of the Victorian Order of Nurses, the White Rock P.T.A and she helped start a night school in the area, just to name a few.  During the second world war, from 1939-1945, Jessie was a substitute teacher and claimed she taught in every school in Surrey at that time.  She had been heard to have said that she taught at every school in Surrey during her time as a substitute teacher early in her career! This community mindset lives on at our school.



École Jessie Lee is a learning community striving to be lifelong learners, curious about the world around us and demonstrating caring with others. Our teachers are engaged learners themselves, participating in numerous professional inquiry activities like Literacy team, Indigenous Ways of Learning and Physical and Social Emotional Well-Being learning groups. Our staff are deeply connected to the community in many ways. Some of our  teachers actually have their own childhood pictures on the wall as former students! Our staff are active in supporting the wellbeing of our families with clothing drives, Christmas hampers and our breakfast program in the Den. What is apparent is that the staff feel very connected to this place and to our students. As we say around our school.... "Teamwork is the Dreamwork!"


Our dedicated parent group is active in bringing joy to our school by helping us create a school garden, organizing Spring Fairs, supporting school wide events like our Spring Sprint, Summer Fun Fair and of course, our student’s favourite -Hot Lunch!

OUR LEARNERS

Many early primary students have a wide range of diverse experiences prior to attending school. At Jessie Lee we aim to provide substantial  literacy exposure and instruction to our early primary students. We partner with our Strong Start Program, that welcomes parents and young children ages 0 to 5 into our school, with literacy experiences in our library and around the school. Additionally, we work closely with many of our families that are new to Canada and learning English as their second language. Our school context requires a rich and balanced literacy program to improve our students reading and writing – helping all our students thrive and grow. Using daily repetition to ensure that the lesson focus was the content not the activity, literacy instruction was embedded throughout the day starting with daily levelled guided reading groups, daily high frequency word instruction, daily targeted spelling activities, and daily writing lessons.



Our learning plan is supported in the BIG IDEAS of English Language Arts:  

Language and story can be a source of creativity and joy.

Stories and other texts can be shared through pictures and words.

Playing with language helps us discover how language works.

 Comprehend and Connect (reading, listening, viewing)

Curricular Competency #1: I can read fluently at grade level, using reading strategies such as:

  • using illustrations and prior knowledge to predict meaning; rereading; retelling in own words; locating the main idea and details; using knowledge of language patterns and phonics to decode words; identifying familiar and “sight” words; monitoring (asking: Does it look right? Sound right? Make sense?); self-correcting errors consistently using three cueing systems: meaning, structure, and visual

Create and Communicate (writing, speaking, representing)

Curricular Competency #2: I can communicate using letters and words and applying some conventions of Canadian spelling, grammar, and punctuation

Curricular Competency #3:  I can create stories and other texts to deepen awareness of self, family, and community



When students learn reading strategies, they learn to make sense of the world presented in text and make greater sense of the world around them. They then learn to share their own stories, translating their literacy skills into written form that can be read by others. Our cohort of grade one and two students is focused on developing the literacy skills in both reading and writing. We have identified a representative sample of six students to exemplify their personal growth in both reading and writing this year. 


OUR FOCUS

Jessie Lee Students are Focused on Literacy!

At Jessie Lee, reading is an important school goal that is a fundamental skill across all grades and all subject areas. Literacy is the ability to understand, critically analyze, and create a variety of forms of communication, including oral, written, visual, digital, and multimedia, in order to accomplish one’s goals. It is the ability to read, write, speak, and think in a way that lets us communicate effectively and engage with the world around us.   In developing literary skills, our students are engaging in the Core Competencies (Communication, Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Emotional).  At Jessie Lee, teachers design literacy experiences and lessons to support our students to achieve their potential.  


Our Cohort...

Our cohort is a group of grade one and two students. We looked closely at this group to gather evidence of success,  ensure access to quality levelled texts and reflect on best strategies to deepen our students literacy skills. 

What are the Jessie Lee Learning Goals? Teachers identified areas they would like to see improvement:

  • Students will demonstrate growth in the ability to read grade level materials, by accessing texts in their zone of proximal development, building up recognition of high frequency words and developing reading strategies to access text. 
  • Students will demonstrate growth in their ability to represent words with accurate, or close to accurate, conventions.  
  • Students will demonstrate growth in their ability to communicate stories and personal narratives in written form 

Our learners will have multiple opportunities to engage in a balanced literacy program. The students thrive with these literacy routines, showing excitement in each:

  1. Guided reading groups students at similar reading levels and challenges them to not only read with fluency, but comprehend the text and use high order thinking skills such as inferencing. As they progress the books and comprehension questions become more challenging.
  2. High frequency word instruction was woven through-out the day starting with the introduction of a new word in our morning message and the students getting to stand up to read the word and use it orally. Later that day they have to write it in a sentence. As the week progressed the students’ excitement grew when they were challenged to complete word blanks in our message demonstrating not only how to spell the word, but also how it is used in context. At the end of the week, the students get to place it on our word wall – a visual display of their learning and point of reference for our writing.  
  3. The spelling program, Words Their Way, targets the individual needs of the student and meets them where they are at. This cohort formed five different groups – ranging from beginning letter sounds to inflected endings. Each group cycled through an 8-day spelling program before they learned their new spelling focus. The students thrived with this independence and absorbed learning which they applied in the last component: writer’s workshop.
  4. Writer’s workshop begins with a short mini-lesson on a topic which includes the teacher modeling the skill we are focusing on and then a short period for students to work on their writing. The lesson ends with the chance for students to share their writing with their peers during our snack and share. During which the other students provide peer feedback which further re-enforces their understanding of the components of writing!


Students practice and communicate responding to literature from October through June. They  do so through the use of various tools and strategies, including explicit instruction, modelling and scaffolded structures. For instance, individual lessons are taught, modelled, and practised with many different texts over several months so that learners acquire the competency to develop confident comprehension skills. Our teachers found that using a familiar framework, with targeted feedback and coaching from the teacher, along with varied text created the best opportunity for students growth.

OUR NEXT STEPS

Our students make progress!

 


 

All of our primary students demonstrate growth when given access to meaningful reading experiences and had repeated opportunities to practice fluency, comprehension, reading strategies and response respond to text with their connections. They also engaged in daily routines of word recognition, phonics and had multiple opportunities to represent their ideas in print. 

To demonstrate how this cohort reached the goal of closing the gap and bringing them to grade level, you will find a sample of six student’s reading level at the beginning, middle, and end of the year, Words Their Way spelling assessments done in September and June showing the improvement in phonics and spelling patterns, as well as the first journal entry in September and their personal narratives completed at the beginning of May.

All members of our cohort demonstrated improved literacy skills including the targeted areas:

Curricular Competency #1: I can read fluently at grade level, using reading strategies such as:

  • using illustrations and prior knowledge to predict meaning; rereading; retelling in own words; locating the main idea and details; using knowledge of language patterns and phonics to decode words; identifying familiar and “sight” words; monitoring (asking: Does it look right? Sound right? Make sense?); self-correcting errors consistently using three cueing systems: meaning, structure, and visual







Student name 

Grade 

September 

February 

May 

Student 1 

Proficient 

Extending 

Extending (reading at grade 3 level) 

Student 2 

Emerging (not reading yet) 

Developing 

Proficient 

Student 3 

Emerging (not reading yet) 

Emerging 

Proficient 

Student 4 

Emerging 

Proficient 

Extending 

Student 5 

Emerging 

Developing 

Proficient 

Student 6 

Proficient 

Extending 

Extending (reading at grade 4 level) 

All members of our cohort demonstrated personal growth in reading skills. Over 60% of this sample were at an emerging level in September, and in June, only 16% were  within the emerging level (although they had made progress) and over 83% were at a developing or higher of proficiency in reading at grade level. More than half of this cohort demonstrated skills at the proficient  or higher level. It was exciting to note that there were significant gains within our "at promise" students who moved along the continuum!


 Curricular Competency #2: I can communicate using letters and words and applying some conventions of Canadian spelling, grammar, and punctuation

Student name 

Grade 

September 

May 

Student 1 

Emerging  

Proficient 

Student 2 

Developing 

Proficient 

Student 3 

Developing 

Proficient 

Student 4 

Emerging 

Proficient 

Student 5 

Proficient 

Extending  

Student 6 

Developing 

Proficient 

All members of our cohort demonstrated personal growth in spelling skills. Eighty percent of the cohort started the year below grade level. Through targeted and differentiated spelling instruction every student reached grade level abilities by May. Remarkably, one grade one student started the year at grade level and ended it significantly above grade level. This progress will not only help them write, but also decode some challenging words as they continue their reading journey.

Before and After Spelling Assessment Samples:

Student #1 Diagnostic Words Their Way Spelling Assessment (beginning of the year)Student #1 Year End  Words Their Way Spelling Assessment

Student #2 Diagnostic Words Their Way Spelling Assessment (beginning of the year)

Student #2 Year End Words Their Way Spelling Assessment

Student #3 Diagnostic Words Their Way Spelling Assessment (beginning of the year)

Student #3 Year End Words Their Way Spelling Assessment

Student #4 Diagnostic Words Their Way Spelling Assessment (beginning of the year)

Student #4 Year End Words Their Way  Spelling Assessment


Student #5 Diagnostic  Words Their Way Spelling Assessment (beginning of the year)

Student #5 Year End Words Their Way Spelling Assessment

Student #6 Diagnostic Words Their Way Spelling Assessment (beginning of the year)

Student #6 Year End Words Their Way Spelling Assessment



Curricular Competency #3:  I can create stories and other texts to deepen awareness of self, family, and community

Student name 

Grade 

September 

May 

Student 1 

Emerging  

Extending 

Student 2 

Developing 

Proficient 

Student 3 

Developing 

Extending 

Student 4 

Emerging 

Extending 

Student 5 

Developing 

Extending  

Student 6 

Developing 

Extending 

All members of our cohort demonstrated significant personal growth in writing skills. All of these students started the year below grade level and all students ended the year at or above grade level. Notably, more than 80% above grade level. This progress has set up the cohort for success in future years! 

Before and After Writing Samples: 

Student #1 Diagnostic Writing Sample (Beginning of School Year)

Student #1 Narrative Writing Sample in May 2024

Student #2 Diagnostic Writing Sample (Beginning of School Year)

Student #2 Narrative Writing Sample in May 2024

Student #3 Diagnostic Writing Sample (Beginning of School Year)

Student #3 Narrative Writing Sample in May 2024

Student #4 Diagnostic Writing Sample (Beginning of School Year)

Student #4 Narrative Writing Sample in May 2024

Student #5 Diagnostic Writing Sample (Beginning of School Year)

Student #5 Narrative Writing Sample in May 2024

Student #6 Diagnostic Writing Sample (Beginning of School Year)

Student #6 Narrative Writing Sample in May 2024



Next Steps:

At Jessie Lee, Literacy continues to be an area of targeted growth. Staff are dedicated to the professional development, mentorship and collaboration needed to continue to support their students in their reading and writing. While we are extremely proud of all of the students for the personal growth, we remain committed to provided targeted instruction and intervention for our at promise literacy learners who have not yet achieved the grade level proficiency that we are striving for in our Student Learning Plan. We will continue to provide a literacy rich environment for all learners, and look forward to seeing them continue to grow and flourish!





Surrey Schools

Formed in 1906, the Surrey School District currently has the largest student enrolment in British Columbia and is one of the few growing districts in the province. It is governed by a publicly elected board of seven trustees.

The district serves the cities of Surrey and White Rock and the rural area of Barnston Island.

Surrey Schools
14033 - 92 Avenue Surrey,
British Columbia V3V 0B7
604-596-7733