McLeod Road Traditional 23-24

OUR CONTEXT

 What is our school context?

McLeod Road Traditional Elementary School is proud to sit on the unceded, traditional territory of the Katzie, Kwantlen, and Semiahmoo First Nations and other Coast Salish Peoples. We are grateful to come to school each day to work and learn in this beautiful place.  We are committed to learning about this place and we are learning to be stewards of the land.   

The photo below is of the duck pond adjacent to the school property. Many classes walk to the pond to connect to place and to conduct scientific observations and experiments.


                                                                 The duck pond that is beside our school property.


McLeod Road Traditional, also known as MRT, is a distinctive and close-knit educational community within the Surrey School District. The emphasis on a traditional learning experience, along with the unique aspects such as a school uniform, contribute to the school's distinctive culture. 

The smaller size of the school fosters a keen sense of community and belonging among students, creating a unique and supportive learning environment. The stability of the community with returning staff and families, enhances the sense of trust and connection between all members. 

The choice program's popularity among parents suggests that MRT offers something special that appeals to families seeking a more traditional educational approach. The pride students take in wearing their uniforms also reflects a shared identity and a sense of belonging. 

Overall, the school context highlights the positive aspects of MRT, emphasizing its unique culture, community spirit, and the enduring relationships among students, staff, and parents. 

This Word Cloud was co-created during an Anti-Bullying Assembly

The parent community at MRT is supportive and respectful of the work we do at school. There is a robust Parent Advisory Council (PAC) who sponsor events such as hot lunches, treat days, special events and a school-wide pancake breakfast. We value the partnership with our parent community because it is critical to work together to ensure that all students reach their full potential. 

Even though students come from all over Surrey to attend our school... we feel like a family! 

OUR LEARNERS

Who are our learners?

We know that out of our total school population of 210 students, 170 students speak a language other than English at home. Many of our students are lucky to be proficient speakers of more than one language, but we do wonder how, if at all, this affects their learning.  

Languages Spoken by our Students at Home 

We also recognize that in order to stay connected to family oversees, many of our students travel during the school year and miss large chunks of instruction while they are absent.   Staying connected to family and culture is important and we would not want our students to lose this experience but we wonder if this has an affect on their literacy skill acquisition.

Our recent FSA (Foundation Skills Assessment) results show us that our students are doing well in numeracy, but they find the literacy portion of the assessment more challenging. We want to see if this focus on literacy skills will help improve our FSA results over the next few years. 

 In the graph below, you can see that in grade 4, the number of students marked ‘emerging’ in literacy has gone down in the last two years. We can also see that there are more students who have achieved “extending” in literacy. These are positive trends that we want to see continue. 

 

The grade 7 results are similar. We see that there is a trend over the past two years of fewer students in the “emerging” category. The concerning data is that there are no students in the “extending” category in last year’s results. 

Why are we focusing on literacy as our school goal?  

MRT has set a school goal to ensure that every child attending our school achieves proficiency in reading and writing. Literacy is a foundational skill that plays a crucial role in a student's overall academic success and future endeavours. 

What are our literacy goals?

We want all students to read and write at a level that is appropriate for their age group.  We are using targeted teaching of phonemic awareness skills with all primary classes.  The intention is that this targeted instruction will have a positive affect on the reading and writing skills of our students.

We want our students to be able to use higher level thinking skills so that they can comprehend what they are reading. We want students to be able to make connections, to visualize, to infer, to synthesize what they read, to question and to problem solve.

OUR FOCUS

What are we doing to reach our school goal?  

Literacy is a foundational skill that plays a crucial role in a student's overall academic success and future endeavours and we are committed to using multiple strategies to support all of our learners. Here are some key points and strategies that we predict will contribute to achieving this literacy goal: 

 Early Intervention: 

  • Early literacy intervention programs identify and address any potential reading difficulties at an early stage. In kindergarten and grade one, we administer the “ELPATS” (Early Learning Phonemic Awareness Test Surrey). This assessment helps to identify students who are “on-track” and those who may need extra support to reach their full potential. 

  • We provide targeted instruction for our early learners in phonemic awareness skills as we believe that this establishes a strong foundation for reading and writing.

  • We provide additional support for students who may be struggling with basic literacy skills. 

Individualized Learning Plans: 

  • We develop individualized learning plans for students based on their unique strengths and challenges and offer support through LST (Learning Support Teacher). 

  • We tailor instructional strategies to meet the diverse needs of students, considering different learning styles and preferences. This includes class differentiation to give all students access points for success. 

Technology Integration: 

  • We integrate technology tools and resources that support literacy development to meet a variety of learning styles. 

  • We utilize educational apps, online platforms, and interactive tools to engage students in reading and writing activities. 

Parental Involvement: 

  • We foster a strong partnership with parents and guardians to create a supportive home environment for literacy development. 

  • We provide resources to help parents actively participate in their child's literacy education through programs such as home reading books and phonics practice. 

Assessment and Monitoring: 

  • We implement regular assessments to track students' progress in reading and writing. 

  • We use data-driven decision-making to identify areas of improvement and adjust instructional strategies accordingly. 

Promoting a Love for Reading: 

  • We cultivate a positive reading culture by providing a variety of books catering to different interests and reading levels. 

  • We make sure that diverse cultures are represented in our school and classroom libraries. 

  • We encourage activities such as reading challenges to spark enthusiasm for reading. 

Writing Across the Curriculum: 

  • We integrate writing activities across various subjects to reinforce literacy skills in different contexts. 

  • We emphasize the importance of effective communication through writing in all academic disciplines. 

 

 Our literacy goal connects with two First Peoples Principles of Learning. 

1. Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story. This principle connects to our reading goal. We learn about the world and our history through reading fiction and non-fiction texts. 

2. Learning requires exploration of one's identity. This principle connects to our writing goal; particularly personal writing which helps our students learn about themselves and their identity. 

What kind of data are we collecting?

We have chosen a group of our students to monitor and collect data on this year.  We want to see if what we are doing is making a difference.  Our focus group is made up of primary students, some of whom have been identified as needing extra support.  These are students who work with our learning support team as well as their classroom teacher.  

We want to answer the question: Is this extra dose of instruction making a difference to our more vulnerable learners?

OUR NEXT STEPS

What have we learned and what are our next steps?

Literacy Goal #1 

We will assess reading skills using a formal reading assessment to measure our first literacy goal: 

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to decode and comprehend grade level texts (both fiction and non-fiction). 

 For this goal, we selected a cohort of early learners, some of whom have been receiving targeted instruction in reading skills such as phonics and phonemic awareness.  We wanted to measure how these students progressed in their reading skills over the course of the school year.  We used a formal reading assessment to select the cohort of targeted learners.  We then repeated the formal assessment at the end of May to measure the progress of all students in the cohort (the larger group and the smaller sub-group).

This first set of data shows the reading assessment results for the whole cohort of learners.  There was improvement in the reading levels of every student.  Although some students are still at the emerging level, they have all improved by two levels or more.  

  • Fifteen students are now reading at or above grade level.  
  • Six students are in the emerging or developing range of reading.


The second set of data looks at the smaller cohort of students who received pull-out support from a learner support teacher.  This whole cohort started the school year at an emerging level of reading.  All students have shown progress in their reading ability with some students making bigger gains than others.  

  • Five students in this group have progressed from an emerging reading level all the way to a proficient level.  Some students have progressed two full grade levels in their reading.
  • Two students have gone from an emerging level to a developing level.

What did the students have to say about their reading?

Students from the smaller cohort were interviewed to determine how they were feeling about reading.  They were asked the following questions:

  1. What do you like about reading?
  2. What types of books do you like to read?
  3. What helped you to become a better reader?

All students said that they enjoy reading.  They said that is used to be hard for them but that it is now getting easier.  It is interesting to note that all of the students interviewed talked about reading at home with their family.  It was wonderful to see how families are spending time at home reading together!

Why are a small number of students not making significant progress in their reading skills despite having a rich literacy classroom environment as well as targeted support from a specialist teacher?  This is the question that we continue to explore.

Literacy Goal #2 

Our school has also made a commitment to measuring our second literacy goal (see below) by completing a "school-wide write" twice a year. This writing sample will be assessed using the BC Performance Standards. 

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to communicate ideas orally and in writing for different audiences and for various purposes.

Data was collected from the same cohort of learners.  We were curious to see if the same targeted instruction was making a difference in the students' writing skills. 

When looking at the writing assessment data, the following things were noted:

  • In term one, more than 75% of the cohort was not writing at a proficient level with less than 25% of the group meeting the widely held expectations for this age group.
  • In term three, almost 50% of the cohort is writing at a level that is considered proficient or above.
  • In term three, the number of students in the emerging level for writing has gone down but there is still work to be done.

Once again, we celebrate the successes of the majority of this cohort but we remain curious about how to support the students who are still lagging behind their peers.

We plan to continue to monitor the group of struggling learners next year to see how they progress and what supports they need.  Only by staying curious and carefully examining student progress, can we examine our practices and ensure that we are meeting the needs of all learners.

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