School Improvement Plan 2015-16

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF OUR 2015-16 School Improvement Plan.

 

school improvement plan

 

A school improvement plan is the articulation of the collective commitment of each school community to meet the changing needs of its learners, collaboratively aligning its resources, staffing, structure and facilities to create rich learning environments that improve learning for all students.  The school improvement plan is based on a dynamic inquiry model, recognizing that deep growth in a system occurs over time and through continuous reflection.

 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Trafalgar Middle School is committed to building an exciting future for every learner by maximizing educational possibilities in a caring, supportive environment.

“Building for tomorrow by exploring today.”  “Batir l’avenir en explorant le present.”

 

SCHOOL CONTEXT

Trafalgar Middle School is a Grade 6-8 school with a current enrollment of 405 students. Approximately 1/3 of our students are enrolled in our late French Immersion program.?As a middle school, we have many practices and structures in place with the intent of meeting the unique needs of middle school learners. Our focus is on creating a healthy learning environment: making healthy choices, socio-emotional supports, academic learning, lifelong learning, and building a caring school community and culture. Over the past two years we have introduced several new initiatives – our Lifelong Explorations Program, letter grade-free reporting in all subject areas for all three grades, and an increased focus on digital literacy.

RICH LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS

Over the past two years we have implemented several new initiatives – which are cause for celebration. Some have been fully implemented and others we will continue to build on:

  • SET-BC Literacy Project
  • School-Wide Digital Device Policy
  • Several extremely powerful learning experiences for students: Shakesfest, Lifelong Explorations, ABED Youth Conference, Science Fair – good participation, two students went to the National Science Fair in Ottawa (one student placed 2nd, nationally).
  • Shift to “letter grade free” reporting and more authentic methods of assessment through the adoption and use of student eportfolios (via FreshGrade)

 Our school-based writing data indicates that our Gr.6 students, particularly our struggling learners made significant gains. Again, this was due, in great part, to the SET-BC project and the work of our Literacy Helping Teacher. Students in Gr. 7 and 8 also showed significant gains in writing throughout the course of the year. Our goal for next year in both reading and writing is to move a greater proportion of students who score a “2” into the “3” range.

 

Foundational Skills Assessment 2015 Data

We noticed a significant discrepancy between the FSA results and our school based achievement results.  In discussion with both our Grade 7 team and students, it became clear that students did not do their best work on the FSA tests for the following reasons:  the tests did not count towards their report card therefore there was no investment in doing well, students resented writing the tests because of the “politics” around them, and the tests were too long – after a while they just selected any answer and hit “next”. This makes it difficult to rely on this data as an accurate measurement of student progress. As a staff, we are working on ways to address this for next year.  Nonetheless, the FSA data does provide an interesting point of reference from which to assess our students’ learning and is good to use as a comparison against our school based reading, writing and numeracy assessments.

FSA2015

Our 2014-15 school-based writing data also indicates that our Gr.6 students, particularly our struggling learners made significant gains. Again, this was due, in great part, to the SET-BC project and the work of our Literacy Helping Teacher. Students in Gr. 7 and 8 also showed significant gains in writing throughout the course of the year. Our goal for next year in both reading and writing is to move a greater proportion of students who score a “2” into the “3” range and to reduce the number of students who score in the “1” range by the end of the school year.

We value timely, “beginning of the year” data about students who are in our classes this year as we use it to focus our teaching on areas in which our current students show the greatest need.  Hence, we complete assessments based on the B.C. Performance Standards in the fall and then re-assess in May.

Our Fall 2015 school-based reading and writing assessment data indicates that our students are struggling more with writing than reading and so our focus for this year will be on increasing the number of students who are fully meeting or exceeding expectations in writing.

Fall 2015 School-Based Reading and Writing Assessment Results

school assessments

 

SCHOOL GOALS

Goal 1 (core literacy): Improvement in Reading

To increase the achievement of all learners (but most particularly our struggling learners) in writing.

Rationale:

Effective literacy skills are essential for success in all other academic areas.  Our data indicates that our students have made good progress in reading (73% are fully meeting or exceeding expectations) while only 49% are fully meeting or exceeding expectations in writing.  We believe that an increased focus on teaching students to communicate effectively in writing in all subject areas will strengthen their skills.

Goal 2 (competency based): Personal and Social Responsibility

To increase student responsibility for, engagement in and ownership for their own learning.

Rationale:

Middle school is a very complex time in the lives of our children; they are growing rapidly, their bodies and self-concept are developing (and changing!), they are learning to interact with many different types of people, peers have increasing importance in their lives, and they crave independence and autonomy.  Our students are eager to make a contribution and engage in their community and world in positive ways.

In order to facilitate growth in this area, our staff will provide meaningful opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning, engage in meaningful tasks and projects that will help our students have an impact on their world in positive ways.

STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS

Goal 1:  Increased achievement in Reading

  • Creation of consistent Reading, Writing and Numeracy assessments that will be used in Gr. 6, 7 and 8 (spring and fall);
  • Consistent marking teams to increase the validity of the assessment results;
  • To revisit and review current Numeracy assessments;
  • Maintain Literacy Helping Teacher position (EF Funding);
  • Daily silent reading times (to increase reading fluency) that will occur in each class (organized according to various grade level and schedule);
  • Specific teaching of reading strategies (Reading 44) in every subject area (we are all teachers of reading);
  • Increase the use of technology (Kurzweil, Solo) in all classes to support students;
  • Provide a range of reading materials at different levels, especially in the content areas;
  • Increase the focus on reading through the library (reading contests, etc.);
  • Use of task-learning intention-criteria in classes (making learning visible);
  • Shift teaching practices and strategies to support a letter-grade free approach to communicating student learning;
  • Use of ePortfolios (i.e. FreshGrade) to monitor, assess and communicate student learning (including on-going professional learning for staff)

Goal 2:  Personal and Social Responsibility

  • Engaging students in their learning through the use of clear criteria, self and peer assessment, and meaningful, relevant learning opportunities.
  • Authentic, timely communication with parents through the use of e-Portfolios (FreshGrade).
  • Letter-grade free communication of student learning (drive changes in our teaching and assessment practices)
  • Engaging in projects to connect global sustainability to local issues (i.e. poverty)
    • Lifelong Explorations classes working with our community (Food cupboard, TaeKwonDo)
    • Christmas Hamper Project
    • School clubs (i.e. SPCA), lunchtime workshops (parents/community members)
    • Community Watershed Project
    • Writing for real purposes (to students in other communities, to organizations, to authors, etc.)
  • Increasing our aboriginal students’ connections to aboriginal communities
    • Aboriginal elders’ presence in our schools
    • Aboriginal student conference
    • Aboriginal student exchange (Penticton band)

CELEBRATIONS

Grade Level Assemblies:

  • sharing examples of outstanding student learning
  • celebrating student achievements
  • Recognition of positive behavior during school/class activities in the school and away from the school.
  • Grade level collaborative meetings.
  • Planning/Discussing re: strategies to support the two goals, review of the data for each specific grade.

MEASUREMENT PROCESS

Timeline

Sept. 2 & 3: School-Based Pro-D Days:

  • Review and edit Plan
  • FreshGrade introduction workshop
  • Collaborative planning – assessment, reporting
  • PBS – creating common, clearly communicated expectations for student behavior

Sept. 7-18: School-wide Reading, Writing, and Numeracy assessments

October staff meeting: Check in – How are things going? What needs additional focus?

January staff meeting: Review School Improvement Plan – Where to next?

April staff meeting: Review School Improvement Plan; getting ready for May assessments

May School Planning Day: Reflect, Reassess, and Readjust

 

Measurement Tools

Consistent school-based reading, writing and numeracy assessments for Grades 6, 7, & 8.

  • Satisfaction Survey
  • School-based Satisfaction Survey
  • Counselling data

MAKING LEARNING VISIBLE

How will we share and make visible the learning in our school?

  • Regular posts on school website
  • Monthly PAC and parent feedback
  • Posts via the school newsletter and principal’s log
  • Bulletin boards around school are regularly updated
  • Monthly celebrations at staff meetings