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Handsworth Secondary

Vision to Goal Setting

What is our Vision for Learning?

What is our “raison d’etre’? The visioning process encompasses reflecting on our core mandate and purpose, articulating our guiding beliefs and shared values, and goal-setting for a preferred future. In the North Vancouver School District, we envision a school-based engagement process that highlights the strengths in our school community while identifying areas for future focus and development.

Just as we did in 2017 & 2018, Handsworth in 2019 will once again engage in two separate surveys. One is an SD44 Employee Engagement survey, and the other a school-based Student Satisfaction survey. Both provided immensely important data which inform the school planning process.

Employee Engagement Survey

Beginning January 28th, 2019 employees across the North Vancouver School District will complete an updated version of the Employee Engagement Survey. In 2017, Eighty per cent of employees took part, resulting in a rich data set from which to draw information. Flex Surveys, an external survey company, analyzed the data and share results back with all the partner groups, including CUPE, NVTA and NoVA.

Our results from 2017 identified some of our ‘Top Performing Areas’ as well as a few areas of concern. Some of our top performing areas included employee acknowledgement that they go “the extra mile” in performing their duties, and that they genuinely like their job.

One of the areas of concern was, “I have sufficient resources to carry out my duties effectively.” In response to this concern, 2017-18 Handsworth formed both a Finance Committee and Facilities Committee. These committees met throughout the year, and are in addition to the annual meeting held at the end of each school year to review resource requests. For the 2018-19 school year, finance discussions have move to departmental meetings, and concerns around facilities have moved primarily to the formalized meetings about our new school build.

Although Handsworth performed above the district average, another area of growth that appeared across all high schools was a perceived absence of regular constructive feedback on job performance. To that end, the school administration has made an renewed effort to increase the number informal and formal observations and evaluations to better support teachers.

During the week of April 30th, 2018 Handsworth conducted our first annual student satisfaction surveys.

This year we approached it a bit differently. Handsworth has begun a new partnership with a group named The Learning Bar and completed a custom “OurSchool” survey to help measure student engagement, satisfaction and success. Some of the domains this survey covered included social-emotional outcomes, academic outcomes, drivers of student outcomes and demographic factors. Surveys were completed by students anonymously using unique randomly generated logins.

Our hope is that by surveying the same measures over multiple years we’ll be able to see trends and patterns over time which can help guide some of our decision making process. The information used in these surveys help highlight areas of need when it comes to social-emotional supports our students are in need of.

Each survey took approximately 30 to 35 minutes to complete, and was offered to every student in the school. The survey was completed electronically in the Library Learning Commons using the available desktops and COWs. Students were called down by last name / home room, by grade.

The results of the surveys were revealing. In addition to the multiple choice questions, we also asked students one open-ended question: “Please tell us some of the things you really like about your school, or things that would make it even better.” What we got back was over 1200 paragraph responses from our students. They clearly have a lot to share! Thankfully the results could be sorted by keywords and demographics.

One of our biggest areas of concern for our students is their social-emotional well-being. Many of our students reported feeling high levels of anxiety about school. This is something we’ll be looking to address, school-wide, as our planning continues.

The Handsworth family of schools includes Canyon Heights, Cleveland, Highlands and Montroyal elementary schools.  The family of schools models provides opportunities for elementary schools to connect in a more meaningful and substantive way with their feeder secondary school.

Handsworth School has a proud tradition of offering students a technologically progressive education facilitated by leading edge technology. This has been supported in our school through a number of initiatives.

The Handsworth PAC has been supported through their “cheques for tech” fundraisers, whose funds go exclusively to providing technology in classrooms.

Handsworth is proud to have a ‘tech club’ as well, who support many of the other events and groups in the school with all of their technological needs, including setting up speakers, microphones, projectors and the like.

Handsworth boasts 3 full dedicated computer labs; one MAC lab and two PC labs. Two of these labs are upstairs and connected to the business department, and one of the PC labs is downstairs in the drafting room.

In addition to these 3 full labs, the school also has dozens of computer stations for use in the library, the language centre, the learning centre, and high end macs in the digital media arts room. For classrooms that don’t happen to have their own set of workstations, there is also two sets of COWs (Computers on Wheels) which are mobile laptop cards, each equipped with a class set of working laptops connected to the network.

Each classroom is also equipped with a display projector, and many rooms even have their own Apple TVs connected to those projectors so teachers and students can mirror their device over Airplay.

The in school wifi has been upgraded on more than one occasion over the past 6 years and students can now login with their credentials to access the wireless network on their personal devices. One could say Handsworth is a ‘wired school’, but we’ve gone past that towards becoming a ‘wireless school’!

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Planning & Implementation

What is our Action Plan?

Once goals have been identified, an implementation plan is developed that highlights strategies, activities, professional resources, and opportunities for professional development. Generally, an implementation plans span one to three years and articulate stages of awareness, partial implementation, and full implementation or goal attainment. A key consideration in the implementation process is defining indicators of progress.

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Monitor Evaluate & Adapt

What are our Indicators of Progress?

The plan developed by the school community should clearly outline how progress on each goal will be monitored and evaluated. Many different possible indicators could be used depending on the nature of the goal and the type of progress the school wishes to focus on. Schools can use diverse indicators such as, surveys for student or parent feedback, information from classroom teachers and specialist teachers, student data and testing to name just a few. Using different types of indicators could allow schools to monitor progress in different ways.

Handsworth cultivates greater community connections everyday through the great work staff and students are doing in clubs, extra-curricular activities and even what’s happening in the classrooms, bringing community members and outside organizations into the learning environment.  We have a number of clubs who host community days.  Our band concerts and our theatre program are exceptional at cultivating community leadership.
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Communicating Progress

How do we Communicate our Progress?

The school planning process is intended to support an ongoing dialogue within the community of learners promoting understanding, respect, and shared values. Communicating the school’s vision, values, accomplishments, and future directions enable dialogue. Ultimately, schooling is a foundation to democracy and preparing students to be engaged citizens. An important feature to a Community Of Learners is continual communication about what we value most.

For the 2017-18 school year, our theme was ‘Making Learning Visible’.

Staff worked incredibly hard last year to bring a number of initiatives to fruition, all the while focusing on making as much of our work visible as possible – both inside the school and out. It was wonderful to highlight the quality work being done in our building and community.

Staff have been engaging in plenty of conversations around curriculum change. We’ve also kept our parent community updated on changes with regular communications and meetings. We’ve been working to align our assessment practices with Ministerial reporting expectations, particularly around report card comments and the student self-assessment of the core competencies. Our reporting out during parent teacher interviews has also begun to shift as we’ve worked to incorporate more student voice.

There is much transformation we have to look forward to, both physically around the building, and in terms of our course offerings.

A new school build announcement last school year has begun a flurry of committee planning activity. In the spirit of including student voice, we’ve included students on our planning committee. In the meantime, we’re working to transform our existing spaces to best serve the needs of our students. This is exemplified in our Library Learning Commons, which we continue to fundraise for.

Changes are afoot with many of our course offerings. In 2018 Our French Immersion program offered, for the first time, an outdoor education focussed PE / Science cohort at grade 8 titled “Adventures”. This dual-block program runs similar to the English stream of Humanities which already combines the English and Social Studies curriculum.

Our grade 8 ADST rotation is also getting an overhaul to realign with new curriculum and focus more on STEM opportunities. With this in mind, Handsworth has established a new partnership with Microsoft Philanthropies to deliver the TEALS program (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools) fro the 2018/19 school year – a first in BC!

Other changes at Grade 8 include a revamp of our parent night from structured 5 minute class visits to more of an informal meet and greet social evening with teachers, done in combination with our Grade 8 Retreat information night. Grade 8s this year will also be ‘making their learning visible’ with the reintroduction of the Grade 8 Science Fair.

Senior students will now have one of their first academy offerings at Handsworth, as we now have our own cohort of YELL (Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad) students.

Much of our work has framed by feedback received from staff, parents and students.  We continue to work with the results from 2017’s Employee Engagement Survey, and in 2018 have introduced a new tool to gather input from students – The OurSchool student surveys were a resounding success, with input from 1238 students.

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Latest Progress & Updates