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Handsworth Secondary

Vision to Goal Setting

What is our Vision for Learning?

Handsworth's Vision

The Handsworth community develops empowered, innovative, and compassionate learners who serve and lead with curiosity and integrity

Background image from Handsworth's 2019 Film Festival courtesy of Handsworth Yearbook

Goal-Setting Process

Guided by our vision and in keeping with our school theme for the 2019 / 2020 school year, Wellness and Resiliency, the following big ideas were used to set goals, which then are used to develop an implementation plan

Learning happens best when students are socially and emotionally well

Staff are most effective when they are socially and emotionally well

Students who are engaged in the school community socially are less likely to struggle academically and emotionally

Students and staff both benefit from a sense of belonging within the school community

Strong personal connections enhance learning

Envisioning a cohesive theme for our community

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 shared the 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 Staff formed both a Finance Committee and Facilities Committee. These committees met throughout the year, and were an addition to the annual review meeting held at the end of each school year to review resource requests. For the 2018-19 school year, finance discussions have moved 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 the data-gathering 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 (lap top carts). 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.

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Planning & Implementation

What is our Action Plan?

Summary of Goals

  • To foster a learning environment that promotes student wellness and resiliency
  • To foster a learning environment that promotes staff wellness and resiliency
  • To promote extra-curricular activities to enhance students' overall high school experience
  • Develop and maintain strong personal connections

    *Wellness and resiliency includes: self-awareness; self-management; social awareness; relationship skills; responsible decision-making

Goal 1

To foster a learning environment that promotes student wellness and resiliency

Learning happens best when students are socially and emotionally well

  • School professional development theme of wellness and resilience
  • Wellness Week – including activities such as Social Justice presentations; bunnies; turn-off-the-phone, Kindergarten, and random acts of kindness day
  • Jack.org assembly

Goal 2

To foster a learning environment that promotes staff wellness and resiliency.

Staff are most effective when they are socially and emotionally well

  • Focus on improving staff mental health
  • Collaboration time with Mindfulness speaker
  • Staff Wellness Activities (fitness classes, bowling, etc.)
  • Lunch and Learn sessions for staff
  • Staff retreat April 2020 (postponed)

Goal 3

To promote extra-curricular activities to enhance students’ overall high school experience

Students who are engaged in the school community socially are less likely to struggle academically and emotionally

Students and staff both benefit from a sense of belonging within the school community

  • Introduce and encourage all students to join a club, program, or participate in athletics (Student Council hosted two Club Day events to promote awareness)
  • Various clubs exist at Handsworth
  • Intramural Sports such as: soccer, volleyball, floor hockey, etc.
  • Various courses offer an extracurricular component such as music, drama, sports, etc.
  • International trips

    Goal 4

    Develop and maintain strong personal connections

    Strong personal connections enhance learning

    • Promote and develop more staff collaboration
    • Emphasize positive communication and interactions. Eliminate negative speak and replace with positive speak
    • Provide opportunities for student feedback, accountability and ownership in their learning
    • Have students and teachers prepare together for the focus of the February PTIs
    • Special staff challenges for fundraising purposes
    • Royal Games activities throughout the year. (volleyball, soccer, Jeopardy, talent show, etc.)
    • Promote and celebrate student and school achievement

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    Monitor Evaluate & Adapt

    What are our Indicators of Progress?

    Photography by Anova Hou

    Tracking our Progress

    We will monitor our goals and implementation strategies by gathering first-hand anecdotes, survey results, feedback, and other information from members of the Handsworth community including students, teachers, parents, and other stakeholders.

    Included in this section is also a list of future strategies that could be implemented as a result of the evaluation process and therefore adaptation of our methods best suited to reaching our goals.

    Goal 1

    To foster a learning environment that promotes student wellness and resiliency

    Indigenous Support

    Goal 2

    To foster a learning environment that promotes staff wellness and resiliency.

    Handsworth School Rebuild

    Goal 3

    To promote extra-curricular activities to enhance students’ overall high school experience

    Transforming the Learning Environment

    Student Assessments

    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 supportive through their cheques for tech fundraisers, whose funds go exclusively to providing technology in classrooms. Recently, PAC Gaming Funds have contributed to the purchase of new drawing tablets for the Mural Society in addition to new digital SLR cameras for the Photography Club. This not only allows for further student engagement, it empowers students to pursue extracurricular activities, developing skills for a digital future.

    Handsworth is proud to have clubs such as Robotics and Tech Club. The latter supports 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 4 full dedicated computer labs; two MAC labs and two PC labs. Two of these labs are upstairs and connected to the business department, there is one MAC lab in the Visual/Digital Arts space, and one of the PC labs is downstairs in the drafting room.

    In addition to these 4 full labs, the school also has dozens of computer stations for use in the library, the language centre, the learning centre. For classrooms that do not 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 Wi-Fi 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 have gone past that towards becoming a ‘wireless’ school!

    Goal 4

    Develop and maintain strong personal connections

    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.

    Community Connections

    Grade 8 Retreat

    grade8retreat_7

    Family of Schools Connections

    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.

    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.

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    Communicating Progress

    How do we Communicate our Progress?

    Handsworth’s theme of the 2019-20 school year, is Wellness and Resiliency.

    As our staff and students work towards this goal, we look back on feedback received from staff, parents, and students. In particular, results from past Employee Engagement Surveys alongside the OurSchool student surveys remind us of our school community’s needs. One of the notable findings of the student surveys is the high levels of anxiety caused directly or indirectly as a result of school. We value the social-emotional well-being of not only our students but our staff as well, and a number of initiatives spearheaded by counsellors, teachers, support staff, and students are beginning to come to fruition.
    Below are small steps that highlight our work in progress:

    Isla Powell, Choices teacher at Handsworth created a wellness questionnaire for high school aged students. Questions were shared with Handsworth staff who could then tailor these to the needs of their classes. This questionnaire is a tool which can be used to better understand the temperature of classrooms from the students perspective. Questions range from “when do you feel you are being listened to?” to, “when do you feel it’s OK to make a mistake, or show that you don’t know something, or how to do something?” It may be a small gesture, but regular inquiry into student well-being (and small adjustments to acknowledge this) may provide them a platform for expression.

    Handsworth’s Wellness Committee meets every week to discuss wellness initiatives for those involved in the school community. Most recently, they have been planning Wellness Week for the end of January. With involvement from counsellors, teachers and their classes, support staff, and Grad Council, a slate of events including presentations, workshops, introduction to Indigenous medicines, interactive exhibits, and wellness challenges will be on view.

    Simone Brodie’s Social Justice 12 class is a place where students participate in project-based learning, tackling socially relevant issues that pertain to people their age. Project topics were sparked by a simple class brainstorm with the prompt, “what do students in school need?” In preparation for wellness week, students are planning dance workshops, interactive stations, art installations, and collaborative posters between Social Justice and Graphic Design classes. Some areas of focus include:

      • New Masculinities in Hip Hop Dance workshop: Hip Hop artists are embracing their emotions and re-writing the script for what it means to be masculine in popular culture
      • Slamming Diet Culture: Fostering body neutrality and self-expression. This workshop will help students recognize how we are affected by social media as well as the many ways that diet culture affects our daily lives. This will be displayed in the form of a dance and slam poetry performance
      • The “You Are Enough” Art Installation encourages students to think of their qualities and skills beyond grades and extra-curriculars. What are some of our overlooked qualities that we have the right to be proud of?

    Our students are working towards contributing to their community by building a sense of urgency – recognizing everyone’s collective responsibility on the front of advocating for wellness.

    Stay tuned for more updates!

    Communicating with Stakeholders

    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 requires continual communication about what we value most.

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    Latest Progress & Updates