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Norgate Elementary – Xwemélch’stn

Vision to Goal Setting

What is our Vision for Learning?

Xwemelch'stn Vision and Values

Norgate Xwemelch’stn shares powerful stories of how students, community and staff are leading the way in Reconciliation and how Norgate is a strong, authentic and vibrant learning community built on reciprocity and respect. Gifts of protocol and tradition from our local community help us honour students living in two worlds and help us provide a safe environment for all students to learn. The Norgate community shares learning through balance and circle: Spiritual, Intellectual, Emotional, Physical. We welcome others to be a part of our journey. Chen kw’enman tumiyap “We thank you all.” We have initiated a process with students to develop community values built on a foundation of the Squamish Nation’s way of living and NVSD’s established values of Responsibility, Collaboration, Trust and Respect. Xwemelch’stn will create something new that will guide our work.
Student voice:
– “If you don’t have trust, it really isn’t a community.”
– “We need to lean on the value of being responsible.”
– “It is important to show respect to Elders and community members so they want to come back to Norgate Xwemelch’stn.”

Our Process: Engagement and Learning

  • Watch. Listen. Show Respect – Murray Sinclair (Truth and Reconciliation Commission)
  • Engage the three pathways for change: Students, Community and Staff (NVSD Indigenous Ed Team)
  • Share story to develop vision
  • Lean on local way of living, NVSD values and student input to identify and include shared values as we re-write our Code of Conduct and Vision/Mission statements
  • Appreciative Inquiry – What is the most magnificent thing about Norgate Xwemelch’stn?
  • Develop goals: “How do we Go Forward with Courage?”
  • Strategic Action Plan How do students, community and staff support change?
  • “Walk together as one” – Swalkanexw Dallas Guss

Core Planning Team

2020-21 Planning Team:
Community: Rob Gartry, Stephanie Aldridge
Staff: David Andrews, Robyn Pinese, Geneva Smaill, Devon McLeod, Brenna Baumgartner

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Planning & Implementation

What is our Action Plan?

School Plan Goals

To enhance assessment practices to strive for equitable outcomes for all students.

To advance instructional planning and practice to help students develop and apply skills for learning to deepen their conceptual, interpersonal and intercultural understandings.

Three Pathways for Change

ASSESSMENT PRACTICES

Objective 1.b: Involving students in process of self-reflection/self-assessment on a regular basis (assessment as learning).

  • Sharing their perspectives at SFT Conferences
  • Engaging in ongoing student self-reflections and self-assessments
  • Providing students clear understanding of expectations and success criteria (what they need to do and show understanding of).

Objective 1.c: Including families through ongoing communication related to student learning (assessment for and as learning).

  • Attending Meet the Teacher event
  • Participating in Student-Family-Teacher Conferences
  • Participating in Spring Family Conferences
  • Participating in IEP Meetings (for students with identifications)
  • Accessing and reading Report Cards (IEP and English Language Support progress reporting)
  • Reading/responding to weekly student self-reflections (some classes)
  • Communication with classroom and Learning Services teachers

Objective 1.a: Engaging in school-wide assessment processes to inform intervention model (assessment for learning).

Learning Services teachers will work closely with classroom teachers to determine best ways to support students’ needs – determining what supports/strategies/methods can be implemented universally (i.e., in the classroom that will benefit all students); what targeted supports will be beneficial for small groups of students; and how the team will provide intensive supports for students with unique learning needs.

Learning services teachers took the lead on building and implementing a year-long assessment calendar.  Assessments utilized:

  • K – Gr. 3: Early Literacy Assessment (ELA); school-wide writing samples (4 times this year) assessed using ELA rubrics
  • Gr. 4 – 7: PM Benchmarks, Jerry Johns, Fountas & Pinnell (F & P) Assessments for reading; school-wide writing samples (4 times this year) assessed using BC Performance Standards
  • Kindergarten Numeracy Assessment
  • Gr. 1 – 7: SNAP Math (Chilliwack School District)

Objective 1.b: Involving students in process of self-reflection/self-assessment on a regular basis (assessment as learning).

  • Hosted Student-Family Teacher (SFT) Conferences through which individual student goals were set in relation to the Approaches to Learning (ATL)
  • Spring SFT goal reflection included on Term 2 report card
  • Some teachers have had students engage in weekly reflections (Friday letter to family)
  • Some teachers incorporated student self-reflection into lessons and unit plans
  • May ATL reflection

Objective 1.c: Including families through ongoing communication related to student learning (assessment for and as learning).

  • Meet the Teacher event
  • Student-Family-Teacher Conferences
  • Spring Family Conferences
  • IEP Meetings (for students with identifications)
  • Report Cards (IEP and English Language Support progress reporting)
  • Weekly student self-reflections (some classes)
  • MS Teams / email communication
  • Weekly Principal communications to families

Objective 1.d: Designing assessment tasks and providing ongoing formative feedback to allow students to transfer their learning in new contexts (assessment for and of learning).

  • Staff learning related to concept and inquiry-based instruction and learning
  • Staff learning related to assessment using the Carson Family of Schools proficiency scale
  • Co-planning of units of inquiry with IB Coordinator

INSTRUCTIONAL PLANNING & PRACTICE

Objective 2.a: Embedding Indigenous Worldviews, and ways of knowing, doing and being into units of inquiry and daily instruction/learning.

Students at all grade levels have participated in many lessons and activities intended to help them learn from Indigenous Worldviews and knowledge.  They have also participated in outdoor place-based learning opportunities.  The Indigenous Education team has provided many teachings and have facilitated a broad range of cultural learning opportunities.

Objective 2.c: Supporting students’ social and emotional wellbeing and development through instruction and wrap-around supports.

Students have participated in weekly Second Step lessons, as well as other sessions such as Wee Thinkers, SOGI, Foundry, TCO2, Saleema Noon Body Science.

Objective 2.a: Embedding Indigenous Worldviews, and ways of knowing, doing and being into units of inquiry and daily instruction/learning.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community engagement with the school has been extremely limited. We look forward to welcoming family input and participation throughout the 2021-22 school year.

Objective 2.c: Supporting students’ social and emotional wellbeing and development through instruction and wrap-around supports.

This year has especially brought to the forefront the importance that family and community members play in supporting students’ social and emotional wellbeing and development.  As and when needed, many families also access community supports to help their families and, specifically, their children’s well-being.

Objective 2.a: Embedding Indigenous Worldviews, and ways of knowing, doing and being into units of inquiry and daily instruction/learning.

Indigenous Success Teacher worked with all classes many times throughout the school year – shared Indigenous teachings, stories, songs, games; facilitated circle meetings

Indigenous Support Workers – led cultural teachings and activities – stories, legends, weaving, beading, medicines; facilitated professional development sessions with support staff; helped Indigenous students with their learning and provided them social-emotional support

Indigenous Language Teacher (provided through partnership with the Squamish Nation) – taught language classes 1.5 days per week (until Spring Break to Indigenous students in Grade 5 – 7, then expanded to include students in K – Gr. 3).

Classroom teachers included First Peoples Principles and circle teachings/medicine wheel (some classes), Indigenous stories/legends, oral storytelling practices, and cultural activities (with IST/ISW leadership) in their instruction.  They taught about historical and current-day interactions between Indigenous peoples and settler-Canadians as well as Indigenous perspectives on present-day local and global issues (e.g., Wet’suwet’en water pipeline, Autumn Peltier, Kamloops Indian Residential School).  

Objective 2.b.: Incorporating learning objectives (skills and content knowledge) from multiple subject areas in units of instruction.

Development of the Programme of Inquiry through collaborative planning processes.

Objective 2.c: Supporting students’ social and emotional wellbeing and development through instruction and wrap-around supports.

  • School-wide implementation of Second Step
  • Direct counselor supports are provided for many students, and the counselor also provides full-class support through lessons/presentations.
  • Counselor teaching Wee Thinkers, facilitating SOGI presentations, arranging student sessions by outside facilitators (Foundry; Safe Body, Safe Kids; Taking Care of Ourselves, Taking Care of Others)
  • Liaising with community providers including Capilano Community Services, North Shore Child & Youth Mental Health, Foundry, and more to support students/families
  • Purchased Social Thinking and Self-Regulation resources and tools
  • Many staff members are Ukeru trained including trauma-awareness training
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Monitor Evaluate & Adapt

What are our Indicators of Progress?

Learning includes Indigenous Worldview, place-based learning, and local ways of living

– Earning our Drum – school wide protocol to promote community and well-being (Sept 2020); used this as basis for revising Code of Conduct (Current version published Feb 2020)

– Community Lunch – sharing food and teachings, celebrating student voice

– Welcoming and appreciating visitors through gifting protocol

– Welcome Slips to welcome students as per longhouse protocol. “Ta new chew tl’ik!” (Hi, you have arrived)

– School Board Presentation Dec. 11, 2019 – shared song and reflections of visit to St. Paul’s Residential School Site

– Norgate Xwemelch’stn drum group share local teaching through the sound of drum and song; hosted a student drum-making workshop and now have 20 drums to use for drum group; hosted a staff drum-making workshop, and staff members have expressed they’d like to have staff drum group sessions

– Downie Wenjack Foundation work – Stanley Park Greeting of the Day trip, Visiting the UBC Longhouse

– Norgate Xwemélch’stn Community Pow Wow (2nd Annual); unable to host 3rd annual Pow-Wow in 2020 (pandemic)

– First Peoples’ Principles of Learning intentionally included into instructional planning and daily teaching

– Including teachings about animals’ meanings and significance (Squamish and Métis) with the Second Step Program

– Partnership with Squamish Nation Education Department to support students; We are grateful to be able to offer Squamish Language Classes to all Indigenous students in Grade 4 – 7 and planning to expand to other grades in the 2020-21 school year

– Using circle as main means of holding class meetings; incorporating circle teachings into these meetings

– 2019-2020 Student Learning Survey Ministry Data and Grade 7 students stating many times or all the time: 1. At school, are you being taught about Aboriginal or First Peoples in Canada? (82%) 2. At school are you being taught about local First Nations? (76%) 3. I feel like I belong at school. (Sometimes 29%; Many/all times 40%) 4. I feel safe at school. (Sometimes 29%; Many/all times 46%) 5. Do you feel welcome at school? (Sometimes 29%; Many/all times 58%)  6. How many adults do you think care about you at your school?  (4 or more adults 64%)

– 2019-2020 Student Learning Survey Ministry Data and Grade 4 students stating many times or all the time: 1. At school, are you taught about local First Nations? (52%) 2. At school, are you taught about First Nations people? (59%) 3. I feel like I belong at my school. (82%) 4. Do you feel safe at school? (79%) 5. Do you feel welcome at your school? (80%) 6. How many adults do you think care about you at your school?  (4 or more adults 80%)

Goal: Modernize instructional strategies to improve student learning.

– TOPA results improved 2018: 10 students require intervention vs 2019: 1 student requires intervention

– 2019-2020 – Our school became a pilot school for the NVSD’s Primary Literacy Assessment.  The data gathered through the assessment process has enabled us to identify for each student areas of focus, and provide targeted support to improve literacy skills.  This data will further inform our guided reading practices as we enter into the 2020-21 school year.

– School Wide Write Baseline Data: Grades 1-6 at or above grade level using June 2019 Writing Assessment snapshot: 57%.  We were unable to complete a school-wide write in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 School Wide Reading Assessment Baseline Data: Grade 1-6 students at or above grade level using 1. Jerry Johns Fluency (73%) 2. Jerry Johns Comprehension (72%) Grade 1-4 students at or above grade level using 1. PM Benchmark (76%)

– School Wide Numeracy Data: Grade 1-6 students at or above grade level (67%)

– Student Learning Survey Data and Grade 7 students who indicated many times or all of the time: 1. At school, I provide input into what I learn and how I learn. (2018-19: 38%; 2019-2020: 52%) 2.Is your school helping you to be more media literate? (2019-20: 76%) 3. At school, are you helped to understand important ideas? (2019-20: 58%) 4. At school, are you learning to be a critical thinker? (2019-20: 52%) 5. At school, I am learning to understand and support human rights and human diversity.  (2019-20: 69%) 6. At school, I am learning to communicate effectively. (2019-20: 64%) 7. At school, I am learning how to care for my mental health.  (2019-20: 42%) 8. At school, I am learning how to care for my physical health. (2019-20: 69%) 9. I continue to get better at reading. (2019-20: 75%) 10. I continue to get better at writing. (2019-20: 58%) 11. I continue to get better at mathematics. (2019-20: 64%)

– Student Learning Survey Data and Grade 4 students who responded most of the time or all of the time: 1. Do you have choice about what you are learning? (2018-19: 35%; 2019-20: Sometimes 40%; Most/all the time 19%) 2. Are you helped to understand how to improve your learning? (2018-19: 42%; 2019-20: 53%) 3. Are you learning ways to think of and explore new ideas? (2019-20: 53%) 4. I feel I am getting better at math. (2018-19: 77%; 2019-20: 66%) 5. Are you learning to explain the way you solve problems? (2019-20: 66%) 6. I feel I am getting better at reading. (2018-19: 92%; 2019-20: 93%) 6. I feel I am getting better at writing. (2018-19: 56%; 2019-20: 100%) 7. Are you learning how to care for your mental health? (2019-20: Sometimes 40%; Most/all the time 33%) 8. Are you learning how to care for your body? (2019-20: 66%)

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Communicating Progress

How do we Communicate our Progress?

Collaboration, Communication, Community

In this section we will share student learning stories. 

Parents’ stories can be found here, showing how they are helping to strengthen our learning community.

Modernizing Instruction: For the 2020-21 school year, our staff members will be collaborating to develop instructional year plans. They will also share weekly “Windows Into the Week” with families to provide overviews of what learning opportunities will be offered each week.

Sharing Story Archives

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Latest Progress & Updates

Learning Requires Exploration of One's Identity

Courage of Metis Jigletts sharing traditional Metis Dance led by Kiskino Heather Myhre

Learning Recognizes the Role of Indigenous Knowledge

Community Lunch: students listening to local legends shared by Swalklanexw Dallas Guss

Learning Involves Generational Roles and Responsibilities

Norgate Xwemélch’stn Drum Group led by Swalklanexw Dallas Guss

Learning is Embedded in Memory, History and Story

Assistant Superintendent Sharing Story at Norgate's Weekly Sharing Story on Tuesday mornings