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Norgate Elementary – Xwemélch’stn

Vision to Goal Setting

What is our Vision for Learning?

Xwemelch'stn Vision and Values

Students, community and staff members at Norgate Xwemelch’stn work together to cultivate a welcoming learning environment.  We are partners in making steps towards Reconciliation and our strong, authentic and vibrant learning community is 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 Xwemélch’stn 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.”
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)
  • Included student, staff and community input, in alignment with NVSD core values and vision, in our recently revised  Code of Conduct and Mission statement
  • Appreciative inquiry: What has brought Norgate Xwemélch’stn to where it is now?  What positive changes have been implemented to create sense of trust and community?
  • Revise school goals to reflect progress and continue to “Go Forward With Courage”
  • Strategic Action Plan: How can we enhance learning experiences and strive for equitable outcomes for all students?
  • “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, Kammi Clark, Glenda Robertson

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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?

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

Kindergarten Literacy Assessment (TOPA) – need to enter data

ELA data has been very informative and has enabled us to identify and implement supports at universal, targeted, and intensive levels.  This data has shifted practice with regards to reading instruction as teachers from Grade 1 – 4 have implemented small-group reading instruction, with LST/Indigenous Literacy Teacher support.  A goal for next year is for the ELA data to help us shift writing instruction.

PM Benchmarks data gathered for Grade 4 students proved effective in helping move student learning forward.

Jerry Johns data for Gr. 4 – 7 was not as helpful as we’d hoped as it didn’t provide as accurate nor comprehensive a reflection of student ability as we’d hoped.  We therefore, sought out and purchased the Fountas & Pinnell (F&P) assessment tool.

The F & P tool provided more detailed data with respect to students’ fluency, accuracy, and levels of comprehension.  In general, the F & P data has shown that most students are able to read fluently, accurately, and can recall what they read at their instructional level, however, many are not yet reading at their grade level, and need more support with inferencing, identifying message/theme, genre and understanding literary devices.

K – 7 writing samples revealed that focusing on writing instruction is a needed focus.  What we noticed as general trends is that most students are able to convey meaning through their writing that is on-topic and includes relevant details.  Areas of focus for improvement include form, style and conventions.

K Numeracy assessment data showed in February, 15 of 22 students passed the assessment; 7 of the 22 were flagged as at-risk.  Targeted small-group numeracy instruction was provided in-class to support these (and all other) students.  Additionally, three students had short-term intensive instruction and three more students had long-term intensive instruction to support their learning.  In June, of the at-risk students, 4 of the 7 students are no longer at risk.  One other student has made significant gains (1/20 to 16/20), while 2 others will continue to need additional intensive support.

Gr. 1 – 7 SNAP Math Assessment data revealed inconsistent information (unable to identify trend data), however, for individual students and/or classes the assessment helped teachers identify areas of focus.  We are keen to seek out other assessment tools and instructional resources to augment what we have currently to support mathematics instruction and assessment.  If the school district develops an Early Mathematics Assessment tool we would be interested in piloting this.

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

Most goals set during Student-Family-Teacher (SFT) conferences were related to the Approaches To Learning (ATL) with clear articulation of skills students wanted to develop.  Some of the goals set were still very content-driven and/or too broad/general.

Spring reflections in relation to goals set at SFTs in the Fall were primarily from a teacher perspective.  A goal for next year is to incorporate more student voice through these goal reflections.

Many teachers have had students engage in weekly reflections (Friday letter to family).  This has provided families insight into what students have been doing/learning at school.  Would like to see more depth of reflection related to ATL development.

Some teachers incorporated student self-reflection into lessons and unit plans.  A goal moving forward is to make this more embedded as a routine part of learning so that students have opportunities to reflect on their skill development and growth of understanding. 

May ATL reflection – students’ reflections on their development of the ATL showed their emerging understanding of what the ATL skills include and these reflections revealed that many students are still in the early stages of being comfortable with engaging in self-reflection.

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

Teachers approached the Meet the Teacher event this year with some variety in terms of presentation vs. conversation through the MS Teams platform.  Some teachers sent information shared during the meeting to families who were unable to attend.  Next year, we need to ensure all teachers provide families who couldn’t attend key information shared.  Participation rates were not as strong as we would have hoped – logging onto MS Teams might have been a barrier for some families.

Student-Family-Teacher Conference participation – MS Teams platform helped with this to enable parents/guardians who would not normally be able to make it into the school to participate; 70-95% of families participated in these conferences in November.

Spring Family Conference participation rates were consistent with SFT participation.

IEP Meeting participation was stronger than in former years and this resulted in families having input and clear understanding of student learning profiles and associated goals and objectives.

Keen to gather data related to parents accessing and reading Report Cards.

Communication between home and school occurs through various forms and with varied regularity.  We would like to explore ways to broaden open and frequent communication lines, to forge strong partnerships with families in educating their children.

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).

Assessment through formative feedback and feed forward, and designing assessment tasks to allow transfer of learning will be an ongoing focus next year.

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

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

Indigenous Worldviews, perspectives, First Peoples Principles of Learning, Ways of Knowing, Doing and Being are included but not yet embedded firmly and comfortably into regular instruction.

On the Unit of Inquiry planners there is a box specific to Indigenous Connections, however we aren’t yet adept at filling this box in.  Fear of “doing it wrong” has definitely been part of this.  By collaborating more with the Indigenous Ed team to get their input, and by utilizing the resources we have available, we know we’ll make progress related to this.

Indigenous Success Teacher’s schedule is now much more fully subscribed, and teachers are starting to request that his teachings are more connected to curricular learning (not as an “add-on” or one-off cultural activity).  Because he is scheduled to be at our school at least once a week, teachers have had the opportunity to benefit from his knowledge on a regular basis.

At the beginning of the next school year, we will want to ensure that all staff members have clarity with respect to the skills and supports the ISWs can offer.

We look forward to connecting with and learning from Indigenous community members to more authentically and thoroughly embed Indigenous Worldviews, and ways of knowing, doing, and being into how we engage with students and families and into how we teach the students.  This year, due to the pandemic, opportunities to do so were very limited.

Ministry of Education Student Learning Data (13 Grade 7 respondents, 8 Grade 4 respondents, 5 parent respondents:

92% of Grade 7 respondents indicated they are learning about First Peoples many times/all the time

50% of Grade 4 respondents indicated they are learning about First Peoples sometimes and 37% indicated they are learning about First Peoples many times/all the time

76% of Grade 7 respondents indicated they are learning about local First Nations many times/all the time

75% of Grade 4 respondents indicated they are learning about local First Nations sometimes and 12% indicated they are learning about local First Nations all the time

100% of parent respondents indicated they are satisfied with the efforts at the school to teach students about Indigenous peoples in Canada

100% of parent respondents indicated the students are being taught about local First Nations

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

Two units of inquiry at each grade level have been planned, taught and reflected on (with the exception of Grade 2) and all of these units include curricular competencies and content from more than one subject area.

We will need to more intentionally include the non-enrolling teachers as part of the planning process.

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

We have implemented the Second Step Program school-wide with positive results – many students are able to use the skills for learning, can recognize and name their emotions, can identify and use strategies to calm down, and are able to engage effectively in problem-solving.

By helping the children navigate the pandemic, and continue their learning through it, family and community members have been amazing partners for us as educators. 

To support well-being, sense of belonging, and shared responsibility as part of the community we give out DRUM tickets. When we reach 100 DRUM tickets the school community earns a reward (the current favourite is an extra outdoor recess break).

All classes are supported by the school counsellor and Indigenous Support Workers.  Many students access additional support from these staff members in small groups and/or individually.

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Communicating Progress

How do we Communicate our Progress?

Communication, Collaboration, Community

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Through regular newsletters, we share with families and the community stories of learning as well as school-related information.  To read school newsletters, please click HERE.

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Latest Progress & Updates