School Goals/Focus Areas
End of May 2019
We have completed most of the work that we have been doing on our school goals with the exception of reading which continues. We are assessing students for their progress before and after interventions and getting very good results. This has shown us that focusing on one area and putting multiple interventions in place at the same time has the most positive effect for student learning!
End of April 2019
We continue to work on Printing like a Pro (PLAP) and Inner Explorer as two concrete activities with students. There is varied acceptance with mindfulness as would be expected with a new program but most students see the benefit to it. There is wide use of PLAP and students are enjoying this activity. This is part of the mechanics of writing and we continue to do this with the theory of 6 traits of writing. We hope to do another school wide writing activity in early June to see our year progress.
End of March 2019
The focus of our work in March is getting students ready for the student-parent-teacher conference day on March 8th. We have been working to build portfolios with work samples and self assessments so parents can see the progress being made since November. Huband is unique in that we do two interview days a year and this has met with very positive response overall. After March 8th I put out a survey to parents and with 62 responses, the average acceptance was a score of 1.9 with 1=very satisfied and 2=satisfied. There were only 3 responses with dissatisfied and these were all around the idea that a day with less instruction than normal is challenging for working parents.
Early Spring 2019
As we return to school after the winter break, we look to continue working on both school goals - SEL and writing. As well we have spent considerable time focusing on early primary reading and having good success there. While reading was not a goal we developed back in the fall 2018, it has emerged as a need based on our work this year. We have committed to interventions for grade 2s and then reading and math for grade 1s.
End of December 2018
We continue to work on our writing goal. We have had the district curriculum support teacher work with classes to improve their work on lead sentences. Students have been looking a books and determining what makes for a good start to a paragraph or story. In many cases it is a question so students have been practicing that recently.
Students have also had focus lessons on finding or determining importance in reading. Students are then trying to put the same types of visuals and text into their own writing.
For building community we have been trying to organize a lunch with all the new students in the school to find out how they are doing, find out if they are making friends and find out how we can make their experience better. We finally found a day that was open and it was a great lunch experience for all of us. We are going to do this again in a couple of months!
For SEL, we are planning another example for early in the new year about acceptance. The leadership group will be working with Division 17 to host this. it will coincide with Pink Shirt Day. Along with work, we continue to work on the theme of kindness and below is an example of how that is being introduced and worked on by classes.
End of November 2018
One of our take aways from our class review process in early October was the concern that primary students need more support with their reading. We have developed and implemented a guided reading program that includes teachers, LSTs and PVPs and we are going to re-assess how they are doing in December.
We are also working in primary classes with students practicing how to determine importance in a written information piece. Students are working with their teacher and the district curriculum teacher to pick out the important details like headings, subheadings, captions and other text that is emphasized.
With our writing goal, we are working on the 6 traits of writing and we continue to use our ProD staff time to work on strategies that will work with students. We are working to collect lessons that deal specifically with the traits and collate them so everyone has access to them. We are also working on different genres of writing in different grades and embedding the traits into that writing.
For our 2nd goal on SEL, we just completed an assembly on kindness and are connecting it to the everybody deserves a smile program and the Christmas hamper program.
End of October 2018 Update
Now that we have gone through the busy month of September we get to work on building and working on our school goals. You can see from the paragraph below that we have two goals this year but we are also focusing some energy on primary students and their reading.
We continue to believe that social emotional learning is important for students and we are planning an assembly for the week after Remembrance Day to work on that. We are also continuing to focus energy on competencies with student recognition through the "Huband Heart" project which you can find on the bulletin board outside the gym.
Another part of SEL that we are working on is mindfulness. We now have a program called "InnerExplorer" that provides ready made lessons on mindfulness - deep breathing exercises, meditation exercises and other similar work. All teachers have access to this on the computer and it is being used in a variety of ways - just before silent reading time to set the tone for reading as an example.
For our writing goal, we have already ordered more "Printing like a Pro" booklets to help students with their written (or printing) output. We have the curriculum support teachers visiting us in November on 6 different days to work with groups of teachers in their classes on the traits of writing.
We had a class review day in early October and one of the concerns raised was the reading ability of our early primary students. Based on this information, we have developed a coordinated reading intervention that we are working on right now until December. All staff are involved including LSTs and Principal and VP. We hope that this "boost" of reading intervention will help all students get ahead this year in this critical area!
Beginning of the 2018 2019 School Year
We have had two opportunities so far this year to explore ideas about what our school goals should or could be for 2018 2019. This relates to the district's FESL or Framework for Enhanced Student Learning. On August 30th, we had the opportunity to explore some of the topics that staff looked at over the summer and we reviewed where we went last year - and how that should or could connect to this year.
We also just finished the curriculum implementation day on September 28th. We looked at a number of curricular areas including writing and mindfulness as part of social emotional learning. I believe that these two areas will continue to be our school goals for this upcoming year. We have our whole school class review day coming up and any feedback from those meetings will be included in our discussion. Our plans for the school year are due on October 15th.
End of May 2018 Update
For the last part of the school year, we have focused on the thinking competency. This has been a bit more challenging than the other two because it is more of an effort to find creative and critical thinking strategies that students can show. The thinking competency recognition is the blue on the competency board now. You can see how there have been many more green or social responsibility credits this year compared to Communication and compared to Thinking.
We also continued our work with writing and have looked at new rubrics for marking our school wide write that we completed. We also developed some reading assessment pieces in collaboration with the curriculum support teachers to use as end-of-the-year assessments. These will give the next year teacher a good understanding of his/her students right away in September.
School Review April 2018 Update
Our annual school review with school board trustees and other senior staff was on Wednesday the 18th.
Thanks for the opportunity to visit your school for your school review. Please pass along my compliments once again to your lovely leadership students who toured us around the school. Sophia and Raylan were outstanding tour guides. They were engaging and extremely knowledgeable regarding the Huband School culture and projects/activities taking place throughout the school. I got a sense that you have a wonderful relationship with your parent community and that you have excellent parent involvement in your school. Your salad bar program looks amazing and is a wonderful addition to your school. The plans for the outdoor classroom are amazing and it will be a real addition to your school when it is completed. I look forward to seeing it when it is all done. I really like the idea of converting your library into more of a learning commons by including the computer lab. I chatted to Ian H. briefly about it when I got back to the board office. Your space issues are real and they will be your biggest challenge in the coming years. Getting your MPR back might be of some help as it would free up a large room that could be accessed by all of your staff. Increasing the library size might also be a good option to allow a larger library commons footprint.
Thanks again for hosting us. Enjoy the rest of your week!
Geoff Manning, Director of Instruction K-12
The following attachments were part of our review. Please have a look at them. The social emotion learning presentation was done by students in Mrs. Cameron's class!
End of March 2018 Update:
As we move into the last part of the school year, we will continue to work on competencies and our writing goal. For SEL, we will focus on the communication competency so you will see changes to our competency board in the main hallway. There will now be blue Huband Hearts starting to show up on the recognition board from now on.
For writing, we just completed a school wide writing activity and we will be looking at the results of that activity at the next staff meeting. This will help us determine some next steps for the last couple of months of the school year. We continue to work with curriculum support teachers on the 6 traits of writing which include Ideas, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, Voice, Organization and Conventions like spelling and grammar.
End of February 2018 Update:
A big part of our work in February was directed at social and emotional learning around pink shirt day and bullying. We had our monthly assembly on "pink shirt day" the 28th and focused on the messages of kindness and helping others and respecting everyone. We continue to work on this topic and connect it to our communication competency goal. The focus for communication right now is on "communication coaches" which are helping primary students with talking things out using the story grammar marker format.
End of January 2018 Update:
We continue to work on both school goals in January 2018. December was taken up by winter concert and other winter-themed activities. Students continue to work on Story Grammar Marker (SGM) and teachers are using the braid as a visual tool for students. Mrs. Birnie is reading a story in this picture and showing the parts of the story with the braid. This really helps students see the different parts of a story so that when they work on their own stories - they remember to include all the braid parts in their own story. The work that we are doing with writing traits helps students to develop each of the parts of their story more - more details, new words and exciting language, beginning, middle and ending structure and enhanced grammar and punctuation. We are building a literary library of picture books that reinforce the SGM structure. This is ongoing.
We also had a very informative ProD session with our district psychologist and OT in January looking at the mechanics of writing and developmentally what is appropriate for students to be expected to do. I found it very interesting to look at pencil grips and arm position and how that affects printing and writing.
End of November Update:
We just had our monthly assembly on the 28th and part of the program was a student-produced PowerPoint that showed students using competencies at school. Students took pictures of other students when they were doing things that showed personal and social responsibility. The whole school was then able to see examples of students working together, students helping other students, students being supportive of others. It is out hope that by showing concrete examples of what P+S competency is, students will understand the ideas better and be able to put them into practice more effectively.
We continued our work on writing with another session on Story Grammar Marker. This is a visual tool for students to help them understand the parts of a story. By better understanding the parts of a story, it is our hope that students will develop better story writing ability by incorporating more parts into their own stories. The pictures below show our staff working on this project with Morgan MacDonald. The second photo shows the parts of the story marker for you to see. The added bonus is that many student conflicts or interactions can also be modeled with this process so we hope to use it on the playground to help students process interactions more thoughtfully.
End of October Update:
We have been doing some really good work in October around our focus areas. For goal 1, we have the next story grammar marker session on November 21. We are tracking "Huband Hearts" to see how social and personal responsibility is being taken in and we did a review of PR and SR during our end of October assembly to keep this as a focus. We showed a video done by all staff that showed expected and unexpected behaviours in and around the hallways and the students really enjoyed that.
For goal 2, we now have "Printing like a Pro" in our primary classes and we have had a district curriculum support teacher here to help us with explicit writing lesson work.
End of September Update:
This is the starting place for our work at Huband on the Framework for Enhanced Student Learning or FESL. This is a process that school are going through to develop plans for the year. These school plans will become part of the district FESL process.
Attached below you will find an introduction document and two goal or focus areas for Huband for 2017 2018. These draft documents are a summary of our work so far in September and October. Staff have developed two focus areas and these have been shared with PAC and parents. There is more detail and information about our process so far in the introduction document.
This will be an ongoing process this year as we work with these focus areas and we will report back on our progress. Please check back or look for updates in my weekly message to parents.
Documents posted October 13 2017: