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ACHIEVEMENT CONTRACT SCHOOL DISTRICT No.42MAPLE RIDGE / PITT MEADOWS Submitted July 2010 Second Year of the 3 Year Plan
School District No. 42Vision, Mission and Core Values Vision Our Vision is for every individual to feel valued, and for all learners to reach their full potential. Mission Our Mission is to fully support all individuals in their personal development as successful learners and respectful contributors to society. Core Values Responsibility to all Learners Uniqueness of Each Individual Personal and Social Responsibility High Expectations for Success Culture, Community and Citizenship Diverse Learning Opportunities
District Context • Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows is a very unique district in its size and location. We are not Metro in size and complexity yet we are also not Fraser Valley in terms of needs and make-up. The size of SD 42 allows very personal connections which in turn allows us to readily focus on the needs of our kids in a very strategic way.
District Context • This year has been a very difficult year in that we have had to close 2 of our elementary schools. • Also due to continued budget pressures we have had to remove much of our Collegial Support time that we had previously placed in schools to support improved teaching and learning practice. • We are currently working on placing emphasis on Building Capacity as we know that the budget pressures will continue based on the fact that we are projected to continue to decline in enrollment over the next several years.
District Context (cont’d) • We completely restructured our Senior Team this year and reduced by 3 staff members at the District Office. • We have one superintendent (new this year)and three directors, each of whom spend a third of the year in the role of Deputy Superintendent. • We have also hired a new Secretary Treasurer who is currently assisting us with creating efficiencies and getting us to best practice.
A Focus on Student LearningTable of Contents: • Early Learning – A focus on students requiring targeted and intensive support. • Students with Learning Disabilities and Behavior Challenges – A focus on improvement. • Secondary Education – A focus on Engaging the Learner and Diversifying Instruction.
A Focus on Student LearningTable of Contents (cont’d) • 21st Century Learning – A focus on Inquiry projects and a 21st century rubric for assessing 21st century skills. • Elementary Literacy – A focus on disaggregating the data to identify cohorts needing intervention. • Aboriginal Education – A focus on what our Aboriginal students and how our work aligns with the Enhancement Agreement.
What have we done so far: Early Learning Early learning data particularly focused on kindergarten and preschool initiatives… • Continued to promote and expand Early Learning initiatives in School District 42: Strongstart, Ready Set Learn, PALS, Welcome to Kindergarten. • Worked with kindergarten teachers to enhance the opportunities that Kindergarten students are given to cut, paste, paint, and explore fine motor activities.
What have we done so far: Early Learning (cont’d) • In-serviced teachers in ‘Handwriting Without Tears’. • Identified time at the Kindergarten network meetings to discuss student achievement. • Developed a comprehensive 2 year plan to support the introduction and implementation of the full day kindergarten program across all 20 elementary schools.
Why did we choose this area of focus? • Early learning is the foundation of student engagement and success. • The educational focus in many of our classrooms has moved away from a focus on the “whole child”, play based programming and “developmentally appropriate activities”. • The pending introduction of full day kindergarten required a comprehensive review and re-visioning of what an effective kindergarten program looks like.
Why did we choose this area of focus? (cont’d) • In 2008/2009 Kindergarten teachers identified (34%) students as being at risk in one or more areas of development. • Girls are viewed by teachers as being much less at risk in all areas than boys
Why did we choose this area of focus? (cont’d) • Boys and aboriginal learners were identified as being particularly at risk in the areas of attendance, fine motor, oral language and attention span/focus on task. • Students of aboriginal background were viewed by teachers to be at least 50% more at risk than non aboriginal students in all areas.
What did we learn in 2009/10 • In 2009/10, Kindergarten teachers identified 302 of the 974 (31%) students as being at risk in one or more areas, compared to 318 of 941(34%) in 2008/09. • The % of students which teachers view as at risk in the identified areas has reduced in contrast to the 2008/09 data. • This may be due to an increased awareness by teachers of appropriate “curricular and developmental expectations” and a clearer identification at the district level of what “at risk” means in each area.
What did we learn in 2009/10?The areas that teachers identified as “at risk” changed in priority between 2008/2009 and 2009/2010.
What did we learn in 2009/10? (cont’d) • Girls are still viewed by teachers as being less at risk in most areas than boys, in the area of attendance however, they have been identified as being slightly more at risk. • Boys are still viewed by teachers to be more “at risk” in all areas except attendance, the spread between the % of boys and girls “at risk” has reduced • Students of aboriginal background are still viewed by teachers to be significantly more at risk than non aboriginal students in all areas.
What are we happy about and proud to show with this data? • There has been a percentage drop in the number of “at risk” kindergarten students identified by kindergarten teachers in all areas. Literacy – at risk dropped approximately 12%, Oral Language 6%, Fine Motor 4%. • The data has stimulated teacher discussion related to “developmentally appropriate” activities and expectations and the sharing of strategies and practices that can increase and support student learning.
What are we happy about and proud to show with this data?(cont’d) • Representatives from Aboriginal Education, English as a Second Language, and Student Support Services staff are now dialoguing with kindergarten teachers • Discussions are focused on ways to imbed culturally appropriate and universal strategies into the kindergarten program so that ALL children can be successful.
What have we discovered we would like to change, alter or refocus on as a result of what we have found? • The % of boys who are considered “at risk” as compared to the % of girls particularly in the areas of fine motor, oral language and attention/time on task. • The % of aboriginal students who are considered at risk in comparison to “non aboriginal” students.
What have we discovered we would like to change, alter or refocus on as a result of what we have found? (cont’d) • It appears that our current programming lends itself more easily to supporting the learning styles of girls than boys. This would appear to be even more true when looking at aboriginal learners.
Where to next? • In light of the need to improve success for boys and aboriginal learners and to reflect the Ministry “full day” kindergarten mandate we will be focusing on: • Developing a “play based”, “project oriented” kindergarten program • Providing opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning in ways that support their learning styles • Offering activities and interventions that build student skills and abilities particularly in the areas of fine motor, oral language and increasing attention/time on task.
Where to next? (cont’d) • Working directly with kindergarten teachers to align their practice with the new kindergarten handbook and current knowledge of the importance of a “whole child”, “play based”, “developmentally appropriate’ programming. • Continue to use the District Kindergarten steering committee comprised of principals, kindergarten teachers, MRTA executive, aboriginal support teachers, and student support services staff to guide our journey to full day kindergarten in all schools by September 2011/12.
Where to next? (cont’d) • Specific focus and dialogue will occur district wide on how to integrate targeted and intensive support seamlessly into a kindergarten program in a systematic, structured and effective manner. • An enhanced focus on including kindergarten and grade 1 teachers in dialogue, and discussion on how the district can support and enhance programming for early learners in SD 42 to improve student success in all curricular and developmental areas.
Where to next? (cont’d) • A specific focus on following the cohorts of students identified as “at risk” this year into their grade one year. • The development of “intervention” programs to address each student’s areas of vulnerability and risk with a focus on “developmentally appropriate” interventions. • The continued refining of the data that is collected to ensure objectivity and relevancy.
What have we done so far? • Laptop Initiative for students with LD. 30 students with a designation of learning disability and corresponding school teams were provided with personal laptops, assistive software and training. The intention was to see if increased access to technology would have a positive affect on success for these individuals. • Assistive Technology -professional development/ in-service: Offered ongoing professional development opportunities to support teachers and classroom teachers on the use of accommodations and adaptations in the form of assistive technology for LD students.
What have we done so far? (cont’d) • Exploring effective practices and other district models: The LD committee visited other districts to examine examples of effective practice for students with learning disabilities. • The committee reported out on examples of systems practices and the application of tiered support systems, looking specifically at effective targeted and intensive interventions for these students. • In addition a literature review of current North American research highlighting effective practices for learning disabled students (including effective interventions for preventing school ‘drop out’) was completed.
What have we done so far? (cont’d) • Student Interviews – Letting Our Students Tell Their Stories:. The LD committee interviewed secondary school students who were indentified as having a learning disability in order to obtain anecdotal reports on what students felt were the challenges and effective supports that have had an impact on their own educational experiences. • Developed base line data to monitor student achievement for LD students at a district level.
Why did we choose this area of focus? • District graduation rates in 2007/08 for students with learning disabilities show a steady decline in improvement from previous years ( 8% decline in graduation rates over two years). • Graduation rates for students with learning disabilities from across Canada are still extremely low (approx 23% federally 5 year and 59% provincially 6 year) and places this demographic at high risk for school failure.
Student Learning Data that we used: Quantitative: • LD Six Year Graduation Rate for Dogwood 2003-2009 – Showing an improvement from the last 3 years. • FSA and Grade 10 Provincial and Grade 12 Provincial Results for LD Non-Completers- Indicating school failure may begin much earlier than high school. Qualitative: • Anecdotal comments taken from district interviews of secondary school students with a learning disability. Indicating: Strategies, Challenges and Support Systems
LD Non-Completers 2008/09Number that meet expectations on Gr. 7 FSAs Number that wrote Grade 10 Eng Provincial Exam Number that wrote Grade 12 Eng and Com Provincial Exam
LD Student Survey 2009-2010 Strategies These Students Use: “I just finished reading “Lord of the Flies” and my support teacher put it on tape for me” “Oral exams are the way I like to show what I know” “Breaking down things into smaller bits” “Learning Centre is very helpful I probably wouldn’t be in Grade 12 without theirone-on-one help” • Technology such as books on MP3 players, text to speech software, laptops • Making good use of your support block • Be organized - use your planner • Ask questions in class or after class • Ask to work or take tests in a quieter environment • Break down the learning into smaller chunks
LD Student Survey 2009-2010 Support systems of teachers/students families: “Instead of just giving you an assignment and telling you this is what you have to hand in, telling you what they expect and what they are looking for and explaining how you would do that” “Mr. ****** since grade 9 has been my favorite teacher, he stops by and asks if I need help because I won’t raise my hand – I’m shy” “My mom is really good at helping me” “Without Mr. ****, I wouldn’t be here today.” • Find a teacher who you can talk to • Let your friends help you • Know that someone cares about whether you succeed or don’t • Get a tutor • Find a teacher who is willing to explain what they want you to do
LD Student Survey 2009-2010 Challenges: • “Overcoming the feeling that I am not smart enough” • “Not understanding what the teacher wants me to do” • “Reading novels is hard” • “Spelling is difficult” • “Finding information in a textbook is hard” Source: Video Production by LD Sub Committee: Ken Arkell, Deirdre Way & Rosemary Broavac SD 42
What did we learn? • Improving success for students with learning disabilities has been a focus for the past three years in the achievement contract. • While graduation rates have shown improvement it is important to build on this success by maintaining and developing appropriate interventions system wide. The focus of the past year was primarily to assess potential accomplishments and challenges within the district with regards to interventions and support systems for students with LD. • The focus for the upcoming year will be to implement strategies based on these findings.
What are we happy about and proud to show with this data? • 6 year District Graduation rates for students with learning disabilities has improved 16% from the previous year. This is above the provincial average for students with an designation of LD. • Many students with LD identify teachers as being a key element in finding success at school. • LD students have indentified that increased access to technology is tool that has helped them succeed in some of their core subject areas. This may indicate that the laptop project for students with LD is already having a positive impact.
What have we discovered we would like to change, alter or refocus on as a result of what we have found? • Improved Graduation Rates for students with a learning disability suggest that practice is improving. Our focus will be on sustaining this success, while implementing effective support systems system wide. • FSA results, and Grade 10 English, Grade 12 English and Communications Provincial Exam completion suggests that school failure for students with LD occurs before Grade 10, and perhaps well into elementary school. File reviews of these students from K-12 will occur to see if there are any common trends that indicate why and when students with LD disengage from school.
What have we discovered we would like to change, alter or refocus on as a result of what we have found? (cont’d) • The qualitative data taken form the student interview suggests that student self-advocacy and the ability to ask for help plays an important role in their success at school. Assisting students in the development of these skills, as well as teacher training in the use of accommodations and adaptations, will play an integral role in building success for these students.
Where to next?Area of Focus for 2010/2011 - Learning Disabilities A. Learning Disabilities Pilot Project: Three elementary schools to engage in a LD pilot project that focuses on a tiered model of support including: • Early Screening – Kindergarten Level • Ongoing screening and intervention at Grade 3 and grade 5 • A focus self advocacy for Grade 6 and 7 • A focus on Grade 7 to 8 transition
Where to next? (cont’d)Area of Focus for 2010/2011 - Learning Disabilities B. Secondary School Focus: • Each secondary to review school achievement with regards to learning disabilities and to create an action plan for increasing achievement for these students – to assign up to .5 staffing from each school to assist with implementation of the plan. • To engage in consultation with secondary schools regarding the implementation of a specific LD focus in Grade 8 and 9 – attaching a LD support focus to Grade 8 Pod structure.
Where to next? (cont’d)Area of Focus for 2010/2011 - Learning Disabilities C. Increase Use of Assistive Technology District Wide: • Continuation of SSS district wide Laptop Project for students with a learning disability: To provide 30 additional laptops for indentified students in the district that would benefit form the use of a personal laptop. • To increase classroom teacher training on the use of assistive technology in the form of accommodations. • Implement a district wide Kurzweil server. Continue district wide training in both Kurzweil and ARC
Where to next? (cont’d)Area of Focus for 2010/2011 - Learning Disabilities D. Increase training for classroom teachers: • In-service and professional development opportunities to review the Ministry Planning Tool for LD with classroom teachers. • Meet with representatives from different departments to create a adaptations and accommodations guide specific to subject/grade level areas.
Where to next? (cont’d) Area of Focus for 2010/2011 - Learning Disabilities E.Data Based Decision Making: • An analysis of past report cards - examining strengths and challenges for students with LD at the elementary school level - is an important next step in building successful support systems. Early identification and intervention for these students appears to be necessary in building further success. • Share results of the student survey/ video with school teams to guide support planning at school level.
What have we done so far? • Continued implementation of coordinated district structures and initiatives, including the development of a clear model for referral, identification and intervention pathways for students experiencing behavioural challenges in school. • Continued promotion of a school wide focus for building positive culture and behavioural intervention at a district level. Working with three schools on full implementation of a school wide Positive Discipline Model.
What have we done so far? (cont’d) • Creation of a Secondary Behavioural Support Network so that teachers and school psychologist from each secondary school could share and reflect on effective practices. Facilitated training/ capacity building at each secondary school with regards to functional assessments, positive behaviour support plans and “check-in check- out” interventions.
What have we done so far? (cont’d) • Worked with school teams to assist them in the implementation their own systems for creating data based decision making in terms of monitoring and indentifying at-risk students. Implemented the use of student engagement surveys at each secondary school. • Developed base line data to establish a systematic district collection of qualitative and quantitative measures of achievement tracking of students from Grade 7 through to Grade 12.
What have we done so far? (cont’d) • Continued to offer a variety of learning pathways and educational options for students as they progress through secondary school, such as integrated trades programs, and other alternative educational options. • Re-examined the role of the school counselor and increased collaboration of counselors, child care workers and outside agencies to assist in wrap around services for students and their families.