School Focus for Enhancing Student Learning
Enhancing student learning is a focus at Thompson. In order to support our students, staff engaged in a thorough inquiry process that involved scanning their current classroom contexts for student strengths and at the same time surfaced stretches that their students may be experiencing in school.
We learned that our students come to school with a positive attitude and are excited to learn and are curious about what they are learning about. Students at Thompson love to create and they are very comfortable working with others. They love to share ideas and are engaged with their peers socially. Thompson students are diverse and come from a variety of backgrounds and have differing experiences They are socially responsible and strive towards solving problems in peaceful ways.
To determine an area for enhancing student learning, staff identified areas that were stretches for their students and then shared them at a Professional Development Day in May 2017 with Mr. Cherry. A common focus emerged from discussion.
Fast forward now to the 2018/19 school year, where Thompson exerienced growth in its population (increased by nearly 100 students), with new teachers, new Educational Assistants, and new administration (Mr. Juhasz). During that time, our entire staff (Classroom Teachers, Resource Teachers, Educational Assistants, and Administration) dedicated themselves to improving how we "Communicate Student Learning"(CSL), and were part of the District sponsored Student Reporting Pilot Project(SRPP). This project focussed on ways that we as a school could improve on how we assessed students in meaningful ways (connected to the revised currriculum), make the students and their parents more part of the learning and communication process (it takes a villiage), with the end-result being that students are more intentional, metacongitive (they think about their thinking) and mindful as they approach their learning.
In terms of professional development for the staff, the use of ePortfolio necesitates that we be more tech savvy. Every classroom teacher (and support staff) is using ePortfolio as a vehicle for the communication of student learning. To support this learning for staff, our staff has a steering committee called th CSL committee. The committee is comprised of technology and curricular leaders on staff, all of whom are tasked with being peer-mentors. The professional development focus has been to create a high technology tide that raises all of the boats with their colleagues, so each teacher is confident in using ePortfolio. A second layer of support is the Applied Design Skills and Technology (ADST) curriculum focus group comprised the Primary Teachers, Resource Teachers and Mr. Juhasz. This group is creating a K/1 and a 2/3 scope and sequence for tech skills, building not only capacity for staff, but also for the youngest students in the school so that they are eventually capable of performing independent tech tasks associated with their ePortfolios. In essence, not only are the students involved in an inquiry, so too is the staff. We're on a learning journey together. The learn more about our learning journey, use this link to connect to our February 7th school Newsletter.
The foundation for any of this to be possible is "growth mindset." We will continue this initiative onto the 2019/20 year as well.