The goal of all school plans is to improve student learning and the conditions for student learning for all members of the school community. In the 2016/2017 school year, the school community defined its vision for General Vanier as a school that focused on creating an engaging learning environment focused on collaboration, inclusion, and opportunity.
As we worked towards this vision, the school learned of, implemented and developed many new ways of doing things. The following are a few highlights:
- At the Kindergarten level and through efforts of our student services team, we saw the implementation of the Early Year's Evaluation (EYE) as a way of assessing the needs of future Kindergarten students.
- As well, professional development time was devoted to the concept of collaboration and the creation of a staff rubric as we set professional norms for collaboration. This later led to the creation of two Professional Learning Networks (PLNs) that focused on:
- Grade eight English Language Arts inter-rater reliability, its effect on the Provincial Assessment Data and the creation of common assessment understandings in our Family of Schools, and
- The implementation of technology into the teaching of math in the Early Years.
- Teachers also spent their time working with many other members of the Louis Riel School Division on the Divisional Writing Project. As a multi-year improvement of the teaching of the writing process and teacher development, this project saw the integration of wave two and wave three teachers into the Writing Project's pedagogy, through the creation of common beliefs around writing, the promotion of teacher mentorship and critical conversations through classroom visits and through the collaboration of GV teachers and other LRSD personnel in demonstration weeks.
- General Vanier also embarked in redefining the way that we fund and care for students who have barriers to their learning at school. This Special Needs Initiative allowed staff to examine historical perspectives of Special Needs Education. Near the end of the year our transition process was examined and new ways of storing and sharing student information were introduced as a way of fostering easy communication between the professionals that care for students.
- Students in grades five to eight also were given new opportunities through the Middle Years Exploration Project that allowed students to experience Drama, Musical Theatre, Art, Industrial Arts, and Human Ecology through connections with Windsor Park Collegiate. These connections to our students' future high school will aid in the transition process and make students more aware of the opportunities that are available to them in the future.
Since May of the 2016/2017 school year, teachers have been part of a process to identify and plan for the individual and group needs of General Vanier by creating individual, class, and school profiles. From these profiles, themes have emerged that have helped direct the professional learning we will be doing this year. As well, all staff have been part of a process to identify professional needs.
The 2017/2018 School Plan will focus on the following goals.
1) The Development of our K-8 Literacy and Numeracy Plan:
This will include evaluating our current system of formative assessment, assessment tools and assessment plans, the redefining of the role of our Early Year's Literacy teacher, the creation of an overview to guide practice, and the continuation of the writing project.
2) Increasing our understanding of the Special Needs Initiative
As we transition to a holistic, needs based model of special education planning and implementation, there is the need for the creation of a process that will see that our students' progress is well recorded and reported. This will be done through the further refinement creating student, class, and school profiles, the use of CLEVR (a divisionally based record keeping tool), and an increase in our inclusionary practices through the reallocation of school personnel to the area of inclusion coordination.
3) Developing Resilience in Students Through the Circle of Courage Lens:
In consideration of the OurSchool Survey (formerly the Tell Them From Me Survey) the need to increase student resiliency was observed. The introduction of self-regulation practices through the Mind-Up Curriculum, and the use of Zones of Regulation in our school hopes to improve all students' ability to understand and cope in positive ways with the pressures and challenges of their lives. Also a part of developing resiliency will be the use of the Circle of Courage and the Seven Teachings as a way to illustrate those most important qualities in the education of our students. Through the circle's four developmental areas: Belonging, Mastery, Independence, and Generosity we will look for and describe our strengths and areas for improvement as individuals and as a whole school.