I thought I would present a comprehensive update of the work our school is doing in its collaborative teams. During the last school year, our entire board has embraced the Embedded Collaborative Learning Time model to enhance professional learning for teachers. There is overwhelming evidence that student learning and student engagement increase when teachers have opportunities to work together as Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). A recent evaluation of the collaborative learning teams from all current schools indicates that teachers are engaged in valuable learning and are adjusting their teaching practices to improve student engagement and achievement.
This year our teachers are grouped into several areas of focus:
- Our resource team consisting of Ms Spencer, Ms. Pearl, Ms. Willman and Mr. Cummings, are working on increasing the occurrence of more focused and measurable goals for students with Individual Program Plans, and also increasing the occurrence of explicit links to students’ strengths, challenges and interests.
- Ms. Thorburne, Ms. Smith, Ms. Breckon, Ms. Lanigan, Ms. Levy-Peverelle, Ms. Johnston, Ms. Moule, Ms. Strum, Ms. Woodland and Ms. Keith are researching, exploring and implementing best practices in teaching writing vocabulary to have students use “No Excuse” words independently in writing. Some days this group meets as a whole and others in their grade level teams to allow for a developmentally appropriate approach to this task
- Mr. Johnston, Ms. Griffith, Ms. Lovett and Ms. Dennis are researching and implementing best practices to help students develop strategies that are necessary to select relevant information from a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.
- Our guidance counsellor, Ms. Hilchey, are investigating issues that address the academic, social and emotional health and well being of students by further developing relationships with outside agencies, and supporting and problem each other collaboratively on students cases and issues.
- Our Phys Ed teacher Ms. Josey is working with other Phys. Ed. teachers to discuss and implement effective approaches to the new curriculum.
- Our french teacher, Mr. Fraser, is implementing practices to help students improve their ability to have authentic conversations about themselves with a focus on using full sentences.
As always, I know our teachers and admin staff would be eager and willing to engage in more dialogue about our improvement efforts. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions and seek clarification as the work we do has one one purpose – to increase student achievement.
Often, in my conversations with both community as a whole and individuals, I reference that this practice is evidence based. For those of you whom are interested in reading some of the literature on this topic I have included an article link below. Although a short read it is the most succinct I could find to explain exactly what happens during our Embedded Time Days and when teachers meet at other times as Professional Learning Communities. Click the link below if you would like more information: