Summer Reflections on the 2015-16 School Year at BBCS

The report cards are in the mail. The hallway floors are being stripped and readied for waxing before Sept 6th. Another year has flown by. The classrooms are packed up and staff have been on holidays for over two weeks. It’s been an intense, but a very focused year for a few reasons. The first is that we have good solid data on student learning and the other is that we underwent a year of scrutiny with the FNSA school assessment process. As well, attendance has improved.

Wonderful data that tells us we are making headway in moving our children along in reading especially. Our PM benchmarking data reveal impressive results for our elementary students who have shown that with hard work, it is possible to make impressive gains. Strong supports have been in place including support from the literacy coach, the classroom teachers, the learning support teacher, and the teacher assistants.

The data below represent results for three random classrooms for three assessment periods during the school year. For each assessment period, dark green means that children are exceeding expectations. Light green refers to those who are minimally meeting expectations for their grade. Yellow indicates children are approaching expectations. Red indicates that there is a ways to go before expectations are met. The children in the red are typically children who require intensive learning support or children who have missed so much school that their learning was interrupted. Kudos to the elementary staff at BBCS who have committed themselves to providing solid instruction and interventions in order to see such wonderful progress.

Along with the wonderful progress in the elementary wing, what stands out as well is the overall wonderful feeling that as a staff, we have been focussed on doing what it takes to help students meet with success. Student attendance has risen especially in the elementary wing and this contributes to the academic success, also one of our goals. There was a general feeling of fatigue mixed with joy at BBCS in the last days of June.

What, one might ask, does joy look like. It is children arriving to school early and staff having to have to ask kids to leave when we are ready to go home around 5-6pm on a Friday. Children greeting staff warmly with hugs and early morning chats in classrooms and hallways. That speaks volumes about the general school climate. Beaming faces met us in the morning and at the end of the day as they moved toward the school bus or the playground often companies by hugs for staff along the way.

How wonderful it was to have so many children encouraging others to be kind and to play safe. These included the children who were outside at recess with the walkie talkies or in the gym before school. When a teacher assistant took over as the main coordinator for that, I felt that there was yet, another important recruit with a clear mandate to promote kindness and safety.

The FNSA school assessment process revealed three clear goals for us to work on over the next four years. Improving overall in English language arts is the top priority and it must begin with strategic well-planned instruction. Instruction that will allow students to become engaged with goal focused learning in all content areas especially with writing.

A whole school write allowed us to determine areas to focus on using the performance standards as our gauge. Other areas of focus will be identified through collaboration in divisional meetings.

Student leadership is another area of focus for the next four years. Forming a student council and providing opportunities for them to develop skills is integral to allowing them to apply this into their lives and community.

Streamlining the learning support we provide to students is our third goal. It begins with the development of a policy that will guide this process. This is an exciting process as we seek to round out and provide support to promote success.

Addressing these three goals will be daunting work, but it will be exciting as we challenge ourselves to do more than what it takes in order to see some dark green results.

BBCS has a talented and dedicated staff. Some have left to make their mark in other places; in their places will be a new group of staff members with fresh energy and ideas to help us move toward becoming the school we want to be with children happy to be with us with each new day.

Come along and meet our new staff members and welcome back our returning staff and students in a new tradition. On Sept 6 starting at 9:30, we’ll line the Eaglehead entrance with smiles and cheers as we welcome back students to BBCS. This will be followed by an assembly in the school gym. Bring your cameras. Bring your west wishes to our staff and students as we embark on the 40th year of Heiltsuk control of the education of our children. This is a legacy that must be celebrated. Help us ring in the year by being present for the occasion.

 

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