Our Learning Story
Implementation Day 2016 is where our learning story began. The focus of that day was based on creating our school's vision and mission statement. The day engaged all staff (teachers, CEA's, Indigenous Advocates) in conversation and reflection. Our goal was to align our values and collaboratively create a direction for our school.
Using the First Peoples' Principles of Learning "learning requires exploration of one's identity" we focused our work that day on honoring the voice of educators in creating the value statements that we as a collective group hold in the highest regard.
We engaged in a structure to demonstrate the importance of a systems approach and the necessity of staff alignment. Everyone needs to be working towards the same goal. This structure led us into the first stage of our Spirals of Inquiry Process. At this stage we began our scan by prompting our staff to respond and reflect on the question "How do students find success at KLO?"
In small collaborative groups staff created a visual image of what success at KLO looked like. Images emerged with analogies like a growing plant, completing a puzzle, building a home, etc. The trend was apparent. Our staff valued the whole child.
Words such as: belonging, inclusion, diversity, contentment, emotional wellness, ownership, growth mindset, resiliency, happiness, mindfulness, metacognition, etc. were present in all of our group's sharing session. This was a powerful moment as the staff recognized the alignment of our values.
At the next curricular leaders meeting all of the group's visual representations were reposted for review. Through a reflective process the team identified common themes. Those themes were then brought to the entire staff again where the vision for KLO was emerging.
Through a collaborative process, we created our direction with our Mission and Vision statements.
As we are building our Spiral of Inquiry around our school goals we feel that have asked the right questions and are moving in a direction filled with purpose. In order for this process to be meaningful and relevant, we have been quite deliberate in our SCAN phase. Once we completed the creation of a school vision and mission statement, we moved into focusing on key concepts such as differentiation and inclusion in order to develop hunches and deepen our learning. We also worked on embedding the concepts the First Peoples Principles of Learning as well as the concepts of Character Strong into our school as we believe in helping our students become responsible and proud citizens.
Our next steps are based around continuing our inquiry in relation to French Immersion, Literacy and Numeracy at a middle school level. As an admin team, we believe in a clarity of shared purpose with a collective understanding of where we are going as team of educators in order to support students and parents alike.
Implementation Day 2017 - we continued our journey into building a learning environment based upon the principles that were established in our Vision and Mission statements. During our staff meetings, we focused on building capacity around the concepts of inclusion and differentiation. Our aim is to use the process of inquiry to guide our learning and develop our hunches. Our Leadership teacher team read the book School Culture by Design by Phil Boyte.
"Consistently maintaining and fine-tuning culture is how a school becomes great. This book provides the means to both create and sustain great school culture with proven methods, real world examples and insightlful encouragement." Don Schaffer CADA
Implementation Day 2018 - we expanded our work on our Vision and Mission statements by incorporating the concepts of the Character Strong Program. "CharacterStrong is an organization that provides curricula and trainings for schools internationally. Our trainings help educators infuse character and social-emotional learning into the daily fabric of any classroom or campus. Our curricula focus on character development in order to help students cultivate social-emotional skills, their emotional intelligence, and help them develop a stronger identity and purpose in school and in the world." CS website
Implementation Day 2019 - this year, we will be "Diving into Inquiry" with Trevor MacKenzie.
"Trevor MacKenzie has written a heartfelt book on student inquiry where his passion for growing a culture of inquiry and students feeling a sense of trust and empowerment are front and center. His clarity of message and practical examples of how to co-create this experience in other classrooms is inspiring. He offers fabulous examples of student voice, social construction, and self-discovery."— Allison Zmuda, author and education consultant, USA