ᐧᒫᑯᐧᑖᐤ ᐄᔨᔨᐤ ᒋᔅᑯᑎᒫᑑᑭᒥᒄ
Our mission is to provide sound curriculum, emotional and social support and a rich traditional environment which fosters pride and a love for learning in all students.
This year saw the launch of the Response to Intervention (RTI) process at the Maquatua Eeyou School (MES). With the help of our RTI coach, Marsha Brown, all cycles in the English sector developed and implemented three SMART sequences over the course of the year focusing on “essential knowledge” pulled from the GVC. The teachers shared their amazing successes with their SMART goals during three poster board sharing sessions, where all teachers had an opportunity to ask and answer questions with their colleagues.
School Governance and Shared Leadership
Our new MES school committee got off to a running start, focusing on developing the culture of the school and getting parents involved. The committee planned several activities to bring the community and school staff together. There was a gathering and feast at the culture camp, where Gookums and Friends welcomed staff with a traditional meal. For Teacher Appreciation Week, the Parent Committee organized a 15-minute break for each teacher, where a parent stepped in to replace them. The Committee also hosted an end-of-year BBQ, which was a great success. The Committee was very supportive, making announcements on the radio regarding attendance, the importance of sleep, the importance of parental involvement and the weight of third term. Our Parent Committee is very dedicated and we had quorum at every meeting.
Our reading scores at MES remain at a steady rate, with each grade in elementary demonstrating that 60% or more of students are atgrade level in reading, according to the PM Benchmark test. We also began a new reading program called Empower Reading for our most at-risk readers, which saw several students increase by multiple grade levels in less than one year.
Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
The establishment of the RTI process forced teachers to take a hard look at the GVC, and to try pulling out the most essential knowledge that students needed in each grade. Teachers looked at data from previous years to decide what parts of the GVC needed to be the main focus, while using strategies such as learning pods (ability groupings) to ensure that students learned and retained this knowledge. During walkthroughs, administration saw the benefit of these strategies, as more students were engaged in literacy at their level of understanding.
Professional Learning Communities
The PLCs continue to improve, especially with the establishment of the RTI process. The SMART sequences allowed teachers to co-plan for common formative and summative assessments, discuss concerns with students and address issues regarding implementation in a safe and supportive environment. Teachers visited each other’s classrooms and shared feedback with each other. Many teachers also co-taught in literacy and mathematics to ensure the students had a varied perspective from which to learn.
The overall school absenteeism rate for this year was 17.25%. Our high school absenteeism rate went from 28.7% to 22.1%, which was a major improvement. The elementary absenteeism rate went from 14.1% to 12.4%. This year we implemented red/yellow/green sheets with Secondary III, IV and V to communicate with students on a regular basis concerning their progress. Calls home were made when students were missing. We made announcements on the radio and Facebook, and updated parents regularly if their children needed an intervention, either academically or with attendance. Radio announcements were made when attendance seemed to be down. Teachers and school administration posted school activities on Facebook to promote attendance.
Safe Schools Policy
This year we encouraged a safe space for everyone in our school by running assemblies by cycle. Students explored values during these assemblies. A principal visited each class for a discussion on bullying. Our Readaptation Officer, Karen Coulombe, worked very hard by going to each class to teach mindfulness techniques, and by working with individual students using social stories and cooperative play. The Justice Department provided Trudy Mark to run the SNAP program in the elementary classrooms. Our students learned some great skills from her.
This year we also initiated the Art Concentration program in secondary. Now that we have ironed out the kinks, we will be implementing concentration programs in Grades 5 and 6 and in Secondary I and II in visual art, music, home economics, technology (building and machines) and experimental science.
Our School Committee was very involved in encouraging parents to come to the school. Parents were invited to the school to sit in class with their children whenever possible. Parent-teacher meetings were scheduled during PED Days to make it easier for parents to attend. All school events were publicized in the community to encourage participation. An end-of-year school community BBQ was planned and well attended.