ᐧᐋᐸᓅᑖᐤ ᐄᔨᔫ ᒋᔅᑯᑕᒫᒉᐅᑲᒥᒄ
The Wabannutao Eeyou School (WES) vision is to provide the opportunity for each child to succeed. As a team, we strive to ensure that this vision becomes a reality. This year, our staff focused on establishing high standards of learning. The Cree values were taught to help promote an atmosphere of mutual respect and concern for everyone. The Leadership Team helped to make this possible. In addition to the support of the Leadership Team, our school staff also played a vital role in taking ownership of and implementing the 2015-2016 Local School Improvement Program (LSIP).
We continued to strive for collaboration amongst administration, teachers, staff, parents and community partners. This helped the students become engaged in their learning. The school improved in the area of student learning. We also increased our communication at all levels, through scheduled meetings and the Week-At-A-Glance newsletter.
This year, we held coaching meetings for new staff. These meetings afforded the opportunity for senior staff to support new teachers in implementing both the Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum (GVC) and LSIP. I believe that it also helped new staff become an integral part of the school, the community at large, as well as become more effective teachers.
School Governance and Shared Leadership
The Leadership Team was dedicated to supporting the academics of our school and focused on ensuring that the LSIP was implemented. Norms were established, and then data was collected, focusing on key areas in writing and math. They helped guide the Professional Learning Community (PLC) teams in reviewing and creating the new LSIP. Cree values were promoted throughout the school year to help strengthen our school vision. Our goal for next year is to continue to improve in the areas of language arts and math, and to create a school-wide discipline policy. The Parent Committee was active and supported the school administration as needed.
Local School Improvement Plan
In the elementary sector, students continued to be assessed using the PM Benchmarks Program. Teachers did regular running records throughout the year. In the secondary sector, the Comprehension Attitude Strategies Interests Reading Assessment (CASI) program was used to assess students.
As well, through the Cree Nation of Eastmain funding, we implemented a tutoring service for students from Grade 5 to Secondary V. This extra help, in addition to Elephant Thoughts, supported and prepared our students for MEES and CSB exams. The teachers were always available to tutor students who were referred or interested. The Empowered Reading Program was implemented, and was very effective in bringing up the reading levels of the students.
Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
This year the GVC was introduced to Secondary III students for math and ELA. As well, throughout the school year, we received support from CSB Consultants to strengthen our curriculum. In order to meet the expectations of the GVC in both math and language arts, students need to improve on their basic skills. The GVC has helped teachers share strategies and focus on what skills the students need to go to the next grade level. “Classroom Instruction that Works” strategies has also helped to bring up the skill level of the students. Administration conducted walkthroughs in both the elementary and secondary sector. This was done in accordance with the goals established in our LSIP.
Professional Learning Communities
Regular PLC meetings of both the elementary and secondary staff has become a main catalyst for improvement in our school. Both sectors helped to provide direction for the upcoming school year by focusing their energies and taking ownership of the LSIP. From looking at student work, to sharing effective teaching strategies, their efforts helped increase student success tremendously. The PLC meetings have become part of the school culture. With the work of the PLC, teachers were able to see student progress and were very proud of their students’ growth and accomplishments.
Attendance continues to be a challenge at WES, yet it is a critical component of student success. Teachers strived to maintain contact with parents when children were absent. Support staff met with students to encourage them to attend school. With the assistance of Youth Fusion, students were offered after school incentives to come to school. Attendance must be a focus for 2016-17.
Safe School Policy
The anti-bullying team continued to intervene in bullying situations. Support staff, in conjunction with the teachers, continued to address bullying issues throughout the year. Elders were invited into the classrooms to speak with students about violence while emphasizing respect.
The secondary sector operated a Student Support Centre where students go to calm down and recollect themselves when they are having difficulties in the classroom. This was quite successful and led to a decrease in the number of violent incidents reported.
Youth Fusion was an integral part of student engagement at our school. Students participated in many extra-curricular activities throughout the year. WES students were represented in both the regional and provincial science fairs. Our students also participated in the local and regional public speaking events. Our students attended the regional Annie Whiskeychan Day in Waskaganish. Science Travels visited our school twice this past year to host a variety of science experiments. Secondary students participated in Challenge Day and some of our secondary students attended a Leadership Weekend in Waswanipi. Elephant Thoughts was at our school, focusing on the academic needs of our Secondary IV and V students. The Work Oriented Training Pathway (WOTP) students were active throughout the school with the various activities.
As always, parents were always welcomed at WES. Teachers, support staff and administration were in constant contact with parents. The Facebook page continued to be used to keep parents informed of activities. Regular parent-teachers’ meetings were held to discuss students’ report cards.