ᐧᐃᓖ ᒉᐄ ᐦᐋᐲᒑᒃ ᒋᔅᑯᑕᒫᒉᐅᑲᒥᒄ - ᐲᓯᒧᔮᐲ ᒋᔅᑯᑕᒫᒉᐅᑲᒥᒄ
Over the past school year, we felt a wind of change in Waswanipi schools. Slowly but surely, the structures we put in place consolidated and improved school life and enhanced student achievement at all levels.
Our vision: A highly educated community where members are competent, productive, persistent and positive.
School Governance and Shared Leadership
Leadership Team (LT) structures and processes were put in place. Decisions made were based on data that was shared with the staff. We all understood the importance of using statistical data in our improvement efforts. The administrative team continued to establish a solid foundation for improving the school. The LT was a strong team and it kept the focus on student achievement during the year, particularly in reading. With the collaboration of the School Committee, some Grade 6 students participated in an educational trip to Niagara Falls.
Furthermore, we were invited for the first time to the General Assembly of Waswanipi, which allowed us to share with the people in the community our results, our plans for the current year and our expectations for the coming year. We received a warm welcome, which allows us to say that we were on the right path and that we can count on the community of Waswanipi.
Our main focus for 2015-2016 was reading. All teachers in all subjects at all levels made the necessary efforts to allow all students to improve their reading skills. The results speak for themselves. In both elementary and secondary, the results showed remarkable improvement, particularly in CAT tests and PM Benchmarks.
The recent results were weak in science and mathematics, so we maximized our efforts to increase the success rate of the January MEES exams. Teachers, with the support of Elephant Thoughts, put all their efforts in a single direction. It was a success!
In addition, a project in collaboration with Dr. Alex Thornton allowed two groups of Grade 5 students and two groups of Secondary I students to see the correlation between intense physical activity and academic performance, particularly in mathematics and science. The project had a positive impact on the students who participated.
Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
Teachers were motivated to work with the GVC. However, some work remains to be done. In high school, the GVC was used in Secondary I, II and II in both the English and French sectors. Academic delays caused significant difficulties for the use of GVC. Teachers had to differentiate their lessons, which made using the GVC challenging.
Professional Learning Communities
During the school year, we introduced Focus Teams (FT), which enabled staff to work as a Professional Learning Community (PLC). This helped generate progress, particularly in languages, including reading in English and French, which confirmed the results obtained in CAT tests in spring 2016.
In high school, we managed to reduce the rate of absenteeism from 23% to 20.5% for the year 2015-2016. A system was set up to reward students with the best attendance rate. A certificate was awarded to students with 90% attendance in school, and these students had the chance to participate in a reward activity. When we looked more closely at the problem, we found that 80% of school pupils were present on a regular basis and only a few students had recurring attendance issues.
Safe School Policy
At elementary and secondary levels, there were procedures in place to deal with bullying. The team was satisfied that the procedures were followed in cases that arose during the year. Awareness sessions were held with the students and staff. We also held workshops for all staff as part of our professional development plan, to differentiate bullying from incidents of other natures.
We were fortunate to have at elementary and secondary levels, Youth Fusion, local and regional science fairs, a speaking contest, an exhibition on arts, Cree culture activities, soccer, floor hockey, dance, role playing, video creation, and the continuity of the Canada Breakfast Club, which serves an average of more than 100 meals during school days for students at all three schools.
We were privileged to have the presence of Dr. Alex Thornton, who allowed four groups to participate, as mentioned above, in intensive physical activities to demonstrate the effect of these activities on the brain and learning.
Also, we had the cooperation of Elephant Thoughts to help our students succeed in their January and June MEES exams.
We made special efforts to ensure that more parents attended parent meetings for report cards. In March 2015, only 30% of parents came to high school. On the first ballot in November 2015, 60% of parents attended the open house. For the three schools, an average of 70% of parents attended the first report card night.
Parents were very involved in the graduation of Secondary V for fundraisers and student activities. Their presence and involvement made a difference in the lives of their children. Thank you!