2016-2017 Assurance Report
Principal: Les Worthington
2016-2017 Principal: Richard Kniel
School Council Chair: Tammy Suteau
Vision: Parkland School Division is a place where exploration, creativity and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams.
As a member of the Parkland School Division family of schools, Wabamun School utilizes a robust Assurance Model to understand stakeholder feedback better. Working with an Assurance Model means that Wabamun, Parkland School Division and the Board of Trustees actively seek to reveal all avenues for stakeholders to tell us how we are attending to our goals and priorities. One important part of our Assurance Model is deriving stakeholder feedback through insightful comments made by parents, staff, community members and students.
Wabamun continuously gathers feedback from a variety of sources, including students, parents, staff, the school division and the greater community. In addition to surveys, conferences and day-to-day conversations, our school also uses an online assurance process called ThoughtExchange that enables participants to read and rank responses based on three questions:
- What are some concerns you have about our school this year?
- What are some things you appreciate about our school this year?
- What are some other things you would like to say about our school this year?
Wabamun’s Assurance Report captures the strengths, opportunities, aspirations and expected results that we gathered throughout last year. In keeping with an Assurance Model, this report provides the narrative for our achievements and challenges, and is presented on our school website.
Strengths are highlighted as areas that are working well in Wabamun. In our commitment to quality learning, we recognize that there will always be room for growth. We are proud of the strengths and accomplishments you have recognized in the work we do.
Opportunities are areas for growth or attention. As a school, we recognize these as areas in which we need to focus more attention, and we see that these areas are also important to you.
Aspirations are presented as priorities for a preferred future. Our stakeholders have shared a vision for where we need to go and what our world will look like when we’ve mastered our strengths and eliminated areas in need of growth.
Results capture expectations for measuring success. In other words, how will we know that we know we are successful?
In 2015-2016, Parkland School Division’s Board of Trustees approved an ambitious Education Plan that was generated through the Assurance Model. The Plan established enduring strategic processes (enduring priorities) that will always be considered in the generation of strategies (forward-thinking actionable plans). These strategies enable us to achieve our outcomes (goals).
Parkland School Division’s Ultimate Goal is Student Success and Well-Being. Students will be encouraged to explore, create, imagine and engage in lifelong learning as they develop competencies that prepare them to enter the world of post-secondary studies or work. The Division believes that student success is closely linked to student well-being and the development of social-emotional assets that build resiliency, and is therefore committed to the development of the whole child at all levels of their education. The goals, outcomes, priorities and strategies identified in the Education Plan are focused on the achievement of the Ultimate Goal: Student Success and Well-Being.
Two enduring priorities continue to guide the work of the Division. These priorities are considered to be enduring since they are necessary priorities to consider in establishing any goal:
The Enduring Priority of Engagement: Engaging all stakeholders: students, staff, and the local and global communities. Goals and strategies must include a consideration of how they will be shared and supported by all stakeholder groups.
The Enduring Priority of Resource Stewardship: Ensuring equitable and sustainable use of our resources and ensuring financial responsibility. Goals and strategies must include a consideration of how they will utilize limited resources with maximum results.
In addition to the enduring priorities listed above, the 2015-2018 Three Year Education Plan includes the goals necessary to achieve student success and well-being:
Inclusive Education: Parkland School Division is an inclusive education system. An inclusive education system is one that demonstrates behaviours and decisions that reflect valuing all students. The Division is committed to achieving this goal and to fulfilling the provincial mandate for inclusion.
In Parkland School Division, everyone is accepted and experiences a sense of belonging. Every student - no matter their ability, disability, language, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity - has meaningful contributions to make.
Using the programs of study as the framework for learning, every student is engaged in meaningful and authentic ways. All students are treated equitably: they get the support needed when they need it, and for the intensity and duration of time for which they need it.
Quality Learning: Student success and well-being depends on quality instruction in an atmosphere that respects each learner’s independent spirit. Quality teaching practices promote the development of innovation and creativity while attending to meaningful assessment and reporting practices.
Quality Learning builds on the Division’s Inclusive Education goal in that all students are connected to the Programs of Study and all students have the supports and educational quality necessary to achieve success.
Culture of Wellness: Parkland School Division is committed to Student Success and Well-Being. The Division recognizes that, as a system, well-being must be present for all stakeholders, and therefore it is committed to fostering physical literacy, lifelong health and well-being at all levels. The Division believes that student success is closely linked to student well-being and the development of social-emotional assets that build resiliency.
The development of citizenship and social responsibility contribute to wellness and are integral to the delivery of a broad and comprehensive program of studies. We are dedicated to the development of the whole child.
Universal Leadership: Student success and well-being requires collaborative, universal leadership that employs calculated risk-taking and a determination to consider and implement new and innovative ideas. The Division’s Board of Trustees continues to embrace the direction set by Alberta Education to adopt a Generative Governance Model that demands public confidence in all facets of the system. The Division’s clear strategic direction will be maintained, administered and reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure true stewardship of resources.
As a learning organization, the Division recognizes continued improvement through a commitment to leadership at all levels.
Wabamun School is proud to be able to gather information from a number of differing sources, which is important when it comes to the growth of our children. We always put students’ learning needs first.
Wabamun School collected stakeholder feedback through the following means:
- Provincial Accountability Pillar Surveys
- Tell Them From Me surveys
School administration, working closely with Wabamun School Council, has also been active in collecting feedback from the community in a number of ways. We conducted parent surveys during parent-teacher interviews, and asked parents to share their concerns. Parents were asked to give feedback on the type of interviews they would like to be part of - either student-led conferencing, or more traditional parent-teacher interviews.
School Council Community Social Media was established to allow for positive feedback and to answer questions about school processes. We also held a School Engagement Luncheon where parents, community members and community associations were asked to provide feedback on how School Council and the community could partner more to improve the quality of educational programming and co-create community in the Village of Wabamun.
School Council and the Village Family & Community Support Services (FCSS) partnered to host workshops regarding internet safety for children. School Council also held community-sponsored breakfasts to bring community members into the school and allow the opportunity for discussion around needs, wants and aspirations within the school community. School Council meetings were open to members of the community, allowing an opportunity for valuable input.
- The Wabamun School Breakfast Club
- Village of Wabamun Library
- Village of Wabamun
- Organizing committee for the Village Dragonfly Festival.
School Council and the Principal held monthly coffee sessions to create another avenue for individuals to bring discussion items to the school that became formal agenda items at School Council meetings.
- Time allocation for school-based Inclusive Education Lead and School Wellness Coach
- Development of the Learning Lab as an additional work area for students
- Kinesthetic learning equipment in classrooms and the Learning Lab
- Additional Supports for students with literacy and learning deficits
- Teacher-parent collaboration when addressing specific student needs
- Study and implementation of concepts in Routes to Intervention and collaboration among teachers in different age and class groupings
- Increased availability of technology and the supports for children learning through the use of the technology
- Developing programs for all students with their best interests in mind
- All students have access to technology to augment their learning
Wabamun School will continue to articulate and demonstrate a clear understanding of inclusion and communicate this to all stakeholders. A better understanding will help us all deliver an educational experience that’s meaningful for all.
- Attendance will continue to improve
- Discipline issues will continue be centered around building the skills of students
- Referrals to the office will continue to decline
Students are far more engaged in their learning. New teaching methodology, technology and a more user-friendly environment have enabled our students to become more independent learners, able to advocate more appropriately for their learning needs and more willing to see failure as a learning mode.
- Wabamun Parent via ThoughtExchange
- Use of technology in the classroom to engage and support learning
- The development of flipped classroom learning environments to allow for the challenges of the combined classrooms based on small school population
- Use of Google Classroom and other technology applications to enhance learning
- WEST Schools (Wabamun, Entwistle, Seba Beach, Tomahawk) Career & Technology Foundations model
- ‘Daily 5’ as a school-wide literacy initiative
- Supports for students with needs
- Granting students access to support their learning in class and at home
- Continuing to work towards a goal of one portable technology device for every two students as a school-wide initiative
- Ensuring all students consider themselves lifelong learners
- Continuing to explore how best to facilitate excellence in learning through the constraints of a small school budget
- Teaching students their role as digital citizens
- Providing supports for students with needs in a timely fashion
- Continuing to promote the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) initiative
Wabamun School will continue its emphasis on cross-curricular competencies: combinations of knowledge, skills and attitudes that students develop and apply for successful learning, living and working.
- Students results will continue to improve along all areas of the Programs of Study
- Student needs will be the forefront of individual programming
- All students will be able to demonstrate their learning and, in turn, will aspire to become life-long learners
Wabamun School students will be able to:
- Demonstrate what they know through the use of multiple media applications
- Demonstrate good communication skills
- Apply multiple literacies: reading, writing, numeracy, media, languages
- Innovate and create through the application of their learning
- Monitor and describe their learning to understand what their individual strengths are and will build upon them
- Think critically and problem-solve
- Students will be able to use technology authentically in order to demonstrate their learning
- Technology will continue to become incorporated as a tool to enhance student learning without the technology being seen as an anomaly
- More time allocated to the availability of a school-based counsellor (Wellness Coach)
- School Council-supported Breakfast Club
- A safe and caring school environment substantiated through the Accountability Pillar results
- Collaboration and engagement is a cornerstone of the planning and learning that is demonstrated at Wabamun School
- Student recognition program has become a cornerstone of wellness and recognition
- Students are still afforded the opportunities to explore physical challenges to support their learning through:
- Extracurricular activities
- Daily physical activities
- Optional social and leadership activities
- Co-curricular and extracurricular opportunities for students to be engaged in diverse school experiences
- PRIDE core values incorporated into all school-based programming: Preparedness, Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Determination, Empathy
- Strong Health Champion advocating for the needs of the students and bringing together programs from outside the school
- Strong partnership with the Village FCSS, which brings resources into the school to help children navigate some of the emotional and social challenges they all face
- Strong partnership with Laughter Education and Play for School Aged Children (LEAPS) community association
- Students are supported through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Boys and Girls Club after school program.
- Due to a lower enrolment at Wabamun School, some supports and activities are not available for Wabamun School students.
- Extracurricular sports programs to support kids are difficult to implement, as there are not enough students to field teams.
- Results show that students at Wabamun still have high needs when it comes to levels of anxiety and positive social interactions.
- Having a small and committed group of volunteers is a benefit to our children and community, but the challenges taken on by that group are sometimes taxing.
Wabamun School Wellness targets:
- Reduced levels of anxiety that are reported by students and parents
- Increased availability of physical programming outside the regular Physical Education program to address the benefits of physical education
- Students will continue to have the supports of Wellness Coach, community initiatives like the Breakfast Program and after school program
- Student absenteeism will continue to decline
- Students will continue to build self-regulation skills
- Students will continue to develop healthy relationships
- Accountability results will show a decrease in mental health concerns
- The stigma attached to mental health issues will be eliminated
At Wabamun School, we know we are successful when staff and students report that they feel a sense of belonging at our school and experience an environment where they feel good about themselves and look forward to coming to school where they can access opportunities that might not be available elsewhere.
- Teachers are provided leadership opportunities at both Wabamun School and around Parkland School Division, such as Collaboration Team, Learning Leaders, Technology Leaders Cohort, and Wellness Champions.
- Students are afforded leadership opportunities at the school level with the Junior and Senior leadership groups.
- We maintain a strong working relationship with the Village of Wabamun to promote Student Leadership within the community as well as the school.
- Student leadership is effectively being used to aid in positive student-to-student relationships through programs like Recess Guardians and intramural programming.
- We want to improve the ability of student leadership groups to find ongoing direction and purpose in the leadership activities they plan.
- Development of youth empowered programming within a small school student population is challenging.
- Staff and teachers will continue to be involved in leadership endeavors at both the school and division levels.
- Current programs at the school will be enhanced while new ones will be added as opportunities arise.
- More partnerships will surface as relationships are nurtured throughout the community.
Students, staff and parents will recognize the importance of continued involvement in leadership activities that allow for meaningful engagement within the school and community.
Breakfast Club - A valuable program! I'm thrilled the school offers this.
- Wabamun Parent via ThoughtExchange
- Supportive School Council that strives towards collaborative outcomes with the school and community working together
- Involvement from School Council and community members to provide a breakfast program for all students at Wabamun School
- School Council-sponsored events that promote communication with parents and community members, which creates authentic feedback
- Building Bridges Luncheon
- Community Breakfasts
- FCSS partnership with School Council
- Ability for two-way communication through the responsible use of social media
- Effective use of the Remind app to inform parents of classroom activities, student needs and responsibilities
- School is seen as a center of activity and a community resource
- Communication through the use of technology remains a challenge, as not all community members have access to quality high speed internet services.
- More alternatives to online access for parents through events like Coffee with the Principal will allow for input from our parents and community stakeholders.
- We want to encourage stakeholder feedback through school-sponsored surveys and luncheons.
- We will continue to promote the use of the PowerSchool Parent Portal.
Wabamun School Engagement targets:
- Development of parent workshops through a partnership with School Council and Triple P Parenting
- Continued partnership with the Village of Wabamun and the local FCSS to bring informative workshops to the parents of Wabamun School and the Community of Wabamun
- More extensive work with internal stakeholders to provide a high level of communication support to promote school and division learning initiatives
Wabamun School will continue its efforts to reach 80% of all possible survey respondents and will strive for an 80% approval rating from Wabamun School parents, ensuring they feel that the school and school division provides ample opportunities and strong creative learning environments.
The new updated furniture for students and staff has made our classrooms an exciting environment for learning. Our library has been redesigned to become a commons area where students can work, take out books and our literacy interventions have a place. Classrooms are brighter and way more inviting.
- Wabamun Parent via ThoughtExchange
- School leaders are fostering a variety of learning opportunities for students and staff
- We allocate our resources with the best interests of the students in mind
- We keep our classrooms and equipment as up-to-date as possible
- Having a small school budget makes it challenging to allocate resources in the best interests of students and ensure they have the best possible learning opportunities.
- We want to maintain the strong working relationship we have with our school division.
- We want to continue to increase the number of portable computers for student use in the school, despite budget limitations.
- We intend to continue working closely with Division Facilities Services to ensure our school is well-maintained.
We will continue to allocate resources and make budgetary decisions based on what is needed to create an optimal learning environment for our students.
Wabamun School leaders will continue to work with Parkland School Division to ensure that resources are allocated in a transparent and sustainable manner that reflects what is in the best interests of our students.