Our School Plan Progress 2018-2019

Improving Student Learning

The Abbotsford School District’s Strategic Plan reflects our public commitment to BC’s new curriculum by working together to continuously improve learning for each student.

School Goals

Under the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning, all Abbotsford School District schools are required to develop a long term plan to improve student achievement, one that maintains a balance on the intellectual, social and career development of students. Each year, each school develops an annual plan and sets individual goals to improve student achievement. 

Barrowtown School Goals

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Each year the Barrowtown staff, together with the Administration, meet to set school goals for the upcoming year based on data collected from several points. We collectively evaluate District wide writes, FSA and school data to identify areas of improvement. 

Intellectual

Our students will learn key academic skills - like reading, writing and math - to encompass the knowledge and processes associated with intellectual development. As learners and meaning-makers, students take subject-specific concepts and content and transform them into a new understanding. 

Our celebrations of learning

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Human & Social

Our students will study personal and human social skills and as they relate to students' identity in the world - both as individuals and as members of their community. We are learning that personal and human social skills encompass the abilities students needs to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world. 

Our celebrations of learning

Morning Greeting

Our morning greeting is something we do every morning before we begin our work for the day.  It comes from the principles of the book “The First 6 Weeks of School”, which believe in a responsive classroom.  The basic tenets of the responsive classroom are as follows:
 
Core Belief

In order to be successful in and out of school, students need to learn a set of social and emotional competencies—cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, and self-control—and a set of academic competencies—academic mindset, perseverance, learning strategies, and academic behaviors.

Guiding Principles

The Responsive Classroom approach is informed by the work of educational theorists and the experiences of exemplary classroom teachers. Six principles guide this approach:

1.      Teaching social and emotional skills is as important as teaching academic content.

2.      How we teach is as important as what we teach.

3.      Great cognitive growth occurs through social interaction.

4.      What we know and believe about our students—individually, culturally, developmentally—informs our expectations, reactions, and attitudes about those students.

5.      How we work together as adults to create a safe, joyful, and inclusive school environment is as important as our individual contribution or competence.

6.      Partnering with families—knowing them and valuing their contributions—is as important as knowing the children we teach.

-https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/about/principles-practices/

The greeting is part of the belief that every child needs to hear their name in a positive way two to three times within the first hour of the start of the school day. This tells a child “I notice you are here.” and that they are a valued member of the classroom community. Children need to feel a sense of significance and belonging in order to build trust and, in turn, building trust enables them to feel more confident in taking learning risks.

“In Greeting, each child is welcomed by name and practices welcoming others. The goals of the Greeting component are:

1. To set a positive tone for the day

2. To provide a sense of recognition and belonging

3. To help children learn and use everyone’s name

4. To let children practice hospitality

Although greetings might reinforce academic content or challenge the intellect, the primary learning is social. In Greeting, children not only learn and practice the basic elements of greeting each other in a friendly way, they also gain experience in reaching across gender, clique, and friendship lines.”

 ©2004, Northeast Foundation for Children, Inc., Turners Falls, MA. To order this book, call 800-360-6332 or visit responsiveclassroom.org

In our classroom, the first 6 weeks are spent practicing skills such as these as a way to reinforce the basic life skills of being patient, careful, respectful, responsible and helpful with each other, ourselves and our environment. 

Our criteria for our morning greeting are that we look each other in the eye, say the person’s name (we discuss and practice what we should do if we don’t know their name or can’t remember), shake their hand gently (sometimes we bow, or do other activities) and we ask them if they have anything to say today.  Our number one rule when greeting someone is that if someone comes up to you to shake your hand, you shake their hand. This keeps everyone’s heart safe and reinforces the sense that everyone belongs. This sometimes takes 6 weeks to establish and every step of it is practiced and modeled intentionally.

During the final week of February, Barrowtown was honoured to have Mr. Ray Silver and his son Raphael join us to carve a traditional House Post for our school. During this week, the students were taught about the local Aboriginal culture as well as the history of the log that was used to carve the final product. As well, students were able to participate in the actual carving. It was a wonderful experience for our students. We are very appreciative of the time that Ray and Raphael Silver gave to our school.

Students take turns chiseling the Post.

Students are taught about the various tools used. All tools in the carving process were hand made by Ray and Raphael.

Careers

Our students will succeed in a much different future from the one we envisioned 10 or 15 years ago. It is our responsibility to prepare all children for success in whatever life path they choose, connecting learning opportunities with future career possibilities. We know that real-life experiences - like community involvement, gaining business knowledge, and hands-on-learning - build better students and life-long citizens. 

Our celebrations of learning

Students learn how to code starting in grade 2. By grade 4 students use their basic coding skills to program Spheros. Once students have gained confidence with coding, they begin to code flight paths for drones in grade 5.