Peachland Elementary SD#23 Central Okanagan

I. General Information

School Name: Peachland Elementary

School District: SD#23 Central Okanagan

Inquiry Team Members: Gabrielle Krilow =
Jessica Varga =
Wendy Briggs =

Inquiry Team Contact Email:

II. Inquiry Project Information

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE Case Study

Grade Levels Addressed Through Inquiry: Intermediate (4-7)

Curricular Areas Addressed: Other: Core Competencies

Focus Addressed: Community-based learning, Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Experiential learning, Growth mindset, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? Would giving students the practice of knowing kindness research and having opportunities to put the learning into action change their reactionary behaviour?

III. Spirals of Inquiry Details

Scanning: The focus group was not connected to the adults in the building and were mean to both peers and adults.

Focus: The group was open to all learners but a core group was invited to participate. We hoped that they would learn about kindness – how it impacts both the person being kind and the one who is shown kindness – and then put their learning into action.

Hunch: We thought that how we were treating them may be reinforcing their behaviour, even though we were trying to help them. We wanted to give them leadership opportunities and multiple chances to practice kindness and build adult connections. We often do not take the time to build positive interactions with challenging students.

New Professional Learning: The two teachers involved, including myself and the principal, utilized some professional reading, such as Brene Brown – Map of Emotions, Jody Carrington – Feeling Seen, and J. Minnihan- Behaviour Code. We also showed many videos about kindness and the latest research. We spent many hours in conversation about challenges and successes. All were very impactful and helpful with all the students, not just this core group.

Taking Action: We had a Tuesday Tea Party each week for 6 months in the Social Emotional Learning teacher’s room. During this time, students co-planned ways to demonstrate kindness. The group created and presented a Kindness Assembly in February for Pink Shirt Day. They also did random acts of kindness on a regular basis. The time each week was spent in building community, learning and practicing.


  • At the end of the year, we did empathy interviews with all students involved, even the ones that did not regularly attend to find out why.
  • We shared the student feedback at our year end staff meeting.
  • Students definitely had more connections to the adults, only one student could not name at least 2 adults as cheerleaders – she was one who did not regularly attend. They enjoyed the tea and discussions. The favourite action was the kindness assembly presentation. The one student who changed the most in a positive way had a lot of great suggestions for future projects.

Reflections/Advice: Every school has some mean students. It is key to peel back the layers and find out why. The professional reading was very helpful. The investment to time is key. Tea and treats were also helpful in building a positive group, as these students have so many negatives at school.