School Name: Pemberton Secondary School
School District: SD#48 Sea to Sky
Inquiry Team Members:Steve Evans, Diane Hart, Sasha McLachlan, Karen Tomlinson, Chris Wells
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: AESN (focus on Indigenous learners or Indigenous understandings)
Grade Levels: Secondary (8-12)
Curricular Area(s): Social Studies, Other: Aboriginal Leadership
Focus Addressed: Aboriginal understandings (for example, Traditional Knowledge, oral history, reconciliation), Community-based learning, Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Differentiated instruction, Experiential learning, Flexible learning, Formative assessment, Growth mindset, Inclusion and inclusive insructional strategies, Inquiry-based learning, Land, Nature or Place-based learning, Self-regulation, Social and emotional learning, Transitions
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? In what ways can authentic assessment be used as a tool to increase learner engagement? In what ways can this path be guided by the Lil’wat Principle of Cwelep?
Scanning: This years scanning process indicated a notably high level of anxiety among students, a low self esteem and sense of belonging. Informal and formal observations have also made up our scanning phase. This has included staff interactions with students, as well as work with members of the District’s Instructional Leadership Team.
Focus: Through the Middle School Collaborative meetings, Steering Head Committee meetings and a visit this year to the Rural Schools Symposium, we have been able to communicate as a staff team on the concerns the priorities moving forward for our students. Engagement and powerful are common themes that arise, especially as pertaining to students approaching learning with a growth mindset.
Hunch: By using the concept of Cwelelep to guide this work, our hunch is that students and staff alike will feel both challenged and empowered to engage in a reflective practice of learning.
New Professional Learning: Many learning opportunities were utilized this year to advance our professional learning. Of those, we found these to be the most beneficial:
-Steering Head Committee meetings
-Middle School collaboration
-Rural Schools Symposium
-Shared Learnings Network
Taking Action: The strategies we worked on were specifically targeted to how to shift the culture of the school by focusing on more of an inquiry based learning model with social emotional learning. This has included how to re-think the way to manage our timetable and how we work together as a staff team. This has been a conflicting and challenging process, but we are piloting some exciting changes next year. This includes aligning ourselves more closely with the First People’s Principles of Learning and also incorporating a more cross-curricular approach to our Middle School program (8/9).
Checking: The work that has been done this year has been significant, but in practical terms, also feels minimal. We have made positive steps, but we have so much further to go. In many ways, as we found answers, we have returned to even more questions. At times this has felt like running into more barriers, but we are confident we will continue to navigate our path.
Reflections/Advice: One of the big realizations we made this year is the challenge and value of bringing the whole staff team into the conversation. Next year we will be working at broadening our scope in terms of staff involvement, but also narrowing our focus in terms of implementation.