W.L. McLeod SD#91 Nechako Lakes

School Name: W.L. McLeod

School District: SD#91 Nechako Lakes

Inquiry Team Members: Nick Meads
Libby Hart
Candace Lawrence
Dave Lawrence
Michelle Miller-Gauthier
Wanda Nemethy
Kyra Sinclair
Liam Corcoran
Lori Gridley
Lyne Gauthier

Inquiry Team Contact Email: nmeads@sd91.bc.ca

Type of Inquiry: NOIIE

Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)

Curricular Area(s): Language Arts – Reading, Other: Core Competencies/Self-assessment

Focus Addressed: Core competencies (for example, critical thinking, communication, problem solving), Social and emotional learning

In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? How can we transform reporting and assessment to be more effective for learners, families, and educators?

Scanning: For years, we have noticed that learners and parents are very focused on letter grades and there is a lot of emotion tied to it. There is little conversation about the learning and growth, and what quality learning looks like. We have also been dissatisfied with replacing letter grades with descriptors. We have a significant number of learners challenged by grade level curriculum – we want to find a way to communicate that is accurate and accessible while still being clear about grade level expectations.

Focus: We noticed a lack of conversation between educators and learners about their progress. We also noticed a heavy reliance on letter grades and letter grade replacements in reporting, and wanted to move towards clear, accurate, and accessible communication between educators, learners, and parents.

We were hoping to see an individualized process for goal setting that can follow students over multiple years as a learner. We were also hoping to create an accessible self-assessment tool for educators to use with learners to build ownership, improve communication, and recognize progress in their learning.

Hunch: We don’t believe a checklist, rubric descriptors, or current My Ed letter grades and comments can
effectively communicate learners progress on their own.

Using letter grades promotes a fixed mindset, because learners identify with a letter grade as opposed to a description of their learning skills and abilities.

New Professional Learning:
– Report card from Australian Elementary School
* Reading progress visual representation was inspiration for our new template
– Prince George SD Core Competency from Jennifer Moroz
– BC Provincial Reporting Order
– Previous McLeod Core Competency Assessment tools
– Spiral of Inquiry, Judy Halbert & Linda Kaser
– Beyond Report Cards, Shannon Schinkel (Website: https://mygrowthmindset.home.blog/, Twitter: dramaqueenbrc, Facebook group – Beyond Report Cards)
This resource supported us with the sequencing of progress, and language descriptors for progress.

Taking Action:
– Meeting every 3 weeks
– Multiple group members finding and sharing helpful resources with inquiry team, small group discussion about documents explored, consultation with PAC about wording and template layout, edits and discussion about template, parent input through weekly newsletter.
– Using the scanning process was particularly helpful in solidifying a united goal within our group as well as allowing us to maintain our focus on supporting learners rather than simply making it easier on teachers.
– Sharing our process/steps with school board and discussing with them the positive impact our new report card/assessment tools will support learners.
– All staff were welcome to join inquiry team from the beginning of the process.

– We received approval to implement our changes for next school year, but have not begun working with students yet.
– Small amounts of very positive feedback from parents, particularly those with reading challenges who liked how the model will honour growth mindsets in our school community.

Reflections/Advice: We have plans to share the new template with learners before the end of this school year to get their feedback. There will be another school board meeting planned for next year, after two reporting periods.

Make sure you are clear on your goals as an entire team from the very beginning. Regularly check in on your goals to make sure you are on track. Ensure that all staff feel welcome to be a part of the process. Transparency with staff, parents, and community are highly important.

There is growing interest from other schools in the district about how they may incorporate some of our ideas.

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