Forest Green
School (K–6)

Assurance Report

2016-2017 Assurance Report

Principal: Travis McNaughton
School Council Chair: Tammi Lucier-Tebb

Vision: Parkland School Division is a place where exploration, creativity and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams.

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Background
Inclusive Education
Quality Learning
Culture of Wellness
Universal Leadership
Engagement/Communication
Resource Stewardship

Background

As a member of the Parkland School Division family of schools, Forest Green School utilizes a robust Assurance Model to understand stakeholder feedback better. Working with an Assurance Model means that Forest Green, 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.

Forest Green 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?

Forest Green’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 Forest Green. 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.

Process

Stakeholder engagement included the use of the ThoughtExchange process for parents and staff, and Tell Them From Me Surveys for students. The ThoughtExchange process enabled participants to share their thoughts with the school community. These individual thoughts were then considered, responded to and evaluated to determine a level of confidence (assurance) in how well Forest Green is working to achieve its goals and meet its priorities. These shared thoughts are formative assessments (as opposed to numerical measurements) that can be used to evaluate progress and plan for growth.


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Inclusive Education

We appreciate the school spirit and sense of community that comes with being in a small school. Our child enjoys school very much and is beginning to develop some strong friendships and a sense of pride for his school. His teachers are passionate and enthusiastic, and we appreciate their commitment.

- Forest Green Parent via ThoughtExchange 

Strengths

  • Individualized programming
  • Use of sensory tools to support student learning
  • Use of technology to support student learning
  • Response to Intervention (RTI)
  • Sensory space
  • In-school supports including social skills, Zones of Regulation, mentorship, and Rainbows program
  • Dedicated teaching staff who go above and beyond to support students
  • Collaborative teaching partners to support students’ learning and needs
  • Flexible learning environments
  • Tools supporting regulation

Opportunities

  • Continuing to personalize learning and supports for diverse learners
     
  • Continuing to support staff in developing strategies and understandings to support all learners at Forest Green better
     
  • Enhancing school support team meetings to support all student needs
     
  • Incorporating Collaborative Teaching Partners into the school-based team

Aspirations

Our Aspiration is to continue to improve learning for all our students.

  • Forest Green will continue to articulate a clear understanding of inclusion and communicate this to all stakeholders.
     
  • Aligned to the Service Delivery Model, Forest Green will support the Classroom Profile Tool used by Inclusive Education Leads and school administration, and provide guidelines for the effective use of the Classroom Profile Tool.

Results

Forest Green will contribute to a divisional understanding of school-specific strategies that promote inclusive education where success will be recognized as:

  • A continuum of supports, services and environments is in place as reported through stakeholder engagement.
     
  • Collaborative practices are fostered to improve student learning.
     
  • Administration and staff demonstrate a sense of confidence as reported through engagement measures.
     
  • Parent satisfaction and confidence are reported through engagement measures.


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Quality Learning

I appreciate all that my child is learning! I think it's fabulous to see how much growth has occurred. I love all the correspondence sent home, along with tips, ideas and updates. I feel that the needs of my child have been met, and opportunities have been provided for him to flourish.

- Forest Green Parent via ThoughtExchange

Strengths

  • Ample technology is available to support student learning.
     
  • Our school has strong representation in the LTPF (Learning and Technology Policy Framework) group.
     
  • We have redesigned our library and created a makerspace.
     
  • We take a collaborative approach to provide quality learning to our students (e.g. team teaching).
     
  • Small class sizes support feedback opportunities and teacher-student relationships.
     
  • Collaborative teaching partners support student learning.
     
  • We offer First Nations, Métis and Inuit supports via our school liaison.
     
  • We are personalizing collaborative learning for staff in order to advance PSD’s Quality Learning Framework by participating in the Learning Leaders. This cohort is in partnership with the University of Calgary.

Opportunities

  • Continuing to enhance Indigenous education through the addition of the healing garden and the partnership it fosters with First Nations communities and elders as they share teachings
     
  • Continuing to foster collaborative opportunities for staff to work together to meet students’ needs and communicate beneficial strategies to parents
     
  • Continuing to refine the collaborative and inquiry-based professional learning model used by staff to advance teaching practices and improve student outcomes
     
  • Using Parkland School Division’s Collaborative Teacher’s Model to support student and staff learning

Aspirations

  • We strive to provide student-driven, authentic learning opportunities for all students.
     
  • We aim to increase opportunities for transformative learning through technologies.
     
  • Forest Green will explore, share and promote improvements to instructional practices that increase success and mindful student engagement utilizing the Alberta Programs of Study.
     
  • Forest Green will continue to build on the Response to Intervention (RTI) framework.
     
  • Forest Green will continue to make improvements to encourage increased engagement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Elders and families.
     
  • Forest Green will support First Nations, Métis and Inuit students using culturally relevant and responsive education practices and strategies such as the Healing Garden.
     
  • Forest Green and the School Council will continue to establish strategies that increase parent and community engagement.
     
  • With respect to resources, Forest Green will continue to support staff initiatives and apply educational research to learning and teaching through a personalized and collaborative professional development plan.
     
  • We wish to increase the opportunities available for teachers to connect, share and learn by supporting inter-classroom visits and inter-school collaboration through the Cisco Project. 

Results

  • Assurance measures report that staff are able to demonstrate an understanding of innovative educational practices and their role in Parkland School Division.
     
  • Assurance measures report that learning is personalized, authentic and supports student choice.
     
  • School staff members are perceived, through assurance measures, as exemplifying confidence in technological literacy.
     
  • Students are able to articulate what they are learning and where they are at in their learning process.


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Culture of Wellness

I believe the school has a great advantage to have a teacher dedicated to physical education, who can teach students new ways to be active. The health awareness that the school promotes is encouraging.

- Forest Green Parent via ThoughtExchange

Strengths

  • Strong implementation of physical literacy within physical education programming
     
  • Increased access to physical education programming through Play Parkland
     
  • Social and emotional supports offered through programming such as mentorship and the Rainbows Program
     
  • Daily physical activity implemented through physical education and DPA programming
     
  • Partnership with the Healing Seed provides classroom fruit bowls and supports our emergency lunch program
     
  • Support and Mentoring Coordinator First Nations, Métis and Inuit Liaison continue to expand their knowledge (through professional development) and networks (through community interactions) to share supports and services for students that promote positive mental health
     
  • Running culture is developing at Forest Green through involvement in the Youth Run Club and Try-Me Try-Athlon

Opportunities

  • Improve access to community supports for mental health
     
  • Continue seeking ways to diversify the physical literacy and physical education programs to support all students in achieving their goals for both skills and attitudes
     
  • Implement Nutrition Nook to provide healthy snacks for all students and to help them learn about making healthy food choices
     
  • Increase opportunities available for students to spend time learning outside in nature

Aspirations

  • We will continue to offer increased programming and supports centered on student needs as they emerge.
     
  • Forest Green will strive to gain new insight into the causes and symptoms of mental health concerns that exist for its students and staff.
     
  • Supported by the Division, Forest Green will work to improve access to emotional and mental health supports for students and staff.
     
  • Forest Green will improve community education in regards to bullying, aggression and mean behaviour to reveal research-based strategies to reduce these behaviours.
     
  • Forest Green will continue to support the establishment of a Wellness Team, Health Champions and strong community partnerships that promote the initiatives of the Wellness Team and Champions. 

Results

  • Concern for the state of student and staff wellness is reduced, as reported through engagement processes.
     
  • Partnerships supporting youth are expanded, as reported through engagement processes.
     
  • Programs that recognize and support wellness are nurtured, as reported through staff engagement processes.


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Universal Leadership

Strengths

  • Forest Green distributes leadership and builds capacity by providing and supporting different leadership opportunities, such as Design Team, Learning Leaders, Technology Leaders Cohort and Wellness Champions.
     
  • Students demonstrate their leadership through such activities as Tower Gardening, contributing to Kinsmen Christmas Hampers, and participating in Recycling Club and/or Student Wellness Action Teams (SWAT).
     
  • Forest Green has an active volunteer base involved in school council, fundraising and hot lunch.

Opportunities

I feel this small group of parents do so much. It would be lovely to see more parents partake in this worthwhile council.

- Forest Green Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Increase meaningful parent involvement in School Council and Fundraising Society
     
  • Increase opportunities for student and staff leadership 

Aspirations

  • Staff and students will utilize professional learning and collaborative strategies to enhance leadership.
     
  • Forest Green staff members will identify strategic improvements to increase collaborative capacity.
     
  • Forest Green will explore the practice of mentorship at all levels; staff will promote student collaboration with adults and across grades.
     
  • Forest Green will support the Division’s deliberate study of successes and failures to explore the necessity of calculated risk-taking that promotes learning.
     
  • Forest Green will continue to focus on leadership development for all staff and students.
     
  • At all levels, Forest Green will seek to find ways to synchronize individual aspirations with organizational opportunities.

Results

  • The number of available staff and student leadership opportunities will increase.
     
  • We will experience an increase in collaborative opportunities, where people are supporting each other in their areas of expertise.
     
  • Staff members will identify strategic improvements to increase collaborative capacity.
     
  • More diversification of the students and staff choosing to participate in leadership opportunities or creation of new leadership opportunities.  


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Engagement/Communication

I believe that the staff, from teachers, administration, to support staff, everyone has always been exceptionally fantastic at keeping open communication with parents who are active participants in their children's education.

- Forest Green Parent via ThoughtExchange

Strengths

At Forest Green School, we place a high value on community input and feedback. We strive to engage our community in an ongoing process through a variety of means that may include the following:

  • School website
  • Technology used to make learning transparent and engage parents (blogs, learning portfolios, websites, social media, etc.)
  • School council
  • Open door policy
  • Parent-Teacher and Student-Led Conferences

Opportunities

  • Increase the number of parents participating in ThoughtExchange
     
  • Continue to increase communication and engagement through technology 

Aspirations

  • To have parents actively engaged and invested in their child’s education
     
  • To keep parents well-informed and enable them to access information in a timely and relevant manner
     
  • To empower parents and stakeholders to make their voices heard through feedback loops that help guide our decision-making processes

Results

  • Increased parent engagement through digital communication


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Resource Stewardship

Strengths

  • Small class sizes
     
  • Early Literacy Intervention program
     
  • Classrooms are supplied with a basic fidget toolbox
     
  • School-wide access to a Sensory Room
     
  • Flexible learning environments to meet student needs

Opportunities

  • Increase technology access and online tools to support transformative student learning opportunities 

Aspirations

  • Technology will be accessible at the point of instruction for all students.
     
  • Supports and tools will be accessible to students and staff where appropriate and needed.

Results

  • Increased parental and student access and use of technology
     
  • With respect to resources, Forest Green will endeavour to support staff initiatives to stay current with, and apply educational research to, learning and teaching through the implementation of a personalized and collaborative professional development plan.


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