Blueberry School
(K–9)

Assurance

2016-2017 Assurance Report

Principal: Sheryl Bridgeman
School Council Chair: Patricia Whalen

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, Blueberry School utilizes a robust Assurance Model to understand stakeholder feedback better. Working with an Assurance Model means that Blueberry, 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.

Blueberry 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?

Blueberry’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 Blueberry. 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

Academic Achievement - Assessments are used to gather information of academic achievement. We evaluate student progress using various resources, including Fountas & Pinnell Reading Assessments, the MiPi Math Assessment, Grade 3 Student Learning Assessments (SLAs), Grade 6 & 9 Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs), Individual Psycho-Educational Assessments and teacher-based assessments. Staff analyze assessment results for patterns in learning to determine specific learning needs and develop strategies to best support our learners.

Student Wellness - Through ThoughtExchange, on-site counseling, observations, conversations, and student feedback, student wellness is assessed and programming offered.

Staff Input - We hold school and grade level meetings on a regular basis so staff can develop common strategies that will result in engaging lessons and assessment practices. All staff are asked to provide feedback on their students’ learning progress and learning needs. Twice a year, administration and teachers meet to review individual student progress. We create action plans to further support students’ success during weekly school-based support team meetings.

Parents - At Blueberry School, we encourage parent feedback through drop-ins, phone calls, or emails. Parents give feedback by attending school council, commenting on the school’s and their child’s blog, using email and communication logs, making phone calls and attending parent-teacher interviews. Parents are also encouraged to attend Parent Learning Opportunities and to participate in the Accountability Pillar and ThoughtExchange surveys. Students and staff also participate in these surveys.


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Inclusive Education

Strengths

The teachers are amazing! The teachers at Blueberry really connect with the kids and genuinely care about their job. Every teacher is friendly and caring towards the kids... even if they aren't their student. They make a real effort to make Blueberry a better place! I love all the teacher presence on the school yard.

- Blueberry Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Staff are caring, committed and knowledgeable of complex learning needs.
     
  • We have the support of a Mentoring and Community Support Worker, an Inclusive Education Leader and Community Builder Coordinator.
     
  • Students have access to assistive technology.
     
  • Our Community Classroom runs weekly.
     
  • Friendship Club is offered daily during both recesses.
     
  • Students can participate in cooperative active games led by Inclusive Education Leader at lunchtime during We Play Tuesdays.
     
  • Grade 6 Students lead our Buddy Bench initiative.
     
  • Our Sensory Room is open to students.
     
  • Alternative seating, sensory breaks and tools are available to students.

Opportunities

I wouldn't have my child anywhere else. My child has grown and flourished at Blueberry! Everything from the teachers, to the environment that has been created, to the programming...I have nothing negative to say about Blueberry. Great job staff... we are so lucky to have you!

- Blueberry Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • As more complex learning needs are identified, staff continue to develop more inclusive universal strategies to improve every child’s engagement.

Aspirations

I have always found the staff at Blueberry to be very approachable. They always listen to parents/students concerns and do their best to accommodate everyone. Very friendly & fun place to be. My child loves this school!

- Blueberry Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Every student will feel safe and enjoy coming to school.
     
  • Every student will reach their own academic potential.
     
  • Every student will have timely access to programming to support all learning programs.
     
  • Every student will experience success. 

Results

  • Staff will be confident in their abilities to design personalized learning opportunities for all students.
     
  • Parents will demonstrate higher satisfaction in their child’s program for learning and success as measured in the 2017-2018 Accountability Pillar survey and ThoughtExchange.


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Quality Learning

Strengths

I appreciate all teachers however some are amazing beyond amazing!Dedicated and creative approaches to learning!

- Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

I appreciate the tinker lab. It's a great way to let the kids relax and allow their creativity to come out. Kids are under a lot of stress with all the activities they have in a day and us parents are feeling stressed a lot too. They need things like tinker lab!

- Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Our school has a high level of academic achievement, as measured by the Grade 3 Student Learning Assessment (SLA), Grade 6 & 9 Provincial Achievement Tests and teacher-based assessments.
     
  • Blueberry School offers Daily 5 literacy programming and Daily 3 math programming in Grades 1-7.
     
  • Students, staff and parents are satisfied with overall quality of basic education.
     
  • Students are engaged and find their work challenging and interesting.
     
  • Through Tinkerlab students experience Quality Learning via a hands-on approach, building and designing projects linked to curricular outcomes.
     
  • Certificated staff receive 40 minutes of Collaborative Professional Learning Time per week.

Opportunities

Learning groups - I find taking the kids out of class to focus on reading and math at their specific level has been very beneficial to my children's learning.

- Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • To ensure student engagement, students have the opportunity to receive a broad program of studies that includes fine arts, career, technology, health and physical education.
     
  • Blueberry School has a team of professionals attending Parkland School Division’s Learning Leaders Cohort in order to advance PSD’s Quality Learning Framework. This cohort is in partnership with the University of Calgary.
     
  • We aim to increase engagement of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Elders and families through Indigenous games at school and the Blanket Exercise, which is held during School Council meetings and led by Blueberry Grade 7 students.
     
  • We want to continue to ensure screen time is educationally-based.

Aspirations

PowerSchool is an amazing tool to keep in touch with my child's education. As I have a child in high school, I see the benefits to all the information it can provide. I look forward to the marks being posted as well as all the other information that can be provided to the parents through PowerSchool.

- Blueberry Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • All students will be actively engaged in their academic and social learning as they continue to be involved in creative and purposeful learning opportunities.
     
  • Staff will actively engage in deepening their understanding of Parkland School Division's Quality Learning framework to ensure that their students are involved in the processes of Inquiry, Design, Feedback, Collaboration and Community.
     
  • We aspire to provide student-driven, authentic learning opportunities such as Reading Buddies, Community Builders and Tinkerlab.

Results

  • Students, staff and parents will demonstrate an increase in satisfaction rates in student learning opportunities in the 2017-2018 Accountability Pillar Results survey and ThoughtExchange.
     
  • Assurance measures will report that learning is authentic, and supports the growth of all students.
     

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Culture of Wellness

Strengths

Play Parkland! I love the play parkland aspect of school this year.

- Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Students develop a sense of belonging and family within our K-9 school.
     
  • We schedule daily physical education classes. Each classroom in Grades 1-9 have access to two large gyms for 40 minutes three out of every four days of our rotating schedule.
     
  • Blueberry School participates in Play Parkland, where students have access to community facilities and fitness experts to enhance student health and physical education programming.
     
  • Parents and community members are involved in our school, through such initiatives as our nutritious hot lunch program, classroom volunteers, and active School Council.
     
  • We offer social and emotional supports through our community support and mentor coordinator and the Community Builders Program.
     
  • Students have access to extracurricular physical activities, such as Ski Club, Sun Run and school sports teams.
     
  • We have partnered with Children’s Mental Health to offer individualized supports to students and families.

Opportunities

Love the care put into student life. Little things like the Monster Mash, Cartoon day, and all the special events take a lot of hard work and dedication to put on, but it makes a world of difference to the kids. Every student seems to know they are cared for and gain enjoyment and excitement from these days.

- Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • We want to continue to seek ways to diversify the physical literacy and physical education programs to support all students in achieving their goals.

Aspirations

  • All students, staff and parents will develop a sense of belonging and a voice in our school.
     
  • We strive to support Blueberry School SWAT Team and promote strong community partnerships that support the initiatives of the Wellness Team.
     
  • We will continue to build our Buddy Bench program, which gives students the opportunity to engage in physical activities and play groups to support positive social growth.

Results

  • The percentage of teacher, parent and students in agreement that students are safe at school, are learning the importance of caring for others and are learning respect for other and are treated fairly in school will increase, as measured by the Accountability Pillar and by ThoughtExchange.


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Universal Leadership

Strengths

It's great that there are a variety of opportunities for students to take part in, some of which are student led. It gives students the ability to try new things and take risks (ie. talent show, ski club...). There is such a variety that there is something for almost all interests.

- Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

I appreciate my children having the opportunity to benefit from the various buddy partnerships. My grade 6 student takes great pride in the time he spends with his kinderbuddy and Grade 2 buddy. Empathy, compassion, and patience are valuable lessons!

- Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • At our school, opportunities are available for student leadership throughout the year, through such activities as intramurals, sports teams, leadership courses in Grade 7-9, reading buddies and classroom leadership.
     
  • We also provide opportunities for staff leadership in the form of the Acting Principal Team, Learning Leader Initiative, Health Champions, Divisional Leaders and Tech Leaders.
     
  • We have a strong school council and fundraising program.
     
  • Parents and community members can also take on leadership roles in our hot lunch program and by volunteering throughout the school.

Opportunities

We are happy parents to be part of the Blueberry School Community.

- Blueberry School via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Blueberry School will continue to look for opportunities for students to be a voice and have a leadership role in CTF options.

Aspirations

I love all the organized events the students and parents get to be involved in. EX: Talent show, Christmas concert, Halloween Monster Mash. The teachers and volunteer dedication to making the school experience memorable for our kids is amazing!

 - Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • All students, staff and parents will be active and collaborative in shaping the future of Blueberry School.
     
  • Students and staff will be recognized as leaders and will continue to develop leadership skills in a variety of areas.
     
  • Parents will be active participants in their child’s learning.

Results

  • There will be an increase in student, staff and parent satisfaction with the leadership opportunities available at Blueberry School, as measured by the Accountability Pillar and ThoughtExchange. 


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Engagement/Communication

Strengths

I appreciate the communication between the teachers and school. I find that I am always well informed on what is going on, as well as feel comfortable that If I have any concerns I will be listened to. Parents are always invited to share their thoughts... I love that.

- Blueberry School Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

We engage students, parents and community members via:
  • Our open door policy - parents are always welcome in our school
  • Blueberry School website and Facebook page
  • Blueberry School Council Facebook page
  • Classroom blogs
  • Ongoing digital and face-to-face communications
  • Monthly School Newsletters
  • Formal student/teacher/parent learning conferences.
  • Tell Them From Me & ThoughtExchange surveys
  • Google Classrooms
  • PowerSchool Parent Portal

Opportunities

Classroom assignment at start of year. This year my child was very anxious leading up to the first day of school wondering which class they would be assigned to, who would be their classmates. This anxiety could have been avoided if we knew before the first day and it would have made the day easier.

- Blueberry Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Staff will continue to look to parents for their feedback on the most effective ways to communicate student learning and support student success.
     
  • Parents will be provided with support in navigating Google Drive and Google Classroom.
     
  • Blueberry School has responded to parental requests. All students were informed in June of 2017 who their child’s teacher would be for the 2017-2018 school year.

Aspirations

  • Students, staff and parents will be aware of their learning goals, and of the teaching and communication practices at Blueberry School.

Results

  • The percentage of teachers and parents satisfied with parental involvement in decisions about their child’s education will increase, as measured by the Accountability Pillar and ThoughtExchange surveys. 


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Resource Stewardship

Strengths

Creative options: music class, ski club, tinker lab, robotics, etc. Having a variety of creative options available helps the kids to test their abilities and pursue those that interest them.

- Blueberry Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

Blueberry School makes the most of its resources via:
  • Small class sizes
     
  • Our levelled literacy intervention program & coordinator
     
  • School-wide access to movement and gross motor regulation (e.g swings, mini-trampolines, various seating options, stationary and typical bikes, etc.)
     
  • Innovative classrooms with flexible learning environments (implemented in the majority of classrooms)
     
  • Daily access to technology at point of instruction in all classrooms (e.g. iPads, Chromebooks, SMARTboards, visual presenters, FM systems, ability to skype, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative for Grade 2-9)

Opportunities

Blueberry School allocates resources to support Inclusive Education and student programming, such as:
  • Our school-based support team, which includes our Community Support and Mentoring Coordinator, Collaborative Teaching Partner, Teachers, Community Project Coordinator, Literacy Coordinator and Educational Assistants
     
  • Regulation areas and tools created and maintained to assist students with mental wellness
     
  • Classroom assistive technology, including telecommunication/computers, iPads, digital display systems
     
  • Playground equipment and outdoor activities to promote physical literacy and wellness
     
  • Field trips involving curricular objectives

Aspirations

I appreciate the music and art programs, please NEVER take them away. It is so important to keep creativity and the arts in school, we love the musical theatre program too!

- Blueberry Parent Via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Staff, students and parents will be good stewards of the available resources. 

Results

  • The percentage of teachers, parents, and students indicating that their school and schools in their jurisdiction have improved or stayed the same will increase, as measured by the Accountability Pillar and ThoughtExchange surveys.


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