From School Planning Councils to Inquiry
In BC for the past 14 years, school improvement planning was carried out by our School Planning Council or SPC for short. SPCs were mandated to be in place in all schools by the Ministry of Education. SPCs were comprised of reps from parents, teachers and administration. Ideally, SPCs were designed to be an inclusive process with teachers, parents and administration, but in reality, this did not occur in many school districts for a variety of reasons, one being the BC Teacher's Federation recommendation that teachers not participate. As a result, two separate processes came to be, one for the teaching staff and one for the parents, leaving administrators in the middle trying to bridge the gap between parents and teachers.
In the Central Okanagan Public Schools, the SPC process was overall a positive one as administrators did a good job of consulting both teachers and parents, and in many cases only needed one group to work with, as teachers chose to participate alongside parents.
SPCs developed a plan for improving student achievement and setting goals. The SPC was also consulted on a number of other school policies around class size and composition, code of conduct, and other emergent issues.
As of May 2016, the Ministry of Education removed the requirement for schools to have an SPC. Our district believes strongly that although there no longer exists a formal SPC, important discussions about what is going on in the school with regards to improving student learning need to continue to happen and that parents, teachers and administration need to continue to work together to set goals and monitor student learning. To that end, the process our district has chosen for setting goals is based on the idea of inquiry. Inquiry is about being open to new learning and taking informed action. Inquiry has six key stages: scanning, focusing, developing a hunch, new professional learning, taking action, and checking that a big enough difference has been made.
At each stage in the spiral, three questions are asked:
• What is going on for our learners?
• How do we know?
• Why does this matter?
Parent Engagement - We are always looking for ways to engage parents in the development of our School Learning Plan. So, if there are parents who have a keen interest in contributing to these kinds of discussions, please let us know, please contact the School Principal. Some of the ways we engage parents are thru:
Surveys - for Social-Emotional Learning and Communicating Student Learning. We have surveyed all parents and students in each of these areas.
Parent Information Sessions on:
- Communicating Student Learning (for English on November 19, 2018 and French Immersion on December 11, 2018)
- Innovative Learning Environments / Intermediate Learning Community (September 27, 2017 and September 11, 2018)
- Play is the Way
- Social Emotional Learning (February 6, 2018)
Open House (September 14, 2018)