School Context (internal and external environments)
Eardley School was converted into an elementary school from its original configuration as a junior high school in 2006. The history of the school includes Eardley’s growth from an original mandate, a Kinder to Grade 2 School, to the current mandate, a Kinder to Grade 6 School. Complete with a regularly multipurpose room, a large gym, 21 classrooms, 2 resource labs, library and a surrounding fence with at least two dedicated entrances (exits).
Currently, the campus is surrounded by apartment buildings and condominium complexes. Though the property is considered exclusive to the WQSB school program, community members use the grounds as a crossing point for walking. The school is a popular choice for evening activities with the City of Gatineau leisure programs (badminton). Increased security came into effect in 2014 with revised routines for student entry and exit from the school. On the other hand, the school is a center point for the community, commonly used for municipal purposes and occasionally as a polling station for elections. The cafeteria has been re-organized as a multipurpose room and space adjustments have been made to accommodate a clientele: the school’s projected clientele as of May 2019 is 339 students for the 2019-2020 school year. The computer lab, converted to a regular classroom, will remain as a classroom site. The library contains teachers’ resource materials, as well as maker space integrated with book stacks, computers and other materials for students.
The student clientele represents a mix of rural, sub-urban and inner-city environments. We are classified as socio-economic 5 on a scale of 1 to 10. The rank of 1 indicates that a majority of mothers hold a college or university degree and household incomes are usually above the average for the province of Quebec overall. In theory, a rank of 5 would indicate an average annual income of 48k/couple. In practice, we have about 5% of our students living on or below the poverty line and many working class families struggling to make ends meet.
Consistency with the Commitment-to-Success Plan
(EA, Sections 37 et 97.1) There are multiple areas of concern at Eardley School which require attentive problem solving and overall design changes: where, when and how we deliver educational services.
- A small number of students, approximately 15% in grades 1-6, generate most of our work on disciplinary and special needs issues. This figure is disproportionately represented in the Regular English Program (about 1/3 of overall student population).
- While student needs are identified
in both sides of the dual track school, they are (generally) as listed below:
- Learning disabilities
- Anger / behaviour management
- Student services are largely geared
to 1/3 of the clientele due to the higher concentration of needs. School climate surveys indicate a growing
trend of anxiety in the student population as well:
- Social / economic stress
- Low resiliency
- Almost 98% of the households in our catchment area list English as the mother tongue at home and the suburb of Aylmer is a bedroom community to the federal government in Ottawa-Hull, therefore, the French Immersion (FI) program is a popular choice with parents: 9 out of 12 of our students are enrolled in the FI program and this demographic appears to be growing.
- Current programming includes French immersion for 2/3 of our clients which means that students in the FI program work completely in French in Kindergarten and Grade 1. In Grade 3, FI students begin English Language Arts. The corollary is a slower, sometimes weaker performance in ELA for some of our FI students. There is statistical evidence, Canadian Cognitive Abilities (CCAT) testing (grades3, and 5) indicates that the capacity of students remains developmentally on target though English and Math are impacted by the early years in French Immersion.
- The dual track model, given limits on our staffing allocation, means that the ideal class size – teacher ratio (20:1 or 24:1) can only be met by generating classes with combined grades (Grades 1&2 for example) often for the English Program (EP) students. For the 2019/20 year, there will be an increase in combined groups in EP grades 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Ideally, Eardley will have fewer combined classes. Practically, there are underlying realities (weighting for special needs students) which necessitate combined classes.
- End of year, and mid-term exam/assessment results for Grade 4 and Grade 6 students (2018/19) with combined data from EP and FI programs, will be reviewed to identify trends including student performance in math.
- Nurture the development of students globally including their social wellbeing.
Underlying teaching staff concerns
There is an increase in the number of clientele with special learning needs, including 12students who are on the autism spectrum (integrated into regular programming) and high frequency of learning disabilities in the Regular English classrooms: some forms of learning difficulty which requires Resource intervention. Note: Eardley contains the Transition Program (integration/support program services for 6-7 students with psychiatric diagnoses) which requires a full classroom, and our daycare program also requires a full classroom. Given the integrative / inclusive model, Eardley teachers, not unlike our colleagues in similar elementary schools in the WQSB and the province, note that anxiety levels and issues of mental health have a negative impact on the school culture. Therefore, we have concluded that a mix of strategies will help us address the impact as noted: building a sense of community, developing positive relationships, and providing outlets for stress and anxiety. Student feedback is key: a desire to experience learning activities that incorporate more imagination and creativity. As exemplified in our recent science fairs (2018, 2019), our student contributors to this plan indicated that providing opportunities to create and explore topics is interesting and supports the sense of accomplishment. More importantly, the Eardley School team will further develop our capacity for teaching and learning in outdoor contexts. The underlying belief is that there will be an appreciable impact on the student sense of community and sense of well being.
Challenges, Orientations, Objectives, Indicators and Targets Specific to the Institution
(EA, Section 459.3, Section 37) Our overall challenge is to support and promote student attachment to Eardley Elementary school while providing ten orientations to support student learning.
Orientation 1: Outdoor Education & School Attachment
|Challenge||Consistency with the PEVR||Orientation||Objective||Indicator||Target||Current situation|
|Students’ psychological well-being and sense of attachment||Objective 1||Provide outdoor learning experiences||Collaborative planning for outdoor classroom and on/off campus experiences||Frequency of teaching / learning outside (increase)||Resource (bank) of learning plans per cycle – min. 20 plans per cycle by 2022||Occasional use of outdoor ed classroom, some hiking / skiing excursions|
|Students’ psychological well-being and sense of attachment||Objective 2||Provide a variety of extra-curricular activity and inclusion activities||Increase student sense of attachment to Eardley Elementary||Greater rates of participation in school sponsored activities.||Maximize student rates of participation by 2022||Growing participation in Me2We, student desire to have activities. See Appendix 1|
|Challenge||Consistency with Ministry objectives||Orientation||Objective||Indicator||Target||Current situation|
|Students’ physical and psychological well-being||Objective 3||Provide a safe and healthy environment||Offer 60 minutes of physical activity per day to all students (elementary level)||60 Minutes of physical activity per day||60 + minutes by 2022||Proposed schedule for 2019/20 includes 20 min of recess twice daily and 40 minutes at lunch.|
Note: new playground games + Play Makers + intra-murals + outdoor orientation + Quebec en Forme + dance + martial arts + skipping club + running club + teams (football, basketball, volleyball, dodgeball, track, and softball): see Appendix 1.
|Reduce the achievement gap between certain groups of students||Reduce the gap between boys and girls by 5% Reduce the gap between EDHAA and regular students by 7 % Reduce the gap between the 8, 9 and 10 schools and the 1, 2, 3 schools to 10 %||Early Literacy and Numeracy Focused support for students with special needs||Comparative results per students: Term 2 and end of year reports for Math, ELA and FSL.||Resource support Kinder – Grade 1 Elementary Grades 2-6 Technician support for integrations|
|90% success rate on the writing component of Ministry Grade 6 language of instruction exam, public sector||Actions: Collaborative planning & UDL approaches. WQSB will set a target on the writing component of the Grade 6 exam||Success rate on the writing component of the Grade 6 Ministry exam||Early literacy intervention Marking Centre to align practices Formative assessment|
|WQSB Objective||Actual Situation||Actions for 2020 +||Indicator(s)||Core Areas of Focus|
|Increase success rate in Cycle 2 Elementary English||Benchmark to be established June 2019||Collaborative planning & UDL approaches 90%||Overall success and proficiency in subject||Early Literacy Support for students with special needs Quality of teaching and learning Quality professional development|
|Increase success rate in Cycle 2 Elementary Math||Benchmark to be established June 2019||Collaborative planning & UDL approaches 70%||Overall success and proficiency in subject||Numeracy Support for students with special needs Quality of teaching and learning Quality professional development|
|Increase success rate in Cycle 2 Elementary French second Language||Benchmark to be established June 2019||Collaborative planning & UDL approaches 70%||Overall success and proficiency in subject||Second language literacy Support for students with special needs Quality of teaching and learning Quality professional development|
|Increase success rate on Cycle 3 Elementary English exam||85%||Collaborative planning & UDL approaches 90%||Overall success and proficiency in subject||Literacy support Support for students with special needs Quality of teaching and learning Quality professional development|
|Increase success rate in Cycle 3 Elementary Math exam||66%||Collaborative planning & UDL approaches 75%||Overall success and proficiency in subject||Numeracy support Support for students with special needs Quality of teaching and learning Quality professional development|
|Increase success rate in Cycle 3 Elementary French second Language exam||73%||Collaborative planning & UDL approaches 80%||Overall success and proficiency in subject||Second language literacy Support for students with special needs Quality of teaching and learning Quality professional development|
Appendix 2: Grant Allotment – Eardley
|Description of Grant||Use in School|
|School Success (School Initiatives)||Funds divided for three core subjects- aligned with PD plan+ objectives|
|Additional Support – Gr 2-6||Salary- to provide support to students (technician)|
|Supporting Parents in Primary||Workshop(s) for parents|
|Purchase class readers K – Cycle 1||Readers for Kinder and Gr 1 classes|
|Bon Pied / Good Start Kinder & Grade 1||Salary- support in Kinder classes (technician)|
|Bon Pied / Good Start Kinder & Grade 1||Salary- support in Grade Kinder / Grade 1 (resource teacher)|
|NTIC||Technology for teachers and classrooms (computers, smartboards)|
|Community Building: Anti -Violence & Anti – Bullying||To support anti-bullying programs: materials for Play Makers program (relational and responsive: focus on play), additional outdoor games|
|Healthy Life Styles||To promote physical activity: hiking, paddling x-country skiing, nutrition|
|Homework Assistance||Salary – to support 2 tutorial teachers in ELA, FSL, and Math|
|Spiritual Animation||To support community, cultural programs|
|Library Grant||Purchase library books – cost sharing grant 45% school- 55% MEES|
|Inspirational Schools||Field trips/outings|
|Service d’accueil||Salary – French language support for new students to Quebec (teacher)|
|Transition Agent (shared)||Professional services to support students’ transition to school|
|Integration of Technology in classroom||Provide teacher release|
|Leadership ITC||Provide release for PD for ICT teacher leader|
The Community Building plan is aligned with our School Project Plan for 2019 Developing a positive school culture with a focus on community.
The Eardley School Community will create a climate where: All individuals accept responsibility for implementing the TRIBES approaches and subscribe to the anti-bullying, anti-violence rules. Key features of our developing community include: relational, responsive, and restorative values
Relational values – adults work WITH young people, respect is the core
value, dignity, safety and trust are essential, strengths are valued and
promoted, accountability and responsibility are expected and mutual.
Responsive values – adults are intentional in what they do, development needs drive actions, behaviour and its meaning is best understood in context, pain based behaviour requires a response of compassion and kindness, the inside world is as important and the outside behaviours, young people experience problems – they are defined by their strengths not their problems.
Restorative values – forgiveness and tolerance are modelled by adults and fostered in youth, reconciliation in relationships and relatedness is consistently advocated, adults work with youth to support them in being accountable and responsible, opportunity to practice growing forward and using strengths empowers youth.
Guidelines for troubleshooting issues of conflict, bullying, and violence with children
- See/know the problem (child acknowledges the problem)
- How, Why and What (5 point scale: calming down + level of seriousness – below)
- What happens next; adult gives advice (directions for steps 4 and 5)
- Solve/fix the problem (apologize, forgive, and accept responsibility)
- Make it right (consequence & opportunity to put a solution in place and practice it)
The role of the adult is to think for the child, especially at Level 4 and 5 (below) rather than engage in their high state of stress (“stay out of the cage”). Avoid argument; give directions.
The action plan is established by the principal and aligns with Law 19.
To integrate anti-bullying methods, in conjunction with our beliefs (TRIBES – Community circles and agreements) and in alignment with our community focus.
Core program adaptation: Bullying Prevention Program, TRIBES School community practice, Big Brother / Big Sister Program, and Playmakers: simple playground games.
About the Educational Project
Purpose and Definition of the Educational Project
The Educational Project is a strategic tool through which Eardley Elementary can define and communicate to the educational community (stakeholders at large as well as educational practitioners) the policy orientations, the action priorities, and the expected results to ensure the educational success for all students. It reflects the characteristics and needs of the students who attend Eardley and the expectations expressed in the community. Based on consensus, the educational project is prepared and implemented through the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders concerned with Eardley School: students, parents, teachers and other staff members (daycare service, secretary, etc.), as well as the community and school board representatives.
The Education Act (EA) states that an institution’s educational project must take into account the following requirements:
- Respect the students’, parents’ and school staff’s freedom of conscience and of religion (EA, Section 37);
- Aligned to run in conjunctions with the WQSB commitment-to-success plan and the period covered by the MEES strategic plan (EA, Sections 37.1, 97.2 and 209.1);
- Comply with the terms prescribed by the Minister to govern the coordination of the entire strategic planning process between the educational institutions, the school board and the MEES (EA, Section 459.3);
- Aligned with the WQSB’s commitment-to-success plan (EA, Sections 37 and 97.1).
EA, Sections 37 and 97.1
- a description of the context in which the educational institution acts and the main challenges it faces, particularly with respect to academic success and, in the case of a vocational training centre, the relevance of the training to regional or national labour market needs;
- the specific policy orientations of the educational institution and the objectives selected for improving student success;
- the targets to be achieved by the end of the period covered by the educational project;
- the indicators to be used to measure achievement of these objectives and targets;
- the intervals at which the educational project is to be evaluated, determined in collaboration with the school board;
Groups Involved in the Preparation of the Educational Project
- School Project Committee: 3 students, 4 teachers, 2 administrative support members, 1 Governing Board representative, 1 school climate advisor, and 1 community member (city councillor) and the principal.
- School Council
- Governing Board
- Consultations Held for the Preparation of the Educational Project
- Governing Board
- Formation of the School Project Committee (SPC)
- SPC Part 1
- Principal / teacher advisor
- SPC Part 2
- Staff meeting
- Governing Board
- Ralph Mason, Principal
- Olivia Savard, Student – Grade 6
- Amalia Falasconi, Student – Grade 6
- Aiden Ely, Student – Grade 5
- Nicole Coffin, Teacher – ELA / Advisor
- Pascale Papin, Teacher – FSL
- Carm Reino, Teacher – Kinder
- Sherry McCorkell, Teacher – PE
- Kim Teske, Secretary
- Anne Carbonneau, Day Care Technician
- Robyn Stronach, Governing Board Representative
- Michael Montgomery, Spiritual Animation Consultant
- Gilles Chagnon, City Councillor – Community member
Transmission and Distribution of the Education Project
Before submitting the educational project to the school board and making it public, it may be useful for Eardley School (principal) to submit it one last time to the School Project Committee involved in preparing it. In this way, the principal of Eardley can ensure that the educational project truly reflects the discussions that took place and the decisions made. In addition, it will provide an opportunity to make any necessary changes before presenting the educational project to the governing board for adoption (final consultation, first iteration, 10 May, 2019).
The governing board must then take the following steps:
- Send the educational project to the school board, which then has 60 to 90 days to request amendments or require the governing board to defer its publication. The governing board and the school board may also agree on another time limit (EA, section 209.2).
- Distribute the educational project to students and staff members when the above-mentioned time limit period has expired.
Note: The educational project takes effect on the date of its publication.
- The educational project should be posted in PDF format on the educational institution’s website so that it is readily available to anyone who wishes to consult it. A number of paper copies may also be made available.
- The educational institution can present the educational project at the annual general meeting of parents.
- A letter of thanks should be emailed to steering committee members, governing board members and the educational institution’s staff in order to acknowledge their contribution to the preparation of the educational project. In line with sustainable development principles, a PDF version of the educational project may be enclosed with the email.
Implementing and Monitoring the Educational Project
After defining the context and choosing the policy orientations and objectives, Eardley School must implement and monitor the commitments made in the educational project. The following steps may be taken to implement the educational project:
- Agree with the school team on the measures that will be applied to achieve the objectives and targets. To explain the rationale behind its choice of measures, the school team may refer to educational practices in the community, the school board’s educational practices, research findings and the results of experiments, and documents produced by the school board and by MEES (policies, strategies, strategic plans, action plans, etc.).
- Obtain the principal’s approval for the measures (EA, section 96.15).
- Develop management monitoring tools (follow-up table, dashboard, action plan, etc.) and periodically observe the progress made. These tools are a valuable source of information on the effectiveness of the measures used.
- Where necessary, adjust the measures according to the available financial and human resources as well as the results.
- Continue to work with members of the governing board and the other people involved in preparing the educational project. Keep them up to date, and arrange meetings to inform them about the measures and results. They are not required to approve the measures.
- Update the educational project if new strategic orientations are identified by the Minister, or if there is a significant change in the educational institution’s situation (e.g. a change in its deed of establishment or in its catchment area). The people involved in preparing the educational project should be consulted beforehand.
- Begin the task of preparing the new educational project before the one currently in force has expired.
Reporting On the Educational Project
Reporting is the last stage in the results-based management process. It involves evaluating the educational project and presenting the evaluation results to the community.
Eardley School (principal) must monitor and examine the extent to which the objectives have been achieved and the effectiveness of the measures it has applied to fulfill its commitments. From a continuous improvement standpoint, evaluation also provides an opportunity to share innovative practices so that they can be incorporated into everyday pedagogical practices.
The school board must agree with principals as to the intervals at which the educational project should be evaluated. The school board may set requirements concerning the content of the educational project, the transmission date, the model to be used, and so on.
The governing board must provide the education community with information on the school team’s choices and the results (EA, sections 75 and 109.1). The information should be precise and succinct, clearly worded and accurately reported to achieve the transparency required for accountability.
The document produced at this stage of the process may also serve as a promotional tool to attract parents looking for a school for their children. The visual appearance of the document is therefore important. In addition to the results, parents will find a brief description of the educational institution’s mission, vision and values, as well as the context in which it operates, its curriculum, its main achievements and any future initiatives to be introduced.