CPS PFI PLAN
What are we doing well?
Crichton Park is a vibrant, dynamic school with many strengths and successes. Rich in supportive resources of people, materials, and ideas, we provide a safe and inviting learning environment that is valued and enhanced by an extensive variety of programs and activities. Crichton Park School is an integral part of this community that is greater than simply the educational centre for excellence. Teachers, parents and students agree Crichton Park School offers a safe and respectful learning environment where individual achievement is a priority.
One of our greatest strengths is the family and community involvement with the school. A strong and active Home and School Association, dedicated to the education and well-being of our students, promotes and supports many endeavours for the enrichment of our students. With high participation in many school-based programs and activities and a substantial number of volunteers assisting student learning in a variety of capacities, students are well supported in learning beyond the classroom context. Family members feel welcomed in our school, bringing perspectives and energies to our students. The school reflects pride in student achievements through displays of their work, celebrations of success, and citizenship opportunities.
Communication is an important component to the success of student learning, linking the work we do in the school with the family and the community at large. Communication is the mechanism through which the partners are connected and informed. Communication is extensive, including newsletters, websites, parent meetings, interviews, and special events. By ensuring that communication is on-going, timely, and effective, student achievement is a shared responsibility.
Effective leadership is a key and integral part of the success of Crichton Park School. The high expectations about the expertise of teachers in our school transcend the classroom with the encouragement to take on leadership roles, to work collaboratively with a vision of strong student achievement, and to value the importance of learning for all. Recognizing that all schools have the responsibility for improvement is evidenced in the shared decision making processes as teachers are actively involved in Planning For Improvement. Professional Learning Communities provide a venue for collaborative dialogue, collective inquiry, and continuous improvement where the focus is and must be student learning.
Building on the foundation of the Public School Programs, teachers have a shared understanding of outcomes across grade levels, aligning instruction with the curriculum outcomes and engaging in professional development. Budgetary decisions and curriculum priorities are aligned to support the implementation of the PSP. Student learning is enhanced through a commitment to ongoing collaborative professional conversation.
Schools are about learning and celebrating student achievement. When a comprehensive and encompassing direction is set which connects professional development, a collaborative environment, high expectations and an involved, committed community, the result is the high level of student achievement evident here at our school. Motivated to learn, teachers and students recognize and implement strategies to continually improve learning. A hallmark of Crichton Park School is the consistent and commendable academic results within the context of the Board and Provincial mathematics and literacy assessments.
Assessment and evaluation both inform and confirm the direction and success of our teaching/learning process. Through a variety of means including quantitative and qualitative information, teachers are able to provide meaningful instruction that address the diverse learning styles and needs of students. Recognizing that learning is a journey, ongoing and timely assessment provides direction for students to further improve. Understanding the expectations for and of their work, students are able to view assessment and evaluation as part of their learning process.
At Crichton Park School students are confident in their mathematical abilities and enjoy math. This positive energy is shared by teachers and parents. Students are succeeding in mathematics as evidenced by data results. In the most recent results, very high percentages of our students performed extremely well. Across grade levels strengths were noted in the areas of Number Concepts, Measurement, Patterns, Data Analysis and Probability, and Geometry and Spatial Sense.
A rich and stimulating mathematical culture exists at our school. For students Math is more than just a subject; they participate in extra-curricular activities with a focus on connecting math to the real world. Our commitment to educate parents through on-going communication and involvement in regard to math strategies is a vital component in this shared partnership. Staff have engaged in many and varied professional development opportunities that have directly impacted classroom instruction. School funds are consistently allotted to purchase relevant, appropriate, and necessary manipulatives and resources for classrooms. Increased usage of mathematical materials coupled with support from a math coach and school-based math leader have assisted our staff to be current with best practices for student learning.
Literacy skills at Crichton Park School are consistently high. Student enjoyment and their level of confidence in the areas of reading and writing are evident across the curriculum. Across grade levels data results indicated strengths in many components of both reading and writing. Capitalizing on their strengths, students are able to expand their literacy skills to a higher level.
Literacy is a critical component of education. At Crichton Park School students are immersed in vibrant, active, and meaningful learning experiences where literacy extends beyond simply classroom instruction. Our parents hold literacy in high regard. Shared values are reflected in the continued support that our students receive at home. Through extensive professional development, resource support, and implementation of instructional strategies, teachers strive to ensure that best practices are in place. Our on-site literacy coach provides invaluable support for teachers and students, specific to our needs. As in mathematics, school funds are consistently allotted to purchase professional resources and classroom materials deemed necessary in furthering our students’ learning. Our Home and School Association reaffirms this commitment to literacy through their extensive involvement in providing funds to support the renovation and purchase of additional books for our new school library.
At Crichton Park School, the social and personal development of students provides the context in which learning takes place. Students are encouraged to share their ideas and to help others through various leadership and citizenship opportunities initiated at the school. Respect for others, regardless of differences, is instilled at an early age and reinforced through many school activities. Teachers and parents recognize that students must understand how to apply learning to real life situations to become effective global citizens. Our teachers and parents believe that learning prepares our students for life.
What trends do we see in the data?
In reviewing the Planning For Improvement Crichton Park School Survey Results (Parent/Guardian Surveys, Teacher Surveys and Student Surveys), the trends show us consistently high results year after year. When examining item comparisons across time, there are no significant changes in survey results. This holds true for the general indicators, as well as each item within. This is not surprising as our community is stable. The populations being surveyed do not appreciably alter year to year.
As we move from reviewing the Survey Results to examining Assessment Results, this demographic stability is also a factor. When looking for trends and patterns we are able to acknowledge that we are dealing with a stable student population. Therefore, comparisons of student achievement over time are more accurate.
Upon examination of the mathematics data, certain patterns about strengths and challenges across grade levels and over time begin to emerge. Strengths identified in early grades continue to remain strengths throughout. However, challenges identified in early grades not only continue to be challenges, the gap actually widens. Although Crichton Park students demonstrate strengths in most areas of mathematics, we are able to identify challenges in the areas of Adding and Subtracting Whole Numbers, Adding/Subtracting Whole Number/Decimals, Multiplying Whole Numbers, Dividing Whole Numbers, Estimation Strategies, Problem Solving, and Communication.
We are unable to compare board and provincial data with data collected at the school level as our focus for mathematics was increasing students’ ability to independently select appropriate manipulatives to solve various grade level problems.
Literacy data demonstrate consistently high results across grade levels. Crichton Park School compares very favourably with students in the Board and the Province. Initial examination of the data did not reveal an immediate area of challenge that would lead to a high impact goal for all our students. However, upon more detailed examination, reading comprehension emerged as a possible challenge for further work. This component of reading has repeatedly appeared as an area of comparative difficulty in the Grade Two Literacy Assessments. Through careful examination we were able to connect this area to other assessment results across grade levels.
Based on our school-wide Writing Rubric Data, it would appear that several challenges exist in the area of writing. However, we recognize there were many flaws in the original process which failed to address variables in the assessment: the original broad undertaking (5 outcomes over 7 grade levels), lack of common data samples, and subjective interpretation of data samples. While we value the process and the student learning that resulted, we do not feel the school-based results accurately reflect our students’ achievement in writing as is shown in our other data sources.
What challenges do we need to address in order to make the greatest difference in student achievement?
Through the school self-assessment process we have identified our school’s strengths and challenges. As there were so many strengths in literacy, we required external support in identifying a literacy challenge that could translate into a high impact goal for student achievement. After receiving this support, we were able to work collaboratively as a whole school and within school PLC teams, to identify a goal in literacy. Improving Reading Comprehension is our goal for literacy.
In the area of mathematics, we were able to examine the challenges and prioritize Operations as our goal. As some of other challenges were identified for specific grade levels, Operations consistently presented a challenge across grade levels.
As a staff we feel confident these two goals provide areas that can be addressed through the PFI process to make the greatest positive difference in student achievement.
Goal 1: To improve student achievement in reading by focusing on comprehension.
Strategies to achieve the goal:
Professional development to support achievement of the goal:
Goal 2: To improve student achievement in operations with a focus on addition/subtraction in grades Primary to Three and multiplication/division in grades Four to Six.
Strategies to achieve the goal:
Professional development to support achievement of the goal:
How will we involve the SAC, the parents, the students, and the wider community?
As we continue through the Planning For Improvement process, we acknowledge the importance of the involvement of our students, parents, SAC and the community. With the start of each new school year, Curriculum Night provides the opportune time for a presentation of our PFI plan to set the context for our focus. PFI updates are included during every SAC meeting throughout the year, as well as during several Home and School General Meeting. Our school newsletter provides an additional method of regular communication as we track our progress toward our goals.
Students, parents, SAC and community members also become involved with our plan during special events held at the school. Sessions such as Family Literacy Night and Math Night allow us to demonstrate the strategies being used to support improved student achievement and show families ways to continue this support at home.
Student progress is celebrated continuously in the classrooms and monthly during our Good News Awards Assemblies. Parents, family members and members of the community are invited to join us for these assemblies.
Finally, one of our most formal venues for sharing our progress will be the Annual Report to the Community. This report will replace our previous spring PFI Update Report, and will be sent to the Crichton Park community beginning in the fall of 2009.