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SLP - School Learning Plan

Measures of Student Achievement and Success

Briargreen staff uses a wide variety of strategies to assess and evaluate student progress. Student-led conferences, portfolios, rubrics, checklists, observations, peer and self- evaluations are some of the strategies are ongoing and used as formal and informal assessments. Assessment is used to define achievement of the curriculum expectations, but is also used to determine areas of focus for learning. Another important purpose of assessment is to evaluate the effectiveness of the instructional strategies. This constant re-evaluation allows assessment to be a tool to promote learning and not just measure it.

Teachers of students in grades 1-3 use PM Benchmarks and teachers of students in grade 4-6 use CASI to assess reading proficiency and plan for effective programming. The Ministry of Education has changed the format for formal reporting to parents. A Progress Report goes home in mid-November. This document informs parents about their child's strengths and areas for improvement in Learning Skills and Work Habits, as well as giving an indication of the progress in the subject areas. The first Report Card goes home in January and the final Report Card goes home in June.

Individual academic assessments are administered by qualified staff to students who are experiencing difficulty in the classroom setting from kindergarten to grade 6. The results are used to develop programs for students who require additional support. Also, the results are considered, in consultation with parents, the homeroom teacher and/or Special Services staff and are used to modify and accommodate program delivery for the individual student. Grade 3 and 6 students participate in the EQAO provincial testing program in reading, writing, and mathematics.

School Improvement Plans and Initiatives

School Improvement Plans allow staff to shine the spotlight on a particular area of the curriculum. We engage in professional discussions and work collaboratively to extend our understanding of current research and practice in the focus area. Specific strategies are developed to improve students’ achievement. The process concludes with an evaluation of the progress made so as to constantly strive to improve our instruction.

In 2011-2012 our focus continued to be on Numeracy: applying “the three part” Math lesson (or problem-based lessons) and deepening students' understanding of concepts by developing their ability to explain their thinking and communicate their understanding. We spent considerable time talking about how children learn, the benefits of struggling to come up with a solution, current brain research on how learning is consolidated, etc... We worked hard to apply this learning to our in-class instruction. We looked at this in conjunction with a focus on Effective Descriptive Feedback.

Early in the year, staff reviewed Briargreen’s development in order to determine the focus for the 2012-2013 School Improvement Plan. We were very excited about the progress we had made in our understanding of best practices for teaching Mathematics. For the current year, we have decided to deepen our focus on Writing, particularly on the generation of ideas for writing. In October we had a very successful Professional Development day during which we examined how we introduce new writing genres to the students and how to support them in their efforts to understand these fully.

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