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MHAS Learning Plan and Report

2017-18 School Learning Plan & Report

 

 

DISTRICT VISION: Developing tomorrow’s citizens through improved learning, living and relationships.

DISTRICT MISSION: As a partner in the community, Medicine Hat School District #76 will create inclusive and innovative and inclusive learning environments.

 

PRINCIPAL:  Bryce Donauer                                                                      ADDRESS: 770 1St. SE                                    

ENROLLMENT:  127 Direct Enrollment, 50 Dual Enrollment

 

SCHOOL VISION: Medicine Hat Alternative School will engage with our stakeholders’ in a manner that reflects our ‘Core Commitments’.

 

SCHOOL MISSION: The Medicine Hat Alternative School is dedicated to creating an optimal learning environment that fosters student achievement in academics as well as growth in emotional, mental and physical wellness in a diversity of inclusive programs.

 

CORE COMMITMENTS:

  • Professional Practice: We commit to our professionalism and growth mindset as educators where we support one another through collaborative goal setting, feedback and reflective scholarly practice. 
  • Optimal Learning Environment: We commit to creating and maintaining a positive, inclusive and safe scholarly environment through mindful engagement in our learning environments.
  • Community Engagement: We commit to fostering dynamic conversations with students, parents and community members to enhance student learning and achievement.
  • Healthy Relationships: We commit to proactively promoting and modelling integrity, empathy, compassion and mindfulness to create trusting and collaborative relationships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement of Responsibility

 

The staff of the Medicine Hat Alternative School accepts responsibility for providing an appropriate education for our students within the laws, regulations, policies and guidelines of Alberta Education and Medicine Hat Public School Division.  Working with Alberta Education, the School Division, and the school community, the staff accepts this responsibility by developing and implementing the School Education Plan.

 

This plan will support, complement and supplement the Division's Education Plan and Alberta Education Goals.  Through this collaborative planning the staff gives a commitment to achieving the goals of Medicine Hat Public School Division.  The schools will have aligned their learning priorities to encompass the division goals and Alberta Education Outcomes.  Both the school’s Accountability Pillar Report and Achievement/Diploma Test analysis will be available on the school’s website.

 

As per provincial requirements, the School Educational Plan has been posted on the school web-site.

 

 

School Principal ____Bryce Donauer_________________________                           Date ____October 20, 2017____________________

                                                                                                                       

 

Background

 

As a member of Medicine Hat Public School Division, the Medicine Hat Alternative School aspires to use a robust Learning Plan and Assurance Model to better understand and utilize stakeholder feedback. While we are not yet part of the provincial assurance model project, we intend to imbed elements of the model into our current planning and reporting.  This will mean that we will actively seek avenues for stakeholders to tell us how we are attending to our goals and priorities. One important part of an assurance model is deriving stakeholder feedback through insightful comments made by parents, staff, community members and students.

 

Medicine Hat Alternative School continuously gathers feedback from a variety of sources including students, parents, staff, the school division and the greater community.  This past year our school also used an on-line assurance process called ThoughtExchange that enabled 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?

 

Medicine Hat Alternative School’s Learning Plan & Assurance Report captures what we did well, where we need to improve, aspirations and expected results that we gathered throughout last year.  We share this information with you in relation to our school learning priorities and in connection with our School Division’s four Universal Goals and Alberta Education’s five key Outcomes.

 

In time our reporting process will transition from the traditional school plan report format, to a learning plan that is supported by the lead indicators that we can collect in an assurance model.  As we bridge to this model, our school will report and plan using the following structure: 

 

Evidence of Strengths are highlighted as areas that are working well in Medicine Hat Alternative School. 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 to Identify Learning Targets or Instructional Focus 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 are also important to you.

 

What difference do we want to see? These 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 growth areas.

 

How will we know we have had an Impact? Results capture expectations for measuring success. In other words, how will we know that we know we are successful?

 

Medicine Hat Public School Division Four Universal Goals

 

Inclusive Mindset: Medicine Hat Public School Division is an inclusive education system. An inclusive education system is about ensuring that all students (regardless of ability or unique needs) get what they need when they need it.  This may very well mean that there are students who need us to honour their needs through creating alternative settings when needed and for as long as needed.  Critical to this approach is that the goal must ALWAYS be to include all students with their peers as often as possible. 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.

 

Optimal Learning: The Optimal Learning Environment (OLE) model will serve as a target.  Formal and informal school and system leaders will work to help all teachers achieve the potential described.  The model will sit at the center of our decision making process.  Resources and system structures will be built and allocated to support staff in achieving the high target set in the model.  We intend to incorporate the wisdom and support of individuals like Dr. Jody Carrington in the design of the OLE and in the work we do to flesh out or responses to student need where the model is insufficient; understanding that creating classroom environments that support student mental health is critical.  The OLE is not intended to usurp the Teaching Quality Standard.  In fact, it is intended to describe what the TQS, fully implemented and supported, could manifest in the lives of children.

Culture of Wellness: Medicine Hat Public School Division is committed to Student and Adult Success and Well-Being. With the help of representatives of CUPE, our ATA Local and staff from across the jurisdiction, we will work to explore how SD76 can support our valued staff in caring for themselves.  ASEBP and others are offering excellent support to us in helping the committee examine successful wellness initiatives that have been implemented elsewhere.  Our focus will not only be on what staff might do on their own but also on what collective efforts could be undertaken.  Partnerships with local service providers will be explored.  We believe that this effort at supporting staff in self-care is an important piece of the wellness puzzle.  Coupled with efforts to build more effective, collaborative structures, we will see improvement in our collective wellbeing.

Leadership: As an extension of the classroom, formal leadership needs to be treated as a teaching position with specific, legislated responsibilities and authority. We are working to break the myth (sometimes self-fulfilling) that one must give up being a teacher and instructional leader in order to take on formal leadership.  Indeed, the management part of administration is the simple part.  The greatest challenges and rewards come from the relational power that teacher-leaders bring to their work as instructional leaders. If we are successful, our program will help great teachers within our system choose administration; knowing they are continuing the important work they have started while working to broaden their professional influence and legacy.

 


 

Process for Gathering Feedback

 

Throughout the 2016-17 school year Medicine Hat Alternative School engaged parents in order to receive feedback in a number of ways including:

 

TheThoughtExchangeprocess enabled participants to share their thoughts with the school community. These individual thoughts were then considered, responded to and evaluated to determine a level of confidence (assurance) in how well Medicine Hat Alternative School is doing in the achievement of our goals and priorities. These shared thoughts are formative assessments (as opposed to numerical measurements) that can be used to evaluate progress and plan for growth.

  • 10 people participated in the Share step and shared 33 thoughts
  • 11people participated in the Star step and assigned 464 stars
  • A total of 19 people participated in Share or Star or both

 

Alberta Education Accountability Pillar Survey is given to all staff, parents of students in Grades 4 and 7. The Accountability Pillar survey data can be compared to division data as well as provincial measures. Please see our linked APORI Report.

  • 0 staff participated
  • Completed by 0 parents
  • 8 students participated

 

Other

-Information nights

-Goal setting sessions

-Telephone contact

-Informal school conversations with Principal

 

Other Data collection

-Student ‘Safe and Caring Schools Survey’

-Staff Team ‘Safe and Caring School Survey’

 

 

 

 

 


 

School Learning Priority #1

The Medicine Hat Alternative school will engage in meaningful assessment practice; with a focus on implementing outcomes based practice, effective feedback and reporting.

 

District Universal Goals:

Alberta Education Outcome 1: Alberta Students are Successful

Inclusive Education

 

Alberta Education Outcome 2: Achievement gap between FNMI students is eliminated

Optimal Learning Environments

Alberta Education Outcome 3: Alberta’s education system is inclusive

 

Culture of Wellness

Alberta Education Outcome 4: Alberta has excellent teachers, school & school authority leaders

Leadership

 

Alberta Education Outcome 5: The education system is well governed and managed.

 

Having children with behavioral issues and learning disabilities, my children are always listened too and teachers have responded in positive helpful ways. It's nice when your child doesn't have one favorite teacher they have connected with but feels the same about all of them.” ~School Parent via ThoughtExchange

 

Evidence of our Strengths

  • Medicine Hat Alternative School continues to give our students the opportunity to learn in an Optimal Learning Environment; supporting their learning needs through clear expectations and feedback
  • Classrooms are inclusive spaces at MHAS; we enroll a diversity of students across grade levels as well as across the continuum of supports. Providing effective feedback as well as assessment to meet each students learning needs
  • MHAS will contribute to a divisional understanding of common reporting procedures
  • According to the ‘Thought Exchange’ survey, “the leadership at the school is great. I appreciate the support and organization that goes on behind the scenes and feel supported as a teacher.” Staff member comment

 

 

Opportunities to Identify Learning Targets or Instructional Focus

  • Continue to improve staff understanding of outcomes based assessment practice
  • Continue to improve teacher communication skills with students and parents around outcomes based practice
  • Access OLCs within the District for assessment specific PD; ongoing every 2 months
  • Develop MHAS staff skill; developing meaningful formative and summative practice
  • Foster a sense of ‘Growth mindset’ with staff in regards to assessment as well as reporting.

 

 

 

 

 

A.4 Education Quality: Percentage of teachers, parents and students satisfied with overall quality of basic education.

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

Location

N

%

N

%

N

%

N

%

N

%

ALBERTA

206,853

89.8

259,083

89.2

310,056

89.5

285,217

90.1

300,253

90.1

MHPSD

2168

89.0

2139

88.8

2242

90.0

2308

90.3

2292

88.5

SCHOOL

11

83.1

21

80.4

13

66.7

9

98.1

8

59.6

 

 

 

What difference do we want to see?

  • Medicine Hat Alternative School aspires to communicate with students differently. With a focus on measuring student learning against appropriate learning outcomes.
  • MHAS aspires to report student learning differently. Including learning outcome descriptors as well as parent communication.
  • MHAS wants to see a marked improvement for individual, quantitative measurable success.
  • Students are able to articulate what they are learning and where they are at in their learning process.

 

 

How will we know we have had an Impact?

Success will be recognized as:

  • A common practice of visual communication of learning outcomes with students
  • Measures of learning will be clear and offer formative feedback opportunities.
  • Learning outcome descriptors will be attached to all assessments in PowerTeacher Pro
  • PAT Summary results will improve across subject areas.
  • A.4 Education Quality: Percentage of teachers, parents and students satisfied with overall quality of basic education will improve on APORI results.

 

 

 


 

School Learning Priority #2

The Medicine Hat Alternative School will foster just, equitable and inclusive classrooms.

District Universal Goals:

Alberta Education Outcome 1: Alberta Students are Successful

Inclusive Education

Alberta Education Outcome 2: Achievement gap between FNMI students is eliminated

Optimal Learning Environments

Alberta Education Outcome 3: Alberta’s education system is inclusive

Culture of Wellness

Alberta Education Outcome 4: Alberta has excellent teachers, school & school authority leaders

 

Leadership

 

Alberta Education Outcome 5: The education system is well governed and managed.

 

“I appreciate the fact that with the small classroom size the teachers and staff are able to develop close personal relationships.” ~School Parent via ThoughtExchange

 

Evidence of our Strengths

  • MHAS’s diverse programs continue to meet the Tier 3 and 4 needs of our student populations.
  • Enrollment numbers in all programs are steady and/or growing. Some have outgrown their current structures.

Opportunities to Identify Learning Targets or Instructional Focus

  • ________ School will promote exemplars that capture the process of utilizing the Alberta Programs of Study through competencies as opposed to content.
  • ________ School will explore, share and promote improvements to engage in literacy and numeracy teaching practices across curricula and for all students, Gr. 5 - 9.
  • ________ School will support FNMI students using culturally relevant and responsive education practices and strategies where there is meaningful connection to the curriculum.
  • 66.7% of teachers, students and parents are satisfied with safety at school, caring for others, learning respect for others and are treated fairly at school. This is down from the previous 3-year average of 79.6%.
  • Surveys such as APORI are not reaching the number of participants that would give us at MHAS a valuable data set to make effective change. In 2017 8 students completed the survey, 0 teachers, 0 parents. A more efficient, effective and relevant survey needs to be developed and implemented over a multi-year process.

What difference do we want to see?

  • At Medicine Hat Alternative School, we aspire to have a high level of safety and respect within our community.
  • We will implement Professional Development related to improving communication with students, as well as forming a culture of respect, safety and caring.
  • A survey will be developed to accurately measure our growth that is personal, relevant and effective over time.
  • We will see improved results and participation in APORI results in related categories.

How will we know we have had an Impact?

Success will be recognized as:

  • Our staff are engaged in Professional Development processes to develop a culture of wellness.
  • Parent satisfaction, engagement and confidence are reported through engagement measures.
  • Assurance measures report that students and teachers are participating in data collection, working with staff to create better school experience
  • School staff members are perceived, through assurance measures, to actively work towards OLEs and positive relationship building with stakeholders

 

 

B.3 Programs of Studies – At Risk Students Measure History: Percentage of teacher, parent and student agreement that programs for children at risk are easy to access and timely.

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

Location

N

%

N

%

N

%

N

%

N

%

ALBERTA

196,262

83.4

147,622

83.8

132,601

84.2

159,115

84.6

160,737

84.9

MHPSD

2167

84.0

2137

83.7

2240

85.3

2305

84.8

2286

83.7

SCHOOL

11

78.8

21

86.9

13

82.1

9

96.3

8

62.5

 

B.4 Safe and Caring Measure History: Percentage of teacher, parent and student agreement that:  students are safe at school, are learning the importance          of caring              for others, are learning respect for            others and are treated fairly in school.           

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

Location

N

%

N

%

N

%

N

%

N

%

ALBERTA

206,648

89.0

258,297

89.1

309,172

89.2

284,589

89.5

299,627

89.5

MHPSD

2168

86.1

2137

86.6

2240

88.7

2306

87.2

2285

86.0

SCHOOL

11

67.3

21

81.9

13

80.0

9

88.9

8

66.7

 

 

 

Whenever we have gone down to register or ask for help the staff is very helpful and willing to make things work or come up with solutions.” – School Parent via ThoughtExchange

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