Day 90 (of 183) school growth conversations
Today we began the School Growth Conversation for the next “year”……yeah – starting conversations in January to set some direction for the upcoming school year. Complex? a little. but getting better over time; the old methodology of what were called School Planning Councils (that did not include teachers….) is no more, and instead our district is trying to set up “ongoing conversations”.
We still maintain having school goals – but we are asking questions to see where we have come from, where we are, and where we are going next. As with all conversations, we have some direction, but meandering happens. Especially as the conversation blends teachers, support staff, district staff and parents together to take a look at why we do what we do:
For our school, the number one goal remains our focus on self regulation (anxiety). A significant percentage of our school population continues to work on mental wellness. Our struggle remains that being a school with limited supports, doing anything innovative is very tricky and challenging.
Our second goal is on outdoor learning – as our superintendent pointed out, a natural connection when working on self-regulation. Physical activity definitely has a good connection to helping regulate the brain!
Our third goal on early literacy interventions was supported. The challenge being that as that is part of my portfolio (as a teaching principal, I have .6 admin time, .4 teaching time and this year that is .2 library [yes I am a former teacher librarian] and .2 literacy intervention [I had reading recovery as part of my teacher training] but…. when principal, whenever ‘interesting’ things happen….the principal part trumps all. And while it would be great to have another teacher have the reading intervention time, there aren’t many people willing/able to do .2 work over 4 days…. and at least I can adjust my schedule and do ‘more’ time on the “less interesting” days!
It was great to have support and increased understanding (and very good questions) from those members of our learning community who are not at our school each day of learning. Helps us share the story (both the ‘successes’ such as the number of students entering school on-time and the ‘misses’ such as the number of our students identified with behaviour challenges increasing) of our school! Our story is ever changing, and I am optimistic that we can shift this conversation to become more of a ‘never-ending-story’!