Every student in Rocky Mountain School District will graduate with dignity, purpose, and options.
See Results of the Collaborative Grant Projects p. 37
UBC Teacher candidates in SD6 p. 24
We will care deeply, act wisely and find joy in each day!
Leader Day in Golden
What a great year. Rocky Mountain School District truly lived a celebration of learning in 2017-18, with evidence shared all year long in this publication. In addition, schools all demonstrated growth in the achievement of their students at the Celebrations of Success presentations last week, and the stories that were shared touched our hearts and reminded all of us why we do this incredibly important work. With the help of all of you who contributed to the recent ThoughtExchange process, our District Working Group will soon be shaping our District Directions which will guide us for the next 5 years, a fitting conclusion to an amazing year and a demonstration of confidence in the capabilities of our students and the commitment of staff members and families across our system who support them.
Wishing everyone a happy summer! See you in 2018-19
Rocky Mountain School District
Learning Leadership Report
We learn in Rocky Mountain School District. All of us. We learn so that our students grow and experience greater success every day.
We learn the Core Competencies of Thinking, Communication, and Social and Personal competencies. Students develop curricular competencies in literacy and numeracy and the big ideas of content areas; educators continuously learn to improve pedagogy.
We learn so that each day in Rocky Mountain School District brings us closer to every student graduating with dignity, purpose, and options.
The Learning Leadership Report is a celebration of that learning. We hope you enjoy reading it and invite you to contribute your stories, ideas, and upcoming events and opportunities as a member of the learning community of Rocky Mountain School District.
Our students experience environmental, outdoor and community based learning.
Our learning community is research based and collaborative.
Our communication results in common understanding.
We care deeply, act wisely and find joy in each day.
The Board has set District Directions for 2013-2018. We will organize the Learning Leadership Report this year around these directions to share how we are bringing them to life across the district.
Our learning is empowered by technology.
Our students and staff feel safe, connected and valued.
What are the ways you are already engaged in the work captured by these directions?
What are the possibilities for future work inspired by these directions?
Our District Directions 2018 represent the hopes, dreams, and ideas
of many staff, parents, community members, and students who contributed to a Thoughtstream process, multi-partner dialogue, and Board review to uncover these 5 key themes to guide our work and shape our culture.
Rocky Mountain School District Trustees Recognized
SD 6 Trustees Sandra Smaill and Rhonda Smith were recognized for service to their communities, along with the other Lifetime Members of the BC School Trustees Association, at the recent Annual general Meeting held in Richmond.
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 6 (ROCKY MOUNTAIN) - KTA / CUPE / BOARD
Friday, June 8, 2018
In Honor of the Following Employees
SERVICE RECOGNITION RECIPIENTS
Ann Fercho Beth Johnson Gina McNab Sue Pearson
Ellen Schacher Donna Watson Robyn Wayling
Cathie Kelly Ellen Schacher Sandra Smaill Greg Thygesen
Kimberley Zone Retirement & Service Recognition
Ann Fercho Sharon Gilbert
Ron Ainslie Monica De
Angela MacKinnon Vaughn Prather
Mike Archibald Navneet Rondeau Elizabeth Selby
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 6 (ROCKY MOUNTAIN) - GTA / CUPE / BOARD
Saturday, June 9, 2018
In Honor of the Following Employees
Natalie Hegan Kathleen King
Golden Zone Retirement & Service Recognition
SERVICE RECOGNITION RECIPIENTS
Helena Fuoco Kathleen Hieb Gail Hirst Pierre Lambert Jan Rodman
A big thank you to Robin Myers for all her work to organize these events. We appreciate her attention to the many details that make these celebrations special for the honourees and guests.
Windermere Zone Retirement & Service Recognition
Matt Leman Brian Nickurak
SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 6 (ROCKY MOUNTAIN) - WTA / CUPE / BOARD
Thursday, June 14, 2018
In Honor of the Following Employees
Sheila Fitzpatrick Dwayne Zahara
Werner Kopp Shawn Raven
Dwayne Zahara Carol Zehnder
Alyssan Gauthier Kyler Gauthier Kristal Godlien Deb Hickey
Holly Pietrosky Cayle Kashuba Esther McHarg Cindy Nicholson Lori Sluth Dorothy Warbrick Lainey Wilson
Paul Carriere Darren Danyluk Michelle Evans Ron Norquay Barb Stewart-Frank
A sharp looking group of graduates who have worked very hard for their achievements. Congratulations!
Open Doors Alternate School Celebrates the Graduation of 14 Students!
Thank you Darren Danyluk
Multicultural Food Tasting Events at Alexander Park Elementary School
In partnership with the Parent Advisory Committee, and made possible by a grant from Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd., Alexander Park students participated in tasting and cultural events promoting cultural diversity in our school by showcasing traditional dishes from a few of our many rich cultures in Golden, B.C.
In January, students used vocabulary that they learned from French teacher, Krista Fouillard, to discuss the ingredients they used to make their crepes. Teachers shared stories, in French and English, about French heritage in Canada.
In March, students learned how to roll their own sushi cones as part of the Japanese cultural event. Parent and community volunteers prepared the ingredients, with help from Nagomi Sushi owners, Tonia & Shigenori Nishioka. Many classes created art projects and tried calligraphy, inspired by the study of Japanese culture. Students Kaela and Michael Brown gave each student a paper crane handmade by their obachan (grandmother in Japanese).
In April, elders and hunters from the Golden community came to Alexander Park to speak to students about hunting and traditional indigenous foods. Students enjoyed trying dishes including three sisters soup, corn bread and wild rice thanks to a number of volunteers, all coordinated by Aboriginal Education Support Worker, Leslie Hein.
Navneet Rondeau, School Secretary, organized a special field trip to Golden’s Sikh Temple to wrap up the multicultural events for this school year. Students tasted chai, dal and roti. Back at school, students, parents and staff of Indian heritage proudly shared other aspects of their culture such as clothing, dance and art with their classes.
As we explored ways to build tolerance and appreciation for other cultures amongst our students, food stood out as a common area of pride and tradition, passed down from one generation to the next, serving as an expression of cultural identity. Exploring cultural dishes and learning the stories behind them has opened up respectful discussion about cultural heritage and created more of a sense of belonging and inclusion for students, families and staff at our school. By providing a real-world connection to our community, cultural learning projects became more powerful, relevant and engaging for our students.
Thank you to Louisiana Pacific Canada Ltd. for the grant that made these events possible, the Alexander Park Parent Advisory Committee volunteers that donated their time, the guest speakers and Elders that came in to share their culture with our students, the Golden Sikh Temple for inviting us for a visit and the students for trying new things and keeping open minds!
Learning about French Culture
Studying Japanese Culture
Learning about Hunting & Indigenous Foods
Indian Cultural Learning and a Visit to the Golden Sikh Temple
Thank You Katie King
Lady Grey School recently held its second Leader Hour of the school year. As a Leader in Me school (practicing Covey’s Seven Habits), we seek ways for all students to see themselves as leaders. This is an hour in the school day where students lead workshops teaching a variety of skills. Some of the sessions this time included: gymnastics, softball, macramé, hockey, learning about reptiles, bike maintenance, high tea and henna painting. All students signed up for workshops of their choice and a fantastic afternoon of learning took place.
Thank you Laurie MacDougall
Lady Grey Elementary Leader Hour
Thank you Caren Nagao
Alexander Park had a great week full of activities celebrating Family Diversity, and honouring family equality, in lieu of the International Family Equality day of May 7. We started out with a school display outlining SOGI and what provincial guidelines regarding it means for our students, families and employees. We also had classes make large posters showing various aspects of what family means to them, the variety of families, what families do together, etc. ensuring that we incorporated SOGI within the posters. Teachers read books from a bin that we have started to collect for, focusing on family diversity and individual differences. We then gathered families together for three different events; a “Family Be Who You Want to Be Fancy Dance”, a Family Picnic, and a Family Walk. There were enough events at different times that various family members were able to make it to at least one throughout the week. The teachers ran the Family Dance, in order to ensure that family could focus on each other, although parents baked for a bake sale fundraiser and one parent ran a photo booth fundraiser. All of the events were very successful, and it is likely that we will hold them again!
Family Diversity Week at Alexander Park Elementary
Lady Grey and Nicholson schools completed their second annual Leader Day. Hosted by Nicholson School, we welcomed special guests such as Mr. Paul Carriere, superintendent, Mr. Ron Oszust. Mayor of Golden, Mr. Archibald and his leadership students from GSS, the Nicholson Fire Department, and Ms. Shannon Frame from the Covey Institute. Stations included slack lines, fire hose practice, Lego bridges and various physical challenges. We enjoyed a hot dog lunch with the generous support of the Nicholson PAC, Save on Foods and IGA. Student leaders from the Nicholson and Lady Grey Lighthouse teams (as is typical in Leader in Me schools) co-planned, organized and ran the 24 stations. Many parents came out to join the festivities and the positive comments about the smoothly run and eclectic day were unanimous.
Leader Day in Golden
Thank You Laurie MacDougall
Emergencies are all too real nowadays and there’s nothing more distressing than wondering where you and the students will go and for our parents, where is my child. Staff and student safety is the first priority in any situation. Schools in BC are getting into emergency planning business as a way to address any emergency be it small or large and the Rocky Mountain School District is right on track. Steve Jackson, Cathy Traverse, Jennifer Turner and Surrena Craig are all part of the committee who will design our emergency management procedures which align with the British Columbia Emergency Management System (BCEMS). This will allow our district and emergency responders to ‘speak the same language’.
These procedures will address everything from a gas leak, to wild animals on the grounds and school violence. With a plan, we are all consistent and know what to do, where to go and who to talk to. Plans are built on the four pillars of emergency management: prevention and mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
Prevention and mitigation involve schools assessing policies, access and egress routes, and speaking to community and regional responders about what a response might look like and who is responsible for what.
Preparedness is the creation of the plan based on all the information gathered and then training staff in the Incident Command System (ICS) and training everyone in the schools to respond the same way each time.
Response is when the ‘rubber hits the road’. When an emergency happens, schools follow the outlined emergency plan in the event of a fire alarm, a power failure or stay quiet and hidden during a disturbance.
Recovery is the debrief phase where administrators will take stock of what has happened, critical incident stress management teams may be activated and decisions will be made about schools reopening.
What is our role in emergency response? For both staff and parents, it’s important to know the plans, practice according to plan and ask questions. We practice to be ready and we must be ready; know the procedures. If something happens, we need to be at our best because our school community is counting on us.
Look for upcoming training opportunities in the 2018-2019 year.
Surrena Craig and Steve Jackson taking part in an emergency operations centre (EOC) exercise during the EOC Essentials course in Cranbrook in April. Jim Bryce and Wendy Hetherington also attended the course sponsored by the RDEK and provided by the Justice Institute of BC.
ICE: In Case of Emergency
Thank You Wendy Hetherington
McKim Peer Mentors
McKim School grade 7 Student Helping Students (SHS) peer mentors had a great time at the Blue Lake Camp this spring. The day was set up to work on team building and leadership skills to complement their roles as peer mentors to our grade 4 students that entered McKim this year. It was a day full of challenges and the students did an incredible job working together! They worked under the guidance of Blue Lake camp leaders through 5 challenges that put their team work skills to the test. It was an incredible opportunity for both students and staff to learn more about each other and to see the strengths in each of the students as they faced these very tricky challenges together. Such a fun time! Thank you SHS mentors for your tireless enthusiasm on this day, and for your commitment to the program throughout the year!
Thank You Genesta Boroski & Denise Stephenson
Sense of Place
Equine Experience for Selkirk Secondary Students
Students have received the opportunity to engage with horses to learn interpersonal, peer and family problem solving strategies through the use of horses.
On May 16 Students got to enjoy a day out at the Ranch where we learned about traditional Aboriginal teachings. From tea tasting, traditional games, botany education, the building of a pit house and sweat lodge ceremonies. We observed and tasted the making of dried elk meat, followed by a lunch of elk stew with bannock. We ended the day with a traditional round dance.
Field Trip to Stevenson’s Ranch
Thank You Esther Sylvestre
Spring Take Me Outside for Learning Day Selfie Challenge
Thank you Duncan Whittick
These Kootenay-Boundary Teachers have won their choice of resource donated by CBEEN from CBEEN's online book store: http://cbeen.ca/book-orders/ .
Making Waves Spring Edition is Available to Read
This seasonal publication from the Kootenay-Boundary school districts’ collaboration around place-based learning (KBEE) shows our students outside learning across the curriculum. It also includes Some great tips for outdoor learning! http://pub.lucidpress.com
Dirty Teaching: A Practical Guide to Getting Outside with Juliet Robertson
Tuesday, August 21, 9 am - 4 pm
Frank J. Mitchell Elementary School , Sparwood
This one-day training event will provide elementary and early years educators with a range of open-ended possibilities for developing great literacy and math experiences outside.
Juliet Robertson is a world-renowned Scottish-based education consultant who specializes in learning and playing outdoors. She is the author of two award-winning and best-selling books: Dirty Teaching and Messy Maths. Her blog, I’m a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here! is a source of information and support for hundreds of thousands of educators.
Early bird open until June 21
Registration closes July 21
UBC Community Field Experience - Elementary Cohort in Rocky Mountain School District
Sandie developed a syllabus of lesson plans for our short term and summer programs and Joyce worked with specific international students in their schools that we had identified as needing some extra support. She has given us an update on how each student is doing and the progress they made with her.
Teacher Candidates from UBC Jessica, Sandie, Peter, Natasha and Joyce with their host Lisa take in the view from the Butte. ∆
UBC Teacher Candidates Sandie, Jessica and Natasha enjoy cinnamon buns from Kimberley’s Snowdrift Cafe from the comfort of their campsite in Whiteswan provincial Park ⊳.
Joyce and Sandie paddling around Norbury Lake. ∆
Thank you Amy Shoup
Our learning community is
research based and collaborative
CFE student Peter Gustainis teaching a combined physics and climbing class
Thank you Clint Dolgopol
CFE student Peter Gustainis teamed up with Selkirk Physics teacher Jonas Haiduk and Outdoors teacher Jenn Meens to teach a combined physics and climbing lesson at Spirit Rock Climbing Gym.
Thank you Darren Danyluk
UBC Community Field Experience at David Thompson Secondary
David Thompson Secondary welcomed three students from UBC who were completing their Community Field Experience to conclude their teacher education program. The staff and students of DTSS were lucky to enjoy the company of three enthusiastic and eager new educators who were open to any and all opportunities. Matt Lebordais, Nicole Dumas, and Leah Genge spent time with students in several learning spaces, from metal arts to mathematics…and everything in between. Open Doors Alternate School also enjoyed the benefit of these young energetic teachers! With any luck, our valley will see these faces again as they now embark upon careers as practicing teachers. We wish them each the best of luck.
Looking Ahead to Next Year: Upcoming Professional Learning about Literacy
Educators in Rocky Mountain School District will have many opportunities to participate in teacher-led learning to enhance literacy instruction. Here is a preview of offerings for the 2018-2019 school year. Specific information with dates and how to join will be coming soon.
Kindergarten Literacy and Growing Into Grade One PLC YEAR 2: Joyful Literacy
We are pleased to offer a second year for Kindergarten and Grade One teachers to join a Professional Learning Community!
The purpose behind organizing this is to:
Explore Janet Mort’s approach in Joyful Literacy Interventions
Gather collaboratively to share our practices
Create common understanding of literacy expectations
Read, reflect and grow professionally
This initiative will include past participants who wish to continue and may include new teachers based on spaces. In addition to the two full day sessions for cohort members, all teachers connected to K and Grade 1 will be invited to join two after school learning and sharing sessions held in zones.
Changing Results for Intermediate Readers (CRIR) - Year 2:
Returning Cohort and New Cohort
Cohort 1: Returning Participants
It is our pleasure to inform you that we are going to be offering the opportunity for Intermediate teachers who had joined last year’s CR4IR group a second year to continue their collaboration (CRIR Cohort 1). The purpose of the second year is to continue to:
elevate the conversation around reading/literacy
form our own teaching identity by seeing ourselves as learners
provide professional learning which will be explicitly embedded with the classroom learning
Participating educators will commit to an inquiry approach including changing key aspects of their practice in order to improve success in reading
We invite last year’s participants to rejoin if they wish. The commitment will include two full day meetings at the Invermere Board Office. The other four meetings will be afternoon sessions which will be held in each zone from 12:45 -3:00.
The district will support the release and travel for the returning teams.
Cohort 2: New Members!
We are pleased to offer another professional learning opportunity for our SD 6 Intermediate teachers. From 2012-2015, the Ministry of Education ran a very successful province-wide initiative called Changing Results for Young Readers that focused on teacher collaboration, in-class support and current research on how to foster reading success for Kindergarten to Grade 3 students. Since then, other districts in the province began providing Intermediate teachers the opportunity to elevate the conversation around reading and literacy.
We are doing a new intake of intermediate teachers this fall: CR4IR: Cohort 2.
We invite any teachers who are interested in committing to this learning opportunity to join this fall. The commitment will include two full day meetings at the Invermere Board Office. The other four meetings will be afternoon sessions which will be held in each zone from 12:45-3:00. Purpose:
to elevate the conversation around reading/literacy
forming our own teaching identity by seeing ourselves as learners
provide professional learning which will be explicitly embedded with the classroom learning
Educators selected will commit to an inquiry approach including:
changing key aspects of their practice in order to improve success in reading
willingness to work with colleagues to explore and apply promising practices
documenting and sharing changes in their practice
gathering and interpreting evidence of children’s achievements
Roles and Responsibilities:
closely examine needs of learners
pose questions related to changes in their own practices and how the changes impact children’s learning
embed professional learning within their work
meet six times a year as a learning team (2 all day sessions in Invermere and 4 half day sessions in zone)
case study documentation of 1 specific student
It is important for teachers interested in this opportunity to know that the intent is not to be an add-on but rather to center on “doing what they are already doing.” This project is designed to be very do-able for the classroom teacher by focusing on a single student and documenting the teaching strategies used with that child. As part of the study, each teacher will submit their class list with student reading levels at the beginning and end of the year. This is a list that indicates whether students are Not Yet Meeting, Approaching, Meeting or Exceeding the expectations based on the assessment already being used in the classroom.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Barb Carriere at 342-9243 ext. 4402 or at email@example.com.
Fall & Spring District Wide Write Training
Fall & Spring District-Wide Write Protocol Training
We will invite an educator from each school to a full day session in the fall to review the District-Wide Write protocol. Separate sessions will be held on different days for K-3 and 4-8. Please note that we have revised the Grade 1 fall protocol. We will support release and travel for a teacher or administrator to review and practice the protocol to be able to support colleagues in the school to administer and anchor mark this assessment and use the results to inform instruction. Participants may be experienced with or new to the District-Wide Write.
We will follow up with a refresher in the spring to continue to build capacity to administer, mark, and act on the results of this assessment.
Primary Running Record Training
We will invite and support the release and travel for an administrator and a teacher from each school with primary grades to a full day session in the fall to learn about completing and using the results of running records to inform reading instruction. We will look at the use of this practice with any leveled reading material as well as specifically consider the PM Benchmarks assessment.
Intermediate Running Record Training
We will invite and support the release and travel for an administrator and teacher from each school with intermediate grades to a full day session in the fall to learn about completing and using the results of running records to inform reading instruction. We will look at the use of this practice with any leveled reading material as well as in light of the intermediate reading assessments currently being used in schools in the district.
Watch for Details Coming Soon!
Dear SD 6 K-12 colleagues;
Let’s build dynamic learning communities that engage students, promote deep understanding and sustain a lifetime of inquiry.
We are pleased to be offering another book club this year. We had such a successful exploration of Ron Ritchhart’s Creating Cultures of Thinking last year that we are going to repeat this book club again! Ron is the author of Making Thinking Visible and Intellectual Character. He is a senior research associate at Harvard Project Zero and fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. Prior to becoming a researcher, Ron was a classroom teacher. The thread running through all of Ron’s work as an educator and researcher has been and continues to be the importance of fostering thinking, understanding, and creativity in all settings of learning. His research is classroom based and often focuses on understanding the complexity of teaching by examining the work of expert teachers.
The important role that models of thinking and learning play helps us to see that an education is much more than the delivery of content. A quality education is also about the development of habit of mind and thinking dispositions that will serve students as learners both in our own classrooms and in the future (Costa & Kallick, 2009; Ritchhart, 2002).
It takes hard work, dedication, continual reflection, and most of all a willingness to take risks and reach outside the comfort zone of established practices. This is both an individual endeavor and a collective process, recognizing that one learns as much from others’ practice as from one’s own (Ritchhart, Church, Morrison, 2011).
We felt that this book is exceptionally well suited to all grade levels and addresses the Core Competencies well. Our professional conversations have been rich and rewarding. We hope you will consider joining in, reading the book, and attending 6 evening dinner meetings this year! At each of these meetings you will be provided with an opportunity to review and discuss the use of thinking routines to make thinking visible. We connect with one another via video conference from our respective board/zone offices.
Please see the flyer on the next page for more information! Thank You.
Look forward to reading and learning together!
District Literacy Support Teacher
The book club around Cultures of Thinking was so successful we are offering it again!
Book Club for K-12 Educators
I have participated in district book clubs for a number of years, and so last spring I thought that I would take a year off and gain some extra time back in my life. Then, out came Barb’s email about this book. After reading the description, I got so excited that I ended up joining right away! This turned out to be a great decision for me.
The author, Ron Ritchhart, leads the reader through eight forces that we can master in order to create a culture in our classrooms and schools that engage students, promote deep understanding and make inquiry “the way we do things”. Ritchhart provokes, challenges and motivates the reader to consider ways to make thinking visible and thus available to all learners.
Besides the exceptional ideas that I gleaned from the book itself, I value the time I get to spend with colleagues from my own school, from Golden’s elementary schools, and from across the district. In addition to my high school colleagues, it really broadens my perspective to spend time in thoughtful discussions with elementary colleagues, hearing about their challenges and successes, and how they approach learning in their classrooms. This book was relevant to all of us and gave us a common ground for discussions.
One huge benefit to me in my role as Principal is that the book has given me ample of quotes and short blurbs of information that I attached to my Weekly Memos that I send out each week. At the bottom of the news for the week in the memo, I include a section entitled “Thought for the Week”, and I look for current research to share with staff. In this way, some of the ideas in the book were able to reach an even larger audience.
This particular book is being offered again in a District Book Club format for the 2018-19 school year. I highly recommend it to all educators as it is one of those books that is applicable across grade levels and across the curriculum.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the fabulous food that is catered for the participants each meeting! Where else can you sit down for a delicious dinner and stimulating conversation for an hour and a half six times a year??!!
I leave you with a quote that Barb shared on our last evening…”Success doesn’t depend on the size of our brains….it depends on the size of our thoughts.”
Creating Cultures of Thinking Book Club – My Journey
Read a participant reflection on this year's book club to inspire you to consider joining in the fall!
Thank You Iris Trask
Marysville students learning about the best medium to plant Lavender!
The grade 3 students at Lindsay Park Elementary school were eager to teach family and friends about scientific inquiry and process at their Science Fair on June 1st! The grade 3 students from Marysville Elementary came up to celebrate all of their learning together in an exciting morning of science!
Do sunflowers like sugar water, this experiment showed us they certainly do!!
Lindsay Park Science Fair
Who needs a grocery store when you can grow your own salad!!
Some of our students were so into their projects, they even got t-shirts made to match!
Thank You Ana Pakenham
The potatoes in the box looked more like rhubarb than they did potatoes! No light does weird things to your plants!!
A gym full of budding scientists!
Collaborative Grants support inter-school staff learning collaborations. The funds support the "getting together" for this work-embedded professional development:
release time and travel to visit each other's classrooms, and co-teach,
meals to fuel planning and reflecting meetings outside of sthe school day.
The District Staff Development Committee was pleased to support the following projects in 2017-2018 with the SD 6 $20,000 collaborative grant fund:
The Leader in Me Year Four
Student Led Conferences as Reporting
Foundational Literacy in the Kindergarten Classroom
McKim LP Creating thinking classrooms
EEPSA Chapter Coyote Mentoring
Take Me Outside Day – Kimberley Zone Collaboration
WILD Lindsay Park & Marysville
Library Resource Management and Literacy Skill and Strategy Building at the Elementary Level
A Focus on Secondary Literacy Capacity Building for Staff and Students Across the Curriculum
Teacher librarian collaboration in Golden
Beyond These Walls
Thinking Classrooms and intermediate Math
Applied Design Skills and Technology
We asked each of these projects to share the outcomes and their impact on student learning in the May and June Learning Leadership Reports.
Thank You Crystal Scott
Members: Julie Sellars, Wendy Hetherington, Crystal Scott, Katie Granger, Katlen Mehrle, and Shannon Magee
On September 1st, during the Curriculum Implementation Day, participants met to begin reviewing the Sound Connections program and materials. Prior to implementation, the teachers assessed their students’ oral language using the Oral Language Rubric and the speech-language pathologist completed screenings. Teachers then implemented the Sound Connections program and gathered new resources/activities that supplemented the program in line with the research. Participants met throughout the school year to share the effectiveness of the attempted strategies/activities and had the opportunity to discuss how these could be modified to more effectively meet the needs of our learners. Re-assessment using the Kindergarten Oral Language Rubric continued throughout the school year occurring again in January and May to monitor progress. The project culminated in a final meeting where participants share their reflections including adding an end of year narrative assessment with the speech-language pathologist, the value of continuums in regards to informing our teaching practices throughout the year, and the need for further opportunities for SMART learning workshops for teachers new to our district.
Foundational Literacy Collaborative Grant #3
This year we took to the streets in our “Beyond These Walls” collaborative grant which hit the three pillars of place based education: Increasing student engagement, boosting academic outcomes and impacting communities. Edgewater Elementary Grade 3/4 (Steve Bush) and J.A. Laird Elementary 4/5/6 (Meriel Fletcher and Cori Wiliksy), joined forces to learn about our local community through a historical lens. By collaborating with local community experts, JD Jeffery at the Windermere Valley Museum, Aboriginal Education Support Workers, Dorothy Warbrick and Deb Murray and Pauline Eugene from the Shuswap band, we were able to create authentic learning experiences within our community.
Exploring our local communities through technology and maps:
We began the unit by allowing the students to orient themselves in the local environment through Google Earth and local tourism maps, and by identifying and locating significant places within the community. To deepen the connections locally, they were given the opportunity to share places of personal significance in our community by locating, describing and justifying their importance.
Windermere & Invermere Walking Tours (available at the Windermere Valley Museum):
Students were given a location to research and the “then” pictures of various historical spots, asked to research, locate and present their spot on the tour to the group. The students actively took on the role of “tour guides” and shared the important information pertaining to their location. It ignited their interest, leadership, speaking and active listening skills.
BEYOND THESE WALLS: Collaborative Grant #13
Have you been “Beyond Your Walls”? Our environment is rich in experience, get out there! If you are interested in our unit plan or any of the associated resources, please feel free to get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com). For further reading on place based learning see this article: (http://www.gettingsmart.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/
What-is-Place-Based-Education-and-Why-Does-it-Matter-3.pdf ). This was a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience for all involved, thanks to SD6 for making it possible.
Marble Canyon, Paint Pots, Crooks Meadows Field Trip:
First Nation influence and historical contributions are an important part of our local history. Students were given the opportunity to experience this first hand and learn from our local experts, Dorothy Warbrick and Deb Murray. The Paint Pots are a significant place to First Nations in our area, as they were an important part of communication and storytelling in history. Prior learning and a visit to some local pictographs also tied into our experience. Dorothy Warbrick shared a tobacco ceremony, demonstrating our gratitude and respect and giving tribute to our land and the abundance that it provides. Deb Murray led the students through a highly engaging and heart felt activity where students were able to paint a personally significant pictograph with the natural ochre.
Thank You Meriel Fletcher
Library Resource Management and Literacy Skill and Strategy Building at the Elementary Level: Collaborative Grant #8
Collaborative Grant Project 2018 by Amber Nielsen (McKim), Lindsay Rice (Lindsay Park), and Shihgee Yu (Marysville)
This year the teacher librarians from the Kimberley Zone met twice to connect and collaborate. We spent time learning about and discussing the various roles the teacher librarian plays in the school, as well as working to foster literacy skills in our schools.
We found collectively from our experience that transforming the physical space of the library has increased the love of reading in our schools. For example, we found that creating easier access to popular series has been beneficial in allowing students to find books that appeal to them. Also, just having a space that is comfortable and inviting to students to settle with a book and read has made for a most positive reading environment. After visiting the library at McKim and seeing the huge renovation that was undertaken there a few years ago, Lindsay Park and Marysville were inspired to transform their own spaces to creative a more conducive, user-friendly reading space. We all found that providing things like comfortable seating, movable shelving, inviting floor space (cushions and carpet squares) as well as organization of popular titles has been effective. Decorating wall space with inspirational literary quotes and displaying student work and class projects has also been a great way to showcase the library, ‘the heart of the school.’
In addition, we all felt that collaborating with staff has now become a main role of the teacher-librarian in our schools, a shift from the traditional role of the librarian as solely one who conducts book exchanges and reads stories. While this still remains an important part of the librarian’s role, we have found that our role has become multi-faceted, providing curriculum support, digital literacy, reading strategy coaching, as well as fostering a love of reading.
Furthermore, our goals for the next year include working on developing individual school library websites. We would like to collaborate with Drew Wetmore at Selkirk to learn how we can incorporate and build user friendly digital literacy resources for our staff and students, as well as the school community, creating stronger home connections. Also, we all agreed that establishing stronger ties with our Kimberley Public Library, as well as with CBAL to work at planning school and community reading events.
We really appreciated the opportunity given to us to collaborate. We found it empowering and resourceful in terms of helping us redefine this new teacher librarian position and look forward to collaborating again next year.
Miller, D., & Kelley, S. (2013). Reading in the Wild : The Book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com
Leading Learning: Standards of Practice for School Library Learning Commons in Canada 2014, Canadian Library Association. URI:http://apsds.org/wp-content/uploads/Standards-of-Practice
Book Display at Lindsay Park Elementary Library
Grade 3 Memory Quilt at Marysville Elementary library – made by Anna Keiver and Josie Hammond
Quotable Quotes Wall at Marysville Elementary
Moveable Furniture Display at Marysville Elementary Library
Thank You Amber Nielsen
Popular series shelving units at McKim Library.
Reading Area at McKim with lots of moveable comfortable furniture
Reading Powers Wall at McKim
Funds are available to support collaboration across schools for staff development to enhance student learning . The grant can provide release, travel, and food to support the “getting together.”
Project team will share their learning and the evidence of impact on student learning next spring.
Applications for 2018-2019 due September 14.
Click here to download application form.
The District Staff Development Committee is accepting applications for 2018-2019 collaborative grants!
Collaborative Grants support inter-school staff learning collaborations. The funds support the "getting together" for this work embedded professional development:
release time and travel to visit each other's classrooms, and co-teach,
meals to fuel planning and reflecting meetings outside of sthe school day.
5th Annual Think Tank, Imagining the Futures of Small Secondary Schools
We were fortunate to participate in the 5th Annual Rural Schools Think Tank last month. Hosted at UBCO, it was two days full of learning, design thinking and problem solving for small secondary schools in BC. This year’s case study was Pemberton Secondary, a high school with approximately 250 students in close proximity to Whistler (30 minute drive). Both schools offer academies. Because of the specifics of the academies, the nature of the communities and other contributing factors, Pemberton Secondary’s enrollment has declined. They brought their question of “how can we make Pemberton Secondary the community’s “school of choice”? We want grade 8 and 9 to be so valuable that the students want to stay for grades 10 through 12.”
Through a process of design thinking we explored their initial question and tried to help them to determine what was helping and hindering their rebranding process. The conversation was rich and focused on creating a learning environment that would be unparalleled. On the second day of work, we collectively worked with the team from Pemberton to rip apart and rebuild answers to their reworked big questions moving forward in their redesign. There was space for innovation and creativity. It was a collaborative team of educators ranging from people working for the Ministry to those in universities, district offices, school leaders and classroom teachers. Simply put, it was powerful and some of the best networking and collaboration that I have experienced in my career.
We also received updates on the four previous years’ Think Tank schools to see how their revisioning played out in their contexts. All four schools have varied challenges and have adapted to meet the needs of their student population and their communities in an effort to provide the best education to our rural students. This has largely involved upending the timetable, creating cohorts, offering specialized programming and blending classes. Learning about the evolution of their processes was honouring.
Finally, the addition of hearing from 4 people in the educational field was of great value. Sabre Cherkowski shared her research on teacher wellbeing (book out this month) and challenged us with this question: “How are you crafting your day in a way that ensures what is meaningful and what matters to you happens?”; Freshgrade’s developer Steve Wandler spoke passionately about the value of constant feedback for learning through portfolio communication (Here's a question for you: Would you continue to do the same job if 4 times a year you were told you suck at what you do? Probably not.); Denise Augustine emphasized the importance of knowing our kids, asking “If we know that relationships, for vulnerable learners, are hard, I wonder why we have so many teachers assigned to these kids in high schools” ; and Pat Duncan provided a Ministry of Education “where are we at and where are we heading” overview reminding us to “take a hard look at what we really believe and challenge our own thinking.”
Educators from all three SD 6 secondary schools, Angela Stott, Trish Phillips, and Meg Baker, particpated in the Think Tank
Meg Baker has created a presentation to capture her learning from the Think Tank. Click to download.
Thank You Angela Stott
Thank You Meg Baker
"Reading and writing (and numeracy) should be the floor, not the ceiling." - Jill Jensen
"It’s not the tool that you use but that you ARE communicating the teaching and learning in your school" - Jen Quigley
The Rocky Mountain School District Admin Team joined colleagues from the other Kootenay-Boundary School Districts on May 15/16 to participate in a regional Leadership Forum hosted by Kootenay lake School District No. 8. This was a fantastic opportunity to connect with our KB colleagues and learn from presenter George Couros, author of The Innovator's Mindset.
One of George Couros' messages was the importance of leaders being transparent about and communiticating their learning. In that spirit we asked all of our team members to share a take-away or big idea from the session that they will apply in their work:
SD 6 Team Participates in Regional Leadership Forum
"An important gem that I took away from our session with George Couros is that while challenging ourselves to innovate, we need to create equity of opportunity for students at the highest level possible." - Paul Carriere
"A key takeaway for me was the distinction between innovation and technology. Innovation is a new way of thinking and approaching problems whereas technology is a tool to support our work. Implementing new technology without changing how we think results in computers turning into $1000 pencils without true student engagement. An innovators mindset allows us to transform technology into tools that engage and empower our students." -Sean Cameron
"George Couros is a provocative speaker; many points of his presentation continue to resonate for me. On the drive home and well into the next day, I have thought about myself as an educator and a leader. I have put my practice under scrutiny through the lens created with the following three comments I captured from George on our day together. They are words with the power to incite innovation. " - Darren Danyluk
"My immediate plan to encourage professional growth is to send images or videos of innovative teaching in our school to all other teachers in the school." - Glen Sage
"1. Hitting even a small deer will deploy all the airbags in one’s car and generally ruin one’s day.
2. Innovation and the core competencies are tightly linked for us in BC – specifically thinking creatively and communicating in a digital world. More and more tech is great, but the perspectives about how we understand tech as a vehicle for augmented innovation have to match the growth of tech infrastructure.
3. As educators with varying styles, we all need to reflect and ask provocative question about our practice. Would I be empowered by the learning if I were a student in my class? Would I want my own child in any class in the school? Why do I continue to do X? Is X best for learners?
4. Cultural change can happen quickly. " - Steve Wyer
"Teachers: Cast your minds back to the long ago (or not so long ago) and think about Bloom’s Taxonomy. Whether we learned from the original 1956 version or the 2001 revised one, we’ve all learned about learning as a progression from recalling basic facts to creating knowledge. A few wonders I’ve taken away from a day with George Couros are: Where does Bloom fit into a Google world? If you can easily use Google to answer a question, and then quickly understand that answer, what does that say about the learning we’ve accomplished in terms of its position on Bloom’s hierarchy? How much time do we, and should we, devote to learning intentions that are easily Google-able?" - Bob Wilson
"Although within a given context it may only be semantics, I liked the phrase 'evidence informed, learner driven' as opposed to 'data driven'. Also, that there is no one ‘best practice’ for everyone." - Mark Koebel
"Reflection on Pro-D Session: Paradigm shift in the way we look at digital literacy and our teaching practices in our school. How innovative are we being in our classrooms? Should we be looking at personal devices within our elementary setting and learning environment? Does the pro-d we participate in impact learning and student opportunity? How do we share within our staff and district to continue to grow and evolve in our ever-changing world?
Some quotes/thoughts that resonated with me –
- We need to make the positives so loud, that the negatives are almost impossible to hear
- ‘Innovate inside of the box’ – somewhere someone is doing what you say you can’t
- Don’t be a school culture of “don’t” but rather of “do”
- UBER impact on transportation… is a drastic change like UBER coming to education?
Further note - Great to get away and collaborate, network and develop relationships with colleagues. " - Darryl Turner
"A statement George made that resonated loudly with me was that every one of our classrooms has to be a fantastic place for students to be and learn, an environment that we would all be happy to have our own children spend a year of their lives in. I will apply that criteria and purpose to the staff development efforts led by the District, working with principals and teachers to identify the highest priority areas for growth that we can support." -Cheryl Lenardon
"My takeaway was the reminder about how crucial relationships and connections with students, parents, and our learning community are in the success of our students. He put up the quote about students needing ‘one connection’ (which we also hear about at VTRA training) and then spoke about how students deserve more than one special educator that students remember. I couldn’t agree more and that is why I love the question about how many adults do you think care about you on the Ministry’s Student Learning survey. I also connected this relationship piece to his discussion about ‘school’ teachers vs ‘classroom’ teachers and really want to remind all staff of their importance they play in our school, not just their classroom." - Crystal MacLeod
"'If we want meaningful change, we have to make a connection to the heart before we can make connection to the mind' #innovatorsmindset
Our current District Direction states that our students and staff feel safe, connected, and valued. George's presentation reaffirmed our District Directions and the priority of building relationship that are based on respect, trust, and a belief in others potential will make a difference in how our system functions and in how our staff and students grow and develop. 'Without culture, there is not culture of innovation'". - Jennifer Turner
"To move beyond engagement to empowerment by providing students the opportunities to learn in innovative ways and to work on moving towards a culture of innovation from pockets of innovation by role modeling innovative strategies as administrators (eg. Staff Meetings etc…) and by providing teachers with increased opportunities to share the work they are doing in this area." - Clint Dolgopol
"Provide opportunities that empower individuals to own their learning.
To develop a culture where learning is student driven and pushes the boundary of the classroom.
Schools need to be a space where learners gather." - Greg Thygesen
We hope some of our reflections stimulate or challenge your thinking as you consider what is important about teaching and learning and where you will push your practice to next. You can check a copy of George Couros' Innovations Mindset out of the District Resource Centre. (DRC)
"Taking the time post/tweet the learning that is taking place in your school is one step toward creating the narrative of your school and a positive digital footprint.
“Stories can become the fuel to innovation in Education.” (Innovator’s Mindset)" - Lisa Tenta
"4 non-negotiables of school:
1. Welcoming and warm environment
2. Develop students as good people and learners
3. Model the same learning we expect
4. Stoke curiosity not extinguish it"
"The session with George was refreshing in many ways. He discussed how educators should continue to be innovators within their pedagogical practice and how using a growth mindset encourages continual growth in the profession. What was most refreshing about George’s presentation style was his ability to stir the educational think-tank. He was challenging and at some points, provocative. Though I still question a few things he shared I believe, in the end, that was his intent: to get us talking about some challenging expectations/demands/questions in education and how we can best serve our learners.
My two biggest takeaways from the session with George was his advocacy to think progressively and outside the box, and to always remember the relational part of our work. Students need to know that we care about them and we need to demonstrate this (in the many ways educators do!) every single day. In doing these two things, we can reach new heights of engagement and empower our students to become stronger life-long learners." - Joseph Baron
Rocky Mountain School District No. 6
OPERATIONS STAFF LEARNING SESSIONS: Ops Administration will contact you in the coming weeks about your sessions!
Transportation will be provided from Golden and Kimberley
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
8:15 am Registration and Reconnecting with colleagues
9:00 am Welcome Back Assembly (Greetings from staff group representatives, introduction of new staff, Superintendent’s presentation)
10:30 am Refreshment break
10:45 am Learning Sessions
12:00-1:00 pm Barbecue Lunch for all staff, guests, and presenters
1:00-3:00 pm Learning Sessions continue from morning
David Thompson Secondary School, Invermere
District Day 2018
EDUCATION STAFF LEARNING SESSIONS: Check out the fantastic opportunities to kick-start your year with timely professional development selected to enhance evidence-based approaches to the following current educational priorities: curriculum implementation, Indigenous learning, and sexual orientation and gender identity .
SEE SESSIONS REGISTER
We look forward to welcoming everyone to the 2018-2019 school year!
Technology Department Book Club: Innovators Mindset
Our learning is
empowered by technology
Thank You Sean Cameron
The Technology Department is connecting our learning with the George Couros Professional Development initiative that school admin took part in May 15-16th. The district purchased copies of the Innovators Mindset for members of the technology department and they are taking part in a book club discussing aspects of the book and exploring how the ideas within the book can support our work.
The conversations do not focus on technology, but rather understanding how the innovators mindset can be applied in the classroom.
We will be expanding the conversation beyond just the technology department creating an online discussion forum within the district portal to connect with staff members throughout School District 6. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in taking part in this conversation.
Aboriginal Education Support Workers Use Technology to Support Evidence-based Practice
Aboriginal Education Support Workers review and update the targets for this Spring working directly in MyEducation BC.
The Aboriginal Education Support Workers in SD 6 have been using both MyEducation BC and the District SharePoint platform to gather valuable student information this year. They used the student portal to create a student self-assessment asking a variety of questions looking at Aboriginal connectedness and social emotional well-being. Staff also used MyEducation BC to set Fall and Spring targets for Aboriginal Cultural and Physical participation. They are using a shared calendar in the portal to record Aboriginal education events and school presentations.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 6
on the activities of the Board of Education from the most recent Regular Meeting
Our communication results in common understanding
Angela Stott, Vice-Principal at Golden Senior Secondary School and 3 students from her English 11 class presented the Board with an overview of “Reel Canada”, which helps teachers and students across Canada organize festivals of Canadian film in their schools, and integrate learning about Canadian film into the classroom. The students shared their experiences from watching several films, and Ms. Stott noted how the GSS students were recognized for their exemplary writing.
STRATEGIC AND POLICY ISSUES
The Board approved third and final reading of Policy 6190 – Information and Technology Management. These proposed amendments are to bring our District Policy up to date, and included a further amendment before third reading noting that the Board supports the development of digital citizenship and digital literacy.
The Board approved third and final reading of Policy 3000 – Budget Development, Monitoring and Reporting and Policy 3010 – Accumulated Operating Surplus. There was an Auditor General’s Report last year with some clear recommendations for School District Financial practice. The Ministry has directed School Districts to have a Budget Policy and Accumulated Operating Surplus Policy in place by June 30, 2018. Our District has had well defined practice in this area, but not a formal policy. There had been no input received between second and third reading.
The Board approved all three readings of the amendment to Policy 3800 – Expenses on School Board Business, which increased the travel reimbursement amount from $0.53 to $0.54 per km. The reason for this increase is that the RMTA – SD6 Collective agreement had a bargained increase to this rate effective May 1, 2018 and the Policy Committee recommended to the Board that the rates be harmonized.
Mr. Culler reported on the April 2018 Budget Utilization Summary.
The Board approved the schedule of School Fees for 2018-2019 school year.
The Board approved the donation of an out-of-service school bus to the Kimberley Fire Department. The bus will be used for training purposes.
The Board approved first reading of the Trustee Election By-law and appointed the election officers for the 2018 General Local Election.
Learning Leadership Report – The Learning Leadership Report is available on the SD6 website main page.
BC School Trustees Association – Trustee Smith provided the Board with an overview of the BCSTA AGM held April 26-28. Gordon Swan (SD 58) has been re-elected as President and Stephanie Higginson (SD68) as Vice President. Further information is available on the BCSTA Website. Trustees Smaill and Smith were recognized at the AGM as lifetime members of the Association. Trustee Smaill, who attended the AGM, commented that a highlight for her was the presentation made by Mike Downey, regarding his late brother Gord Downey’s album and book “Secret Path” which tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12 year old boy who escaped from an Ontario Residential School in 1966 and died while trying to return home.
BC School Trustees Association Kootenay – Boundary Branch – Chairperson Byklum reported on the breakfast meeting that was held by the Kootenay Boundary Branch at the BCSTA AGM in April.
Public School Employers Association – Trustee Campbell provided his report to the Board, advising that the former governance structure of BCPSEA has been restored.
The May and June 2018 calendar was circulated.
Find Your Fit School Tours
WorkBC‘s Find Your Fit tour is an interactive event that helps Grades 5-10 students discover a variety of BC careers and get some fun, hands-on experience. Sign up here if you‘d like the tour to visit your school in the fall.
BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation Programs & Resources
Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation is “working with educators to bring BC’s agriculture to our students”. The Foundation builds programs and develops resources that are linked to the BC curriculum. The GROWING programs are available to all schools. For more information, please contact BC Agriculture in the Classroom directly via email at email@example.com.
Premier's Award of Excellence:
Nominate a deserving B.C. education professional today
Nominations close June 30, 2018, for the new Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education, honouring the dedication of British Columbia’s highly skilled and innovative teachers, administrators, principals, vice-principals and support staff.
The inaugural awards program was launched April 23, 2018, during B.C.'s Education Week (April 23-27, 2018). It is an opportunity to recognize the contributions of education professionals who go above and beyond to make life better for students in British Columbia.
The Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education will honour the achievements of education professionals working in public, independent, First Nations and offshore schools.
Nine awards are available:
Teacher award categories include: community engagement, outstanding new teacher, technology and innovation, diversity and inclusion, Indigenous education, social equity and extracurricular leadership.
A school and district leadership award is open to principals, vice-principals and administrators.
An outstanding support award is open to support staff (including bus drivers, crossing guards, student supervisors, education assistants, Indigenous support workers, custodians, maintenance workers and those completing clerical functions).
Shortlisted nominees will be announced in late August 2018. Finalists will be invited to an awards ceremony at Government House in Victoria on World Teachers’ Day, Oct. 5, 2018, with Premier John Horgan and Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, in attendance.
Winners will receive a $3,000 personal bursary for professional learning, and a $2,000 contribution to their school community for professional learning.
To nominate an education professional, go to: www.gov.bc.ca/excellenceineducation
Rocky Mountain School District Learning Leadership Calendar 2016-2017
Jun 5- WZ admin meeting and School Plans for Student Success Celebrations
Jun 6 - GZ admin meeting and School Plans for Student Success Celebrations
Jun 7 - KZ admin meeting and School Plans for Student Success Celebrations
Jun 8 -KZ Retirement & Service Recognition 4-6pm
Jun 9 - GZ Retirement & Service Recognition 5-7pm
Jun 11-Jun 29 - UBC Community Field Experience Elementary cohort
Jun 12 - Board Meeting
Jun 14- WZ Retirement & Service Recognition 6-8pm
Jun 28 - Last Day for students; Report cards issued
Jun 29 - Admin Day
July 1 - Canada Day
Aug 6 -BC Holiday
Aug 29 - District Day for all staff focused on evidence-based approaches to a number of current topics in education
Aug 30 - NID for Discussion and activities for evidence-based Curriculum Implementation
Aug 31- NID for school-based Professional Development co-planned by staff and admin
Sep 3 - Labour Day
Sep 4 - First Day for students
Rocky Mountain School District is a busy place.
We do many things in threes by zones, we all travel for events held in one zone or another, and we also connect for some things by video conference.
We will care deeply, act wisely, and find joy in each day!
See our one page calendar of instructional and non-instructional days and holidays:
School District 2017-2018 Calendar PDF
School District 2018-2019 Calendar PDF
School District 2019-2020 Calendar PDF
See our online calendar of events by month: School District 6 online calendar of events