Framework for Enhanced Student Learning

 

Framework for Enhanced Student Learning

 

Annual Report on Learning – Submitted September 2021

 

The Board is committed to ongoing improvement, transparency, and to evidence-based decision-making. This plan guides our decisions and the actions of staff in support of student success now and in the future.

The School District 22 (Vernon) Board of Education’s mandate supports our strategic goals  as follows:

  1. Provide access to personalized learning opportunities for each student.
  2. Improve the physical, mental, and social well-being of all students.
  3. Support the development of all School District 22 (Vernon) employees.
  4. Enhance communication and engagement among all members of the learning community
  5. Pursue best practices in governance, management, and service delivery throughout the organization.

 

 

District Context

Geographically located in south-central British Columbia, School District 22 (Vernon) serves the communities of Vernon, Coldstream, Lavington, Lumby, and Cherryville, providing excellent educational services to a diverse group of students. The area is home to members of the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB), Metis, Inuit, and Off-Reserve First Nations students. We welcome a growing immigrant and refugee population as part of the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Program and host our own cadre of approximately 220 international students annually. We offer a wide variety of educational programs including but not limited to French Immersion, Distributed Learning Courses, opportunities for Trades Training and Secondary Apprenticeships, school and district-based alternative programs, as well as, numerous sports and specialty Academies. The district employs 1073 staff and operates on a budget of $108 million.  Our mission is to inspire and develop lifelong learners who can communicate, think creatively, problem-solve, collaborate, and understand their personal and social responsibilities.

We are a diverse community of learners, all of whom can attest, this is a “great place to learn”:

  • 8700 students
  • 19 schools – 14 elementary, 5 secondary, 1 online learning school (vLearn), & 1 alternate program
  • 7 Board of Education Trustees

Staff (as of Sept. 30, 2020):

  • 594 teachers (Continuing Contract)
  • 420 support staff
  • 59 senior staff, principals and vice-principals, and union-exempt staff

Coherence and Alignment

 

The Board of Education develops and maintains a Strategic Plan for the school district. The plan outlines guiding principles and goals for the school district and sets a clear vision for our education system.  School District 22 (Vernon) aligns with the following:

  • The BC Statement of Education Policy Order;
  • The BC Policy for Student Success; the purpose of the British Columbia school system which is to: enable learners to develop their individual potential and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to contribute to a healthy society and a prosperous and sustainable economy. To achieve this, we have a collective mandate to develop the “educated citizen” through their intellectual, human, and social, and career development.

All Provincial Legislation, priorities, and policy direction including, but not limited to:

The Board of Education at School District 22 (Vernon) is 100% committed to the:

With all other areas of the district supporting:

The School District 22 (Vernon) Board of Education is accountable for the quality and equity of the educational programs in the district and expects all employees, in turn, to be accountable for the same. We are all responsible to ensure student achievement.

All School District 22 staff have a leadership role to play in improving student learning, including developing and implementing aligned Service Plans.

School Learning Plans, as per Section (2)8.3 of the School Act, with goals, data, strategies, structures, a professional learning plan, and plan for reflective practice will be created and maintained at each school. All school plans are to maintain alignment between provincial, district, school, and classroom education goals and objectives.

All other departments within the school district will also create and maintain aligned Service Plans.

The School Learning Plans, and the various department Service Plans, will be used as the annual action plans within the Board Strategic Plan to enhance student learning.

The Board will make the School District 22 (Vernon) Strategic Plan, Framework for Enhanced Student Learning, Ministry of Education data, and aligned School Learning Plans available to all on the district website.

 

Strategic Engagement

 

In the creation of this Framework for Enhancing Student Learning (FESL) we collaborate throughout the year with many of the above and the following: Vernon Teachers’ Association (VTA), CUPE 5523, our Vernon Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association (VPVPA), our District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC), our school Parent Advisory Councils (PACs), and various members of our exempt staff.

We continue to engage Indigenous communities including, but not limited to: members of the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB), the North Okanagan Friendship Centre Society, the Vernon & District Métis Association, and other members of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples from across Turtle Island.​

The First Peoples Principles of Learning is integrated into the provincial K-12 curriculum and is central to Aboriginal Education. We have 22 Aboriginal Support Workers (ASWs), 3 Lead Teachers, 1 Literacy Intervention Teacher, a Secretary, and a Director of Aboriginal Programs that help provide additional Aboriginal support to regular activities in the School District. This last school year our Department served over 1200 Aboriginal students (anyone who declared themselves Aboriginal – they didn’t need to produce membership cards as proof of ancestry).

Our Aboriginal Education department is dedicated to equity and enhancing Aboriginal student success.  Aboriginal Support Workers (ASWs) will continue to work one-to-one and in group situations with Aboriginal students, providing cultural, emotional, social, spiritual, and educational support to help those students towards success at all levels.

Aboriginal student success is a shared responsibility. Our partners in this are teachers, administrators, support staff, and all other employees in the School District. We cannot achieve success without such partners, nor can Aboriginal student success happen without the contributions of our Aboriginal community partners.

Focus

School District 22 (Vernon) has developed 5 strategic goals and can be found in the District Strategic Plan – Vision 2022. The 5 strategic goals are as follows:

1. Provide access to personalized learning opportunities for each student.

  • Provide engaging, personalized learning opportunities to encourage academic excellence
  • Ensure the equitable use of available resources to meet the needs of each student
  • Identify and support students and families who face significant barriers
  • Provide developmentally appropriate ways for students to own their learning

2. Improve the physical, mental, and social well-being of all students.

  • Work with the community to help develop equitable and sustainable food programs
  • Support appropriate screening, referral, and transition processes
  • Enhance mental health and wellness services
  • Support the competent, safe, and ethical use of the internet and other technology
  • Co-ordinate and strengthen social and community supports for students and their families

3. Support the development of all School District 22 (Vernon) employees.

  • Provide professional development and collaborative opportunities for employees to work toward full implementation of the new curriculum
  • Provide more opportunities for employees to enhance their knowledge, skills, and understanding
  • Work toward hiring and retention practices that create more stability and consistency for employees
  • Create supportive, collegial, and professional working environments
  • Enhance mental health and wellness services for employees

4. Enhance communication and engagement among all members of the learning community.

  • Increase engagement with students, employees, and parents, at both the school and district levels
  • Increase the knowledge, respect, and understanding of the cultures and traditions of the Okanagan and all Aboriginal peoples, for all members of the learning community
  • Develop stronger connections with the broader community – volunteers, community mentors, employers, and other educational institutions and resources

5. Pursue best practices in governance, management, and service delivery throughout the organization.

  • Practice reasonable governance
  • Review and revise the Strategic Plan annually
  • Review and revise the Technology Plan and Facilities Plan annually
  • Make most effective use of the School District 22 (Vernon) resources through sound budgeting fiscal responsibility, innovative initiatives, and advocating for appropriate funding
  • Employ effective HR practices that enhance communication, trust, and respect

School District 22 (Vernon) is aware of the Ministry of Education’s desire for multi-year strategic plans with a specific focus on the success and outcomes for: our Aboriginal students, youth that require inclusion support, and our Children in Care, as well as improved Grad Completion rates.   The District is developing and implementing a new strategic plan in the coming year for 2022-2027 that will address these focuses, and align all departments across the district, with learning leading the way.

Aboriginal Education

Since 2019, the Director of Aboriginal Learning has annually reviewed the current year progress of the School District 22 (Vernon) Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement, 2015-2020 (AEEA 2015-2020) with the School District 22 (Vernon) Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee (AEAC). The AEAC is composed of School District 22 (Vernon) staff (the Superintendent, the Director of Indigenous Learning, and a Vernon Teachers Association representative), as well as representatives from local Aboriginal communities (Okanagan Indian Band, North Okanagan Friendship Center Society and the Vernon & District Metis Association). In Spring 2020, the Director of Aboriginal Learning shared the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement, Year 5 Report (AEEA Year 5 Report) with the AEAC.

Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement

The AEEA, 2015-2020 focuses on four goals supporting the vision that all Aboriginal learners will graduate with pride, purpose and prepared for the future:The AEEA Year 5 Report was developed using data from the Ministry of Education’s How Are We Doing? Report, 2018/19 (HAWD? Report, 2018/19). Data was also gathered from survey responses from School District 22 Vernon teachers, administrators, and Indigenous Education Department staff.

  1. Increase Aboriginal student success through communication and understanding of the EA in School District 22 Vernon.
  2. Increase the knowledge and understanding of the culture and traditions of the Okanagan Syilx people and all Aboriginal peoples for all students, parents, community members, and School District 22 Vernon employees.
  3. Aboriginal students will believe in themselves and be proud of their Aboriginal heritage and identity.
  4. Aboriginal students will have a strong vision of who they want to be.

Although a working group created the document “A Preliminary Report Summarizing the Setting of Measurable Activities for the AEEA, 2015-2020” in 2016, it should be noted that Objectives and Indicators for Success were not explicitly established during the 2015-2020 school years. As result, the Community Recommendations outlined in the AEEA, 2015-2020 are used as setting expectations for achieving each of the goals of the AEEA, 2015-2020.

How Are We Doing? Report

The Ministry of Education’s How Are We Doing? Report, 2018/2019 shows an increase in the six-year Dogwood completion rates to 76%, which is above the provincial Indigenous student average of 69%.  As well, there has been a general improvement in performance on Literacy and Numeracy assessments (Grade 4 and Grade 7 FSA results) and grade to grade transition rates. We must celebrate these improvements, as they are important indicators of future successes; however, we must also recognize that despite progress, there remains a significant gap between Aboriginal learners and their non-Aboriginal peers. Going forward, there is a need to provide targeted support for Aboriginal students needing literacy intervention supports at the primary and intermediate levels, as well as specific interventions in place to monitor Aboriginal student graduation track, with a particular focus on Grade 11 Aboriginal boys.

While there have been improvements in academic outcomes, it is concerning that fewer Aboriginal students in our District report feeling safe and welcome in our schools in comparison to their non-Aboriginal peers. Ministry of Education’s Student Learning Survey, 2018/2019 results make it clear that our schools need to focus efforts in this area. Progress in literacy, numeracy, academic achievement, and attendance, extra-curricular participation activities will likely not make significant gains until Aboriginal students can report they feel a sense of belonging and safety in our schools at the same rate as non-Aboriginal students. Further efforts are needed to ensure that Indigenous students see themselves reflected in the learning environment to encourage greater feelings of welcome, belonging and safety. Going forward, the Aboriginal Education Department will continue to offer Cultural Safety training for School District 22 (Vernon) staff, as this could include working with Aboriginal knowledge keepers and Indigenizing learning spaces with Indigenous language and art.

First Peoples Principles of Learning

The inclusion of Aboriginal knowledge and First Peoples Principles of Learning is also important to working toward the AEEA, 2015-2020 goals and increasing the sense of safety and belonging for Aboriginal students.  Examples shared by School District 22 (Vernon) staff in the AEEA Staff Surveys 2020, as well as the student responses in the Student Learning Survey, 2019-2020 indicate an increased effort by school-based staff to integrate Aboriginal knowledge and perspectives into classroom learning.  The AEEA Staff Survey 2020 responses suggest that the main support needed for staff to continue increasing the integration of Aboriginal knowledge and perspectives into classroom learning is through 1.) Increasing staff personal knowledge of Aboriginal peoples and cultures through professional learning opportunities; and 2.) Increasing access to recommended resources and lessons related to Aboriginal topics. To address this need, the Aboriginal Education department will purchase current and appropriate resources on Aboriginal Education topics and will make available in the School District 22 (Vernon) District Resource Center (DRC) as well as an online Aboriginal Education Resource portal. In addition, The Aboriginal Education Department will create a monthly newsletter for staff with information and resources related to Aboriginal Education. The Aboriginal Education department will continue to collaborate with the Curriculum Department to offer professional learning opportunities for increasing knowledge of Aboriginal peoples for all staff.

The AEEA, 2015-2020 was intended to be a “living document” and continually seek input from all partners.  While the school district and the Aboriginal Education Department have always been committed to ongoing and respectful dialogue with Aboriginal community partners, we acknowledge that the student and parent voice is missing from the AEEA Year 5 report.  While the planned AEEA Surveys for Aboriginal Students and Aboriginal Parents did not continue as planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 and subsequent concern with overwhelming families with communication from schools, it remains essential to hear from students and parents to identify how our schools can improve the learning experience of Aboriginal students.  Going forward, it is especially important to hear from the students themselves to discover how our district can make changes to current practice so that Indigenous students experience success.  Aboriginal students and families should be invited to participate in surveys, focus groups, and interviews to discover existing supports as well as possible barriers.  Other opportunities to hear the Aboriginal student and parent voice should be explored and could include having an Aboriginal student representative on the AEAC, as well as creating Aboriginal Student Councils and Aboriginal Parent Groups.

While we recognize the important gains made from 2015-2020, all Aboriginal community partners share common concerns regarding the systemic and structural barriers facing Indigenous learners within our District.  It is hoped that the AEEA Year 5 Report findings and our district’s participation in the Ministry of Education’s Equity in Action Project in 2020/21 will help us move forward in our journey of working towards equity, and the flexible and dynamic goals that will meet the needs, strengths, and aspirations of each Aboriginal student.

STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES – INCLUSIVE EDUCATION

Child and Youth in Care and Supporting our Vulnerable Students

School District 22 (Vernon) has developed key programs and strategies to support our youth
in care and the population of students that would be considered vulnerable.

Strategies

  • The addition of a Mental Health and Health Promoting Schools Liaison to streamline mental health services, responsible for supporting and expanding mental health education and services offered throughout the wider school community
  • Employing a variety of specialized staff including Behaviour Specialists and School Counsellors to support School-Based Teams and vulnerable students and families
  • Continued contracts with Interior Health and Child Youth Mental Health to work collaboratively with student referrals and supports
  • Strengthening of relationships with mental health service providers to increase the capacity for School District staff to respond in a helpful way to support mental health and wellbeing
  • Expansion of the Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators (EASE) Program, providing strategies to K-3 educators and Grades 4-7 through a series of workshops facilitated by a District Behaviour Specialist
  • Implementing the Trauma-Informed Schools Initiative, using the ARC framework alongside Trauma-Informed Practice Professional Development Sessions offered by District Behaviour Specialists and outside partners
  • Coordination of Substance Abuse Services by our School District 22 District Drug and Alcohol Counsellor. Including the delivery of the Preventure and Habit Program to take a proactive and evidence-based approach in coping with anxiety, negative thinking, peer pressure and substance usage. Delivery of the Axis Program, an after-school substance-use program jointly developed by School District 22 (Vernon) and the AXIS intervention services. Collaboration with community-based intervention programs for struggling students requiring substance abuse supports – AXIS Program, SAAM (Substance Abuse Awareness Modules- partnering with our Aboriginal Department), and the Choose to Change Program
  • Increased school counselling supports and a swift adaptation of existing supports to better suit the logistical complications brought on by the pandemic. This included providing mental health and counselling staff with best practices of online mental health service delivery, and improved accessibility to online counselling using booking and video counselling software
  • Expansion of our Safer Schools Crisis Response and Risk Assessment teams and the development of a Risk and Response Safety manual
  • Collaborative efforts with District staff and Counsellors to create a clear outline of what mental health services are being offered by counsellors in School District 22 (Vernon) and to streamline these policies and procedures to best serve students
  • Training for our school Counsellors including Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, Domestic Violence Workshops through Oak Centre and Vicarious Trauma and Building Resilience Training etc

 

In the 2020-21 School Year we aim to employ the following strategies:

  • Continued development of existing strategies
  • Implementation of the Counsellors Manual of Policies and Procedures
  • Development of a three-year plan supporting Trauma Informed Practice
  • The addition of the Everyday Anxiety Strategies Program in our High Schools
Students with Disabilities and Diverse Abilities

Successful inclusion supports the belief that all students should, wherever possible, receive their education in age-appropriate classrooms in their neighbourhood school. The school district, together with parents, determines the support(s) needed for successful inclusion. Inclusion is a continuum of options designed to foster the feelings of belonging, acceptance, independence, and community.

From School District 22 staff this requires:

  • Collaboration between educators, medical professionals, social workers, and other community partners to best provide and implement an effective framework in supporting children and youth. Student Support Services utilizes a team approach of identification and support of students with disabilities and diverse abilities
  • Weekly School-Based Team Meetings scheduled at each school involving key stakeholders
  • Schools holding review meetings of students with disabilities and diverse needs with the Director and Vice-Principal of Student Support Services four times per year
Inclusivity for All Learners

All learners are welcomed and supported through compassionate, professional, and responsive learning environments; safe inclusive and welcoming schools and programs; and voice, choice, and flexibility for all learners.

Strategies: 

  • Significant contributions to professional learning opportunities to ensure that staff have a current pedagogy for working with our students with diverse needs in inclusive settings. (Examples include – initiatives by Sarah Ward to develop staff understanding of Executive Functioning) and (Positive Behaviour Intervention Support systems – proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviours to create positive school environments)
  • The addition of a full-time District Psychologist/Vice Principal of Student Support Services supporting assessment and wrap-around support teams working with students and families to provide multi-specialist expertise in supporting students. Development of a District-Wide system supporting Ministry of Education Special Education Designations and English Language Learners (ELL), and a team approach to meet the Ministry of Education reporting order
  • Implementing specialized District programs and community-based activities to support inclusion in school and community
  • Development of self-regulation tools and strategies to better support student’s emotional needs. The Levels of Intervention support model was created and delivered by our Occupational Therapy Team. It is an inclusive approach that highlights the proper teaching of interventions with consistent and regular implementation
  • Alternate Programs Reviews to ensure Ministry of Education audit compliance (admissions to programs, monitoring of student progress, and developing a model to support inclusion and support of this vulnerable population)

Other measures to support vulnerable learners – utilization of Community LINKS Funding:

  •   The School-Based Outreach Program is a support program for students and their families where home and community are impacting the student’s ability to be successful in school. The organizations that are under contract include: NOYFSS (Vernon and area schools) and Whitevalley (Lumby and Cherryville Schools)
  • Food Equity funds are allocated for food services for vulnerable families.
  • Increased food support to schools throughout COVID—19 to provide support for families facing food insecurity

Future Strategies:

  • Continue to build upon our current key strategies that have been developed over the past two years
  • Continue to update our Student Support Services Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Professional development and focused learning sessions on Differentiated Instruction and utilize the Response to Intervention Model of support
  • Further development of our Connections Programs within each High School.  Our goal is to wrap supports around our vulnerable youth to support transitions, attachment to a caring adult, increased graduation and attendance
  • Increased support and training for our School-Based Teams around best practices to support our vulnerable students and students with diverse needs

Evidence Informed

 

The Ministry of Education provides provincial results annually as per the Framework for Enhanced Student Learning Policy. School District 22 (Vernon) aligns all education decisions based on data. Data are gathered, analyzed, and reported out publicly in both an aggregated and disaggregated manner.

Provincial education measures:

Multiple sources of evidence include relevant locally developed measures:

Literacy Data and Trends 

Early Learning

A Kindergarten Literacy Screener is used to assess students’ early literacy skills.  Kindergarten and Grade 1 teachers and school-based teams use this locally developed formative assessment tool to plan for instruction, specifically targeting phonemic awareness.  We know that early literacy skills develop throughout the primary grades and more work is required to implement the use of this screener tool beyond the kindergarten year.  School District 22 (Vernon) has a locally developed Early Literacy Screener for Kindergarten to Grade 3 that was piloted in the 2015 school year.  However, a decision to focus solely on the Kindergarten screener was made. Data collected at the school level in Kindergarten was passed on to the Grade 1 teachers the following year.  Further exploration of additional tools such as the Early Literacy Screener are needed moving forward to help assess and bring coherence to Early Learning program and instruction.

At the primary Grades 1-3, PM Benchmarks are used as a locally developed measure to understand how students are growing and progressing in reading through an oral reading record tracking their independent reading levels.  Over the course of a 5-year period, much of our data at the Grade 3 level only fluctuates a few percentage points either up or down with on average 68.5% of Grade 3 students demonstrating ‘proficiency’ or reading at grade level district independent reading expectations.

Students in Grade 3 who do not reach the independent PM reading level for Grade 3, are tracked beyond Grade 3.  The PM benchmark assessment tool is continued to be used for these students until they reach a PM level 30 or what is considered a functional literacy level or independent reading level for Grade 5.  Due to the pandemic, teachers were unable to carry out the assessment and the end of year and data was not able to be collected.  The availability of the data analytics program EdPlan Insight will support teachers in using PM Benchmarks as a formative assessment tool throughout the year.

Strategies
With the revised Early Learning Framework launched in 2019, a strong focus on early and ongoing intervention, and the shift in the Ministry to explore early childcare spaces in schools, the district has a renewed focus on Early Learning to support families before they are school aged and to help with smooth transitions into kindergarten and early intervention up to Grade 3.  A district Vice-Principal of Early Learning Position was created to help support this work and assist with the MCFD New Spaces Funding available to create childcare spaces.  School District 22 (Vernon)submitted applications, in partnership with Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, for Early Learning Centres on four school sites.

Literacy Intervention Programming

PM benchmark reading assessment data has been used over the past number of years in School District 22 (Vernon) to support the need and provide evidence for a district literacy intervention program.  This program began in 2016/17 as a Tier 3 intervention with three teachers pulling Grade 1 students who were reading below grade level independent reading levels in a 1:1 model.  The program has grown over the years to now include five teachers providing literacy intervention to Grade 1-3 students in small groups of students who meet the requirements of this intervention.  Although the program has expanded and more students are being provided this intervention, our data indicates that it has not had a significant impact on increasing the number of students reaching their independent reading level by end Grade 3 over the years.  From 2015/16 until 2018/19 the percentage has remained consistent between 67-70%.  This year a different approach was taken focusing specifically on grade 2 students and ensuring that groups of three students were scheduled wherever possible.  Another important factor was students who were exited from the program did not always demonstrate further growth and were then being referred for a second round of literacy intervention.

Strategies 
Moving forward tracking students and supporting Tier 1 and 2 interventions once they have discontinued the program will be crucial to ensure they continue to grow their literacy skills in the classroom setting.

Foundation Skills Assessment

In School District 22 (Vernon), we have strong FSA participation rates of over 85%.  This is over the provincial average every year by at least 13%.  Our Foundation Skills Assessment Reading Comprehension data over a 5-year period indicates that at both the Grade 4 and Grade 7 level students are ‘on track’ or ‘extending’ alongside the provincial average in reading around 74%.  Our Grade 4 students are slightly below the provincial average by 2% while our Grade 7 students are 10% higher.  It is important to note that over the past two years there has been an upward trend with our Grade 7 students extending past the provincial average.  Our Student Learning Survey data appears to support the above data, as our Grade 7 cohorts are either on par or above the provincial average in their belief that they are improving in their reading.

Aboriginal students have performed above Aboriginal provincial averages at both grades, but they continue to be lower than our non–Aboriginal students.  In Grade 4, the gap has been closed from 10% to 1%, while at the Grade 7 level it has fluctuated throughout the years being as close as 2% in 2018/2019, but currently sits around 11% less than non-Aboriginal students.

Grade 4 students with Disabilities or Diverse Abilities FSA reading results have trended down since 2016/17 where they were once above the provincial average.  Currently, they dip somewhat below provincial average in the 60% range.  In Grade 7, the opposite has occurred where student results were below the provincial average by over 10% in 2016/17, but with a trend moving upwards, students in 2019/20 are above the provincial average by over 10% at the 70% range.

In the writing portion of the FSA our Grade 4 students have closed a 20% gap over time and are now 2% below the provincial average. Although this is similar with our Grade 4 Aboriginal students, there is still an 11% discrepancy between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.  When looking at Grade 7 students, they have been on par with provincial averages; however, in the last year this has dipped to 5% below. Similar to Grade 4, our Grade 7 Aboriginal students in 2019/20 are performing 5% below our non-Aboriginal students in the writing portion of the FSA.

Strategies 
Professional learning in literacy at the intermediate level has most recently been centred around pilots exploring a balanced literacy framework with a focus on the Jennifer Serravallo Reading and Writing Strategies resources.  Other locally based assessments available for intermediate teachers for formative assessments need to be reviewed and updated.  These assessments include the whole class writes and whole class reads.  At the primary level, the focus has been on piloting Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) resources with Grade 1 classroom teachers.  Moving forward in the 2020-21 school year, small group instruction using the Jan Richardson resources will be a focus, as well as implementing a residency model to support primary instructional frameworks.

Grade 10 Graduation Literacy Assessment

There is currently only 1 year of data (2019-20) for the Grade 10 Graduation Literacy Assessment (GLA).  In this first year, School District 22 (Vernon) students performed approximately 2% above the provincial average. Our Student Learning Surveys indicate that at the Grade 10 level the trend for students feeling they were getting better at reading fluctuated across the five years between 62-66%.  This percentage was either very close to or above the provincial average.

Strategies 
More professional learning opportunities across subject areas in secondary schools are needed to support the shift in our curriculum and provincial assessments in focusing on competencies over content.

Numeracy Data and Trends 

Numeracy Screener

School District 22 (Vernon) developed and began using a numeracy screener in 2016 on key concepts for numeracy development at Grades 1,3,5.  It was determined that if students required support in three or more areas that they were ‘not yet meeting’ or ‘emerging’ in their understanding of key numeracy concepts.  Over the course of three years, from 2016-2019, the numeracy screener helped identify that focus in the areas of counting principles, spatial reasoning and fraction concepts was needed.  Our improved results in the FSA and GNA can be linked to the work and focus provided by the introduction and use of the numeracy screener to inform practice since its introduction.  In addition, our Student Learning Surveys indicate that at the Grade 3 & 4 level, the trend for students feeling they were getting better at math was either on par or above provincial averages across the five years.

Strategies 
Next year, the numeracy screener will be spread out across Grades 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 to create more continuity and for the tool to be used yearly to recognize students’ strengths and areas for growth and target instruction accordingly.  The availability of the data analytics program EdPlan Insight will help teachers use this assessment tool more effectively as a formative assessment tool throughout the year rather than a summative tool to be completed in June.

Foundation Skills Assessment

Over the past 5 years, Vernon has made improvement in numeracy both at the Grade 4 and Grade 7 levels according to our FSA and GNA data. In 2015/16, the district was below provincial averages in the numeracy portion of the FSA by approximately 10%, but as of 2019/20 both Grade 4 and Grade 7 students are now ‘on track’ or ‘extending’ at 1% below the provincial average.

Aboriginal students at both Grade 4 and Grade 7 are performing in numeracy slightly over 10% according to the provincial average of Aboriginal students; however, they continue to perform below our non-Aboriginal students.  In Grade 4, Aboriginal students as of 2019/20 were 5% lower than our non-Aboriginal students. It is worth noting that in 2017/18 Aboriginal students were 21% below our non-Aboriginal students and this gap has been closed by 16% as of 2019/20.  In Grade 7, it has been similar where in 2017/18 our Indigenous students were 19% below our non-Aboriginal students and that gap has now closed by 11%.

Students with disabilities or diverse abilities at the Grade 4 level are currently above the provincial average, while our Grade 7’s are currently trending below the provincial average by 10%.

Strategies 
A focus for professional learning in primary numeracy has been on high yield strategies, fraction concepts, a balanced framework, and Reggio inspired mathematics.  Moving forward, some of these same focuses need to include our intermediate grades.

Grade 10 Graduation Numeracy Assessment

The Graduation Numeracy Assessment data shows an upward trend.  Although School District 22 (Vernon) was below the provincial average at the onset of this assessment in 2017/18, we are now on track, reflecting the ‘Proficient’ or ‘Extending’ provincial averages in 2019/20.  Professional learning opportunities and school-based planning involving subject areas beyond mathematics have helped schools understand the competencies in this assessment are beyond a singular subject area.

Strategies 
More work is still required to support the shift in our curriculum and provincial assessments in focusing on competencies over content to support secondary schools in understanding how to support learners across all subject areas.

Completion Rates and Grade-to-Grade Transitions 

Completion Rates

School District 22 (Vernon) has maintained a stable 5-year completion rate across 5 years being both above 80% and on par with the provincial average.  Although our Aboriginal students have been further ahead or on par with provincial Aboriginal 5-year completion rates, they continue to be upwards of 20% less than non-Aboriginal students.  For our students with disabilities or diverse abilities, they have performed below the provincial average across the five years but are currently on an upward trend and are slightly lower than the provincial average now.

Grade-to-Grade Transitions (Grade 10 into 11 and Grade 11 into Grade 12)

Grade-to-grade transitions for ‘Grade 10 into Grade 11’ and ‘Grade 11 into 12’ indicate that we are on par with the provincial average in 2019/20.  It is also worth noting that we have been consistent although slightly lower than the provincial average over the course of five years leading up to 2019/20. Our Aboriginal students although trending upwards are still lower by a few percentage points than our non-Aboriginal students at both grades through these transitions.  Students with disabilities or diverse abilities have trended lower than provincial averages at both grades over the course of five years.  Most recently, grade to grade transitions from Grade 10 to 11 have increased past the provincial average.  Grade 11 to 12 transitions are still trending slightly lower.

When looking at our Student Learning Survey across a five-year period at both Grades 10 and 12, between 60-68% of students feel well supported when they move to a higher grade.  This percentage variation matches very closely the provincial averages across these years and correlates with our grade-to-grade transition data.

Post-Secondary Transitions

Ministry data only includes British Columbia post-secondary institutions and terminates in 2016/17 so is not current.  Our PSI immediate transition rate is below provincial averages across the 5-year period.  Our 3-year transition rate has trended upwards and is very close to provincial averages as of the 2016/17 school year.

More recent data is required to better understand both trends and percentages that reflect the diverse opportunities both within and outside the province that students from School District 22 (Vernon) access.  We would like to see a more immediate and comprehensive tracking of students to post-secondary institutions, especially with respect to students who transfer to out-of-province post-secondary Institutions.

Career Education

The 2019/20 year was the first year implementing the Career Life Connections curriculum. Surveys for feedback and understanding of implementation were provided to school-based administrators, teachers and students on their programming, planning and experiences with the Career Life Connections/Career Life Education courses to find out the flexible and innovative ways these courses were provided to students. Some schools embedded these courses right within the timetable, while others provided the courses outside the timetable.

Strategies 

New Career Education initiatives moving forward will focus on:

  • Supporting School District 22 (Vernon) educators in Career Education curriculum in new virtual formats
  • Resourcing and promoting virtual opportunities for our students and families
  • Quickly shifting to virtual career fairs, virtual workplace and post-secondary tours and events
  • Supporting our dual credit students in post-secondary virtual learning environments
  • Collaborating with community employers to find creative solutions to support our WEX students while abiding by the various pandemic Exposure Control Plans in workplaces

 

 

 

Implementation

 

School District 22 (Vernon) is in the final year of a district-wide implementation of a five-year Strategic Plan.  All schools have a well-established inquiry cycle for their own planning and these plans are reviewed annually by Directors of Instruction within their Family of Schools. Our Board of Education will receive this, our first Framework for Enhancing Student Learning, through a motion at a special public meeting of the Board of Education this September 29, 2021.

All reporting of results must be consistent with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPPA) requirements.

The various departments in School District 22 (Vernon) have supported the district strategic plan Vision 2022 with a focus on identifying and implementing supports and initiatives that directly improve the achievement and social/emotional well-being of our students.

In response, the curriculum department has been focusing this year on building capacity and collective efficacy in teachers across the district in five key areas:

  • Early Learning Framework
  • Concept-based Competency-driven Curriculum
  • Communicating Student Learning
  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Digital Transformation

Through a differentiated approach to professional learning facilitated by our Learning Directions team, opportunities for teachers to engage and collaborate with colleagues in various initiatives has been provided through focused learning sessions and the exploration of personalized residencies.  Moving forward, providing communities of practice for teacher collaboration and exploration will support deeper learning and continue to encourage professional learning despite the restrictions due to the pandemic.

Literacy Goal: 
For students to grow in their reading proficiency.  Measured yearly through the following:

  1. Grade 1-3 PM Benchmarks – Not available due to the pandemic
  2. Grade 4 and 7 FSA Reading Comprehension – ‘On-track or Extending’
    • Grade 4: decreased from 80.6% in 2018/19 to 71.9% in 2019/20
    • Grade 7: increased from 81.1% in 2018/19 to 86.3% in 2019/20
  3. Grade 10 Graduation Literacy Assessment – ‘Proficient or Extending’
    • (First Year of this assessment will set the benchmark for measuring growth moving forward):  75.6%

Numeracy Goal:

For students to grow in their numeracy proficiency.  Measured through the following:

  1. Grades 1,3,5 Numeracy Screeners – Not available due to the pandemic
  2. Grades 4 and 7 FSA Numeracy – ‘On-track or Extending’
    • Grade 4: decreased from 68.6% in 2018/19 to 67.7% in 2019/20
    • Grade 7: decreased from 66.4% in 2018/19 to 62.6% in 2019/20
  3. Grade 10 Graduation Numeracy Assessment – ‘Proficient and Extending’
    • Increased from 27.1% in 2018/19 to 39.5% in 2019/20

Note:  No locally developed assessment data was collected in June 2020 due to the pandemic.

Cycle of Improvement

The Framework for Enhancing Student Leaning includes the district inquiry and planning processes and comments on how the school level process both informs and, is informed by, district planning. Through our Education Leadership team, which includes our senior Aboriginal Education Director, we have begun the process of collaborating on a unified learning engagement, planning, and review process going forward.

For this report, there were consultations throughout the year with the First Nation and Metis communities.  We also have this as a standing request for our Aboriginal Education Advisory Council to be able to seek input.

Each education department presents publicly throughout the year, at a public Board of Education Meeting.

Education department leads also have opportunities throughout the year to present to our District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC).

 

Public Assurance

School District 22 (Vernon) is in the final year of a five-year Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan sets out a clear vision for our public education system and identifies actions needed to turn the vision into reality. The Strategic Plan is both a map and compass for our school district, guiding our priorities and allocation of resources. The Strategic Plan holds the Board of Education’s Vision 2022, Motto, Mission, Values, Guiding Principles: Excellence, Trust & Respect, Equity, Relationships, and Collaboration, followed by the Statement of Guiding Principles, and five Strategic Goals.

This report has been written in compliance with the BC Ministry of Education’s Framework for Enhancing Student Learning.

On September 29, 2021, at a special meeting of the Board of Education approved the following motion: That the Board of Education approves the 2020/2021 School District No.22 (Vernon) Framework for Enhancing Student Learning Report for submission to the Ministry of Education.