2017-2018 Assurance Report
Principal: Mr. Murray J. Marran
School Council Chair: Mrs. Sarah Leteta
Vision: Parkland School Division is a community of engaged learners where exploration, creativity and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams.
As a member of the Parkland School Division family of schools, Entwistle School utilizes a robust Assurance Model to understand stakeholder feedback better. Working with an Assurance Model means that Entwistle School, Parkland School Division and the Board of Trustees actively seek to reveal all avenues for stakeholders to tell us how we are attending to our goals and priorities. One important part of our Assurance Model is deriving stakeholder feedback through insightful comments made by parents, staff, community members and students.
Entwistle continuously gathers feedback from a variety of sources, including students, parents, staff, the school division and the greater community. In addition to surveys, conferences and day-to-day conversations, our school also uses an online assurance process called ThoughtExchange that enables participants to read and rank responses based on three questions:
- What are some concerns you have about our school this year?
- What are some things you appreciate about our school this year?
Entwistle’s Assurance Report captures the strengths, opportunities, aspirations and expected results that we gathered throughout last year. In keeping with an Assurance Model, this report provides the narrative for our achievements and challenges, and is presented on our school website.
Strengths are highlighted as areas that are working well in Entwistle. In our commitment to quality learning, we recognize that there will always be room for growth. We are proud of the strengths and accomplishments you have recognized in the work we do.
Opportunities are areas for growth or attention. As a school, we recognize these as areas in which we need to focus more attention, and we see that these areas are also important to you.
Aspirations are presented as priorities for a preferred future. Our stakeholders have shared a vision for where we need to go and what our world will look like when we’ve mastered our strengths and eliminated areas in need of growth.
Results capture expectations for measuring success. In other words, how will we know that we know we are successful?
In 2015-2016, Parkland School Division’s Board of Trustees approved an ambitious Education Plan that was generated through the Assurance Model. The Plan established enduring strategic processes (enduring priorities) that will always be considered in the generation of strategies (forward-thinking actionable plans). These strategies enable us to achieve our outcomes (goals).
Parkland School Division’s Ultimate Goal is Student Success and Well-Being. Students will be encouraged to explore, create, imagine and engage in lifelong learning as they develop competencies that prepare them to enter the world of post-secondary studies or work. The Division believes that student success is closely linked to student well-being and the development of social-emotional assets that build resiliency, and is therefore committed to the development of the whole child at all levels of their education. The goals, outcomes, priorities and strategies identified in the Education Plan are focused on the achievement of the Ultimate Goal: Student Success and Well-Being.
Two enduring priorities continue to guide the work of the Division. These priorities are considered to be enduring since they are necessary priorities to consider in establishing any goal:
The Enduring Priority of Engagement: Engaging all stakeholders: students, staff, and the local and global communities. Goals and strategies must include a consideration of how they will be shared and supported by all stakeholder groups.
The Enduring Priority of Resource Stewardship: Ensuring equitable and sustainable use of our resources and ensuring financial responsibility. Goals and strategies must include a consideration of how they will utilize limited resources with maximum results.
In addition to the enduring priorities listed above, the 2015-2018 Three Year Education Plan includes the goals necessary to achieve student success and well-being:
Inclusive Education: Parkland School Division is an inclusive education system. An inclusive education system is one that demonstrates behaviours and decisions that reflect valuing all students. The Division is committed to achieving this goal and to fulfilling the provincial mandate for inclusion.
In Parkland School Division, everyone is accepted and experiences a sense of belonging. Every student - no matter their ability, disability, language, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity - has meaningful contributions to make.
Using the programs of study as the framework for learning, every student is engaged in meaningful and authentic ways. All students are treated equitably: they get the support needed when they need it, and for the intensity and duration of time for which they need it.
Quality Learning: Student success and well-being depends on quality instruction in an atmosphere that respects each learner’s independent spirit. Quality teaching practices promote the development of innovation and creativity while attending to meaningful assessment and reporting practices.
Quality Learning builds on the Division’s Inclusive Education goal in that all students are connected to the Programs of Study and all students have the supports and educational quality necessary to achieve success.
Culture of Wellness: Parkland School Division is committed to Student Success and Well-Being. The Division recognizes that, as a system, well-being must be present for all stakeholders, and therefore it is committed to fostering physical literacy, lifelong health and well-being at all levels. The Division believes that student success is closely linked to student well-being and the development of social-emotional assets that build resiliency.
The development of citizenship and social responsibility contribute to wellness and are integral to the delivery of a broad and comprehensive program of studies. We are dedicated to the development of the whole child.
Universal Leadership: Student success and well-being requires collaborative, universal leadership that employs calculated risk-taking and a determination to consider and implement new and innovative ideas. The Division’s Board of Trustees continues to embrace the direction set by Alberta Education to adopt a Generative Governance Model that demands public confidence in all facets of the system. The Division’s clear strategic direction will be maintained, administered and reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure true stewardship of resources.
As a learning organization, the Division recognizes continued improvement through a commitment to leadership at all levels.
Entwistle School Council meetings are held on a near-monthly basis, and are well-attended, usually by 8-10 parents. Throughout the year, time is set aside for parents and community members to meet with school administration. The school administration welcomes meetings with parents and community members in order to solicit feedback regarding the school. Parent volunteers are also very active in volunteering with programs, such as hot lunch, and attending field trips, being reading buddies or helping with physical activities. By encouraging volunteering, we give parents opportunities to drop in with comments, questions, concerns and celebrations. Further, Entwistle School uses the school website and Facebook page to update parents about all activity at the school. Parents, students and staff are also asked for their feedback through various means including ThoughtExchange and the Alberta Education Accountability Pillar Survey.
At Entwistle School, we value student diversity, different approaches to learning and the fact that all students learn at different rates. Embracing this philosophy, we have committed to providing as much technology as possible in order to assist and enhance student learning. On top of this, Entwistle teachers have been taking part in division-provided professional development centered around assistive technology. Teachers are exploring and implementing such things as Google Read Write™, Discovery Education, Mercury Reader, News ELA and more. Also, Entwistle School has committed to implementing Level Literacy Intervention (LLI) as a means of providing individualized support for students require extra care and attention in developing literacy skills. Finally, Entwistle School has invested in adaptive furniture that allows students to self-regulate independently during class time. This provides a more inclusive, differentiated learning environment for students with diverse learning needs.
As we look at school and program improvement, the Entwistle School staff would like to pursue more professional development opportunities for both certificated and non-certificated staff. The selection and participation in these professional development activities would be based on student needs, and these activities would be undertakeundertaken with the goal of providing more inclusive opportunities for all students. As always, we as a staff are committed to the use and integration of adaptive technology in our classrooms in order to assist all students and ensure student success throughout the year.
As the school moves forward with its continuous improvement, our immediate goal is to provide 1:1 technology for all students in the school. More specifically, we are budgeting for all students in Grades K-3 to have access to iPads. Coupled with this, as a staff, we want to review different types of apps and other assistive technology tools that can help students with diverse needs.
Finally, staff will work together to build a realistic and sustainable continuous updating and replacement schedule for all technology in the building, including Chromebooks, iPads and SMART boards.
We will look for evidence of growth in this area in the ThoughtExchange and Accountability Pillar survey results collected from students, parents and teachers. We are looking for positive results that indicate we are providing an inclusive environment for all students, and that we respond in a timely matter in providing services for children who present with exceptional and/or diverse learning needs. As our results improve, we as a staff remain committed to continuous improvement enabling us to further assist all students.
Fountas & Pinnell, Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) are school-wide programs used at Entwistle School to improve students’ academic performance and overall success.
Daily 5 – The Daily 5™ is a framework for structuring literacy time so students develop lifelong habits of reading, writing and working independently. Students select from five authentic reading and writing choices, working independently toward personalized goals, while the teacher meets individual needs through whole-group and small-group instruction, as well as one-on-one time with students. These choices include: Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading and Word Work.
Fountas & Pinnell – The Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) seamlessly links assessment to instruction along the continuum of literacy learning. This comprehensive system for one-on-one assessment reliably and systematically matches students’ instructional and independent reading abilities to the F&P Text Level Gradient™.
Ongoing Professional Development – Entwistle School staff are committed to continuous professional development that is guided by a professional obligation to teach using best practices. Teachers partake in professional development activities that are both self-directed and guided by the school and the school division. Quality teaching is the foundational principle that guides all of our professional development.
We have been focusing on assessment and how it can better guide teaching methods and advance student learning. To address this need, we created regularly-scheduled times where assessments are administered in all core subjects, with a cumulative element that revisits previously taught concepts throughout the year. Our school formally embedded this practice in our year end calendar and built a culture of Continuous Improvement (CI) with students and parents alike.
The Entwistle School staff spent a considerable amount of time analyzing our Provincial Achievement Test (PAT) results and our survey data. It was decided by staff and School Council that we need to focus on improving our school’s academic results.
Entwistle School strives to improve our academic results to the point where we equal or surpass provincial norms. We believe in our students’ potential and want to see the very best of opportunities available to them as a result of studying at Entwistle School.
We look forward to seeing improved results in both the ThoughtExchange and Accountability Pillar Surveys.
At Entwistle School, we believe that education goes beyond the classroom experience. We are committed to teaching the importance of healthy, active lifestyles and providing our school community with as many opportunities as possible to lead a healthy, active life. As part of this effort, we have created several extracurricular physical activities, including:
- Cross-Country Running (K-9)
- Archery (3-9)
- Soccer (5-9)
- Volleyball (6-9)
- Basketball (6-9)
- Badminton (6-9)
- Track and Field (7-9)
- Track Meet (K-6)
- Yoga (6-9)
Our School Council has dedicated funds to our Healthy Snack Program, in which fruit and granola bars are provided to any student who is hungry and does not have a snack. Students help themselves on a “as needed” basis with no questions asked. Snacks are kept in the office, and students can access them at any time.
Our School Council also runs a hot lunch program. Students can purchase a healthy, hot lunch 2-3 times per month, and sometimes lunch is provided at no cost. Hot Lunch runs weekly in conjunction with our Milk Program. Both these programs are very popular with our students.
Since the start of 2016, Entwistle School has invoked the Entwistle Eagle PRIDE virtues to help create a culture of wellness: Purposefulness, Resilience, Independence, Dignity, and Empathy.
P - Purposefulness: Being purposeful is having a clear focus. Begin with a vision of what you want to accomplish, and concentrate on your goals. Do one thing at a time, without scattering your energies. Some people let things happen. When you are purposeful, you make things happen.
R - Reslience: Being resilient means you face life’s difficulties with courage and patience. You refuse to give up. When you are resilient you are able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something difficult happens.
I - Independence: Being independent means you do not always depend on other people for help. It means that you think and act freely rather than being guided by other people. It means that you are able to follow your own deepest values and exercise your own judgement even when others disagree.
D - Dignity: Demonstrating dignity means you treat others with respect regardless of a person’s age, race, language, religion, opinion or disability. To show dignity you treat others fairly and kindly. It also means that you show self-control and try not to harm others or their property.
E - Empathy: To show empathy you need to be able to put yourself into another person’s shoes. You show that you are able to understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions.
At monthly assemblies, students are formally recognized for the PRIDE virtues they demonstrated the previous month. Students are nominated by teacher ballot, and then these students are recognized with a certificate at the assembly. Parents and community members are also invited to these monthly celebrations.
Entwistle School is a member of WE Schools™. As part of this organization, we look for potential opportunities for students to become involved in and fundraise for local, national and international community development initiatives and projects.
We would like to ensure that we always have a local, national and international project to which we can lend student voice and efforts. As global citizens, we believe it important for students to realize our global context and design ways that we can make our communities better.
The PRIDE virtues have become a full and meaningful part of our school culture. This is evident in students' actions and speech.
Students will continue to collaborate to choose and support local, national and international projects that are meaningful to them. This will allow students to understand the importance of community, volunteering and the global context in which they live.
Parental, teacher and student feedback about our monthly assemblies will continue to be positive. Additionally, students will actively participate in local, national and international projects.
As part of their focus on student leadership, Entwistle staff organized a student leadership club. To date, we have 21 club members who promote and complete various activities in the school and community.
In efforts to better our school community, the Entwistle School Leadership Group has championed many causes:
- Leading monthly assemblies
- Acting as school ambassadors during school events
- Removing snow for community members (Snow Angels)
- Making lunches for disadvantaged students in other schools (Brightwood Ranch)
- Leading WE Day™ celebrations and activities
- Organizing and executing our local food bank drive
- Leading activities and games at recess (Recess Guardians)
- Facilitating Games Club and Technology Club
- Worked in conjunction with our grandparents program to provide opportunities for students and senior to interact and socialize
Entwistle School would like to see our Student Leadership group formally adopt local, national and international causes to support for the long term, via volunteering, spreading community awareness and potentially fundraising in the school and greater community.
From a school operations perspective, Entwistle School would like to see an increase in leadership development with the entire staff in the school. We would like to provide staff with opportunities to take the lead with both their peers and their students.
As a small school, we want to represent in as many ways as possible on teams and committees, and in professional development activities. This can be a challenge.
We would anticipate seeing an increase in parent and student satisfaction regarding our leadership efforts when reviewing our data from ThoughtExchange and the Accountability Pillar.
In 2017 - 2018, Entwistle School used traditional methods of communication and engagement in the form of our Celebration of Learning Evenings (parent-teacher interviews) and report cards, and monthly assemblies with certificate recognition for students that display the school’s PRIDE virtues.
As a school, we want to continue communicating with parents directly through our school website and Facebook. We plan on expanding our site, adding more information. In essence, we envision our website as the parent newsletter in live form.
Further, we will continue the practice of creating a year-long calendar at the end of June with as many upcoming dates as possible, so parents can plan accordingly for the new school year. This calendar also includes samples of student artwork, school highlights and other pertinent school/parent information.
We need to continue to promote and celebrate our achievements. We have lots to offer for such a small school, and we need to celebrate what we do.
Evidence of improved communication and engagement at our school include an increase in the number of parents who follow our Entwistle School Council and classroom Facebook pages, as well as an increase in the number of parents using the Parent Portal.
We have planned a balanced budget which includes significant technology purchases. We have also committed funds to purchase adaptive furniture for reconfiguring classrooms, and other necessary equipment.
The Entwistle School Council would also like to partner with Yellowhead Regional Library to share the costs of an electronic sign or complete the project on their own. Further, the Entwistle School Council would like to continue to fundraise in order to add funds to improve our current playground. Long-term planning for this has been an important part of our School Council meetings.
As the school improvement plan moves forward, Entwistle School would like to pursue more community partnerships in order to provide further resources to our students and greater community.
We look forward to seeing improved results in both the ThoughtExchange and Accountability Pillar surveys.
We are excited about our school improvement considering enrolment, school-size and geography. In essence, students, staff and parents see Entwistle as “the small school that could”. We look forward to seeing our school change and grow to truly foster and promote Parkland School Division’s Vision, Mission and Values.
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