Areas we are continuing to learn and grow in:
We are always trying to continue to improve our proficiency in teaching and our ability to deliver quality education to our students. The following are some of the areas that we have received rich professional development in, and we continue to do our best to implement to grow our program, for the benefit of our students:
Collaborative Inquiry: The Wikwemikong Board of Education has embedded an hour per week for teachers to gather in professional learning groups to work on a Collaborative Inquiry. Our school benefited from extensive professional development from Ms. Jenni Donohoo, an expert in this area. We are currently running three inquiries in our school. One is focused on how to strengthen our students’ ability in the area of questioning, particularly teaching students to have rich discussions together, and develop open questions from closed questions. Another group is working on problem-solving. Our third Collaborative Inquiry has content-area teachers working together to improve our ability to teach main idea and supporting details, a critical area for students when it comes to the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.
Student Success Teacher: We are experimenting with having a teacher assigned to this role for one period a day. This year it is Ms. Candace Cheechoo. They collect referrals from teachers and schedule students with teachers for intervention during the Student Success Block. They also tutor students and provide academic counseling. If they encounter mental health issues in their interviews, they quickly guide students to Guidance for more appropriate support.
Student Success Team: This is a team that meets once a week to review student information and try to respond to student needs in a timely way. It is composed of the principal, Guidance Counselor, Students Success Teacher and at times the Special Education Resource Teacher and the Cooperative Education Teacher. The planning for the week to assist students usually happens here. The agenda for the week for the Student Success Teacher usually is derived from this meeting.
Cooperative Education: Our Cooperative Education Program continues to grow. We have an in-school program that students register for. Ms. Erika Manitowabi is the teacher of this program. We also have an Alternative Co-Op Program, where we look for students who are currently not in school and working, and try to engage them in a Co-Op program, with the objective of hopefully re-introducing them to school.
Alternative Education: This program is for students who have not been successful in the past, and are now a little older. They continue to be scheduled in senior level classes, but work independently on some of their missed Grade 9 and 10 courses, with tutoring and support, by a teacher, Ms. Holly Hoy. They have the option of doing these via a paper package, or on-line through E-Learning. Students also attend these classes when they are part of the Credit Rescue Program, in order to save a credit they fell just short of achieving the previous semester. This semester is a major reason for the increased overall student retention rates in our school this past semester.