The Learning and Curriculum Department is responsible for overseeing the delivery of educational programs to all our students. We support quality instruction by providing current learning opportunities for our teachers.
We have many research and support opportunities for our teachers including Inquiry Project teams (where teachers choose a topic and research more about curriculum and learning), mentorship (where one teacher mentors another) and our Instructional Leadership Team (provides ongoing support to teachers in curriculum areas of Literacy, Writing, Numeracy, Differentiated Instruction, Education Technology and Assessment).
In addition, we provide direct programs and supports to our students with programs such as Literacy Intervention, Numeracy Helping Teachers, Gifted Instruction, Education Outreach, Trades Training, etc.
We also have a number of teams and committees (see below) that are constantly striving to improve our programs and the delivery of a high quality education to our students.
These include the Instructional Learning Team, 83learns, Reporting and Assessment Team, Numeracy Committee, Library Learning Commons Committee, French Advisory Committee, Outdoor Learning Team, Curriculum Implementation Team, Inquiry Projects and Teacher Mentorship. We also support the Music Department and the District Resource Centre.
We work closely and in partnership with other departments such as Indigenous Education and the Technology Department to co-plan and deliver services.
Instructional Leadership Team
School District No. 83 believes, and research supports, that the most important factor in student learning and success is the belief and ability of teachers to support their students’ learning.
Educational researchers such as John Hattie and others have long recognized that the most powerful way to impact student learning is to support teacher learning, and teachers’ belief that they can make a difference for students.
With this in mind, budget decisions were made to provide support, learning opportunities, curriculum knowledge and resources for our district teachers in the form of a District Instructional Learning Team (ILT). This team of classroom teachers, provides curriculum support, co-teaching opportunities, resources, and insights to support our teachers so that they can support their students. This model has had great success in other districts in B.C. and will be one of the district’s major drivers of new curriculum support and initiatives in our classrooms.
Is a joint School District and Teachers’ Association Committee that reviews all district educational committees and initiatives to make recommendations to the school district and the Board of Education. This team also stays current on educational matters, trends, and data to ensure that our district is current, using best practices and providing needed supports to students and staff.
Reporting and Assessment Committee:
This committee has done an enormous of work. They surveyed our community, parents, students and staff (by the way, and thank you community, we had the largest survey return rate in the province) and used that information to put together training, a resource binder and develop new district policy around reporting and assessing. Currently the Elementary team is implementing a new reporting method (report cards and conferences) that was piloted last year. We have had positive feedback, with over 320 parent surveys with an 85% positive response to student-parent-teacher conferences. We will be checking in with parents again after the formal written report card in January/February.
This year we brought in nationally renowned Assessment for Learning educator Sandra Herbst to work with our district around assessment practices. Here is the link to her website https://connect2learning.com/members/sandra-herbst/
The district Numeracy Committee has been hard at work creating a critical concepts document for every grade K to 9. These documents outlines the key and ‘critical’ concepts that each student must acquire at each grade level to be successful in their math journey. The team has also developed a numeracy assessment for K-9 to assist our teachers and students in knowing where students are and how best to guide instruction to support our students.
Library Learning Commons Committee
We have a team of educators including several of our librarians looking at the concept of moving from a traditional style library to a Library Learning Commons which has a greater emphasis on team-teaching, use of technology and becoming a student learning centre. Here is some information from the Canadian Library Association on Learning Commons and Library standards.
French Advisory Committee
This committee of students, teachers and parents meets three times a year to review and advise on matters regarding our French Immersion Program including budget, program ideas, cultural events, registration and teacher training.
Outdoor Learning Committee
This team has done an incredible amount of work this past year leading to the opening of South Canoe Elementary Outdoor Learning Program. The committee also provides support for all of the district’s Outdoor Learning Programs and events such as Outdoor Awesome and teacher training with our Outdoor Learning Series.
Curriculum Implementation Team
This teams works to ensure that we have focused professional development for our teachers and staff in implementing the renewed curriculum. This year, a major focus has been the September 17th Renewed Curriculum Day where over 40 curriculum workshops will be available to teachers. We are currently working on parent curriculum nights and will be coming to schools soon for parent information nights.
Every year we have teams of educators work in teams to collaborate and dig deeper into curriculum. Inquiry projects is a method of learning and creating deeper understandings and thereby improved teaching methodology and practices in a particular area. Many of our inquiry teams have become district presenters at professional development activities and have been invited by other districts to present on teaching and learning. Here is a list of areas that our teams have been working on.
- SD83 Inquiry Projects
- Middle / Secondary Humanities
- New Curriculum
- Reporting and Report Cards (HPE)
- Technology and Student Engagement
- Secondary Student Writing
- Secondary English Curriculum Exploration
- IEP process
- Social Responsibility (and Manners)
- Inspire Ed –Inquiry based program for students
- Renewed 10-12 Science Curriculum
- Grade 3 Renewed Science Curriculum
- Daily Movement benefits for students
- Cross Curricular Projects focussing n Thinking Competency
- Meeting diverse learning needs in multi-age setting (Montessori method)
- Writing Curriculum and Assessment of
- Renewed Science Curriculum (2)
- Numeracy K-8, with team teaching and collaboration.
- E-portfolio’s – Quio (2)
- Older students and Numeracy Peer Coaches
- Maker day projects
- E-Portfolio’s –Fresh Grade
- Project-based experiential learning, outdoor learning, multi-age learning, and the Indigenous Principles of Learning.
- Enhancing Students understanding of numeracy – number sense
- Outdoor Education and ADST
- Parent Involvement/Education and Student Home Reading
- Re-Imaging/Re-Designing delivery of 10-12 English Courses and Curriculum
- Aligning IEP development with renewed curriculum
- Developing Students Spatial Reasoning –Numeracy Skills
- K-8 education multi-age groupings -peer coaching, mentorship
- Middle and Secondary Assessment
- Financial Literacy: A Start Up Business
- Incorporating Aboriginal content and ways of knowing
- Non-fiction Reading and Writing Through Inquiry”.
- Changing results for young readers- district inquiry
Six years ago, School District 83 was one of the pilot districts for teacher mentorship. We continue provide support for new teachers and teachers who want additional support or to renew their skills. There is value in mentorship to our teacher community and for both mentors and mentees, including increased teacher retention and well-being. In addition, mentorship lead to greater student learning, improved practice and collaboration amongst teachers involved.