Literacy and numeracy support for all students continues to be the focus of the school district.
Literacy is taught from the first day of kindergarten when students start to recite the alphabet to grade 12 when students may be reading Shakespeare, preparing an in-depth research project about social justice, or demonstrating sustainable environmental practices.
Numeracy support in kindergarten starts with counting, building blocks, and recognizing patterns, and leads to financial planning, statistics, calculus, or calculating distances and angles in prefabrication and assembly for a trades project.
When our students graduate the need to be literate and numerate is critical to life success. Our team of teachers, CEAs and principals/vice-principals are working hard to provide all our students a strong foundation of literacy and numeracy skills.
Some of our students need assistance to get to grade level and these students may be helped by a certified education assistant (CEA), Aboriginal education worker (AEW) or an itinerant support teacher.
In our schools with the highest need, the district has a literacy intervention program. The program has highly trained teachers who work with some of our most vulnerable learners in grade 1 to ensure we ‘catch’ our students at a young age to get them on track.
The district also has numeracy helping teachers who are providing support to colleagues in their school through sharing best practices, collaborative lesson planning and also provide some direct service to individual students.
The District Numeracy Team, led by District Principal Val Edgell, supports numeracy instruction throughout the district. The team developed a district-wide ‘big math idea’ guide which outlines the key concepts students should know in every grade. They are also working on standard numeracy assessment.
The team has also developed weekly levelled problems for every grade and school. The weekly problems use math to solve real world problems, including applying math thinking, solving (computation), analyzing and checking solutions and finally communicating mathematically.
Problem solving also encourages the important skills of perseverance and creativity.