Hornby Island Community School 2018-19 - Framework for Enhanced Student Learning (FESL)
Hornby Island Community School 2018-19
Framework for Enhanced Student Learning (FESL)
Introduction: Our school suffered a devastating fire on August 26, 2018. We are currently operating out of two community buildings are working tirelessly to ensure the learning needs of our students are being met through a time of great emotional turmoil. Regardless of our facility situation, the Framework for Enhanced Student Learning (FESL) continues to provide a vehicle for discussion of school goals and focus areas with students, parents and staff. It brings a sense of focus and stability in a time of crisis.
The process is meant to be ongoing as we travel through the year. Ongoing communication relating to our goals and focus areas will be provided to our school community. Feedback given will help to inform our planning for the following school year.
Development Process: The following framework was developed with staff and parents at the end of last school year. We held a school engagement gathering where we developed "Big Ideas" for our school and some possible actions. The beginning to this year has been unexpected and unprecedented. The time at our staff meetings and Parent Advisory Council (PAC) meetings we would have, in a regular start up, used to revisit and revamp our goals, have instead been centred on creating the immediate physical needs of our school and finding the resources we need to operate daily. Also at these meetings, we have been supporting each other, (parents, teachers, and community) emotionally, so we as adults can continue to be at our best for our learners. We are now settling into a more regular routine, our new normal, and plan to have time at one of our staff meetings each month set aside to revisit our framework. Our PAC Annual General Meeting took place in October and we have a new PAC Chair. Our next steps will be to work together to review and monitor our goals and to support them with resources as needed.
Our mission is to provide a safe, secure and inclusive environment, which fosters each student's positive self-concept and which creates opportunities for each youngster to grow to his or her potential.
As a community school, our mission is to reflect and support the community of Hornby Island in an inclusive, integrated manner through advocacy, programs, services and activities that respond to expressed needs of individuals and the community .
At Hornby Island Community School we value community and its natural environment.
We embrace attributes of:
· 21st Century Learning
· Project Based Learning
· Place Based Learning
We put children's intellectual, emotional and physical development first.
We envision and support:
· An environment safe for risk taking, responsibility, and being receptive to learning through building of strong relationships in a nurturing, open and honest space
We hold a vision of our school actively supporting community and in turn a community that supports our school. Hornby Island Community School is a reflection of our vibrant community, thriving because it is unique.
School Context – Who are We?
Sadly, we have lost an amazing facility that really felt like a home in a devastating fire on August 26, 2018. Our open library in the heart of our school, and the two classrooms connected to it, made up the hub of our learning space. Our learners spent a lot of time in our library researching for projects, individual/small group activities, and visiting our Makerspace.
Our gym was very large, and provided gymnasium space for the community in the evenings as well. The Hornby Island Preschool (located on our same property), also visited the school for time in the library and gym. Another program, "Toddler Drop-in" took place in our school. Parents came together with a facilitator and their children for some time together one morning per week. The Hornby Island Educational Society (HIES) and Hornby Island Recreation Association (HIRA)offered after school opportunities for our learners such as tennis, second language, arts/crafts, etc. in our school building.
The Natural History Centre was also located in our school, and the stewards that worked there often offered programs for our students to support areas of study e.g. fossils, animal habitats etc.
The school property is located off of Vancouver Island. It takes about an hour and a half to reach the school (if the ferry schedule lines up!) from Courtenay. Our school is both rural and remote. Many families require an element of flexibility for educational needs of their children due to the seasonal "pulse" and economy of the island, family holiday times, housing accommodations, and seasonal employment.
In response to need, Hornby Island Community School became a "Blended Learning" school. What this means, is that we value both learning that happens within the school but also the learning that happens outside of the school. We provide additional supports for learning at home and a student learning plan outlining individual next steps. Teachers at the school carry our SPARK (talents) meetings with families 3 times per year to create learning plans and identify student strengths and next steps.
Our staff also require flexibility in meeting the needs of our 44 learners K-7 across all subject areas. All staff teach/work with all learners at varying points in our week. Learners are organized into "Base Camps" of K-2 and 3-7 with their main teacher and then, from there, are part of "working groups" to give attention to individual next steps. Learners attend Monday –Thursday. There are three teachers, and an arts teacher one day per week. Our support staff consists of an Administrative Assistant, Library Clerk, Custodian, and an Educational Assistant.
Our current reality is that we are operating out of the Community Hall. On Monday mornings we carry in tables, chairs, whiteboards, books, pens, paper, game, PE equipment...all the things to form our "pop up school". On Thursdays, we "pop down school" and put everything back into storage as the community uses the hall over the weekends (especially now without the school to use for gatherings). We are also operating out of "Room to Grow" a small building on school property. This building we have set up to be more of a primary (K-2) environment along with space for our Library Clerk and "library". Our office space is in another building connected to the Hall.
We gather as a whole group in the mornings at the Hall. The kids engage in "table top" activities together as a multiage group while staff connect with students and each other while solidifying our plans for supervision and resources. We carry radios to communicate as we need to cross the kids across the road several times per day and cellular connection is very limited in the area we are in. This morning greeting and connection time has proven instrumental to keeping our learning environment functioning to its highest potential. We are working to regain the "working group" time we had established for literacy and numeracy support in our multiage/stage/grade classrooms as finding an additional space to work, and taking time to travel between facilities is not an efficient use of learning/teaching time.
The mental, physical, and emotional energy given each day by our staff to work out the logistics to keep our learning environments safe, supportive, engaging, and stable as possible, is a true reflection of their commitment to our learners and their professionalism through an unfathomable experience.
We are so thankful to be together and learning in spaces so loved by the community. We feel so grateful to the community for coordinating their other events and occupancy to be at alternate locations so we can create a learning environment for our kids. We have been fully wrapped in love and support through this event and we commit to looking forward to our "what is next".
Our next step is to move into a modular school arrangement in the new year. This will remove several challenges e.g. putting up and taking down school, multiage/stage/grade working group space being closer, all being on the same side of the road etc. It will be the next phase of a long journey of learning and rebuilding together.
Probably the most important things that has stood out through our experience has been that our school building was not the heart of "The Hornby Island Community School". It was an amazing facilitator of learning with its hallways, rooms, and spaces, but "The Hornby Island Community School" are the people that filled its walls and we can travel and learn anywhere if we are together and our learning goals remain the same. Resourcefulness, resilience, stamina, flexibility etc. are all attributes we strive to build in our 21st Century learners. Through this experience we will all gain great skill and strength in these areas.
Looking too far backward brings sadness, looking too far forward feels overwhelming. Staying present in the moment and reflecting a bit backward and projecting a bit forward is taking us through each day together.
GOAL #1 and Action Plan HI_Goal1_arts_2018-19.docx
GOAL #2 and Action Plan HI_Goal2_multiage_2018_2019.docx