Sunday, 27 September 2015
Our first inservice day of the day of year has come and gone. As part of NorKam's commitment to improving student learning, we invited Charlie Coleman of Cowichan Secondary School in Duncan to come and talk to the staff about Professional Learning Communities and Response to Intervention. NorKam has been putting in place the central ideas of Professional Learning Communities for several years now and we have sent 11 of our staff off for training in the process. We wanted all of our teaching staff and certified educational assistants to receive this training, but it is very cost prohibitive. So we had the training come to us. Charlie Coleman, besides being a speaker for Solution Tree, is a principal who has lead the development of Professional Learning Communities at the elementary, middle school, and high school level. Charlie shared with staff the key attributes of PLCs and was able to share the journey of Cowichan Secondary as it engages in the process.
Tuesday, 5 May 2015
On Monday, May 4th a proposal was presented to staff and to the Parent Advisory Committee to change collaboration block for next year. Currently, teachers collaborate on Wednesdays from 2:15 to 3:00PM. Students have early dismissal, but three computer labs are supervised in order to give students in grade 10 an opportunity to work on their Online Planning 10 course. Next year, the proposal is to move to a weekly model following the same schedule for Wednesday, with a few significant changes for students. The proposal is in draft stages, and some features have to still be worked out, but broad features of the proposal include the following:
On April 16th, NorKam was visited by an external team of administrators and teachers from other schools in the district. They were at NorKam to observe students learning in the classroom and to gather data about what these students were doing. The purpose of this visit was to gather data regarding our problem of practice. "To what extent are students given tasks that require them to think at levels above recall and understanding?"
Saturday, 21 March 2015
Thanks to the advent of social media technologies and faster, better transportation, the world is becoming a much smaller place. To keep pace, we need to adopt the mindset that what happens halfway across the world is as important as what happens in our own backyards. We need to come together as citizens of planet Earth to solve the big issues. One of the biggest is global climate warming, because it is linked to species survival.