Rocky View Schools (RVS) has a renewed focus on working to achieve division-wide goals outlined in the 2019-2023 four-year plan implementation.
The goals outlined in the plan include connecting students to passions, interests, and people, achieving student potential, and students navigating successfully as global citizens.
“Through a series of design thinking protocols, stakeholders voiced strong support for RVS’ I CAN goal and outcome statements and its strategic direction towards inclusion, instructional design and system redesign,” Superintendent of Schools Greg Luterbach said at the Jan. 12 RVS school board meeting.
Students in the RVS division engage in real-world, hands-on learning experiences, and are able to demonstrate ownership of their learning.
RVS encourages thinking and hands-on learning and collaboration by implementing thinking classrooms where students work through problems as a group using a whiteboard or other non-permanent vertical surfaces.
Students are achieving their potential by acquiring core competencies such as literacy and numeracy and can meet expectations and learning outcomes that are tailored to their individual capabilities.
RVS teachers from 18 schools are piloting the new Science curriculum at the Grade 6 level or Grade 4 to Grade 6 English Language Arts and Literature, or Kindergarten to Grade 6 French Immersion Language Arts and Literature.
“A lot of it was reassuring people that despite all that’s been said around the province around curriculum change, there is a lot that teachers are very comfortable and familiar with, it’s not throwing out everything and starting over,” Luterbach said.
More than 30 schools are accessing support from Learning Services Learning Specialists for work in numeracy, literacy, assessment, and overall instructional design.
The learning support team designs learning delivery models and professional learning plans that meet diverse needs in student populations by reviewing student numeracy, literacy, attendance, and behaviour data to identify trends, themes, and gaps.
“We will continue to leverage the work of these teams to deliver exemplars and continued professional learning to school-based learning support teams this school year,” Luterbach said.
RVS is also working to ensure students are healthy, safe, resilient, value diversity, culture and traditions, and make a positive difference in their life, school, community, and the world.
RVS launched the Indigenous Branch which supported school plans for National Truth and Reconciliation Week and Day, National Indigenous Veterans Day, and the Winter Solstice.
“Saa’kokoto continues to provide invaluable guidance as our Elder in RVS and we so appreciate how he provides support and teaching for our students and staff,” Luterbach said.
The Indigenous Branch team is now working to incorporate Indigenous ways into classroom lessons, and provide resources, and advice on protocols.
“Schools are shifting to understanding how assessment drives instruction through inclusionary practices. This shift is connected to enhanced inclusion, instructional practices and student engagement,” Luterbach said.
The learning supports team, technology for learning, Indigenous learning and instructional leadership specialists are working to better understand the roles of each department and how they can provide stronger service to students and classrooms.
All schools in the division are expected to have a school a Positive Behaviour Supports and Interventions (PBIS) team in place, and work to implement positive behaviour and Interventions.
Coaches work with school-based teams and divisional team members to implement behaviour support plans and support school teams in the assessment of strategies through review, reflection, and data collection.
RVS has also increased professional learning options that are focused on the importance of an aligned approach and response to addressing behaviour, social-emotional learning, and mental health.
“It’s not PBIS on its own, it’s not assessments on its own, it’s not about instructional practices and design on its own, it’s about how you connect all those dots together,” Luterbach said. “That’s the art and the science of teaching. There is a lot of good work happening all across Rocky View, especially given where we are coming out of the pandemic.”
Luterbach is confident all schools will implement PBIS by the end of June.
Going forward, RVS is focused on implementing the Instruction and Assessment Practice Guide, ensure practices align with student literacy and numeracy needs, guide supports for student wellness, and continue with the new curriculum implementation.