H.D. Stafford Middle School is located in the City of Langley and serves the catchment area elementary schools of Blacklock, Douglas Park, James Hill, Nicomekl, Simonds and Uplands with our grade 8’s transferring into Langley Secondary School. With a school population of approximately 580 students in grades 6, 7 & 8 HD Stafford Middle has been designed to take advantage of the outstanding facilities that exist within its walls, to specifically support young adolescents as they transition through the middle years of their educational journey.We offer students the chance to explore their talents and passions by offering a variety of learning opportunities including Tech Arts (woodworking, metalwork, robotics); Home Arts (cooking, sewing); Fine Arts (music, dance, drama and visual arts) as well as an impressive number and variety of athletic, extra-curricular and intramural opportunities. HD Stafford Middle strives to provide middle years students with an opportunity to develop academically, emotionally, socially and physically in the safety of a grade 6 to 8 configuration while engaging them in exciting learning opportunities. Together as Skyhawks, we S.O.A.R.
Inquiry Question #1: How Will A Focus On School Community and Culture (Staff, Parents, Students) Improve Student Achievement?
- Connected Inquiry Questions:
- How can we build a more positive culture within our school connected to powerful instruction and learning
- How do we leverage the community around us to best support our students’ basic and learning needs.
- How do we better connect with our feeder schools to understand students coming to HD Stafford and with Langley Secondary School to prepare the whole child for their learning experience at high school and beyond
- Learning cannot occur without a positive culture in a school focused on student well-being and learning
- HD Stafford Middle has undergone considerable transition in its short history, requiring a re-focusing on culture and vision
- District Connections:
- The District Achievement Contract includes Transitions. This inquiry question focuses on creating a culture that welcomes students from our feeder schools and utilizes the middle years at HD Stafford to prepare them for Langley Secondary and beyond
Pillars of Action:
- Establish Behavioural Norms For Staff and Students:
- Staff commitments when engaging in collaborative time and decision making
- Clear and consistent expectations for students behaviour
- Establish a vision for what a student leaving HD Stafford Middle looks like:
- Embark in a visioning process for establishing character traits and skill sets we want our students to have entering into Langley Secondary School
- Create a school culture centered on working towards this
- Encourage Parents, Feeder Schools, Community Partners to be an active part of the HD Stafford learning community
- Improve communication between parents, feeder schools and community partners to truly leverage all resources to support students.
- Embrace parents to attend PAC meetings and other crucial school activities and decisions
- Staff Development
- Development and consistent implementation of both staff and student behavioural norms
- Focused use of staff meetings and collaboration time to revisit the culture being developed at HD Stafford Middle School
- Opportunity to connect with parents, feeder schools and community partners in both face to face and online avenues
- Human resources and capital supplies to create a central “Community Room” for breakfast/lunch program, homework club, community support, etc.
- Parent Education
- A genuine welcoming of parents to PAC meetings and school events and decisions
- Focus group to discuss what parents want for their children and how the school can support that
- Focus groups (parents, staff, community partners) to illicit feedback on overall culture of HD Stafford Middle
- Design and implement a survey to parents, staff and community partners as a baseline on what our school culture is at HD Stafford Middle School. (click here for example adapted from The School-Classroom Culture Audit by G. Phillips)
- Data from Tell Them From Me engagement survey (Appendix A)
- Connect with community partners to set up and maintain our community room
- Use PAC meetings and online tools to discuss with parents what kind of school culture they would like to see at HD Stafford Middle
Inquiry Question #2: How will increasing the engagement of all students help improve their achievement?
- Connected Inquiry Questions:
- What effect will creating authentic, real-life learning experiences have on overall achievement in reading, writing and numeracy?
- How does integrating inquiry learning across curriculum affect achievement in reading, writing and numeracy?
- Can the new focus of the BC Curriculum be leveraged to develop an inquiry mindset through the student learning experience
- Student engagement ranges from simple compliance to full dis-engagment with few students fully immersing in the learning experience
- We want to focus on “disengaged-successful” students as well as “disengaged-unsuccessful” students to help all improve (see appendix B)
- the deeper learning that results from increased student engagement will push students to a higher standard of achievement.
- Qualitative data suggests many students report a detachment between what they learn at school and its connection to the changing world around them (“Why are we learning this?”)
- Quantitative Data (Tell Them From Me) consistently shows HD Stafford Middle students scoring below the national average on a variety of engagement scales
- District And Provincial Connections:
- The District Achievement Contract looks at the themes of Literacy and Numeracy as areas of focus. The inquiry question directly relates to this broader goal. The hypothesis is that increasing the engagement of students in their own learning process will result in higher achievement in the core skills of reading, writing and numeracy.
- The BC Education Plan references five key elements necessary for the success of today’s student:
- Personalized Learning for Every Student
- Quality Teaching and Learning
- Flexibility and Choice
- High Standards
- Learning Empowered by Technology
The inquiry question encompasses all of these while maintaining student engagement at the center of the process.
Pillars of Action:
- Explore the Use of Inquiry in the Classroom:
- Emphasis on the inquiry process as an instructional practice in the classroom
- Staff development through collaboration and networking (Network of Inquiry and Innovation Team, social media tools)
- Collaborative staff teams will focus on a professional inquiry question based on the new BC curriculum and increasing student engagement during district-wide collaboration time
- Share resources about inquiry learning through Stafford Scoop
- Grade level Inquiry Fairs (Spring 2016)
- Increase Personal Learning and Differentiated Instruction
- Restructure Learning Support Programs (ie. Math Missile, Literacy Support) to involve more support in classroom as oppose to pullout
- Use technology as a tool to develop lesson based on a child’s instructional level (zone of proximal development).
- Make Connections within the Curriculum and to the “Real World”
- Allow students to be involved in local community as well as global initiatives connected to the curriculum
- Me to We Day
- Blogging, cross class Skyping, etc
- Local charities
- Use technology to give purpose to learning activities by connecting students to other local and global learners through interactive websites, video conferencing, social media, blogging, etc
- Use staff meetings to explore technology as a way to empower learning
- Informal staff gatherings to continue professional development related to technology integration
- Leveraging our Digital Literacy Coaches to work school-wide on using technology to empower learning
- Staff Development
- Release time for collaboration
- Opportunity to visit other Langley classrooms where inquiry learning is occurring
- Use staff meeting/collaboration time to create learning opportunities on how technology can empower inquiry, differentiation and connected, authentic learning
- Establish an informal time for teachers to learn how technology can support quality instruction in a classroom setting.
- Focus on cohort data over time
- School developed survey on engagement
- Obtain baseline in Spring of 2015
- School based assessments (report cards, cross grade summative assessments)
- FSA 7, DNA 6
- Interviews with students / focus group