Woodhaven
Middle School (5–9)

Assurance


2016-2017 Assurance Report

Principal: Shaye Patras
School Council Chair: John Tucker

Vision: Parkland School Division is a place where exploration, creativity and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams.

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Background
Inclusive Education
Quality Learning
Culture of Wellness
Universal Leadership
Engagement/Communication
Resource Stewardship

Background

As a member of the Parkland School Division family of schools, Woodhaven Middle School utilizes a robust Assurance Model to understand stakeholder feedback better. Working with an Assurance Model means that Woodhaven, Parkland School Division and the Board of Trustees actively seek to reveal all avenues for stakeholders to tell us how we are attending to our goals and priorities. One important part of our Assurance Model is deriving stakeholder feedback through insightful comments made by parents, staff, community members and students.

Woodhaven continuously gathers feedback from a variety of sources, including students, parents, staff, the school division and the greater community. In addition to surveys, conferences and day-to-day conversations, our school also uses an online assurance process called ThoughtExchange that enables participants to read and rank responses based on three questions:

  • What are some concerns you have about our school this year?
  • What are some things you appreciate about our school this year?
  • What are some other things you would like to say about our school this year?

Woodhaven’s Assurance Report captures the strengths, opportunities, aspirations and expected results that we gathered throughout last year. In keeping with an Assurance Model, this report provides the narrative for our achievements and challenges, and is presented on our school website.

Strengths are highlighted as areas that are working well in Woodhaven. In our commitment to quality learning, we recognize that there will always be room for growth. We are proud of the strengths and accomplishments you have recognized in the work we do.

Opportunities are areas for growth or attention. As a school, we recognize these as areas in which we need to focus more attention, and we see that these areas are also important to you.

Aspirations are presented as priorities for a preferred future. Our stakeholders have shared a vision for where we need to go and what our world will look like when we’ve mastered our strengths and eliminated areas in need of growth.

Results capture expectations for measuring success. In other words, how will we know that we know we are successful?

In 2015-2016, Parkland School Division’s Board of Trustees approved an ambitious Education Plan that was generated through the Assurance Model. The Plan established enduring strategic processes (enduring priorities) that will always be considered in the generation of strategies (forward-thinking actionable plans). These strategies enable us to achieve our outcomes (goals).

Parkland School Division’s Ultimate Goal is Student Success and Well-Being. Students will be encouraged to explore, create, imagine and engage in lifelong learning as they develop competencies that prepare them to enter the world of post-secondary studies or work. The Division believes that student success is closely linked to student well-being and the development of social-emotional assets that build resiliency, and is therefore committed to the development of the whole child at all levels of their education. The goals, outcomes, priorities and strategies identified in the Education Plan are focused on the achievement of the Ultimate Goal: Student Success and Well-Being.

Two enduring priorities continue to guide the work of the Division. These priorities are considered to be enduring since they are necessary priorities to consider in establishing any goal:

The Enduring Priority of Engagement: Engaging all stakeholders: students, staff, and the local and global communities. Goals and strategies must include a consideration of how they will be shared and supported by all stakeholder groups.

The Enduring Priority of Resource Stewardship: Ensuring equitable and sustainable use of our resources and ensuring financial responsibility. Goals and strategies must include a consideration of how they will utilize limited resources with maximum results.

In addition to the enduring priorities listed above, the 2015-2018 Three Year Education Plan includes the goals necessary to achieve student success and well-being:

Inclusive Education: Parkland School Division is an inclusive education system. An inclusive education system is one that demonstrates behaviours and decisions that reflect valuing all students. The Division is committed to achieving this goal and to fulfilling the provincial mandate for inclusion.

In Parkland School Division, everyone is accepted and experiences a sense of belonging. Every student - no matter their ability, disability, language, cultural background, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity - has meaningful contributions to make.

Using the programs of study as the framework for learning, every student is engaged in meaningful and authentic ways. All students are treated equitably: they get the support needed when they need it, and for the intensity and duration of time for which they need it.

Quality Learning: Student success and well-being depends on quality instruction in an atmosphere that respects each learner’s independent spirit. Quality teaching practices promote the development of innovation and creativity while attending to meaningful assessment and reporting practices.

Quality Learning builds on the Division’s Inclusive Education goal in that all students are connected to the Programs of Study and all students have the supports and educational quality necessary to achieve success.

Culture of Wellness: Parkland School Division is committed to Student Success and Well-Being. The Division recognizes that, as a system, well-being must be present for all stakeholders, and therefore it is committed to fostering physical literacy, lifelong health and well-being at all levels. The Division believes that student success is closely linked to student well-being and the development of social-emotional assets that build resiliency.

The development of citizenship and social responsibility contribute to wellness and are integral to the delivery of a broad and comprehensive program of studies. We are dedicated to the development of the whole child.

Universal Leadership: Student success and well-being requires collaborative, universal leadership that employs calculated risk-taking and a determination to consider and implement new and innovative ideas. The Division’s Board of Trustees continues to embrace the direction set by Alberta Education to adopt a Generative Governance Model that demands public confidence in all facets of the system. The Division’s clear strategic direction will be maintained, administered and reviewed on an ongoing basis to ensure true stewardship of resources.

As a learning organization, the Division recognizes continued improvement through a commitment to leadership at all levels.

Process

Woodhaven Middle School is committed to not only providing opportunities for stakeholder feedback, but also to examining this feedback by administration, school staff and School Council. This examination occurs throughout the year and guides the work of the staff of Woodhaven Middle School on our ongoing journey of school improvement.


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Inclusive Education

Strengths

My son enjoys school. This is our first year at Woodhaven and my son is having fun and learning at a rate and in a way that makes school enjoyable for him. He boasts that he’s not missed one day of school yet this year.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange 2017
 

The transition of the MCP has been very well done. It has been nice to see how well the MCP kids have transitioned into Woodhaven. It has been a pleasure to see them fully integrated into the school community. My son has had the opportunity to make several new friends…

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange 2017
 

Middle school parents, students and staff have told us that they are pleased with the ease and timeliness of accessing programs for students at risk. This level of parent satisfaction has increased from 71.7% in 2014 to 86.1% in 2017, exceeding the provincial average.

Woodhaven Middle School’s strengths in the area of Inclusive Education include:
  • A strong, committed school-based support team, consisting of administration and an Inclusive Education Lead Teacher (IEL), School Counselor, Community Support Worker (CSW) and Learning Services Facilitator, as well as classroom teachers
     
  • Regular access to school-linked team resources, such as Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Behaviour Consultants, Hearing and Vision Consultants, etc.
     
  • A commitment by the Woodhaven Middle School Council to provide a Grab-and-Go Breakfast to ensure all students have access to breakfast to start their day
     
  • Students who feel strongly that they “have someone at school who consistently provides encouragement and can be turned to for advice”, with our Advocacy rating on our Tell Them From Me elementary survey (Grades 5-6) being 5.7/10, which is higher than the national average of 4.9/10

The data and observations above re-affirm to Woodhaven staff, parents, students and community members that the staff of Woodhaven Middle School are committed to providing an inclusive learning environment for our students.

Opportunities

I have good kids with good marks who have less access to the teachers due to the majority of the teacher’s attention being needed for kids with behavioural concerns or are academically not at the current level.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Ensuring that all students have access to curriculum that aligns with their current level of functioning
     
  • Continuing to build the capacity of staff to program for students who have a gap between their current level of functioning and their assigned grade level
     
  • Creating structures within Woodhaven Middle School that support effective transitioning into, out of and within our school for students with diverse learning and behavioural needs

Aspirations

  • All students within Woodhaven Middle School will feel a strong sense of belonging within our learning community.
     
  • Woodhaven students and families will have access to appropriate academic, social, emotional and behavioural supports to support the development of our students, within both school and the community.

Results

  • Students and parents will report through various means (Accountability Pillar Results; Health Day Activities, etc.) that they feel a strong sense of belonging within the Woodhaven Community.
     
  • Students and parents will report through various means (Anecdotal conversations with administration, school counselor and teachers, Accountability Pillar Survey results, etc.) that our students are receiving the supports necessary for them to succeed.
     

81% of Woodhaven teachers, students and parents report satisfaction with the safe and caring environment within our learning community. This percentage has increased by 2.4% from the previous year.
 

THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. The culture and community of the Woodhaven school has been maintained even though there was such a significant change with the adjustment of the boundaries. Congratulations to all of the staff for making this happen!

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

I just wanted to send you all a message to let you know that my daughter came home happy and stress free today. I truly appreciate you all taking the time to help me to minimize her anxiety for the year and allow her to learn in the best environment that can help her achieve success.

- Woodhaven Parent Email


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Quality Learning

Strengths

Our students are offered some amazing options that they wouldn’t be able to do in other schools. They make amazing things in drama, art, foods and industrial arts. 

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

I really appreciate how engaged the teachers are in student learning.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange 2017
 

The teachers care. I really appreciate that the teachers really care about student progress…

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Woodhaven Middle School continues to offer a wide range of programming to meet the diverse needs and interests of our students. Data from the 2017 Accountability Pillar Survey indicates that 88% of parents are satisfied with the opportunity for students to receive a broad range of programming in fine arts, career and technology studies, and health and physical education.
     
  • We have a Design Team, which consists of a group of teachers who provide leadership and support to all teachers within Woodhaven Middle School, and will guide students and staff on a journey towards quality learning and student engagement.
     
  • We hold Monthly School-Based Support Team meetings to ensure that we are fulfilling the needs of some of the most diverse learners within our school. These meetings are attended by administration, as well as an Inclusive Education Lead (IEL) teacher, school counselor, Community Support Worker (CSW), Learning Services Facilitator, classroom teachers and support staff. School-Linked Team members, such as an Occupational Therapists or Speech Language Therapists, also attend these meetings, if required.
     
  • Grade level collaborative teams have dedicated time within their schedules to work together on the design team focus areas. These teams work collaboratively to create effective lessons and quality assessments, and to problem solve to meet the needs of the students within their classrooms.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School is a Professional Learning Community. Grade level collaborative teams share learning on school-based professional development days for the benefit of our entire staff. Best practices and strategies are discussed and implemented throughout our school.
     
  • 86.1% of parents, students and teachers are satisfied with the Quality of Education at Woodhaven Middle School (Accountability Pillar, 2017).

Opportunities

I don’t feel the students are provided with enough constructive feedback. 

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

Work remains for Woodhaven staff to continue to develop high levels of academic engagement within our school.

There will be a continued focus on:
  • Identifying critical/essential learning outcomes that all students will achieve
     
  • Providing meaningful intervention for those students not meeting critical/essential outcomes
  • Creating meaningful learning opportunities for students who are achieving at high levels and are meeting critical/essential learning outcomes
     
  • Aiding all students in developing their essential numeracy skills throughout middle school

Aspirations

  • Students at Woodhaven Middle School will report high levels of academic engagement.
     
  • Communication and community conversation about Woodhaven Middle School will include the quality learning opportunities that are being provided to students within our school and beyond our campus.
     
  • All students at Woodhaven Middle School will experience high levels of academic achievement.

Results

  • School Council meetings will provide teachers with the chance to share with council members the learning opportunities occurring in Woodhaven Middle School classrooms.
     
  • Standardized Test Results, including Provincial Achievement Tests in Grades 6 & 9, will show improvement.


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Culture of Wellness

I think Woodhaven Connects is an important school wide initiative. It allows the students to contribute to their community. 

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange

Strengths

  • Woodhaven Middle School students develop a strong sense of community within both our school and society through our Woodhaven Connects Program.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School staff recognize and celebrate student citizenship and leadership on a weekly basis through our Pack Pride Program.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School staff provide a multitude of programs, including Rainbows, Spectrum, Girl Group, Youth Studio, Heroes and Mentorship, to support our students in developing healthy relationships. Staff also access community partners on behalf of students, such as Family Community Support Services (FCSS), Children’s Mental Health and The Boys and Girls Club of Edmonton.
     
  • A specialized team of Physical Education teachers implement strong physical education and physical literacy programming for Woodhaven students. Our students have access to daily physical education with diverse programming, including such initiatives as “Wicked Wellness Wednesday”.
     
  • To support our students’ health development, we help connect Woodhaven Middle School families with community resources, such as Children’s Mental Health, Sunrise Support and FCSS, as necessary.

Opportunities

  • Woodhaven Middle School students continue to report feeling high levels of anxiety and depression.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School staff recognize the ongoing need to support students who are experiencing both social conflict and bullying.

Aspirations

I am very happy with the counsellor in this school. She is very pleasant and great with my child.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Reduced need for referrals to in-school counseling as well as to Children’s Mental Health will serve as one indicator of improved mental health and wellness within our learning community.
     
  • A shift in focus of the majority of in-school counseling time for students from crisis management to proactive programming on emotional regulation, wellness, career planning, leadership/mentorship and community service is another such indicator of improved mental health and wellness at Woodhaven.
     
  • We strive to ensure our students will have a strong sense of self and high levels of self-confidence, and that they will feel comfortable identifying when they need support and know how to access said support.

Results

  • The Woodhaven Middle School Counselor will report a measured decrease in the number of referrals for crisis support, as well as an increase in opportunities to implement proactive programming, as outlined above.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School students and parents will report, via surveys and anecdotes, that they are able to use strategies to address their stress and anxiety.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School students will advocate for their own emotional, social, mental and behavioural wellness.
     

I am happy with Woodhaven School; they have been very easy to talk to and work with me in regards to my daughter and her health issues.

- Tell Them From Me 2016


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Universal Leadership

I have been meaning to send you an email about this earlier but here it is now.

When our Developmental Boys came and played in the tournament, your boys were so encouraging and made our boys feel very good about themselves. They cheered them on [and] were positive....

Then your choir at Choral Celebration was by far the best, even better than the High School.

Thirdly, this weekend in Vancouver - I was supervising in the pool and the Woodhaven students, yet again were very respectful and thankful... Amazing administrators and amazing students....

Kudos to you, your staff and students.

- Email received at Woodhaven Middle School
 

Strengths

  • Woodhaven Middle School staff have opportunities to develop and share their leadership capacity in many ways. Serving as Acting Administrators when the Admin team is away from school, participating on our Design Team and joining in various initiatives such as PSD Learning Leaders, the Technology Advisory Group and Health Champions are just a few of the ways in which our staff develop their leadership capacity.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School students are provided with many formal and informal leadership opportunities throughout the year. Our students serve in an advisory capacity (e.g. when discussing school awards), they lead initiatives (e.g. Fall Ball and Spring League) and they are also able to participate in more structured leadership opportunities through the PSD Student Advisory Committee, Student Mentorship and CTF courses such as Leadership and Mentorship.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School student leaders attend conferences such as HEADSTRONG Summit (created by the Mental Health Commission of Canada) and the Healthy Active School Symposium (created by Ever Active Schools) to further develop their leadership skills and capacity.

Opportunities

  • Middle Years students can demonstrate high levels of leadership when they are passionate about a topic. Woodhaven staff will make a focused effort to continue identify areas in which  students can provide input (e.g. programming, speakers, CTF, topics for school-based presentations).
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School staff will work to identify opportunities for students at different grade levels to support each other socially and academically.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School administration will continue to model risk-taking and collaborative leadership, while focusing on creating opportunities for staff to develop and share their expertise with colleagues.
     

I think that the Grade 5s and 6s need to be included in more. If I were to change this I would let Grade 5s and 6s join in on things like school dances.

- Tell Them From Me, 2016

Aspirations

It is wonderful when Woodhaven students look beyond themselves and do nice things like notes and shoveling for the people in their area. Kudos to you! 

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Woodhaven teachers will embrace leadership opportunities within Parkland School Division as they become available (e.g. presenting on Division PD Days, hosting colleagues on the Make One Change Bus Tour, etc.)
     
  • While seeking active change, Woodhaven Middle School students will not only identify, but also create leadership opportunities within our learning community.
     
  • Working with the Galileo Network as members of the Parkland School Division leadership team, Woodhaven administration will share progress and receive feedback from colleagues.

Results

  • Woodhaven Middle School staff will continue to report high levels of satisfaction with professional development offered within Woodhaven Middle School and Parkland School Division.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School students will be provided with numerous initiatives throughout the year to develop their leadership skills, such as Woodhaven Connects, Leadership CTF, In-School Committees (e.g. Awards Committee) and Out-of-School Conferences (e.g. HEADSTRONG, WE Day, etc.). 


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Engagement/Communication

Strengths

Communication. I appreciate always being informed of upcoming events, tests, etc. from the teachers.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

Contact from teachers. It is nice to be informed via emails and texts of upcoming events and homework as it helps me to keep up with what is happening in my daughter’s classes.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Woodhaven Middle School parents, students and staff again reported a significant increase in their satisfaction with parental involvement in decisions about their children’s education, with our satisfaction rate rising from 70.3% to 76.1%, which is significantly above our 3-year average of 65.2%.
     
  • Effective communication between home and school continues to be an area of focus for Woodhaven Middle School staff. Class blogs, the Principal’s Blog, Google Classroom, Remind and Twitter and Facebook school accounts are just a few of the means by which Woodhaven staff keep our parents informed of our students’ progress and school-based events.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School connects with hundreds of parents and community members through our social media accounts. We have over 200 followers on Twitter, and hundreds of “Likes” on Facebook.

Opportunities

I feel that there is a lack of communication at my child’s school… With the push towards relying on social media to be the main source of information, I feel that there is a disconnect in meaningful connection with families.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Woodhaven Middle School staff continue to explore multiple ways to connect with our families. In addition to connecting with parents via social media and email, many classrooms are now exploring the use of Google Classroom. Parent meetings, transition meetings and phone calls remain critical ways to engage with our community.
     
  • School Council continues to serve as an excellent opportunity for Woodhaven parents to connect with Administration and Trustees, and to provide advice and input on school-based topics.

Aspirations

I think it is wonderful when the children can take pride in the community around their school and do kind deeds like notes or shovelling. This contributes to feelings of being a good citizen and respecting others in their sphere of influence. 

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

  • Woodhaven Middle School will have ongoing, meaningful communication between parents, students and teachers. Parents will feel connected with their child’s teachers, as well as with the learning and opportunities occurring within our school.
     
  • Students and parents will be able to share the learning and extracurricular opportunities happening at Woodhaven with the Spruce Grove community. These opportunities will make our school the best place to learn and play.

Results

  • Increased participation and attendance at School Council meetings
     
  • Increased satisfaction of parents with their involvement in their children’s education
     
  • Increased positive feedback regarding home/school communication provided via ThoughtExchange
     

[I appreciate the] opportunity to be involved with Parent Council and other groups in the school. The principal and other parents are very welcoming of newcomers to get involved in various aspects of the school.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

I like that Woodhaven school has many events for parents and students (like open house with barbeque and meeting the teachers, Christmas movie night, etc.).

- Woodhaven Parent Via ThoughtExchange


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Resource Stewardship

Strengths

  • Woodhaven Middle School administration continually examines the use of resources within our school. Though challenges have been presented throughout the school year, administration has worked collaboratively with our Design Team and our staff to provide strong programming for all students within our school. We have successfully implemented an intervention program to support the diversity of learners within our school.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School continues to find ways to provide supports to students and families, such as our School Counselor, Community Support Worker and Inclusive Education Lead Teacher.

Opportunities

  • We strive to make the most of the resources we have. Lack of available space presents an ongoing challenge, as our student population continues to rise prior to the opening of Copperhaven School.
     
  • We are focusing on maximizing the use of our support staff, specifically Educational Assistants. As the amount and diversity of student need increases, more supports are required, and our support staff continues to be stretched to their limit.

Aspirations

  • Woodhaven Middle School will have adequate space to provide all the programming opportunities that we envision for our students.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School will have a well-structured intervention system that provides timely and effective supports to all students.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School will continue to make the necessary resources available to ensure the mental health and wellness of our students, such as our School Counselor, our Administration, PSD’s Community Support Worker, Children’s Mental Health and other community-based supports.

Results

  • Woodhaven Middle School will continue to see improved achievement on Provincial Achievement Tests, both at the Standard of Excellence and the Acceptable Standard.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School students will have reduced levels of anxiety.
     
  • Woodhaven Middle School families will report high levels of satisfaction with the quality of education within our school.


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Students as Citizens

Parents and students within the Woodhaven learning community recognize the amazing opportunities we provide for our students:
 

Opportunities for after school sports. This is important as it develops a sense of pride in the youth in regards to their school and peers as well as providing a structure dand safe environment for social development.

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

Good extracurricular programs. Great programs (ski club, the school promotes community involvement and responsibility).

- Tell Them From Me, 2016
 

These opportunities allow our students to develop many diverse athletic, academic, artistic, citizenship and leadership skills.

Despite staff efforts in school and extracurricular activities, parents continue to question the citizenship and social responsibility of our students.
 

There is a lack of respect for fellow students, school staff and the school building itself: swearing, yelling, littering, vandalism, bullying... 

- Woodhaven Parent via ThoughtExchange
 

Unfortunately, some parents and community members are focusing on the behaviour of an extremely small minority of students who have not yet demonstrated the ability to manage their behaviour in appropriate ways. Supporting these students and their families to establish developmentally appropriate behaviours and strategies continues to be a priority within Woodhaven Middle School. Our community-based partnerships with FCSS, Children’s Mental Health, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Canadian Tire JumpStart and the Parkland Rotary Club After Dark aid us in this endeavour.

Our administration and staff strive to provide parents with a more comprehensive look at the strong citizenship skills of the vast majority of Woodhaven Middle School students. Our students demonstrate their outstanding citizenship when they take on leadership roles through programs, such as Woodhaven Connects and Mentorship, CTF Courses, such as Student Leadership, and school sports initiatives, such as Fall Ball and Spring League.

We are proud of the learning, athletic, fine art and citizenship skills demonstrated by the amazing students at Woodhaven Middle School, and we are focused on sharing these with our community.
 

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