Our School Plan Progress 2019-2020

Improving Student Learning

The Abbotsford School District’s Strategic Plan reflects our public commitment to BC’s new curriculum by working together to continuously improve learning for each student.

School Goals

Under the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning, all Abbotsford School District schools are required to develop a long term plan to improve student achievement, one that maintains a balance on the intellectual, social and career development of students. Each year, each school develops an annual plan and sets individual goals to improve student achievement. 

Mountain School Goals

Home of the Mountain Lions

Mountain Elementary is a vibrant K-5 school nestled in picturesque Mountain Village on Sumas Mountain.  Opened in 1992, the staff, students and families have established this elementary school as a school of excellence.  Mountain Elementary is a safe school, with high behavioural expectations and standards.  Students are actively taught appropriate social skills and they are reinforced through the use of school wide behaviour support systems.

We strive to give our children a balanced educational program.  A highly skilled and caring staff delivers classroom instruction in the core subject areas:

  • Language Arts programs boast a mix of the traditional and current literacy practices. 
  • Students make impressive gains yearly in Mathematics,  consistently scoring at or above the provincial average in both Mathematics and Language Arts.
  • Hands on Science experiments and Social Studies projects, direct teaching, research and community outings are highlights for learning.

Summary of 2018-19 School Plan

Student reading achievement celebrated - but still, much work left to be done.

Mountain Elementary School's Goal this year was to make significant gains in students' ability to read. Each grade group developed a plan to identify specific learning targets for their students. Throughout the year teachers met to review data on how well students were progressing and then identifying which students could use extra help or an alternate approach. 

The Results

Each grade group made significant gains in reading. Every grade increased the number of students reading at or above grade-level.
Many students who were "Minimally Meeting" in September ended the year either "Fully Meeting" or even "Exceeding Expectations" for their age.
Unfortunately, there still remains a challenge for us. We need to find a pathway to success for students who persistently remain at "Not Yet Meeting." Most NYM students are struggling to keep pace and not fall further behind. More needs to be done to ensure that all students success in reading.

School Plan for 2019-20 
 

Click to Download the School Plan Document

After looking at past data, we began to wonder...

How will the development of a systematic framework of instruction, assessment and intervention increase student achievement of essential outcomes in targeted areas?

What we believe about teaching and learning

Every student can learn. Unlocking their potential starts with getting to know each student well. By identifying student needs across each grade and focusing our efforts and resources where they can be used most effectively, we can make a greater impact on improving student achievement.

The data is suggesting...

After reviewing the previous year’s achievement data we noticed that reading achievement grew rapidly for most students between grade 2 and 3 where it would often plateau. The School District's "Grade 3 Imperative" states that all students will be reading at grade-level by the end of Grade 3. The trend to flatten out after Grade 3 and into Grades 4 and 5 seems to point to where our focus should be in the 2018-19 school year. In addition, there is a cohort of students in each grade that persistently fail to meet expections dispite our efforts. Find new pathways to succes for these students will be a focus for the 2019-20 school year.

 

What we know...

  • We know that intermediate students who struggle with decoding words in Grades 5 and beyond find it very difficult to find High-Interest books that are accessible to them. If this gap continues and widens, students will be at risk of losing their confidence as readers.
  • We know that the ability to read with understanding is key to success in school and in many other aspects of our students' lives. ​
  • We also know that early intervention, starting in Kindergarten, can help students master Phonics and Word Recognition skills early which will have a profound effect on their success as readers in subsequent grades.

Our plan will involve teams

  • Our Intermediate CR4SR (Changing Results for Struggling Readers) team is made up of 3 teachers, the Vice Principal and our ELL teacher. This group will study the latest research on teaching literacy at the intermediate level. Team members will do a case study on select students and document their findings. They will meet regularly to plan to implement new reading strategies.
  • The Grade 4/5 teachers have committed to a 40-minute block of "Protected Time" three afternoons a week where all students are involved in reading activities and when students can be regrouped for targeted instruction, learning assistance and ELL support.
  • The Primary CR4YR (Changing Results for Young Readers) team includes the four Kindergarten teachers. They are reviewing the latest literature on early reading. Their focus will be finding and implementing strategies with the goal of having all Kindergarten students master their letter sounds by the end of Kindergarten.
  • Grade-Group Collaboration teams will also meet regularly to review data from their grade, identify the specific needs of students, group students for targetted instruction and plan implementation strategies.

Our school-wide strategies will include

  • Utilizing classroom teachers, LSS, AbEd, Learning Commons and ELL teachers (including EA’s) to provide targeted, small group instruction at least 3 times a week.
  • Involving parents by providing them with resources to extend reading practice at home (home reading program) and by regularly communicating student progress. Example: We will teach parents how to use Accelerated Reader to track reading at home.
  • Working to align professional development activities and learning resource purchases with our Plan. Many of the primary staff plan to attend the Janet Mort Joyful Literacy training in October as well as the Two Sisters Literacy Conference in February.
  • Finding ways to recognize growth and excellence in reading at the school level.

We will be guided by data

  • Each term reading assessment data will be gathered, aggregated and analyzed.
  • Tracking reading achievement data at the school level will help us determine the effectiveness of our strategies as well as inform as to what changes we may need to make.  
  • Sharing appropriate data with teachers, parents and students help increase agency and ownership of the process.
 

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Intellectual

Our students will learn key academic skills - like reading, writing and math - to encompass the knowledge and processes associated with intellectual development. As learners and meaning-makers, students take subject-specific concepts and content and transform them into a new understanding. 

Our celebrations of learning

At Mountain...

We strive to give our children a balanced educational program.  A highly skilled and caring staff deliver classroom instruction in core subject areas. Our Language Arts programs boast a mix of the traditional and current literacy practices. Our students made impressive gains yearly in Mathematics, consistently scoring at or above the provincial average.

 

English Language Arts is a foundational curriculum that equips students with the language and literacy skills for success in school, community, career, and life. 

The redesigned English Language Arts curriculum presents what students are expected to know, understand, and be able to do.

Although the focus on problem solving is apparent, the foundational skills and processes of mathematics remain an integral part of the Mathematics curriculum and reside in the Content and Curricular Competencies. 

Hour of Code

Each year Mountain students participate in the Hour of Code, a worldwide event celebrating computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities. This year students learned to design a dance routine by using code. Here is the result.

From Kindergartens to Grade 5's and using cups as well as Sphero robots, everyone had a chance to experience coding.

ADST and the Learning Commons

Mrs. Levings challenged primary students to build a pigeon cage capable of containing our Learning Commons Mascot. 

The students came up with some interesting solutions.

Grades 4 - 5 STEM

Intermediate students regroup for STEM challenge activities where they work on a hands-on (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) challenge projects.  

Our young scientists are engaged, learning and becoming well-prepared for their STEM-filled future!

Human & Social

Our students will study personal and human social skills and as they relate to students' identity in the world - both as individuals and as members of their community. We are learning that personal and human social skills encompass the abilities students needs to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world. 

Our celebrations of learning

Aboriginal Culture and Commmunity Focus

First Nations students have been an integral part of our school culture since the beginning.  The students receive academic support through our Response to Intervention (RTI) system and our Aboriginal support worker.  The new revised curriculum (2017) embraces Aboriginal learning and our Aboriginal support worker works both directly with students and with teachers to help them integrate Aboriginal ways of knowing. In addition, we have many cultural activities that embrace the learning of all our students.

First Nations carvers, painters and dancers make regular visits to our school.  Kecia Prevost, our Cultural Support Worker and member of the local Sumas and Matsqui First Nation works with our students with Aboriginal Ancestry helping them develop an indigenous world view, learn more about First Peoples and develop an appreciation for their rich ancestral heritage. Together with Mr. Toews (Vice Principal) she will also provide academic support to our Aboriginal students in consultation with their classroom teachers.

Some other aspects to our Aboriginal Education program include special speakers  to tell stories, demonstrate and teach cultural activities such cooking, crafts and drumming and dancing. Fieldtrips to First Nations community events, learning centers and places with historical and cultural significance . 

The Híwus Feasthouse Field trip was approximately 5 hours in length and included the Grouse Mountain Admission, Skyride up and down, the Eco-walk, guides/storytellers, craftwork and lunch (hot chocolate, West Coast vegetable soup, flatbread, candied salmo

Arts Education

Mountain students are offered opportunities in the Fine Arts such as a Guitar Club, a Hand-bell choir, grade-level choirs, and school-wide musicals.
Mountain students went to the Orpheum Theatre and learned first hand about the different sections of the orchestra.

International Students

Each year a number of students from abroad attend Mountain Elementary. Through the International Student Program students gain an appreciation for other cultures and the many things we have in common.

Community Service Involvement

Every year Mountain students are challenged to look outward and serve their community.
Students at Mountain Elementary raised over $1,700 towards cancer research in their annual Terry Fox Run fundraising event.

Careers

Our students will succeed in a much different future from the one we envisioned 10 or 15 years ago. It is our responsibility to prepare all children for success in whatever life path they choose, connecting learning opportunities with future career possibilities. We know that real-life experiences - like community involvement, gaining business knowledge, and hands-on-learning - build better students and life-long citizens. 

Our celebrations of learning

Robotics and Programming

Learning to code prepares kids for the world we live in today. Many jobs and occupations use code directly, like web designers, software developers and robotics engineers. There will be even more future occupations where knowing how to code will be a huge asset.

Mountain students got hands-on experience coding the District Sphero kit. Students in all grades met the Hour of Code challenge this year.

Osmo kits combined with iPads provided the students a tactile coding experience.
Even the Kindergartens took to coding using the iPads.