As the school year draws to a close, Wolf Creek Public Schools is already preparing for the next school year, which will be Year 2 of the Division’s four year education plan.
For Year 2, our focus is narrowed to hone in on quality teaching, but interlaced with that is our strategies pertaining to our other two very important priorities as well — collective responsibility and supporting all students.
In Year 1, there was a focus on COVID-19 interventions, as the Division was successful in securing approximately $700,000 in additional support for grades one through three. Through supports and learning sessions, our Education Services department began working with schools and administrators for the lead up preparation to the new K-6 curriculum. And with an additional focus on assessment and reporting we began a process of reviewing such practices with a goal of achieving consistency and a common report card.
Through this school year, our educational quality held steady, ranking at 89.4 per cent. One area where we have seen a decline was in parental involvement, which fell to 74.3 per cent from just about 80 per cent the previous year. It is our hope that much of that can be placed at the feet of COVID-19 measures, and now that families and volunteers can return to our schools, we should see an improvement in engagement and involvement.
The Board of Trustees has always been committed to improving educational opportunities and creating success for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students. It is part of the crucial commitment we can all make to truth and reconciliation. Moving into the next school year with that commitment is our aim to work dramatically to improve graduation rates. That includes developing strategies of outreach and engagement to make sure we, as a school division, are removing as many barriers to education as possible to ensure success.
Part of evolving this four year plan is listening to parents, to students and to staff. Through spring consultations we heard that learning gaps should be closely examined, there is a thirst for more hands-on learning, and a desire to return to the kinds of interactions and learning that were successful pre-pandemic. There have been a number of hurdles put in place over the past few years, the most notable being COVID-19 and the impacts that it created on learning. But we know we have dedicated teaching and support staff that have done and continue to do amazing work.
A four-year plan is a road map, but we know there will be turns and obstacles to navigate along the way. Like any journey worth taking we are eager to get started, and we are eager for the start of Year 2 of our four-year plan.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you for your trust in Wolf Creek Public Schools, especially over the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. We all felt its impacts and we are truly grateful for the passionate staff, and for families that adapted and worked to support learning. We are also grateful for our amazing and inspiring students.
Please have a tremendous summer break and we will see you this September.
Luci Henry, is the board chair for Wolf Creek Public Schools.