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Research and Data Use in Evergreen School Division

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1 Research and Data Use in Evergreen School Division
Paul Cuthbert Superintendent Doug Anderson Assistant Superintendent Fay Cassidy Literacy/Assessment/ Student Services Consultant March 5, 2009

2 Overview Evergreen School Division profile Early Childhood Programs
Science Research Study Senior Years Review Project OISE Research Project What Did You Do in School Today? Other Sources of Data and Research

3 Evergreen School Division Profile
Our school community is culturally diverse and consists of 1671 students in 8 schools located in four communities (Winnipeg Beach, Gimli, Arborg, and Riverton) Evergreen offers a variety of different educational programs and is characterized by a dedicated and caring staff, safe schools and transportation, outstanding student services, state of the art information technology and excellent curriculum supports

4 Enrollment by School As of September 30, 2008
Arborg Early/Middle School (K-8) 294 Arborg Collegiate Institute (9-12) 130 Sigurbjorg Stefansson Early School (K-4) 236 George Johnson Middle School (5-8) 220 Gimli High School (9-12) 329 Riverton Collegiate Institute (8-12) 159 Riverton Early/Middle School (K-7) 161 Winnipeg Beach School (K-7) 142

5 Programs and Services Kindergarten, Early/Middle/Senior
Early Childhood Programming Special Education Supports Basic French Reading Recovery Science Fair English as an Additional Language Senior Years Learning Centres Guidance and Counselling Continuing Education Resource Programming Senior Years Technology, Apprenticeship, Career and Technology Studies Literacy, Assessment & ICT Consulting Student Success Initiatives School Community Liaison Aboriginal Academic Achievement Program Speech and Language Pathology State of the Art Information and Communication Technologies Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy Distributed (online) Learning High Speed Internet International Students

6 Enrolment (September 30, 2008)
Statistics at a Glance Enrolment (September 30, 2008) Kindergarten Early Years (Grades 1-4) Middle Years (Grades 5-8) Senior Years (Grades 9-12) Total Budget ( ) $16.5 million Division Area (sq. km.) 2,424 Number of Schools 8 Other Facilities Education Support Centre – Gimli Cont. Education Centre – Gimli Bus Garages – Gimli/Arborg Maintenance Facility – Gimli 5 Number of Bus Routes 24 Pupils Transported/day 1115 Distance Driven/day (km) 3892 Employees 273 Trustees 9 Employees Teachers, Principals, Clinicians 125 Educational Assistants 67 Secretaries/Library Clerks 18 Custodial, Maintenance 24 Bus Drivers, Mechanics Senior Administration 4 Education Support Centre 7 Continuing Education Total 273

7 Strategic Governance Evergreen School Board has adopted a Strategic Governance Model. This model allows the Board to focus on high level decision making such as policy development (20 policies) and strategic planning and allows the administration to manage the day to day operations of the school division. Our strategic direction and decision making process is grounded in research and data


9 2008-2009 Division Priorities Priority Action Area Curriculum
Numeracy/Mathematics Literacy Information and Communication Technologies Physical Education/Health Education Safe and Caring Schools Positive Behaviour and Relationship Development Citizenship Healthy Schools Education for a Sustainable Future Student Success Career and Technology Programming Relevance, Engagement and Interventions Arts Student Assessment Sustainability Facilities Environment Community connections Human Resources Enrolments ICT Infrastructure

10 What do we value, aim for and aspire to?

11 Vision, Mission, Values, Beliefs “Our Foundations”
The Board of Trustees, in consultation with stakeholders, have approved new Division Foundation Statements for Evergreen School Division as of January 2009

12 Why are “Foundations” Important?
To communicate: the purpose of our work the values and beliefs that underpin our work To inform our practice To provide a reference point that helps us to evaluate our practices To guide our decision-making

13 “Improving Tomorrow by Learning Today”
Evergreen Foundations Vision “Improving Tomorrow by Learning Today” Mission Evergreen School Division will engage students in learning in order that they will become contributing citizens of a democratic society. Core Values Students Come First Learning is Our Core Purpose Public Education Serves the Common Good Our Vision suggests a picture of what our day-to-day work ‘looks like.’ It reminds us what our focus is (learning), and why we’re doing it (to improve tomorrow). Our Mission articulates what we aim for in our day to day work to help us “to improve tomorrow.” Our progress toward this aim is what we are accountable for (are the students engaged in learning? is their learning geared toward helping them become contributing citizens? do they become contributing citizens?) It is our Values and Beliefs that are the principles and standards that guide the practices of the people in our division.

14 What does it mean to be a contributing citizen?
Students will become informed and responsible decision-makers, playing active roles as citizens of our communities, Canada and the world, and will contribute to social, environmental, and economic well-being, and an equitable quality of life for all, now and in the future. MECY Characteristics of well-developed people in a democracy: Reasonableness - able to think clearly, logically Agency - acting on the basis of our own plans and intentions Relationship - a sense we have of other people Morality - prudence, generosity, moderation, honesty, courage, and humility Fenstermacher So as we reflect on these new foundations and our common purpose, it is important for us to use our new foundations as a compass to direct our efforts. We continually seek to improve our practices. To “improve our practices” means to make our practices better at contributing to the pursuit and realization of our mission. There are systemic restraints as well as supports that we must ‘negotiate’ or ‘navigate’ as we try to improve. We believe that “Relationships” and “Relevance” are essential elements of our practices as was made evident to us in our High School Review consultations.

15 Growing Interest in Evidence and Research
More public interest in research More professional interest, knowledge and skill More efforts to link research with policy and practice

16 In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is. Ben Levin

17 Uncertain Results and Impact
Impact of research is indirect, cumulative and gradual Mediated through social and political processes, both inside the education system and more broadly Has to ‘make sense’ to people in real terms Rarely has direct, simple, quick effects

18 One Model of Research Impact
Policy/ Practice Research

19 Personal Relationships
Another Model What Everybody Knows Time Pressures Views of Parents Habits Media Colleagues Policy Personal Relationships Chance events Ideology Bureaucracy Research

20 Evergreen Early childhood programs

21 Preschool Home Visitors and “Kindergarten, Here I Come”
Targeted vs Universal Targeted programs – aimed at a specific group/invitational participation not great E.g.. 12 sessions – 13 in attendance Universal programs – offered to all optional to parents

22 Background: Preschool Home Visitor
K teachers defined readiness skills in 2001 Home visitors go to home of each incoming Kindergarten student to share a readiness package with parents (School is offered as an alternate location.) Visits are one hour in length Package includes booklet “Getting Ready for Kindergarten” Kindergarten registration held in November

23 Preschool Visitors Retired resource or Kindergarten teachers
Lately the actual Kindergarten teacher has been visiting (this is well received) A letter of introduction is sent to each home before visits Paid on contract per visit plus mileage Funded by MECY’s Early Child Development Initiative Grant

Reading Booklets Families That Read Bookmark Kindergarten, Here I Come info Manitoba Healthy Schools sheet Getting Ready for School (Healthy Child) The First Years Last Forever Getting Ready for Kindergarten (ESD) Student Services Brochure 2008 Hanen Calendar Growth Charts Speech Language Pamphlet Magnetic Lower Case Alphabets Magnetic Numbers Jigsaw Page Erasable Slate Number Line (0-10) Crayons Scissors Play Dough Deck of Cards Parent Evaluation Ready-Set-Go Bags

25 Kindergarten Enrolments
School Year # of students – Sept 30 # of Home Visits 2001/2002 89 - 2002/2003 116 2003/2004 115 2004/2005 108 65 2005/2006 112 88 2006/2007 106 84 2007/2008 114 87 2008/2009 96 56

26 1. Was the visit useful to you to explain the information?
Yes No Undecided 2004 65 2005 88 2006 84 2007 86 1 2008 56

27 2. Was this information useful to you?
Yes No Undecided 2004 63 1 2005 87 2006 84 2007 86 2008 55

28 3. What was most useful? 2004 – All information
Knowing what I should teach my child 2005 – Everything Meeting the Kindergarten teacher Being told to help more with lower case 2007 – Everything 2008 – All was useful

29 4. Would you recommend that preschool visits continue?
Yes No Undecided 2004 60 5 2005 85 1 2 2006 82 2007 83 3 2008 53

30 5. If yes, how many visits would be useful?
Year 1 2 1-3 Other 2004 28 9 12 2005 51 8 13 2006 50 7 14 2007 41 15 6 5

31 6. Would you be interested in attending a group meeting on Kindergarten?
Yes No Undecided 2004 52 12 1 2005 66 18 3 2006 60 20 4

32 7. Would you be interested in having your child attend “Kindergarten, Here I Come” in May and June (2 hours a week)? Yes No Undecided 2007 84 1 2008 56

33 Lessons Learned Flus and calving resulted in the most cancellations
Watch for dogs! If safety a concern parents were invited to school How evaluations are presented is important Visitors often had difficulty sticking to one hour Kits were sent to late registrants Early Development Instrument supports program No other program has been received as positively as the Preschool Visitor Program

34 Kindergarten, Here I Come

35 Background: Kindergarten Here I Come
Optional program that introduces our future Kindergarten students to the daily routine of school Located in Kindergarten room or library Parents welcome to attend with child 2.5 hour session each week for 8 weeks Transportation responsibility of parents Qualified instructors (retired teachers or substitutes) Funded by MECY’s Early Child Development Initiative Grant

36 Expected Outcomes for KHIC
Introduce parents and child to the school environment Orientation to classroom routines and expected behaviours Improve social skills Relieve possible anxieties for starting school

37 Activities include: Circle and story time
Opportunities to promote language/communication skills Social interaction amongst peers/adults Free play and movement (gym/playground) Visits to the library Fine motor activities Ride on a school bus

38 Data Collection Teacher response Parent response Survey (2007 & 2008)
Behaviour tally sheet (2008) Survey (2007 & 2008) Kindergarten Teacher Meetings Parent response Survey (2007 & 2008)




42 Evergreen Science Research Study
In collaboration with Dr. Brian Lewthwaite University of Manitoba

43 Background to the Study
Concerns with K-8 science delivery provincially, nationally, internationally. A variety of factors influencing negatively on science curriculum delivery. Teacher personal attribute factors: confidence and interest, background knowledge. Environmental factors: resource adequacy, professional support, time availability, school ethos and priority.

44 School Development in Science
Use SCIQ instrument to diagnostically determine where schools are at. 49-item instrument that evaluates where schools are at and where they want to be. Focuses on teacher attribute and environmental factors. Implement strategies to address areas of weakness identified. Re-evaluate after implementation efforts and implement further strategies as necessary.

45 How did this research begin?
Presentation at MERN Forum in 2005. Invited by Maurice Saltel, Principal, Arborg Early Middle School to conduct a school analysis. Teachers completed questions on line. I completed a research profile for the school and shared the information with the teaching staff at a staff meeting. They verified the accuracy of the data.


47 Analysis of Arborg Early Middle School
Highest teacher perception scores encountered in over 300 applications of the SCIQ. Researcher was interested as to why! Teachers confirmed through discussion the accuracy of the results “Word” contributed to a further school in the division (SSES in Gimli) wanting an analysis.


49 Further Analysis Even higher results at SESS. Confirmed by teachers.
High confidence, interest, knowledge. Supported, Resourced, Priority Positive. All factors perceived very highly. Sparked researcher inquiry into what was contributing to these exceptionally positive results within the division. ESD Case Study. Further SCIQ analyses. Principal and teacher interviews. Finally, interview with Superintendent

50 Theme One: Possessing and Articulating a Vision
An organizational leader influences organizational direction and outcomes (Cuban, 1988) Impetus for organizational change commences with an articulated vision of what change will look like development of scientific literacy in students requires an inquiry-based, hands-on approach to science engaging students in learning through “doing science” Vision was ‘common’ or ‘shared’ within the division’s Leadership Team. Leadership Team members are the instructional leaders of the school division - focus on student learning Principals have responsibility for curriculum delivery in their schools Leaders enable and support teachers to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms

51 Theme Two: Establishing a Shared Vision Among Leadership Reflecting Stakeholder Needs and Concerns
The establishment of a Strategic Planning Cycle allows the Board and Leadership Team to work systematically to establish practical and sustained mechanisms that fostered the achievement of educational priorities. Science was identified as a curriculum priority by stakeholders through division planning Strategies and indicators of success developed Allocation of adequate resources (science kits for hands-on learning

52 Theme Three: Identification of Strategies to Accomplish the Vision
Achieving development goals in science education was largely enabled by a coherent planning strategy based on the Superintendent’s awareness of factors influencing curriculum change. Professional Development – grade group cluster workshops (developed capacity for conceptual understanding using Essential Questions approach and hands-on training for teachers) Resource Supports - divisional science kits (circulated) Curriculum Consultant – provides ongoing supports to teachers, coordinates and maintains kits School and divisional science fairs established (application of student learning)

53 Theme Four: Ongoing Evaluation and Improvement through Informal and Informal Feedback
A common theme among the respondents (teachers and principals) was the responsiveness of the division to their concerns. Evaluation of implementation strategies was critical to improving and sustaining implementation efforts e.g. additional workshops and science kits Superintendent models by providing lessons for science classes The division places emphasis on ongoing formative evaluation to find impediments to success and sustains curriculum efforts over time to make sure the curriculum actions are reaching the goals planned. Improvement efforts must be sustained over time (typically 5 years) to ensure that capacity is built and implementation is successful.

54 Summary These four themes evidenced through participant responses are not dissimilar from what are typically cited as the behaviors and actions associated with educational leaders that foster educational change effectively (Cuban, 1998, p. 194). Leadership at one level affects what occurs at other levels bringing about a more consequential result. Development of a congruency of aspiration by the Board and, in particular, the principals of the Leadership Team.

55 Senior Years Review Project

56 Context Over the past four years, Evergreen School Division has been engaged in collecting data from former graduates, students, teachers and community regarding the purpose of education and the processes and conditions for learning. Part of my role this morning is to provide you with a context for today’s session, how the data we are collecting in What Did You Do In School Today supports the data we have been collecting in our High School Review initiative , how the Effective Teaching Practices Framework links to existing Evergreen initiatives and how all of these support our new division foundations.

57 Student Voice Data collected from our students has raised critical questions about issues such as student engagement and preparedness for life after school.

58 Need to Re-think Education?
The need to re-think the education of our adolescent learners is becoming widely articulated in education research e.g. CEA – Getting it Right for Adolescent Learners The changing expectations of post-secondary pathways for all students and high levels of student disengagement support a critical review of what we are doing in our schools.

59 Evergreen’s High School Review
The purpose of the project is aimed at conducting action research through the engagement of students, teachers, and community in reflective dialogue to inform change in Evergreen School Division high schools. Research Questions: To what degree is there resonance or dissonance between our core beliefs about education and our experience with high school? What can we learn from our successes? How might we reconcile the challenges?

60 Research Partnerships
Evergreen School Division formed a research partnership with the Manitoba School Improvement Program (MSIP) and the Manitoba Association of School Trustees (MAST)to assist with this important research.

61 Evergreen High School Research Data Collection (2004-2008)
Former Grad/School Leaver Surveys Division-wide Student Learning Forums School-based Student Focus Groups School-based Staff Focus Groups Community-based Focus Groups Division Planning Sessions Evergreen Student Council WDYDIST

62 Students Staff Parents Caring / Compassionate Worldly / Well-rounded
Thoughtful / Understanding Passionate Knowledgeable Industrious / Persistent Open-minded / Learning Sharing / Advises Empathetic Worldly / Aware / Informed Reflective/ Contemplative Committed / Motivated Knowledgeable / Skilled Motivated / Committed Open-minded / Adaptable Inquisitive Innovative Experienced Caring / Empathetic / Tolerant/ Compassionate Wise Committed/ Motivated/ Passionate/ Determined Knowledgeable Industrious / Perseverance Open-minded / Learner / Tolerant / Adaptable Inquisitive / Curious Visionary Confident

63 Purpose of Education: “The Educated Person”
Pro-Social / Civic-Mindedness How one impacts the world (e.g. sustainable development) Appreciation of diversity/social justice Self-Development Critical thinking Morality “Agency” Functional / Material Life skills Preparation for career/work

64 Theme - Relationships Building Positive Relationships
particularly between teachers and students, but also between all education partners. groups of students, parents, and staff also recommended that the school division continue to pursue inclusive learning environments. Democratize Decision-Making include student, teacher, and community voice in setting the educational direction of the high schools. Two themes emerged from our consultations – Relationships and Relevance

65 Theme - Relevance Curriculum Relevance
need to integrate curricular outcomes across subjects, and connect them with educational aims. curriculum must not be viewed as an end in itself, but as a means to get at the social, individual, and practical attributes that matter most to the citizens in Evergreen. Assessment for Learning pursue assessment practices characterized by our educational aims. involve students in assessment and set grading criteria in advance. assessment should be used to inform learning and instructional practices.

66 How Have we Addressed These Themes?
Relationships Staff PD and Parent Session with Dr. Gordon Neufeld ‘Relationships Matter’ in Fall 2007 Staff Professional Development and Parent Session with Corwin Kronenberg (Teaching Kids to be Responsible) in Fall 2008 School-based Student Success Initiatives School-based Advisory Groups

67 Democratize Decision Making
Establish ESD Student Council in Spring 2008 Student involvement in teacher recruitment and selection (developed questions for interview guide) Student-developed teacher self-assessment tool School beautification research Former student action research project in conjunction with OISE School-based planning involving teacher and student voice Teacher Consultation Sessions New Division “Foundations”

68 Curriculum/Assessment Relevance
New Assessment Procedures – Assessment FOR/AS/OF Learning Guidelines for Grading Portfolio Implementation (K-12) Professional Learning Community grants Division PLC day February 2008 – Relevance Career and Technology Studies in High Schools “Relevance” Teacher Action Research Identify “Essential Understandings”

69 Research Use and its Impact on Secondary Education
OISE Research Study Research Use and its Impact on Secondary Education

70 Project Description Purpose: Examining research, policy and practice in secondary schools Survey focus: Research use and research knowledge in two main areas success factors for students student pathways/trajectories Demographics: 11 school districts in Canada (varying size) 188 responses to an online survey Respondents in leadership roles

71 Research Culture: Preliminary Results
Strongly positive about the extent to which research is used in the district More similarity than difference across districts Majority reported research use at various kinds of school and district management meetings Respondents attend relatively few research-focused events

72 Next Steps Research activities:
Distribution of research on secondary schools and student success (newsletters, websites, readings) Study groups Post-secondary destination survey All districts will be re-surveyed next May to reassess the district research culture and probe potential impacts of these activities.

73 Evergreen-OISE Project
Our ESD Student Council is engaging a Grade 11 cohort of students in a survey regarding their post-secondary destinations and how well they feel that high school prepared them for their future. Data analysis and will be conducted by students with assistance from OISE. Recommendations will be presented to Leadership Team and Board and will inform our continued improvement efforts

74 Student Engagement What Did You Do In School Today?
In collaboration with the Canadian Education Association

75 What Did You Do In School Today?
The project is designed to test the potential of new ways of thinking about the concept of student engagement and their relationship to classroom practices and student achievement Evergreen is currently completing the second snapshot in the 2nd year of this 3-year CEA research project (1 of 14 districts nationally)

76 What Did You Do In School Today is the largest research study of its kind on student engagement.
Over 30,000 students from across Canada participated in three snapshots in the first year.

77 Purpose of project is to understand:
What students are doing in classrooms How they feel about their experiences of learning Whether and how the work they are asked to do contributes to learning How classroom practices could be improved to create more effective and engaging learning environments

78 WDYDIST Invites students grades 6-12 to share their experiences of social, academic and intellectual engagement Social Intellectual Academic

79 What we have found out about Intellectual Engagement?
Anxiety Flow Boredom Apathy

80 Five Core Principles of the
Framework for Effective Teaching Practices Current Evergreen School Division Initiatives Intellectually engaging learning environment. WDYDIST research on engagement SY Review Project - Relevance Work is personally meaningful to student and deeply connected to world in which they live. CTS Programming “Understanding by Design” Teachers’ use of assessment is directed towards improving student learning and guiding teaching decisions. Assessment for and as learning Assessment Policy MY Outcome-based Report Cards with Achievement Codes Portfolios Student-led Conferences

81 Five Core Principles of the
Framework for Effective Teaching Practices Current Evergreen School Division Initiatives Teachers build strong relationships with and between students through intellectually engaging work. SY Review Project – Relationships/Student Voice Dr. Gordon Neufeld – Relationships Matter Corwin Kronenberg – Teaching Kids to be Responsible Teachers are actively engaged in ongoing professional learning. PLC’s Early Dismissal School PD days Individual PD choices Recent Divisional PD day on this topic

82 Assessment Data in Evergreen

83 Assessment Data & Research Informing Priorities
Provincial Assessment Grade 3, 7, 8, 12 Literacy Committees (Early, Middle, Senior) Math PLC groups EDI Kindergarten Teachers’ group meetings ECDI grant (preschool program focus)


85 Assessment Data & Research Informing Priorities
90% of all Early/Middle Years students will be achieving at grade level in numeracy Math assessment and interventions 90% of all Early/Middle Years students will be achieving at grade level in literacy Year end benchmarks Evergreen Reading Continuum Grade 3 and Grade 8 Provincial assessments Report card data

86 Assessment Data & Research Informing Priorities
Evergreen Student Assessment Procedure Outcomes-based reporting Communicating Student Learning, Rethinking Classroom Assessment with Purpose in Mind – MECY Ken O’Connor, Damian Cooper, Anne Davies, Robert Marzano, Rick Stiggins MECY Consultants Other divisional feedback and grading guidelines

87 Education is a living practice…
As the world changes and the expectations of education shift to meet these changes, the nature of education, teaching and of its effectiveness must follow suit.

88 Other Research and Data

89 Other Research Interlake Children’s Therapy Initiative
Early Development Instrument Youth Health Surveys Addictions Foundation of Manitoba Graduate Surveys

90 Future Plans Continue with projects already initiated
Research on Staff Wellness Research on Sustainable Development

91 Issues for School Divisions to Consider
Do we have a culture that supports research use? Is this support embedded in our daily processes and systems? Do we have real capacity in our district to find, understand, share and use research? How do we communicate research to our broader community?

92 Questions? Comments? Epiphanies?

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