Sunday, August 28, 2016

Enhancing Student Learning Website

Over the past few years, BC school districts have reported out to the Ministry of Education with the School District Achievement Contract in June, and the Superintendent's Report on Student Achievement in December. The purpose, as you might imagine, would be for district staff to look at their ongoing data and set goals with the former, then consider the results relative to those goals with the latter. (You can see what our documents looked like by clicking here.)

As a teacher and even as a school principal, I admit I wasn't particularly aware of my district's reporting responsibilities, and I suspect that wasn't unusual for school staff. Further to that, the two documents had a fair amount of redundancy between them, and the timing of school and Ministry data cycles sometimes made it difficult to get the most current information in place in time for publication. The Ministry of Education, to its credit, listened to feedback from the districts and recently elected to revise the process, and as of this recent spring, the publication dates are to be determined by the districts who will use following framework to design their own reports.

Given the opportunity to create a process that met our needs, we considered guiding principles that included improved transparency and communication, timely and iterative data publishing, and the ability to reach a much broader audience. These concepts, among others, pushed us toward developing a website.

Our new SD48 Enhancing Student Learning website, in its current form, is published on the simple, reliable, and inexpensive Wordpress platform, and includes elements of the both previous annual documents, other District documents, and parts of our competency-focused District Strategic Plan. At this point, our intention is to treat the site like it is in perpetual beta by changing the structure and adding or removing information to keep it fresh and effectively reflecting our learning goals. Expect short video clips with students describing their learning to appear on the site in the coming year.

We haven't had any official conversations about the site, as of yet, but we are hopeful that it will become a practice that works for the Ministry as well as our own learning community. However, at the recent BCSSA summer session when Deputy Minister Dave Byng told the audience, "Sometimes you get out in front of us and we actually like it," I interpreted that as a hearty thumbs up. Take a look if you are interested, and feel free to give some feedback in my comment box below.

Visit the SD48 Enhancing Student Learning website by clicking here. 

No comments:

Post a Comment