Innovation Process

There are a number of elements that we have or are currently planning to implement in order to sustain our innovation process.  We are seeking to align these elements in order to achieve our desired results.

School Growth Plan - The School Growth plan articulates the our school mission statement, our school improvement goals, strategies we are implementing and targets we wish to reach in order to fulfill our goals.

Collaboration Teams (PLC) - Our teaching staff is organized into collaborative teams: Mathematics, Science, English, Social Studies, Languages, Electives, and Special Education. During collaborative time, these collaborative teams meet to plan common assessments, review the results, plan and deliver interventions for students who have gaps in their learning, and share effective instructional strategies to meet the needs of all learners.

WISE Block - The daily timetable is adjusted on 10 Tuesdays and 10 Thursdays a semester to provide 45 minutes of intervention and enrichment time. Some students are referred for additional assistance completing incomplete tasks or being given additional support to meet essential learning outcomes. The rest of the student body have the choice of a number of activities: health and wellness, homework assistance, subject-specific enrichment tasks, workshops in topics outside the regular curriculum, and student-led clubs.

PLC Core Team - Representatives from the various collaborative teams meet twice a month to discuss issues that have arisen out of collaborative team meetings, including success stories, struggle points, and identifying possible resources that could improve learning strategies within the department.

Professional Development - Several times a year, the staff professional development committee plans professional development activities for staff.  In the coming years, ideas for these days will arise out of needs identified by collaborative teams in their quest to improve student learning.

Budgeting - Our school leadership in consultation with the staff has decided to make a conscientious effort to align funding with the needs that have been identified in the school growth plan and the collaborative team process in order to support improved student learning and innovations in instructional strategies.

Coordinators - Coordinators provide recommendations to administration on issues related to the school growth plan, the allocation of resources, and act as a conduit from staff.
Innovation Coordinator

Course Outlines - At the urging of our administration, we have been encouraged to make several meaningful changes to course outlines: 1) to give prominence in the outline to the essential learning outcomes a student should be able to demonstrate by the end of the course, 2) to show how evidence of learning outcome attainment will be turned into a letter grade, 3) to explain how students will be supported when they do not demonstrate satisfactory attainment of essential learning outcomes. This subtle shift in emphasis increases teacher focus on student learning outcome attainment.

Instructional Rounds - The instructional round process, implemented in 2015 for the first time, has enabled to focus on an problem of practice (an area in which our students have demonstrated learning needs) and get impartial feedback from external teams on the current state of that problem of practice. Based upon that feedback, the staff devises strategies to improve and has the external team come back a year later to assess the results.  Our first problem of practice was "to what extent are students encouraged to demonstrate thinking beyond recall and understanding."

Parent Advisory Council - The parent advisory council is updated on a regular basis about various aspects of our innovation plans.  On important issues they are regularly consulted and their input is sought as a part of our decision-making.

School Planning Council - The school planning council, made up of parents, students, and staff are responsible for reviewing and approving our school growth plan on a yearly basis.

Program Options - At the direction of the school district, NorKam is continuing to expand programming options for students.  Additions to our program options at the schoo are the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, the Trades and Technology Centre, a Cosmetology Program and a Cook's Training Program. These options are innovative in their own right, but additionally spur our thinking of other possible options we can provide students that are more relevant.