Highland Secondary School PLCs

Click on the Inquiry Question links below to see the full survey response and learn what each PLC group is exploring.

2014-2015

  1. How to create a more positive school culture at Highland
  2. PLC #1…Something along the lines of “How does forming a District Honor Drama PLC benefit all students in the Dramatic Arts Programs in our District?” PLC 2- ” How does the Transformative Process of producing a school musical create community and contribute to a positive school culture?”

2013-2014

School Culture and Social Responsibility (8 staff members)

This PLC is exploring means of creating positive school culture, based on research that confirms this has a positive impact on student learning. They have completed an electronic survey of all staff regarding various aspects of our school culture, and careful analysis of the results. Various actions and results that have stemmed from our PLC work include: an ongoing focus in our Leadership class on building school-wide culture through activities and theme days; preparation and serving of a full turkey lunch to the whole staff before Christmas break; an expansion of our GSA from 2 to over 10 students; school celebration days such as Aboriginal Day, FilmFest, the Day of Silence; and over 25 staff signed up to receive a copy of “Mindset” by Carol Dweck and participate in a book-club professional development conversation later this month.

Use of iPads by students and teachers (8 staff members)

This PLC is exploring ways for both teachers and students to use iPad technology (tablets and apps) to engage students and improve student learning. There has been a lengthy process of acquiring grant money to purchase iPads and apps, as well as have the apps approved and loaded onto the devices etc. The protocol for student use has also been developed with support from district staff.

Describe in relation to the work of the PLC teams in your building, how this work is having a real life impact on student achievement.

This School Culture model being employed by our PLC currently involves staff creating opportunities for involvement of students in culture-building activities such as those listed before. Interestingly, groups of students have emulated these efforts and have begun to engage other students on their own. Some Leadership students took it upon themselves to create an online student survey about school culture and they have analyzed those results on their own. Our Day of Silence was student-run and on our Aboriginal day many of the sessions were run by student presenters. Initiatives like this take time, but we are confident we are on the right track in engaging students and staff in developing positive culture at Highland. Our teachers involved in our Technology PLC are noticing some positive results. Students engage readily in the hands-on approach to learning that iPads can provide. They have used them as quick reference tools, developed movie trailers in using MovieMaker, made videos on resilience and other topics, and constantly use the app tools in areas such as word usage and meaning.

“PLC members are noting a tangible shift in the school culture, as well as personal changes in their own perspectives as a member on staff. As a group we have firmed up our faith in the ongoing positive aspects of our school, as opposed to reaffirming and residing in the negative domain which can occasionally permeate a staffroom or collective conscience in a school. Students and staff have shown an enthusiastic willingness to engage and participate in activities that promote connectedness and build positive culture at Highland.” Rob Grantham, Highland Secondary Vice-Principal