Lake Trail Middle School PLCs

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

2015-2016

  1. How can we increase engagement and accountability for our Gr. 9 students at Lake Trail school?

2014-2015

  1. How do we increase the number of students handing in assignments?
  2. How can homework club improve work completion and student achievement?

2013-2014

Exploring the Inquiry Model

Learners in Grades 7-9 have two Inquiry classes per week. During these classes, teachers have been encouraging learners to build confidence and independence when identifying and creating questions. Another goal has been supporting learners in becoming increasingly self-directed in seeking answers to their questions. Staff needed, and appreciated, the PLC time to connect, share their observations of learner successes and frustrations during implementation of the inquiry model. They have had the time to reflect together on current research and professional learning resources to move ahead with new strategies to build the capacity of learners, and themselves in this area. For some staff, Inquiry is a very new approach to teaching and learning. Having the time to learn and grow with colleagues has been vital to moving our Inquiry practices ahead and providing quality instruction to learners.

Grade/Pod Group PLC Work

These groups have grown out of the identified behavioural and social emotional needs of our school’s clientele. First and foremost, these groups have focused most on identifying learner barriers to furthering their success at school. Much of the focus has been on the social emotional well being of the learners at our school and their resulting behaviours that can often limit success. Staff comes together to share deep observations and possible strategies to help learners arrive “ready to learn” more often. Through this process we have identified and supported learners with additional resources for success. e.g. A variety of cooperative behavioural approaches across classes – increased consistency so learners know what to expect, a focus on logical consequences and accountability.

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.

Our Staff is forming a landscape view, rather than a snapshot, of the learners they teach and work with daily. A picture of “the whole child” emerges, rather than just the performance of the child in individual classes. This landscape approach has allowed us to dig deeper into what strategies may provide better success for learning, and what patterns of behaviour may be an inhibitor to successful learning that we can target together with a unified approach. We have developed a number of cooperative strategies to target learning success that we continue to improve upon e.g. Homework Club (targeting learners that need more time to complete their assignments – held after school with EA, teacher and Admin support), Math Inquiry 7 group (a group of learners we identified through data and observations as needing more time with basic skills – they receive two extra blocks per week of Math), more unified and cooperative approach to providing consequences for behaviour and support for one another leading to a sense of greater morale and understanding amongst staff.

“Having space provided to hold conversations, share concerns, suggest strategies that work and try them out, helps us to make a more solid plan for student success. Educational Assistants have many observations of students that we may have missed during our classes. Hearing their perspectives and suggestions has been very helpful.” Alissa Pratt, Lake Trail Middle School VicePrincipal