Miracle Beach Elementary 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 will incorporating outdoor education into the curriculum help engage reluctant learners?
  2. How can self-assessment allow students to take ownership to improve their learning (through awareness and engagement).
  3. In what ways do therapy dogs benefit students in a learning environment?
  4. How can Design Challenges stimulate student involvement over mixed grades?

2014-2015

  1. How can a structured numeracy intervention approach help improve outcomes for struggling early primary learners?
  2. Will the use of varied self-regulation strategies, including the Mind-up program, improve student focus and therefore, achievement?
  3. If students participate in caring for others, how does their social responsibility change as measured by a created social responsibility quick scale?
  4. Will the use of frameworks and scaffolding instruction encourage reluctant writers?

Sense of Belonging

One of our PLC groups has embraced the “Touching Hearts” initiative that was created by a Miracle Beach teacher and other school district staff a couple of years ago. This program
demonstrates that a special relationship with one or more significant adults in a school increases a student’s sense of belonging, supports emotional health and in turn promotes student learning. Staff members have chosen one or two “at risk” or “vulnerable” students to target for this work. The students do not know that they have been chosen. The staff member seeks opportunities to connect with these students in informal, but meaningful ways throughout the week and records their interactions. Their stories suggest that students are feeling valued and significant. For many, school is the most predictable, stable and secure place in their lives. We appreciate how staff members have chosen students not in their own class– this helps our school community as a whole– we each feel responsibility and caring towards each and every student in the school. Miracle Beach has a strong and supportive school community that the students, their families and we as employees, all benefit from. There are a number of other school initiatives at work alongside this one, such as the implementation of a “breakfast basket.”

Engaging Vulnerable Readers

A second PLC example is one that focuses on engaging at risk early readers. This PLC group surveyed students to assess current attitudes towards reading and tried to investigate why negative attitudes towards reading exist. The group consisted of the Learning Support teacher, the clerk librarian and the recourse EA. Together they worked to bring books into the school that matched the interests of disengaged readers. They targeted one grade 1/2 class in particular. A celebration of reading, and of classes having met their reading goal, called “Camp Read” will take place this spring. (Picture tents on the school field full of students reading together.) This group has not yet assessed their summative data on whether or not their intervention has increased student interest in reading.

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.

Each of our four PLC groups at Miracle Beach focus on trying to better engage our more
vulnerable students. Staff identified early on in the PLC process that the community of Miracle Beach school is changing, bringing greater diversity. Our staff is seeking to better understand and support diversity and vulnerability.

We chose topics that address identified student needs in the areas of reading, sense of
belonging, engagement through technological tools and supporting the basic needs of
vulnerable students. By increasing student engagement, sense of belonging, social and
emotional well-being we know that we will see an increase in student achievement and overall school culture.