Inquiry learning in the Forest Exploration at the Pond Hiking Rose Valley Park
ROSE VALLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Respect and Value Everyone
Rose Valley Elementary School (RVE) is nestled in the hills of West Kelowna where it backs on to protected forest park lands and endless hiking trails. The neighboring pond brings life to the area, and the abundance of field and forest space allows students to run, play, explore, and inquire. We are a Kindergarten to Grade 5 school with approximately 325 students.
School growth plans reflect a strong focus on B.C.'s Re-Designed Curriculum, particularly the Core Competencies, as well Central Okanagan Public School's Attributes of a Learner: Learner, Thinker, Collaborator, Innovator, and Contributor.
Vision and Values:
We are a collaborative learning community. We all belong, have purpose, and strive to be contributing global citizens.
We value Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, Community
Annual Learning Community Theme - a declarative statement that grounds community learning
2017 - 2018 - At Rose Valley we serve others and our community
2018 - 2019 - At Rose Valley we have joy and bring joy to others
2019 - 2020 - At Rose Valley we Notice, Encourage, and Celebrate Each Other
Rose Valley's annual community learning theme was timely and more relevant than ever this year. The COVID - 19 pandemic came as a surprise to all of us and no one anticipated closing and reopening our school, but working and learning through this together, as a school community, has brought us closer together. In the spring of 2020 we truly 'noticed, encouraged, and celebrated each other.' It was a time of accelerated collaboration, increased communication, empathy, kindness, and regard for fellow community members. We have appreciated the support from our families and we are grateful for what we have learned during this time. This has been the perfect opportunity for us to practice and model being confident learners!
The Rose Valley Elementary School learning community collaboratively engage in a continuous process of inquiry and learning to narrow focus and determine how to best meet student learning needs. An inquiry process is used to identify needs and appropriate structures to support those needs. The cyclical spiral of inquiry model includes scanning and re-scanning school data, and is responsive in nature . Our model requires inquiry into what is happening for learners now and, in turn, informs our direction. Specifically, the guiding question is asked, " What is going on for our Learners?" As a result, RVE directs resources and support to achieve two specific goals:
- Improve reading readiness amongst primary students
- Improve literacy skills, specifically communication, amongst intermediate students
See "Our Learning Plan" for information about how these goals are supported. Upon re scanning available data sources and reflecting on our approach to supporting vulnerable learners, we determined that we would continue to provide similar supports to Tier Two and Three students, or those requiring direct support consistent with the plan structured in their Inclusive Education Plans and for unidentified students who the School Based Team determines require additional supports. Data sources scanned include:
- Individual Teacher Assessments, Early Learning Profile Data, PM Benchmark Levels, School Wide Write Assessments, Whole Class Reading Assessments, Class Profile Meeting anecdotal notes and observations, and more in depth assessments conducted by the Learning Assistants Teacher -
In the spring of 2019 the Rose Valley staff began the scanning process once again. This time, with the social emotional needs of our learners as the focus of our inquiry. We leveraged and scanned several data sources and recognized a need to continue the Spirals of Inquiry process in the Fall of 2019 in order to develop hunches around how to support student Self-Regulation and Anxiety. Data suggests that both are becoming increasingly more prevalent amongst students. Data sources scanned include:
- Middle Development Years Index (analyzed the last three years), Student Surveys, Office Referral Data, Class Profile Meeting anecdotal notes and observations, and School Based Team Meeting notes and observations-
In Celebration, the same data sources indicated that students report a sense of belonging, feeling cared for, and a connection to school and community, including adults who care and believe they will be successful.
Rose Valley Elementary School: Engaging the Environment
At Rose Valley, we engage with the land that envelopes our school, partner with local organizations, and leverage local resources to facilitate meaningful learning. We engage with the land and we learn from the land. We truly "Love Where We Learn."
See the attachement to view Rose Valley Forest Friends guiding principles, developed in collaboration with the district Instructional Leadership Team, 2017-2018.
Rose Valley Forest Friends.pdf
Friends and Stewards of the Rose Valley Forest .See the attachment to view the updated document, revised 2018-2019:
RVE 2018-2019 Forest Friends and Stewards of the Rose Valley Forest.pdf
This year, 2019-20, to support this learning, RVE partnered with Shannon Lake Elementary School and the RVE Parent Advisory Council to organize deeper learning will Dr. Gillian Judson, who facilitated two learning sessions with staff on Implementation Day. Learning was grounded in Dr. Judson's research, including her books :
This year, Rose Valley school staff and the Parent Advisory Council are collaboratively engaged in an inquiry process specific to outdoor play and learning. How does outdoor play and learning improve student engagement, personal and social awareness, and self-regulation? And, how can we work together to further develop outdoor play and learning spaces at the school? The video below is an example of this work. It was produced as part of a grant application.
Rose Valley Elementary School: Communicating Student Learning
RVE staff engage in cyclical learning around quality assessment practices and communicating student learning. With these learning targets in mind, Rose Valley has developed strategies and structures to create a foundation rich in learning opportunities, learning support, and the growth and development of all learners. An inquiry process specific to Communicating Student Learning was initiated in September 2017. The intention was to determine structures to increase communication and collaboration about student learning between students, teachers, and parents. Following a year long Kindergarten Prototype, intentional staff learning meetings and collaborative inquiry, and parent engagement through empathy interviews and surveys, we developed Learning Growth summaries and strengths based assessment language. In addition to the Learning Growth Summaries, e-portfolios and conferencing are means by which students and staff communicate what students know, are able to do, and the next steps in their learning. We set out to:
- engaging parents in three-way conversations using specific descriptive feedback about what learners can do, what the next steps in learning are, and how we will support continuous growth
- using portfolio based communication to provide a "window into the classroom" and an opportunity for three way conversations (student, teacher, parent)
- establishing consistent Key Assessments across grade levels
- designing instruction that is responsive to student learning needs and interests
- communicating learning using Growth-Based Assessment language, consistent across the school, in our unique Rose Valley Learning Growth Summary
RVE Learning Summary - Intermediate.pdf
RVE Learning Summary - Primary.pdf
Rose Valley Elementary School is staffed by true professionals, a team of collaborative teachers and support staff who contribute unique talents and expertise to a team that wraps support around all learners. A well established School Based Team structure includes weekly team meetings, class review meetings each term, and ongoing data analasys connected to a Pyramid of Intervention model, ensuring the needs of every student are considered and met. Where needed, before school Literacy Intervention and after school learning support programs, as well as additional Literacy Support Teachers, are available to support school goals.
The staff and students at Rose Valley are committed to developing student leaders and contributing citizens. Leadership and service opportunities are available to all learners, including opportunities to serve in the community. Our learning community partners with community organizations such as the West Kelowna Food Bank, the Kelowna Gospel Mission, the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive, the Kelowna Women's Shelter, Village at Smith Creek Seniors Centre to live out our intention to "Serve Others and Our Community." We really are connected to our community.
Our supportive PAC (Parents' Advisory Coucil) meets monthly and is involved in supporting school planning, climate and culture, school initiatives, field trips, sponsoring unique learning opportunities, and purchasing some equipment for the school. The PAC is very community focused, organizing guest speakers at meetings, welcome back events, BBQs, and Family Fun Nights. It is a very familiar sight to see parents in the hallways, on field trips and in classrooms supporting students and teachers.