I have recently started looking at Simon Breakspear's work as it relates to innovation in both education and educational leadership. What I am learning is that our district is very much inline with what an innovative district would have to be in order to facilitate the type of growth needed to move forward. What I mean by that is that we are building from the ground up, having staff members participate in working groups and PD sessions to discuss, consider and ultimately determine the direction of the work we are doing, all the while doing it through the lens of considering how to best meeting the collective and individual learning needs of our students.
I really do feel that our Response to Intervention model, our movement towards using Google and Chrome as a platform for district technology, the flooding of our district with Chromebooks, and the streamlining of district assessment practices through STAR and the District Writing Assessment are all evidence of our district being in the right state to innovate. I said this yesterday at the high school, and I stand by it completely, that NEA is the tip of the spear in Canada when it comes to First Nation education. There are few districts that are at a place where they are functioning like we are; and under the direction of Mr. Wells and his leadership, we are able to constantly be asking the necessary questions, and subsequently acting on them, to innovate our practices as a district.
Now... in relation to the work that we are doing in Literacy, we have done much this year by way of innovation. We have engaged in multiple workshops with grade level groups of teachers at all of our schools to consider the pairing down of the outcomes in the English language arts Program of Studies. I was very proud yesterday to have been able to share with you the draft form of our Essential Learning Outcomes Program Planning Document. It is the culmination of our work this year and is reflective of what we have learned as we establish the framework for best practice literacy instruction in our district. I look forward to finalizing that document and then using it to guide our work as we move towards asking the question of what best practice instruction really looks like in relation to those ELOs. I am also grateful that we have honed in on determining what is essential in relation to what is explicitly teachable and measurable in the curriculum for grades K-9.
Below I am adding a link for a clip from Simon Breakspear about how innovative environments get created. Check it out and let me know what your thoughts are about how our district aligns with what he is talking about.