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Instructional Capacity

Instructional Capacity with School of Fish Icon

The highest leverage strategy of educational improvement efforts is the development of staff capacity. We are making significant investments in quality professional learning for educators in current, research-based practice to increase knowledge and confidence. The BC curriculum was redesigned a number of years ago. We have more work to do for the changes to be fully realized in all our classrooms in the district. There are promising practices that are coming to life in pockets across our schools but there is more to be done to ensure every student is receiving effective instruction to meet their individual and collective needs. Some examples of the work of our plan are:

  • Shifting from one-off workshops to a robust learning series with successive sessions, time to practice and reflect in between, and a participant group as a community of practice to support one another 2021/22 Learning Series with renowned and respected presenters: Reconciliation, Assessment, Engaging All Learners, Thinking Classrooms, Numeracy, Self-regulation, Inclusive Learning Environments Helping Teachers for side-by-side professional development in the classroom (co-planning, co-teaching)
  • Support the shift from use of externally developed programs to responsive teaching
  • Common district assessments with support for learning how to administer them, analyze results, and use what is learned to plan for instruction
  • Common standards and staff learning about reporting and communicating student learning
  • Mentoring program for new teachers in their first three years

Keep scrolling to see how our district has been building instructional capacity this year!

Changing Possibilities for Young Children

Support Services

A group of Community Early Childhood Educators, Kindergarten teachers, and StrongStart Educators gathered for an in person session to complete their case study for the “Changing Possibilities for Young Children” project. Changing Possibilities for Young Children focuses on the social and emotional well-being of our students and allows us we the opportunity to share and collaborate to support one another throughout the year as we implement strategies to support our “wonder child” and all the students in our classrooms. After finishing our reporting, educators were given the opportunity to decorate a “house” for their classroom family. We are excited to hear of the glorious stories these creations inspire with the students.


Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community Event

Support Services

On April 30, 2024 our Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH) Jana Prokes together with the Provincial Outreach Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (POPDHH) hosted a community event at Denisiqi to promote learning and lots of fun for our students and their families. The event was well attended by families from all over our school district and communities. It started off with a deep dive into the influence that Indigenous sign language has had on American sign language. The presenter from POPDHH shared with us the signs from both languages and how they compare to what we are familiar with today. After a delicious supper the lessons continued for the adults and the students were treated to some fun and games working with sign language. It was a wonderful and fun evening of community building and connection for our deaf and hard of hearing students and their families.


Teachers Teaching Teachers

Anahim Lake School

Anyone lucky enough to work in this school district recognizes how terrific our professional development offerings are. Teachers and staff at our school invited Anahim Lake's Nugwant'loo School staff to join us for a Pro D workshop brought directly to our school. "Inspiring Oral Language Through Loose Parts" was a hit with all ten educators. Jody Chamberlain, our Primary Teacher used what she learned with her students just two days later and they dove right in!


Cataline Hosts Faye Brownlie

Cataline Elementary

Gr 5/6 teacher Heather McKinnon welcomed Faye into her classroom in February. Heather was joined by other teachers from Cataline and a number of teachers from other schools in the district. Heather shares: "I hosted Faye Brownlie in my classroom as part of learning rounds. Several other teachers joined to observe and discuss the learning. We used the book The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette as a base for discussion and learning about character traits, finding evidence to support our thinking and potential assumptions/biases. Students collaborated as a prep for a quick write. After the in-class session, Faye Brownlie hosted a debrief and additional virtual learning opportunity where she shared a variety of strategies to improve student engagement with texts and written expression. Participation in this afternoon of learning has left me with a variety of practical ideas to use in my grade 5/6 class, I have shared the successful learning with colleagues and had the opportunity to present to the board about this learning, alongside my colleague, Tess Riley."


A Learning Collaboration

Marie Sharpe Elementary

This term Merilee Andres and her Child Development and Caregiving 12 class from Lake City Secondary teamed up with Tanya Isnardy's kindergarten class to learn skills in a practical real-life setting.  Students at our school loved spending time with, and learning from their older peers.


SD27 Learns with Dylan Wiliam

Board Office

Dylan Wiliam engaged with SD27 staff and guests from across the province to discuss assessment practices and approaches to school improvement.


WILD Learning

150 Mile Elementary

With the little bit of snow that arrived 150 Mile Staff was back at honing their skills for teaching outside during the winter. WILD School instructors spent the afternoon with the staff going through potential lessons, and learning activities to engage kids outside. 


The Power of a Breath

Marie Sharpe Elementary

This year the entire staff has taken on learning about breathing and how it positively impacts regulation.  We're learning the importance of teaching our body to breathe during moments of calm, so that we automatically breathe during moments of stress.  District Helping Teacher Natalie Olhauser leads our school in "Mindful Moments" twice a week.  Our whole school community participates, then teachers extend their learning by leading activities in their classrooms throughout the week.  It is incredible to see how 5 minutes of learning with a lead teacher can impact how we approach our whole day.



Collaborative Assessment at Columneetza

Columneetza Jr. Secondary

Columneetza teachers from all departments and a SD27 Helping Teacher came together after school in December to collaboratively assess the DART Reading Comprehension Assessment for students in Grades 7, 8, and 9.  This year we had students read a short story and focus on responding to one analysis and inferencing question to see if they could support their answer with convincing evidence and insightful inferences.  It is always amazing to be a part of collaborative assessment as it is an enriching process to anchor student work and discuss literacy with colleagues.    


Collaboration Improves Instruction

Lake City Secondary

Lake City Secondary teaching staff take a deeper dive into improving instruction by sharing and leading colleagues through what was learned at the last Pro-D day with Dylan Wiliam.

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Hands-on Learning is Fun!

Alexis Creek

Students from grades 6 to 10 enjoy using the School District’s ADST Kits, which include Snap Circuits and Lil’ Bits. These kits allow our students to experience new technologies through simple and easy-to-follow classroom activities.


Faye Brownlie visits Cataline

Cataline Elementary

Cataline had the opportunity to host Faye Brownlie for a learning session. Faye supported teachers and students in our grade three classroom. Numerous teachers from Cataline and other schools watched Faye guide students through planning, writing, and sharing some written work. It was a great opportunity for our teachers to expand their practice and for our school to build teaching and learning experts. Thanks for the visit, Faye!  


Literacy Instruction 

Cataline Elementary

Continuing to build on literacy instruction, Cataline teachers engaged in our district learning rounds hosting and collaborating with Faye Brownlie. Cataline teachers planned, observed, and reflected upon a writing activity, which has since been put into classroom practice. 

Using the Magic Bag strategy, Mrs. Sache’s grade 1/2 students are busy collecting their thoughts and ideas and putting them into print. Starting with their images, the stories transform into powerful and creative pieces of writing, waiting to be shared and celebrated!    

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Faye Brownlie Enhances Literacy with Horse Lake Staff and Students

Horse Lake Elementary

Faye Brownlie spent a morning at Horse Lake Elementary working with our intermediate teachers and educational assistants on strategies for working with non-fiction text.   Using a Know-Wonder-Learn approach, she co-taught a lesson with Lisa Pugh and her grade 6/7 students on Residential Schools, using non-fiction resources Beyond the Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad, and Speaking Our Truth by Monique Gray Smith.  The engagement of our students and involvement of our staff during the lesson enriched our knowledge of this necessary part of our history.


Staff Collaborate on Ways to Improve Reporting Practices

Lake City Secondary

Our team is engaging in afterschool sessions to better understand student learning and improve the ways they accurately (and meaningfully) report on it.


Collaboration and the FSAs

100 Mile Elementary

FSAs. In the world of education, there exists a swathe of feelings about this assessment. This year, the staff at 100 Mile Elementary spent time looking at past tests and discussing common themes for questions and items that our students might struggle with. Out of that session we made a plan to approach this year’s FSA with a sense of curiosity and collaboration. 

I had the opportunity to share in a lesson with Mr Dunk’s 3/4 class where we talked about all of the incredible things that dogs can do. Students shared what they know about how dogs can be helpful, and made educated guesses about the content of the readings based on the theme, title, and corresponding illustration. They worked in pairs, small groups, and the whole group. We created a sense of excitement and fun about the topic so when the formal assessment came along the next day, they felt confident and ready. 

Though the assessment is directed at grade 4, we decided to include the 3s in our lesson, allowing them to share their own thoughts and ideas, contributing just as much as their grade 4 counterparts, while also giving them the opportunity to take a run at the assessment in an informal way. By creating a sense of community in our collaboration work by activating prior knowledge, all students were able to access the text and questions with success. 


Fall Assessment Workshop

District Pro-D

Teachers, principals, vice-principals, and District Staff came together on a Saturday to reflect on current assessment practices and plan for good practice. We can shift our thinking around assessment and focus on quality rather than quantity. How do we make sure students are as prepared as they can be to do their best? How can we prioritize collaboration? How are communicating the assessment cycle to students and families to show growth over time? 


WILD Learning

150 Mile Elementary

We registered to become a WILD school and have done several afterschool staff learning sessions to build our knowledge and skills in taking students to learn outside.


Team Approach - Supporting Social-Emotional Learning

Mile 108 Elementary

Primary teachers, support staff, and admin are getting together to learn about and implement the resource, a Little Spot, to enhance self-awareness and self-regulation. Including all learners in direct teaching about feelings and emotions will provide students with a common language and strategies they can use towards learning in a social setting. 


Play is Learning

Likely Elementary

Staff at Likely Elementary are trying new activities that disguise the 'work' involved in learning. These physical/hands-on ideas also give all learners the opportunity to participate as interest is high so engagement is easy. Everyone feels successful: staff and students!


Supporting Outdoor and Place-based Learning

Tatla Lake Elementary

HCTF Education offers a variety of environmental workshops that are hands-on, interdisciplinary and fun! Students at Tatla Lake Elementary & Jr. Secondary School had the opportunity to participate in Project WET activities with facilitator Martin Kruus to learn all about water and staff were provided with professional development and resources to support environmental teaching and learning to help connect students with nature.

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Learning Rounds for Numeracy Assessment

Nesika Elementary

The best part of a day of learning rounds is the “so what now” consolidation of the learning. There is a group of smart and curious teachers learning so much about assessment and numeracy in SD27 - and it starts with good questions! 

New Practices Become the Norm

Nesika Elementary

It’s Day 3.5 of new classes and these grade 4 students are actively engaging in vertical-learning numeracy tasks on non-permanent surfaces… Making their thinking visible! Love this learning community. 
It has become the norm to see new practices teachers have learned from instructional coaches like Peter Liljedahl, Carole Fullerton and more as part of everyday numeracy practice at Nesika School. 


Increasing Instructional Capacity in Numeracy

Nesika Elementary

Thank you, Melissa and Carole Fullerton, for planning the September pro-d day at Nesika to support over 80 educators in SD27 with professional development skills related to mathematical competency. What a dynamic duo! 


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