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Board looks back at school improvements


As various school councils continue with their School Improvement Planning for 2000-01, the Rainy River District School Board last night took a look back at what several schools have achieved in the past year.

“The principals and staff have done an outstanding job in this first year of implementation,” said Education Director Warren Hoshizaki. “Our huge focus last year was the curriculum, particularly in the area of mathematics.

“While we’re not going to get away from math, areas for future development are measuring results, writing good indicators of success, and aligning priorities,” he added.

“And we will improve our system by focusing on student achievement and collaborative planning.”

Some highlights of district school undertakings last year included:

•Alberton—participating in cross-class activities to boost school spirit and a sense of community;

•Alexander MacKenzie/Walker—improved communications between home and school by providing a parent/student handbook, newsletters, student planners, and interactive K-grade three units;

•Crossroads—increased library resources, an improved math program by ordering math manipulatives, and impressive success with a district science fair;

•Donald Young School—implemented anti-bullying and peer mediation programs, and a focus on writing assessment;

•McCrosson-Tovell—teachers focused on mathematics by building vocabulary and providing more oral explanations;

•North Star Community School—math contests, a Family Literacy project, and improved communication within the school;

•Riverview—“Language Power” and “Daily Oral” language programs were used to promote development, and the “Tribes” and “Highly Successful Teens” programs were used to promote attitudes and values;

•Robert Moore—improved conflict resolution skills through the DARE program and “buddy-systems,” and the full implementation of grade one-eight mathematics program under the new Ontario curriculum;

•Sixth Street/Huffman—improved reading skills for students through professional development for staff, and enhanced computer literacy for staff through training sessions;

•Nestor Falls, Sturgeon Creek, and Sturgeon Creek Alternative—staff developed rubrics for the different forms of writing, and refined their skills to assess student writing;

•Fort Frances High School—implemented Year One of secondary school reform and developed a new Code of Behaviour;

•Atikokan High School—established a “Wall of Fame” to promote school spirit, and made the school’s main goal to ensure a safe, harassment-free environment for students and staff alike; and

•Rainy River High School—provided leadership and in-service for teachers, including grade nine teacher workshops, and developed partnerships with many outside groups, such as the Hunter Safety Program and Healthy Communities Coalition.

School Improvement Planning is an initiative under the board’s “strategic plan,” and an effort to “align the visions” of both the board and school councils, noted Hoshizaki.

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