2014 – Present | Strategic Plan, Operational Plans, Training, Curriculum Mapping and Competency Development | Laval, Qc
North Star Academy (NSA) provides education to a multi-cultural clientele from various locations and socio-economic backgrounds. NSA receives students who are struggling in main stream education, as well as international students and customizes the programs for them, highlighting cultural awareness, gender equity and inclusivity.
In the planning of policy and structural intent in strategic planning, the role of a2z strategic planning was to assist NSA in making the curriculum inclusive and accessible to all students.
Summary of Deliverables
- Strategic plan
- 4 Operational plans
- 6 Teacher training workshops
- Using evidence-based practices (data) to make informed choices in a differentiated classroom
- Visible learning and high leverage teaching as a means to differentiation
- Visual strategies to build differentiated strategies in the classroom (resource rich classroom)
- Use of differentiated graphic organizers to develop cross-curricular competencies
- Two 1-on-1 meetings with each staff to identify differentiation strategies each term.
- Evaluation of teacher learning tool
- Classroom walkthrough evaluation tool
- Profiles of learners to support class-wide differentiation and ensure inclusive education
- Community Connections plan and structures
- Strategic Plan communication plans (staff, students, parents, etc.)
The objective of the project was to develop a competitive strategic plan to increase student results and increase its enrolment by providing differentiated learning paths for all students. Strategic plan development, including staff development, program branding and establishing baseline data were key activities in its first phase. Extensive work was done to identify high leverage teaching practices whereby the school team selected one common strategy to implement across all grades (goal setting) and in addition, each teacher selected two strategies to develop differentiation within their own subject classrooms. In addition, there was a strong focus towards developing community connections whereby student interests were taken into consideration when planning activities and projects.
The consistent use of differentiation strategies over two terms resulted in an increase in student marks on reading and writing in French and English, with improvements in most other subject areas, as well. In addition, for the first time in the 10 years the school was in operation, students won prizes at regional competitions in English and French. The teachers are currently in the process of reviewing their strategies, sharing their practices through their established Professional Learning Community and identifying differentiation approaches for the upcoming school year, by grade level, subject and targeted students who have been identified as SEN.