Pumping Up Transitioning to GMHS Learning Environment

Name of School:

George McDougall

Our school is considered:


In five words or less, describe your prototype

Increasing Gr 9 Students' Success

Insert an image that showcases your prototype.

How might we?:

How might we demonstrate being a learning community of innovators?

Describe the prototype(s) your school will focus on. Get creative. Be sure to describe the various approaches staff will take, what you will keep your eye on and how staff plan to document their results.

We are focusing on more successfully transitioning our Gr 9 student intake. Our delivery for the first iteration will be for Fall 2020. We will be collaborating with staff from our middle school feeders to identify needs. We have already talked with our current grade 9 students, as well as families who have expressed the need for more support and awareness for their learners when entering the high school environment. We are creating a staggered start, as well will be engaging peers to welcome and connect with these students. We will be designing a beginning "boot camp" for Grade 9s to learn about the Innovator's mindset, as well as start on making them aware of strategies for success. The latter will be delivered and reinforced over the year. We will also welcome Gr 9 students' families into an information session at the beginning of the year to explain education at this level, the assets of our school community, where to go for supports, and learning strategies to reinforce at home. We will be anticipating a positive student response and rise of achievement, with less family inquiries and concerns. We will be watching for Gr 9s feeling more comfortable and confident in their competencies, with an accompanying sense of self-empowerment and wellness. Our documentation will include a pre and post survey of Gr 9 students, increased levels of engagement and satisfaction on surveys from all stakeholders, and increased PAT results. During the entire process, we will be visually documenting learning and encouraging our students in ways to make learning visible. 
Participants valued that we have noticed challenges and are taking a more dedicated approach to supporting our new student intake every year. Families and students are very excited about the possibilities of new ways of entering the school; the current Gr 9 cohort believes that the proposed changes would have benefited them greatly. The prototype aligns with LEARN in leveraging the capabilities of students and their families to make a positive impact for increased success as high schoolers. Gr 9 learning design will be intentional and purposeful to engage students to develop foundational skills and competencies. We believe that with the extra supports, relationship and connection will also be built more quickly which supports achievement for all. We will be further investigating how to network with our feeder schools to collaborate on transitioning. Our next steps in second semester is to finalize components of the new model. We will also be teaching our staff in how to do Class Profiles and reviews for our Gr 9 cohorts.