Engaging All and Planning for Tomorrow

 Family, Community, School

Hana Hooper, Assistant Principal, Westbook School – To discover the big ideas and build a collaborative community focused on student learning, Westbrook School engaged with all stakeholders to identify school strengths, needs and opportunities.

Staff, students and community worked together to develop Westbrook’s school profile and came up with some driving questions for the coming school year. The process was highly collaborative and reflective, building relationships and understanding. The school staff continue to reflect on the data from this process to further define Westbrook School. 

The data revealed that Westbrook School is rich in community – a place where stakeholders feel a sense of belonging. From the moment school begins to our final year-end celebration, community members support our learning community weekly. One parent commented that, “Westbrook has an amazing ability to help students feel important and a part of the big group.” 

The big group not only refers to community visiting and volunteering in our school, it also refers to our cross-grade cohorts and collaboration. A specific program appreciated by all stakeholders is Families, a whole school, activity-based community building program that is guided by the Circle of Courage. Evidence of this work was provided as stakeholders identified relationships with staff as going well and the discipline/reconciliation process as positive. 

Areas of growth identified include greater student voice in the discipline/reconciliation process and growth in diversity of ideas, cultures and ways of knowing, being and learning. Stakeholders also identified the experiential learning opportunities provided at Westbrook School as valued and appreciated though real-life experiences and interesting class activities were an area of focus.

After engaging with Westbrook School stakeholders, it feels good to put words to the vibe we all feel when you enter our one-hallway school. Though the work was messy at times and there were vulnerable feelings, the design process started us down the road of defining our #BiggestLittleSchool and we look forward to Westbrook 2020, as we continue this work in the Develop and Document phases.