Our School Story
McKay is a school on the west side of Richmond. It is located in a quiet subdivision with a combination of single family homes, town house complexes and apartments. There is little traffic and parents generally feel that their children are safe on the playground. The children can walk to McKay without crossing busy streets. McKay has a beautiful environment; it is quiet and has good air with few vehicles.
As all schools in Richmond, McKay is dedicated to providing opportunities for all students to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge which will enable them to enjoy a productive and satisfying life and to be positive, responsible participants in our democratic society and the global community. The learning partnership between teacher, student and parent will be grounded in an ethic of care and nourished by clarity, communication and consistency. This commitment implies certain responsibilities for all involvved.
MISSION STATEMENT: At McKay, we believe that all students should participate in an educational program which addresses their individual needs and capabilites. Our goal is for students to develop an enthusiasm for learning in a safe and respectful environment which models and fosters:
THINKING COMMUNICATING CARING
CURRENT CONTEXT: The past year has been an energizing year for our school. Afer going through the School Closures process in September of 2016, and then learning that we would indeed be staying open, there was a strong and renewed sense of purpose in our community. We really began celebrating as a group of people united by a common purpose and it has clearly defined who we are. Our excitement was heightened in June 2017 when we learned that we would be increasing by 2 and possibly 3 divisions, making our school larger than it has been over the past 8 years. A new intermediate division, and 1-2 new primary divisions will give an added dimension to our school which can only be seen as positive.
McKay is a culturally diverse community and we have 90 children with an ELL designation of which 56 are Levels 1 and 2. Our allocations for both Resource and ELL has increased over the year by .3368 giving us 1.2000 LRT and 1.1400 ELL. This is beneficial for the delivery of strong support and instruction in both areas. An increase in Teacher Librarian time from .4000 to .5000 is also good news for us.
WHERE ARE WE NOW? JUNE 2018
As a staff, we continued to review our goal at the school level which was having our students develop a greater responsibility for themselves as learners and as members of the greater McKay Community. The questions addressed were:
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO TO BECOME MORE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR LEARNING?
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BECOME A MORE RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN?
One of our biggest inquiries was along the lines of anxiety. We wondered if anxiety was playing a role in preventing our students from being as responsible as we were anticipating that they whould be. Were they anxious about different things and being prevented from addressing the areas of responsibility that we felt they should be able to address in a more fulsome manner?
As a staff, we continued to review the programs that we had in place to address the healthy life style that we felt was key to anxiety reduction. We looked at what we had in place:
•Morning Walks •Dance Activities in the Gym •Group Exercise •Brain Breaks in the classes •Mind Up Activities •Kilometer Club for regular running programs on the Railway Greenway
•Action Schools BC •Wilderness Wednesdays/Take it Outside Tuesdays to increase involvement in nature •Gardening Program •Use of the Outdoor Classroom •Participation in Outdoor Classroom Day
•Healthy Lunches on Food Days •Promoting Self Advocacy for our students through TCO2 (Taking Care of Ourselves/Taking Care of Others) •DARE •Saleema Noon Workshops
In June, we approached students with the following questions and we had strong anxwers from them:
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE WITH HELPING OTHERS AND SO CREATING A MORE WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT AT OUR SHCOOL?
WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO TAKE MORE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LEARNING?
We really understood that it was necessary to hear the voices of the students. This was something that all teachers did in the classes. They asked probing questions of the students and they all knew that their opinions were invited, important, acknowledged, valued and would be acted upon. Here are the answers that they offered. They are divided into Primary and Intermediate.
•Playing more with other people
•Helping others especially when they are hurt
•Sharing toys at Centre Time
•Picking up garbage
•Returning library books on time
•Playing with people to help them feel happy
•Sharing to make others feel happy
•Helping with the equipment in the gym or with art supplies in the classroom
•If someone falls outside, you can put your arm around them and help them to stand up
•Sustain a healthy and balanced lifestyle
•Persevere with challenging tasks
•Walk away from people who make me sad
•Advocate for myself and my ideas
•Listen more and give more feedback in class
•Give my own opinion without hurting others' feelings/Make a differnce by having my own opinions
•Take ownership of my own goals
•Develop my leadership skills
•Learn how to communicate in a respectful way
•Take a deep breath and try again when I do not understand something
•Use strategies to manage my feelings and emotions/take ownership of my own behaviour
•Try to find peace on "bad days"
•Celebrate my accomplishments
•Improve at managing my feelings and emotions, especially of sadness; trying to be more happy and joyful
We are going into the new school year with our School Story understood in a more comprehensive way than before. We have clear goals, and clear pathways to achieving them. We will continue to share our journey along the way.