Our Focus

Framework for Enhancing Student Learning September 2020-2021: Universal Design for Learning

During our first Professional Development Day, staff explored "Where to now?".  Staff reviewed the work on our School Story over the past few years and we collected the following data:  Scanning – What is happening in your classroom context? and Focusing – What do you need to focus on this year?  Many of the responses were focused on understanding differences, feeling safe and accepted, inclusion of all, and learning about inequities.

This was followed up by exploring the big question of What is Inclusion? supported by Five Moore Minutes and educator Shelley Moore.  Staff explored where they were on the continum (exclusion, segregation, integration, inclusion) and the 5 P's of inclusion.  Bringing it all back to the Spirals of Inquiry, we revisited the questions of 1) What is going on for our learners? 2) How do we know?, and 3) Why does it matter? 

All of this information was collated and the following main focus was identified with four supporting foci:

Universal Design for Learning – providing tools everyone needs to be successful 

  • Focusing on connectedness and reciprocal relationships
  • Promoting equity in inclusion with integration of the FPPOL and with connections to why it matters and why should it matter to each individual
  • Creating a supportive learning community where our diverse strengths and challenges can be shared and celebrated
  • Emphasizing skill development for lifelong learning, ritical thinking, communication, and personal & social responsibility

 

Please check back frequently for more updates!

 

 

Framework for Enhancing Student Learning September 2020-2021: Building Upon the Homma Vision Statement

Despite the challenges of COVID, we were successful in coming together as a staff last school year to work on the creation of our Homma Vision Statement.  Through conversation and hard work our staff is extremely pleased with our Vision Statement, and focus moving forward, of "Creating a heartfelt Homma where everyone belongs".   The real work now begins for us!  It is one thing to have a vision statement, and it is an entirely different thing to live, breathe, and teach this to others in order to give it legs of it's own.  

Many of the questions we asked ourselves at the beginning of this journey have come back to us given the situation we now find ourselves in during this pandemic.  These questions are:

What does Community mean to the Homma Staff? And Why is this important?

What does Community mean to students? How do students know they are part of the Homma community? 

What do we want our community to look like, feel like, sound like?

How does a community function? What are we already doing well? What needs tending, and more focus right now?

What can we do to build a greater sense of community or maintain the community we have?

We are very excited to have applied for and received a City of Richmond Community Mural grant.  This grant will allow us to incorporate both Japanese and Indigenous styles of art work in our mural to honour both cultures that have had such an impact on Steveston and the people and further ground our sense of community within our sense of place.  Through the Spring of 2021 you will be able to watch this mural come together along the south exterior walls of the school.  The teaching and learning that will happen through the exploration and creation of this mural is one that will be very special to us at Homma and throughout the community.  

We are in the process of rescanning our school and community to reassess and ensure there are not any blind spots or gaps.  As you may be aware, the Richmond School District is in the process of developing a strategic plan.  One part of that plan is about Equity and Inclusion, both of which are imperative to a successful community.  We will be seeking input from staff, students and families about how they feel welcomed, respected and feel a sense of belonging in the Homma community.  Additionally, we are very proud of the Richmond DIstrict SOGI Policy and the Homma SOGI working group.  Beginning in the new year, data collection will commence with all of our stakeholder groups and as a staff, we will analyze this data to determine the feelings of belonging, respect, and welcome within our school community.  As a standing item on our staff meeting agenda, this data will be analyzed, our focus will be clarified, and next steps will be planned to look at how all of this is impacting our learners. 

 

Framework for Enhancing Student Learning June 2019-June 2020: The Creation of a Homma Vision Statement 

Through a reflection process engaged in by the staff around our original inquiry question of "How can each and every student connect with others while creating and maintaining a positive personal and cultural identiry?" we found the need to greater explore the notion of community.  It was obvious to us when reviewing student feedback to the following questions that the majority of students were quickly able to identify positive things that have been happening in their classrooms that build a sense of community and belonging.

Can you name two adults in this school who believe that you can be a success in life?

What is one thing that has helped to build a sense of community in your classroom? or What is one thing that happens in your class that makes you feel like you belong?

Do you feel like you belong to the school community at Homma?  Why or why not?

As we dove into conversations based on student feedback, we found ourselves asking more questions that needed answering:

What does Community mean to the Homma Staff? And Why is this important?

What do we want it to look like, feel like, sound like?

How does a community function?

What can we do to build a greater sense of community or maintain the community we have?

From here we reached out to a third party to help facilitate and navigate this with us.  Over the course of the 2019/2020 school year we will be exploring these questions to create a Homma Vision Statement.

 

 

Framework for Enhancing Student Learning 2017-2019

Our Inquiry: How can each and every student connect and engage with others while creating and maintaining a positive personal and cultural identity?

Core Competencies: Our Focus 

Communication: Connect and Engage with Others, and Positive Personal & Cultural Identity

We asked our students five key questions:

What are you learning?
How are you doing?
How do you know?
What are your next learning goals?
Can you name two adults at school who believe you will be a success?

Our students were able to name many things they were learning and to explain why this learning was important. Students knew how they were doing because of the feedback their teachers gave them or from their marks. The majority of our students could name two adults that believed they would be a success in life. They were not, however, able to state their learning goals. They seemed confused by the question.

We wondered why our very capable, very well supported learners seemed to feel easily defeated when faced with a difficult task. We wondered how we could develop that sense of “grit” that would help them to face challenges with excitement rather than worry. How could we help them engage more openly with one another and, instead of competing, support one another? How could we move from the “right answer” to “possibilities”? How can we help them “own” their learning and reflect in order to grow and develop learning goals?

Our students have had many opportunities to develop leadership and to work together. They have reached out to seniors in our community, to the food bank, and have organized a large scale clothing drive and built an outdoor classroom and garden. We wondered how we could foster a broader understanding and appreciation for their own heritage, the community that they are a part of, and to make decisions that are reflective of the values they and their families hold dear. We wonder if developing a positive personal and cultural identity will increase resilience and co-operation in our student population and promote a sense of responsibility and connection to our community, and ultimately enhance the capacity for student learning.