School Learning Plan
Bonny Slope Elementary School
Bonny Slope opened in 2007 as a Primary Years Programme School. The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, and to help to create a better, more peaceful world. Even though Bonny Slope is no longer a PYP school, the preface of supporting students in becoming responsible members of local, national and global communities will still be present in the daily lives of our students while attending Bonny Slope.
With the vast differences at Bonny Slope, culturally and economically, creating a culture of inclusiveness is a primary focus for our school, both inside our walls and outside in our community. For the last seven years, our staff subscribed to the mantra of “no inside circles and no secret expectations”. To build an inclusive mindset in our building, we expect that we treat each other in kind ways. Teachers highlight the many ways to show kindness in class, have discussions during community meetings and share read alouds that highlight kindness. In the past, when we were allowed to gather together in one place, assemblies focused on this kind mindset with kind actions were modeled for the student body.
We extend our strong belief that no person or persons are less important than the other, this includes our staff, students, parents and community members. Additionally, last year, our staff spent a significant amount of time participating in professional development with Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist work. All staff, including classified staff, participated in this work and look forward to continuing our growth in becoming an anti biased and anti racist school.
Over the years, we have moved to having all of our community events free of charge so that there are no barriers to these events. Our staff and parents developed a strong cultural richness committee to celebrate our diverse population and we are hopeful that this committee will be able to meet in
person once again this year. At Bonny Slope we have a growing population of economically disadvantaged students. Our struggling families are supported through the backpack program where food from our community partnerships and from the cupboards of our own community is sent home on Fridays. The past five years we have added an outreach committee where parents, staff and students have opportunities to volunteer their time with organizations that support those that are less fortunate.
At Bonny Slope we are a school with a high level of achievement and firmly believe in the power of inquiry. Teachers use inquiry in all lessons, including when teaching the workshop model for reading, writing and math. The result is an education where higher levels of thinking and inquiry are happening in all subjects.
Every year we work to improve our practice in closing the achievement gap. In the past we have had ample data to determine our course of action. This year, grade level teachers finished their IRLAs by mid October along with the Easy CBM testing, and the Core Phonics Screener. Writing and math data are also pieces of data we gather to determine what instructional moves we will make as school to support the growth of our students. It is the practice at Bonny Slope to collect and monitor data to determine the academic needs of our students and to do everything possible to identify successful strategies that support all students. This year the addition of the phonics screeners allowed us to have an insight to gaps in learning that we can now fill with the use of interventions including a new intervention Called Fly Leaf. Instructors can target a phonemic gap then use the lessons in Fly Leaf to teach exactly what the student needs to learn. (For example, If a student shows a weakness in reading the long vowel sounds, the instructor can locate quality books, materials and strategies in Fly Leaf that focus on that specific sound.) All grade levels recognize the importance of having phonemic and morphophonemic awareness and have committed to the use of word study as part of their literacy block.
If you look at the historical data at Bonny Slope, it is clear that our economically disadvantaged students continue to perform behind other student groups, especially in the area of mathematics and writing. As we look deeper into the barriers to proficiency, it becomes clear that language skills continue to be a struggle for these students. Four years ago we focused on sheltered instruction with great results. Two years ago staff spent time studying DAL (Developing Academic Language) strategies with the District’s MLD team. This year we will continue to focus on increasing our students’ language skills as well as focus on building strong relationships with our students, especially those from underserved communities. Our academic excellence goal reflects our focus on providing support for learners from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, in our efforts to close the achievement gap and provide an education that meets the needs of all students, we are focusing on learning and practicing strategies that increase the social and emotional growth of our students.
We know that the pandemic has affected the social and emotional growth of many of our students. Our staff is committed to building relationships and increasing the engagement of every student at Bonny Slope. Classified staff spend their days meeting with students in small groups, building relationships with our struggling students and their families, and making sure that the families have what they need to be successful learning communities. Our Behavior, Health and Wellness team has been a huge support in helping individual families and we are grateful to be a part of a district that understands the social and behavioral needs of our students. As we see more students experiencing trauma and emotional regulation struggles, it is our hope that our focus on their social and emotional growth will equate to more growth in achievement across all subjects.
Our focus in providing the staff with a deep understanding of Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist work, with the goal of continuing a journey towards becoming an Anti-Racist school is at the forefront of everything we do. Recognizing the complexity of this work, the staff is committed in their personal journey of understanding their racial identities. Led by the Bonny Slope ABAR Planning Group, composed of nine certified staff members, concepts are presented to the staff, such as white privilege, and then discussed in depth in consistent small groups, so that the staff can unpack the concepts at a personal level in a brave space. We will expand into learning the skills of interrupting racism, and have authentic practices having those conversations. Our final focus is putting this work and learning into our school’s daily practice, to start to impact our teaching, our classroom, and to support our BIPOC students. While this is our year long plan, we understand that this is a journey, and not a checkbox to complete and then move on.
District Goal: WE empower all students to achieve post-high school success.
WE Expect Excellence
- WE teach students knowledge and skills for our evolving world.
- WE seek, support, and recognize world-class employees.
- WE engage students with a variety of relevant and challenging learning experiences.
- WE create learning environments that promote student achievement.
WE Embrace Equity
- WE build honest, safe, and inclusive relationships with our diverse students and their families.
- WE provide needed support so that every student succeeds.
- WE work and learn in teams to understand student needs and improve learning outcomes.
- WE partner with our community to educate and serve students.