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, help to create a better more peaceful world. Even though the PYP programme is no longer something that is affordable during these difficult times, 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 six years our staff has a 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 in the building, assemblies focused on this kind mindset and kind actions were modeled for the student body.
We extend our strong belief that no person or persons are less important than the other, to include our students, parents and community members. 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 have spent the past three years developing a strong cultural richness committee to celebrate our diverse population. Courageous Conversations, Race Matters, and Cultural Proficiency are just some of the studies this committee of parents and staff address. At Bonny Slope we have a growing population of economically disadvantaged students. Before the pandemic, our struggling families were supported through the backpack program where food from our community partnerships and from the cupboards of our own community was sent home on Fridays. The past four 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. Additionally, with the implementation of CDL, our teachers are working steadfast to learn best practices when teaching remotely. Currently, the entire certified staff is participating in a book study of The Distance Learning Playbook, capitalizing on opportunities to share strategies for engagement and efficiency with their peers, spending significant professional development time in Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist work and learning strategies to improve academic vocabulary and language.
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. 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. This year we are also scoring each student on the Engagement continuum from the Distance Learning Playbook.
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 academic vocabulary continues to be a struggle for these students. Three years ago, we focused on sheltered instruction with great results. After spending last year studying DAL (Developing Academic Language) strategies with the District’s MLD team, we are hoping to get the same results that we did three years ago. 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 stifled 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 learners. 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.
Finally, our newest focus is providing the staff with a deep understanding of Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist work, with the goal of starting a journey towards becoming an Anti-Racist school. Recognizing the complexity of those words, the staff has currently been engaged in a personal journey of understanding their racial identities. Lead by the Bonny Slope ABAR Planning Group, composed of nine certified and classified staff members, concepts are presented to the staff, such as white privilege, and then discussed in depth in smaller, stable 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 focus, to start to impact our teaching, our classroom, and start 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.