School Growth Plan 2014

Hazelton Secondary School

Goals for 2014-2015

Using the Spiral of Inquiry to Ensure Every Student “Crosses the Stage with Dignity, Purpose, and Options”




1. FOCUSSING: Our School, Our Learners, Their Needs

  • Improved literacy and numeracy skills
  • Improved learner success rates (course completion/graduation)
  • Improved learner engagement

Hazelton Secondary School is a trilingual school in the Hazeltons. The Hazeltons are comprised of four small townships and seven reserves from two separate nations: the Gitxsan and the Wet’su’wet’en. The student population is 320 students from Grades 8 through 12. Approximately 85% of our students are First Nations. We have 35 Ministry-identified students and approximately100 “grey-area” students. We believe that 50% of our students can be identified as “at-risk” or “in-risk”, and our growth plan is intended to address the needs of these students.

Students need support to establish strong goals for the future and they need to feel that school is meeting their needs to help prepare for that future. We know that by the time students reach Grade 10, with the demands of provincial exam courses and the requirement to repeat failed courses, many students become discouraged, stop attending, and are in danger of not completing high school.

Within all departments and cross-curricularly, we need to continue to support skill development at the junior level to help ensure success at the senior levels.  Below average academic skills need to be addressed more intensively at the Grade 8 and 9 levels in the hope of better preparing them for the rigours of Grade 10. Encouraging students to express themselves orally, in writing, and through the arts and sciences will promote pride and confidence and help students find their passions. Teaching students to use formative assessment (such as performance standards) will enable students to become more active learners and enable them to set meaningful and achievable goals for self-improvement.

Continuing to support our learners through the critical years of the Graduation Program (grades 10, 11, and 12) to establish post-secondary plans, attain valuable work experience, and continue to develop the necessary skills for success is also crucial. The hope is that improved success in school will lead to improved motivation, engagement in their learning, and opportunities for their lives after high school.




    Our Question

If we continue to implement three specific strategies to address the needs outlined above, will we see an improvement in learner success rates and a decrease in at-risk behaviours (including absenteeism and course failure)?


  • Continuing to develop and implement alternate methods of support for at-risk students, including project-based learning opportunities, ongoing mentorship programs, employability skills, peer support, promoting writing and self-expression, and community involvement.
  • Continue to develop our skills in teaching and using formative assessment (such as BC Performance Standards)
  • Continuing to incorporate authentic Aboriginal content in all areas


Enhance Educator Learning

  • Continue to provide opportunities for staff members to participate in training with Faye Brownlie/Adrienne Gear/others as available
  • Provide ongoing opportunities for professional learning linked to identified learner needs, including planning and collaboration time for teachers to increase their understanding of project-based learning, develop project teams, and create project plans
  • Ongoing training and support in using formative assessment techniques
  • Celebrate successes



Engage in New Learning and Teaching – What changes do we expect to   see?

  • More teacher collaboration and cross-curricular connections
  • Clarity of learning intentions – a focus by all teachers and learners on the four key questions
  • Increased emphasis on formative assessment, including Performance Standards and co-construction of criteria for success by teachers with learners
  • More focus on depth of learning and less anxiety about content coverage
  • Greater use of peers as resources for each other
  • All staff (teachers, support staff) involved in mentoring students
  • Community members and elders more involved in the school and with students       


Criteria for Success:   All departments consistently using at least one of the strategies and tracking evidence (anecdotally, or through use of Performance Standards or other assessment format as appropriate).

  • Project-based learning plans developed for implementation in 2014-2015 school yearReduced at-risk behaviours (including absenteeism, # of students removed from register for lack of attendance/success, office referrals for defiance and skipping)
  • At appropriate times throughout the school year (midterm and semester end?), review our criteria for success and assess how things are going.
  • Increased success rates in courses.
  • Regular formative assessment, such as Performance Standards or locally developed rubrics, so that students know where they are at and where they need to move to in their learning


Find Patterns and Move Forward

  • At the end of the year, review what is most important to continue doing, review, then revamp or discontinue what is not working, and then re-engage in the cycle (the inquiry spiral).
  • Share what we have learned, what we plan to do next, and celebrate successes.





Department What we are doing Where to next?
  • Realigning curriculum goals in A&W Math 8 and 9 to better prepare students for A&W Math 10
  • Continue to realign curriculum goals in Science 8 and 9 to better prepare students for Science 10
  • Greatly increased use of interactive formative assessment techniques
  • Increased literacy component to science courses (reading for information, creative writing)
  • Significant number of grade 8 and 9 students participated in Science Fair. (Five went to regional and all medalled; one is going to nationals.)
  • Increased incorporation of Aboriginal content and use of local experts into Forestry, Science 8, and other units.
  • Bringing local experts into science classes
  • Interdepartmental (collaboration projects (Science Fair, Cloning/Ethics assignment)
  • Teaching ALL grade 9 students to play chess
  • Further collaboration with teachers within dept. and from elementary schools.
  • Continue to develop “outside the text” opportunities and applications of science/math







Department What we are doing Where to next?
  • Continue to extensively incorporate Aboriginal text/literature and context in all English classes


  • Use of Performance Standards for assessment


  • Grade 8, 9, and 10 classes doing timed writes 3 times per year; teachers mark together using common rubric


  • Collecting data based on timed writes to create new goals for writing lessons


  • Grade 9 teachers began collaborating to develop blended Language Arts/Social Studies curriculum according to new Core Competencies.


  • In conjunction with Teacher-Librarian, developing projects using iPads


  • Continue to work on developing true humanities (blend-ed English/SS) curriculum for grade 8 and 9 classes
  • As dept, review the webinar on Formative Assessment as a pro-d event


  • Continue to seek our and incorporate more local content


  • More collaboration time within department and with others









Department What we are doing Where to next?
Planning/Career Prep
  • Implementing mentoring programs


  • Preparing students for transitions (to senior grades, to post-secondary, for work, etc)


  • Utilizing local guest speakers for a range of topics


  • Implementing Aboriginal content throughout courses


  • Partnering with community organizations (UAJ, FAST, Public Health, etc) for workshops
  • Consistently working with the four key questions with students
  • Create detailed year plans for grades 8, 9, and 10 to ensure topics are covered when and where needed
  • Engage in new teaching and learning strategies (section 5) at department meetings



Department What we are doing Where to next?
Physical Education/


  • All PE classes using Peer Tutors – mentors/role models for students
  • Developing partnerships with Aboriginal Sports Council, FAST, and others
  • Honour Your Health Grants – new score clock, aboriginal dance program at lunch
  • Intramurals
  • Ongoing opportunities for students to train as refs and coaches
  • Older students assist in coaching younger teams
  • Explore options for cultural content (archery, orienteering, dance, etc)
  • Outdoor ed course
  • Post four key questions in gym
  • Make changes to course outlines to reflect new curriculum
  • Partner with Planning Dept. to co-plan units


Department What we are doing Where to next?
Learner Support
  • Developing cohesive semester plans for life skills students


  • Emphasizing daily living skills, health, healthy relationships, community involvement


  • Developed rubric for assessment of skills development


  • Transition planning


  • Work experience


  • Weekly swimming lessons





  • More interaction with community














Department What we are doing Where to next?
Practical and Fine Arts


























  • Teachers creating rubrics applicable to their courses and using formative assessment


  • Showcasing skills and talents through displays and performances


  • Intro to Trades course offered


  • Intro to Trades (Foods) being developed for 2014


  • Grant for lunch time aboriginal dance program


  • Partnering with community for local showcasing of student art (Riverboat, hospital, Smithers Art Gallery, etc)


  • Use of local experts to increase aboriginal content in art


  • Implementing math and literacy strategies through the arts.
  • Collaboration time

  • More showcasing talents and celebrating successes within school and community


  • Tracking post-secondary pursuits of students to see how many are pursuing practical or fine arts programs and to ensure they have the skills and knowledge needed for those programs


  • Continue to develop community partnerships to showcase talent







Department What we are doing Where to next?


  • Mentoring program started


  • Encouraging teachers to use collaboration opportunities


  • Seeking out opportunities for more work experience and trades awareness


  • Community Service Learning partnerships


  • Striving to maintain as many elective opportunities as possible


  • Exploring   time-table options to increase opportunities for students re: enrichment, trades, work experience, cultural opportunities, cross-curricular and multi-graded projects, etc


  • In-class student workshops on relationships, bullying, Circle of Courage training


  • Back to the Land Camps, School Garden and Smokehouse


  • Cultural classes partnering with other schools and college classes


  • Developing role model program
  • Proper data collection

  • Using the four key questions with students more regularly and for data collection purposes


  • Ongoing discussion, training re: formative assessment, performance standards, rubrics, etc, as needed


  • More celebrations of successes – monthly assemblies, etc


  • More community connections



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