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School Stories—On the Journey of Learning

Observations from the Field


Algonquin Avenue Public School, Thunder Bay

Lakehead District School Board

Algonquin Avenue Public School is a junior kindergarten to Grade 8 elementary school with approximately 400 students. It serves a predominantly English-speaking population in a mixed urban and industrial setting.

In 2004–2005, the percentages of Grade 3 students meeting or surpassing the provincial standard were 69% in reading, 77% in writing and 79% in mathematics. In Grade 6, the percentages were 67% in reading, 59% in writing and 76% in mathematics.

We’ve adopted a sustained and consistent approach to improving literacy and numeracy that involves the whole school. School leaders, teachers, students, parents and community volunteers all have a critical role to play in student success.

Barb Potocnik,

The underpinning of Algonquin’s success has been a focus on assessment-driven instruction—on creating a link between teaching and explicit student learning needs—coupled with a substantial program of professional development in literacy and numeracy for teaching staff and school leaders. With a particular focus on enhancing the achievement of Level 1 and Level 2 students, the school provides block time for literacy and numeracy each day and makes extensive use of past EQAO assessment items as well as high-quality resources carefully matched to programming in its instructional practice. Algonquin practises a whole-school approach reinforced by a strong communications program, in which parents, school council and community members are engaged, informed and valued contributors.

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