Pine Grove Public School

Map of Ontario displaying the City of St. Catharines

2018 School Recipient of the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement

Data and Schools: A Journey of Learning

Student population: 372; Grades: JK–8

  • Located in an urban setting, Pine Grove Public School is named for the pine trees lining the northern school boundary.
  • The student population is diverse and includes a growing number of English language learners.

“As a school, we have been focusing on fostering a growth mindset in mathematics. I believe that attitudes are a precursor to student achievement.”
— Principal

Analysis

  1. Data Observations: In the fall, the entire Pine Grove staff meets to look at the EQAO data. The educators then break off into divisions to examine the data. Staff look for patterns and discuss strengths and next steps for the Grades 3 and 6 cohorts. These data are considered alongside teacher observations, conversations and products.
  2. Instructional Decisions: Pine Grove and other schools in the board administer a mid-year assessment in Grades 3 and 6. Data obtained from this initiative are compared with previous data to uncover patterns and trends. This helps staff evaluate whether the fall interventions have succeeded or whether additional support is needed.
  3. Mid-year Assessment: Pine Grove and other schools in the board administer a mid-year assessment in Grades 3 and 6. Data obtained from this initiative are compared with previous data to uncover patterns and trends. This helps staff evaluate whether the fall interventions have succeeded or whether additional support is needed.
  4. Reflect to Grow: The staff at Pine Grove has learned it is important not to focus on preparing students to be successful on one specific question or test. Rather, the goal is to provide learning experiences that support student success relative to curriculum expectations. The school uses data to identify general areas of need and to monitor the implementation of strategies and their impact.

Action

Effective Descriptive Feedback

Teachers at Pine Grove have refined the use of descriptive feedback to foster student reflection about the quality of their responses. Teachers use examples to co-construct success criteria with their students. The success criteria allow students to assess their own and their peers’ work.

Students understand that when given feedback, they have an opportunity to revisit and modify their work to improve it. The quality of the students’ work increases with each iteration.

Building a Culture of Success

Pine Grove staff collaborate and focus on nurturing high expectations across all grades and programs. By celebrating strong student work, the school builds a community of learners that have grit and self-motivation to do their best.

Staff saw a correlation between student attitudes and achievement in math as they intersected these two types of EQAO data. The staff has committed to fostering positive student attitudes toward learning. Teachers consistently take time to check in with individual students to ensure they have confidence in themselves as mathematicians and feel empowered to be successful. Teachers strongly believe all students want to be successful.

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