Pleasantville Public School

2016 School Recipient of the Dr. Bette M. Stephenson Recognition of Achievement

Pleasantville Public School, York Region District School Board

Student population: 416; Grades: K–8; Principal: Shari Elms

  • Urban English-track school
  • High socio-economic status with a highly involved parent community
  • School has experienced a rapid rise in Grade 3 English language learners (from 8% to 32%) over the last five years
  • Consistently more than 80% of students have achieved the standard in reading and writing in Grades 3 and 6 over the last five years
Olga Hiltz (SERT), Ruth Walker-Rosewood (Teacher), Shari Elms (Principal), Helen Edward-Tsivaras (Teacher)

Pleasantville Public School is located in Richmond Hill, just north of the City of Toronto. The school was opened in 1960 and has undergone two extensive additions, in 1990 and 1994. It serves a growing community that is becoming more and more diverse.

Selection Criteria

EQAO considered schools that:

  • had a significant proportion of students who did not meet the provincial math standard in Grade 3 but who improved to meet it when they were in Grade 6 and
  • maintained or increased the overall number of students meeting the provincial standard in math.

What is the profile of this school community?

Profile of Grade 3 and Grade 6 Students

Grade 3
Grade 6
Female
55%
41%
Male
45%
59%
Special education needs
11%
10%
English language learners
32%
26%
Born outside Canada
5%
15%
First language learned at home was other than English
39%
28%

How have the results improved?

Through extensive examination of EQAO data, report card data and teacher observation data, the staff was able to identify a challenge of practice in the area of student perseverance with open-ended problems. The students had a fairly high level of achievement, but were unable to take risks to challenge their understanding in more complex mathematical problems. The staff undertook this challenge of practice to move students from good to better.

What initiatives have contributed to this improvement?

Focused Collaborative Inquiry

Once the challenge of practice was established at Pleasantville PS, staff came together on a regular basis to challenge their thinking and learn more about a growth mindset. Subsets of staff were formed, and each subset met to determine their own specific vision and goal. Staff learned alongside students and became more responsive to the needs of their students.

Backing Action with Research

Staff began to develop theories of action around research they conducted. Well thought out professional development and a comfort level of allowing others into their classroom allowed staff to work together on these theories of action. Professional feedback was used to adjust teaching methods and to help staff to be “critical friends” to further improve student learning.

Co-learning Among Staff and Students

A critical piece in the development of the plan to move students forward was learning with the student lens in mind. Most professional development was conducted with staff and students. Questions that were asked during staff discussions were also posed to students, to understand their ideas and perspectives.

More Resources

Grade 9

Sudbury Secondary School, Rainbow District School Board
Maxwell Heights Secondary School, Durham District School Board
M.M. Robinson High School, Halton District School Board
Elmira District Secondary School, Waterloo Region District School Board
St. Francis Xavier High School, Ottawa Catholic District School Board
John McCrae Secondary School, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Kenner Collegiate Vocational Institute, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
Regiopolis-Notre Dame Catholic High School, Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board
St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School, Sudbury Catholic District School Board

Elementary Schools

Pine Grove Public School, District School Board of Niagara
St. Gabriel Catholic Elementary School, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
Sister Catherine Donnelly Catholic School, Simcoe County District School Board
St. Matthew Catholic School, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
Fleming Public School, Toronto District School Board
Springbrook Public School, Peel District School Board
Byron Southwood Public School, Thames Valley District School Board

OSSLT

Superior Collegiate and Vocational Institute, Lakehead District School Board
South Carleton High School, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
Holy Names Catholic High School, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute, Toronto District School Board

Elementary Schools

McKellar Park Central School, Lakehead District School Board
St. Dominic Savio Catholic School, Waterloo Catholic District School Board
St. Bernadette Catholic School, Durham Catholic District School Board
Beverley Heights Middle School, Toronto District School Board
Pius XII Catholic Elementary, Sudbury Catholic District School Board
Sir William Gage Middle School, Peel District School Board
St. Martin School, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
D. Roy Kennedy Public School, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board

Grade 9

Maple High School, York Region District School Board
Essex District High School, Greater Essex County District School Board
Mississauga Secondary School, Peel District School Board
Governor Simcoe Secondary School, District School Board of Niagara
Cardinal Carter Catholic Secondary School, Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
Earl Haig Secondary School, Toronto District School Board

Elementary Schools

St. Edmund Separate School, Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
Pleasantville Public School, York Region District School Board
Nelles Public School, District School Board of Niagara
St. Luke Catholic Elementary School, Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board
St. Aloysius Catholic Elementary School, Waterloo Catholic District School Board
Centennial Road Junior Public School, Toronto District School Board
Dunlace Public School, Toronto District School Board
St. John XXIII Catholic School, Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
E. J. James Public School, Halton District School Board

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