Our School Plan Progress 2018-2019

Improving Student Learning

The Abbotsford School District’s Strategic Plan reflects our public commitment to BC’s new curriculum by working together to continuously improve learning for each student.

School Goals

Under the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning, all Abbotsford School District schools are required to develop a long term plan to improve student achievement, one that maintains a balance on the intellectual, social and career development of students. Each year, every school will also set individual school goals to assist them in achieving progress.

Sandy Hill Elementary School Goals

Self Regulation and Social Emotional Learning

Sandy Hill Elementary is a kindergarten to grade 5 dual-track school with a rich history of parent involvement.  Parents work with teachers, support staff and administrators to improve student learning.  This year, students are building upon the work that was started last year in the areas of self-regulation and social emotional learning (SEL).  Our school plan reflects the ways in which our school is actively addressing students’ self-regulation and SEL needs.

Self-regulation and social emotional learning (SEL) are the foundation of all learning that goes on in the classroom, as well as outside on the playground.  It is essential that all students understand the importance of SEL so that they can learn to their full potential in the classroom.

This year, classes continue to focus on the Zones of Regulation.  In addition, students are learning how they can use strategies to help them be calm, alert, and ready to learn.  Teachers are working with students to foster a “growth mindset” – the idea that our abilities in all areas can be grown through dedication and hard work.   Through this focus, students are learning about resiliency and perseverance.  Students are learning that we all have potential and, through an emphasis on growing and improving ourselves, we can achieve great things.

Intellectual

Our students will learn key academic skills - like reading, writing and math - to encompass the knowledge and processes associated with intellectual development. As learners and meaning-makers, students take subject-specific concepts and content and transform them into a new understanding. 

Our celebrations of learning

Reading and Writing Achievement

Students’ literacy skills are developed in the classroom and throughout our school in a variety of ways.  Many teachers use the Daily 5 and CAFÉ methods in order to provide students with opportunities to work in small groups and focus on their individual needs.  Primary teachers have instituted many of Janet Mort’s “Joyful Literacy” initiatives into their literacy programs, with a focus on finding playful, meaningful and engaging ways to help students learn to read and write.  In addition, intermediate teachers are working on a variety of reading comprehension strategies (many of which can be found in Stephanie Harvey’s “Comprehension Toolkit”) to help students access and understand a variety of texts, including fiction and non-fiction works.

Primary and intermediate teachers at our school are also engaged in a 2-year project through the district Curriculum department to investigate ways in which to increase reading achievement for all students.  Our Changing Results for Young Readers (CR4YR) and Changing Results for Striving Readers (CR4SR) teams are working hard to address the needs of our students in literacy.

Human & Social

Our students will study personal and human social skills and as they relate to students' identity in the world - both as individuals and as members of their community. We are learning that personal and human social skills encompass the abilities students needs to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world. 

Our celebrations of learning

Community

Sandy Hill Elementary staff and students participate in a variety of events throughout the year to foster a sense of community.  We also acknowledge and celebrate cultural diversity in a variety of ways.  Classrooms learn about a variety of traditions throughout the world and have an opportunity to participate in many different international activities.  Our district’s Aboriginal Education department visited our school in October for Syos:ys Week, a weeklong cultural learning experience that enabled students to learn more about our local First Nations cultures and traditions.

This year, Sandy Hill PAC hosted a Carnaval winter celebration in conjunction with our school’s French Culture Week.  Families enjoyed the many games and activities that were offered at the carnival, as well as the food and prizes that were offered.  Even the famous Carnaval snowman, Bonhomme, made an appearance! The event was a successful example of the types of community-building activities that occur at Sandy Hill.

The school community also finds ways to give back.  For example, this year Sandy Hill families were able to donate a large amount of non-perishable food items to the Abbotsford Food Bank.  Our entire foyer was filled with bags of donations at Thanksgiving.  Way to go, Sandy Hill!

Music/Fine Arts/Drama

At Sandy Hill Elementary, students are exposed to the arts in a variety of ways.  Our music specialist teacher works with each class at least once per week, allowing students to learn, experience and develop a love for (and appreciation of) music.  This year, some of our students in grades 2 and 3 will also participate in a spring musical, and every student has the opportunity to be a part of our annual Christmas production.

Students are also able to take part in our school’s extra-curricular choir, and individual classes perform throughout the year at assemblies for our school.  Classroom teachers also find ways to incorporate music, drama, dance, and visual arts into academic subject areas in a variety of ways.

Physical Education and Extra-Curricular Activities

Our physical education teacher provides a variety of exciting opportunities for students to engage in physical activity at our school.   Students are always enthusiastic about Coach Smith’s “Jungle Gym” weeks, where the gym is transformed into a playground of gymnastic stations for students to work through. 

With the help of teacher volunteers, a wide variety of extra-curricular activities are also offered at Sandy Hill.  Intermediate students have the option of participating in cross country, skittleball, basketball, and soccer after school throughout the year.

Careers

Our students will succeed in a much different future from the one we envisioned 10 or 15 years ago. It is our responsibility to prepare all children for success in whatever life path they choose, connecting learning opportunities with future career possibilities. We know that real-life experiences - like community involvement, gaining business knowledge, and hands-on-learning - build better students and life-long citizens. 

Our celebrations of learning

Inquiry Based Learning

Teachers use inquiry-based learning activities in classrooms in order for students to explore new ideas, ask questions, and learn about a variety of topics.  British Columbia’s redesigned curriculum gives students an opportunity to focus on Core Competencies that will positively impact their futures.

In the Library Learning Commons (LLC) and our school’s “Explozone” area, students are given the chance to be creative, think critically, and work cooperatively on many different kinds of tasks.  Students use technology, design thinking, and inquiry to foster skills that will ensure that they are ready to take on any challenge in an ever-changing world.

This December, several classes in grades 1 and 2 learned about the term “community” at school.  With the help of classroom and LLC teachers, students planned, designed and created their own communities made of gingerbread.  Known as the Gingerbread STEM Challenge, students then used Skype to interact with other classes in Canada and the United States to share their learning and compare/contrast what different communities looked like within North America.