Success Coaches Celebrate Achievements at Board Meeting

Success Coaches Celebrate Achievements at Board Meeting
Posted on 03/20/2017
Success Coaches Celebrate Achievements at Board Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

High Prairie, Alberta – The HPSD Success Coaches gave a presentation to the Board of Trustees on Wednesday, March 15th on the work they have done to-date, their plans moving forward, and the successes they have realized in their roles.

Led by Coordinator Delores Cox, the 6 person team delivered a comprehensive presentation on how their work is supporting the 4 goals of the Division’s FNMI Strategic Improvement Plan: Closing the Achievement Gap. Those goals are as follows:

1. Community Engagement
2. Culturally Responsive Schooling
3. FNMI Curriculum Infusion
4. Accountability and Reporting

One of the ways Indigenous Community Engagement is happening in our schools is through the Kairos Blanket Exercise. The KBE is an interactive way of learning the history most Canadians are never taught. It has been offered a dozen times in the past 6 months at HPSD schools and neighbouring communities. The common feelings and reactions to the exercise include a strong emotional response to known historical events. Some participants note that they were unaware of a number of the facts presented during the exercise.

With respect to Indigenous Curriculum Infusion, several practices were identified. The Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers are used to promote character development. The seven teachings are wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth. The seven are a set of teachings on human conduct towards others; those teachings strongly support the HPSD Code of Conduct. Another method of curriculum infusion is storytelling during literacy blocks. Elders, Knowledge Keepers, Success Coaches, and community members are invited to share their knowledge with students. Land-based learning activities such as nature walks, trapping, snaring, and ice-fishing are also implemented. These activities are giving our students the opportunity to experience, learn, and discover new personal limits. They build strong leadership skills and improve confidence utilizing Indigenous knowledge, teachings, and learning about the interconnectivity of all things.
The Success Coaches went on to highlight the numerous teaching resources that have been secured and/or developed for schools. These resources provide our schools with the ability to meet the Alberta Education guiding documents on First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Education.

The goals identified in the Division’s FNMI Strategic Improvement Plan: Closing the Achievement Gap guides the work done by the Success Coaches. Their efforts support the success of all HPSD students. Currently, the number of students who self-identify as First Nation, Métis, or Inuit is approximately 40% of the total student population. This initiative directly supports Alberta’s Expression of Reconciliation, the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Policy Framework, and the Ministerial Order for Student Learning. High Prairie School Division is proud of the work our Success Coaches are doing to close the achievement gap.

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