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Principal's Message

October 13, 2019

​Dear PHS Families, 
Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are enjoying a relaxing weekend filled with family and friends.   
Our noninstructional day last Friday was full and busy as most of our staff either completed or recertified their first aid training.  The safety of our students is always top priority and we want to be prepared should there be any kind of medical emergency.  Also, field trips that do not have a CBE contracted service provider leading the trip (eg. A bussed trip to a city park or any self-led tour) require at least one staff member to have first aid.  In the past we would have only a percentage on staff with the training, but now we are all able take on this role instead of relying on a few select staff members.   

I would like to introduce the first of a three-part communication addressing assessment changes within the CBE: Calibration, Report Card Achievement Indicator Changes and Changes to Mathematics Report Card Descriptors.  
Within the Calgary Board of Education, we strive to base our assessment practices on: 
-Fair, transparent and equitable practices (understanding every child’s background and prior experiences and designing assessment that honors the respect and dignity of each student) 

-Explicit connections to the programs of study and CBE results through targets and success criteria connected directly to curricula, Citizenship, Personal Development and Character.  

-Ongoing cycles of learning (teachers design tasks and make responsive adjustments throughout the year)  

-Student agency (involving students in the assessment process) 

-Clear and meaningful communication with families that reflects how well students are demonstrating specific knowledge, skills and processes. 

Last summer, a number of teachers, school administrators and senior leaders met to work on a series of assessment tools, such as common rubrics, in order to ensure that both the criteria we use to assess student learning, and our understanding of the report card indicators (1, 2, 3 and 4) are consistent across the CBE.   

Although this work was much bigger than originally expected, great progress was made in steps toward a systemic, common assessment structure.   For example, assessment guides linked to the programs of study have been developed for all CBE schools to use in calibrating assessment practice for each grade.  We are very fortunate to have one of our own Learning Leaders, Miss Hu (Grade 1) involved in both the summer work and the ongoing common assessment developed throughout the year.   

Calibration at PHS 
Discussion of the need for further calibration has surfaced many times at PHS. As a K-5 school, without Provincial Achievement tests, we must rely heavily on report card data, which is created through teachers’ classroom assessment. Thus, having consistent assessment practice across the school is incredibly important to monitor student growth, determine strengths/gaps and set new targets each year.  
Our Friday PLC (Professional Learning Communities) have now begun with our first cycle of learning in mathematics.  We have collected student work samples in the area of math problem solving and, as a team, established what constitutes a 1, 2, 3 or 4 using the new assessment documents that have come out so far.  On October 2nd we were fortunate enough to have one of our Area 2 math strategists join us to support this calibration work and set it up for the ongoing discussions we will be engaging in throughout the year.   

Just as the CBE is developing a systemic calibration framework, we seek to apply this same process at PHS within each subject area and grade team.  This will deepen our understanding of how learning progresses throughout the grades within the larger system and within our smaller PHS context.  Our goal in working with our literacy and mathematics strategists is to create learning progressions in our target areas (Math problem solving and writing) that clearly demonstrate what learning looks like at a 1, 2, 3 or 4 from K – 5.  This is huge and important work that will add more clarity, meaning and reliability to our assessment processes thereby supporting teacher, student and parent understanding of where a child is at any given time in their learning.  

I am sharing this information to help prepare families for new changes to the report cards in January.  In the next two weeks I will talk more about Report Card Achievement Indicator Changes and Changes to the Mathematics Report Card Descriptors.  As well, in our November School Council meeting, I will be sharing our achievement results from last year, our School Development Plan for this, year and will clarify any assessment questions you may have.   

Wishing a restful holiday Monday! 
Ms. Paull 
Panorama Hills School ​

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Panorama Hills School

1057 Panorama Hills Dr NW Calgary, AB, T3K 0S4
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School Contacts

Ms Allison Paull
Assistant Principal
Mr Christopher Southworth
Education Director
Ms Teresa Martin
Althea Adams

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Morning Start
8:10 AM
2:55 PM
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