Trends and Issues: Promoting Resilience and Excellence in Achievement

Issue: Promoting Resilience

Stakeholders significantly raised “resilience”, as an area for focus throughout Several stakeholder engagement events held during the 2018-2019 school year. 
The Canadian Mental Health Association defines resiliency as: 

“the ability to bounce back from tough situations. Despite challenging or stressful experiences, resilient individuals have developed skills to adapt and move forward. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. Rather, it is built through the combination of supportive relationships, adaptive skill building and positive experiences.”

Resilience enables success in school and a strong ability to form meaningful relationships. The concept of self-resilience is that one feels hopeful about the future, in spite of adversity, and is able to avoid becoming depressed or self-destructive. However, resilience should not only be thought of as an individual characteristic as resilience also includes the environment and systems that surround us. 

As an issue requiring focus, Parkland School Division shall continue to explore and promote an invigorated focus as we attend to strategies and initiatives that build resiliency. We recognize that our young population is growing up within circumstances that challenge their development into adulthood.

Issue: Excellence in Achievement

Several engagement events focused on assessment and reporting during the 2018-2019 year. From these engagements, a new Assessment and Reporting Standard identified clear direction for assessing and reporting student progress:

Parkland School Division shall report progress with four indicators of achievement (K-9) and percentages (10-12). Note that the indicators of achievement for knowledge tasks are equal, in range of percentage, to the indicators of achievement. The expected acceptable standard for all students is to achieve, at least, a level of competence while continually striving to achieve a standard of excellence.

A student may receive feedback that utilizes descriptive indicators of achievement, relative to the outcome expected:

Our intent is for our students to achieve competency, at a minimum, while endeavouring to achieve excellence. Achievement of excellence includes:

  • Mastery of foundational knowledge or skills;
  • Masterful and innovative application or demonstration of skills;
  • Approaching new challenges and non-routine tasks with creative, independent and flexible thinking
  • Demonstrating a refined ability to apply and extend learning to non-routine tasks;
  • Employing strong literacy skills to intuitively summarize and synthesize received information;
  • Solving problems utilizing a variety of strategies to find solutions and checks and evaluates the effectiveness of the process utilized;
  • Demonstrating a clear understanding of the learning goal and intentionally acting on a plan to progressively move learning forward;
  • Actively seeking feedback in a constructive manner;
  • Communicating understanding with fluency and in a variety of ways;
  • Naturally and independently connecting previous learning to new learning; and
  • Significantly contributing in situations when working with others and demonstrating value for the contribution of others

Excellence and resilience are complementary factors in a student’s education and school education plans and strategies will continue to encourage each student to demonstrate the best of their abilities.