Much like our resource model at Tomsett, we undertake a process of reflection and analysis of our school community a couple times each year. The time that we purposefully set aside is used to see that we are meeting the needs of our learners. It is also meant to examine the things that we are doing, what is working, what needs to be changed, added or removed.
Our school and school community is a great place for children to learn and grow. Our staff is heavily invested in making sure that our students feel connected to each other, to us, and to the school. To this end, we start as soon as they arrive at school in the morning, opening car doors and welcoming students by name, and work hard all day until we put them back in their cars at the end of the day, or wish them goodbye as the school day comes to an end. This approach may be one of the reasons why 98% of our students can name more than two adults in the building who care about them.
Through our scanning, we see that in terms of academics, writing is the area that poses the greatest challenge for our students. This is not surprising given the multitude of languages that our children speak at home. While important, and something we will begin to address, it is not the most pressing issue for our children. That issue is a social-emotional one.
We see a large number of our students (K-7), who are unable to solve problems independently AND whose reaction to a problem does not match the size of the problem. Despite many having attended preschool, there seems to be a void in some social skills that are developed through cooperative activities and team sports. Many of our children have not experienced situations where they have had to share, did not get their way, or did not have things go the way they wanted them to. Busy lives, busy parents, after school classes, Covid-19 isolation, interrupted schooling, technology, etc. have created the perfect conditions for the problems they are facing to develop. Without an ability to problem solve in a rational manner, our students will be challenged to find the success that we know they are capable of. It is this road that we are embarking down in an effort to move our students and school community forward.