The Opportunity and Necessity of Collaboration

Tim ChanTimes News

In 2016 the Ministry of Education (MoE) embarked on the journey of implementing a redesigned curriculum. Eight years into the process the ministry is still developing and refining its provincial mandates in support of improving learning outcomes for all students in BC.

Currently under development is a K-12 Reporting Policy Framework, which will require the refinement of our teachers’ assessment practices. The refined provincial assessment practices will provide students and families with:

  • a clearer understanding of learning progress, and
  • more meaningful, individualized goals for future learning.

During the upcoming school year, JKCS teachers will collaboratively undertake the task of developing assessment resources and practices that fulfill the new Reporting Policy Framework. Our goal is to be fully compatible with the requirements when they officially come into effect in September, 2023.

Effective teaching is rooted in the habit of planning with the end in mind. Planning with the end in mind requires supporting planning processes that are effective and that lead to mastery of new skills, not only for our students, but also for our teachers.

For the incredibly busy teacher, time is a precious commodity. Fortunately, JKCS operates with more than the MoE’s required number of instructional hours. This fact supports an excellent opportunity for the school to incorporate teacher-collaboration and planning time into our weekly schedule.

When school resumes this September, students will be dismissed 45 minutes earlier on Wednesdays. The Wednesday only dismissal times are:

  • 2:05 pm for grades K – 3,
  • 2:15 pm for grades 4 – 6,
  • 2:30 pm for grades 7 – 12.

The teachers will use the early dismissal Wednesdays to plan together and to develop the updated StudentLearning Assessment Resources that will soon be required by the MoE.

The highest and most successful level of collaborative planning requires time. Teachers can commit to collaborating, exercising creativity and improving teaching practices when this gift of time is incorporated into their weekly schedule. The practice of allocating primetime for planning has an abundance of benefits because it is the quality of the work done prior to teaching that significantly effects the quality of learning students experience when they are in class.

Students too can benefit from the mid-week gift of 45 minutes. We are praying this change to the rhythm-of-the-week will be life-giving, energizing and fruitful.

Wendy Perttula
Director of Curriculum

Some phrases and ideas in this article are found in the publication titled, “Educational Leadership, October 2016 Volume 74 No. 2.”
Also referenced is the BC Ministry of Education, June 2022, draft document titled, “K-12 Reporting Policy Framework: Interim Supporting Materials.”