HPSD schools improving results to educate

Richard Froese

High Prairie School Division has reviewed the results from the annual education results report and prepared its three-year education plan, says a news release Nov. 30.

“The division continues to use school and community planning sessions, survey data, student engagement sessions, and face-to-face interviews with students, staff, parents, and community members to give us some excellent perspectives on what we are doing well and what we can improve upon,” says Tammy Henkel, who chairs the board.”

The information gathered from these engagement strategies is then used to develop our three-year plan.

Aggregated data is then incorporated into targeted strategies to facilitate student success and subsequently improve their achievement results.

“We’ve seen almost every area improving and we are happy to see results improve,” communications officer Kyle Nichols says.

The following highlights are from the HPSD three-year plan:


The assistant superintendent of learning is working with schools to pilot Mathletics during the 2017-2018 school year.

In addition, select HPSD schools are piloting the Math Intervention Programming Instrument (MIPI) as a tool to gather data to inform instruction based on retention of the student’s previous year.

The resources, teaching strategies, and assessment practices in mathematics are being reviewed.

-Full-time kindergarten:

HPSD advocated and supported full-time kindergarten programs in each elementary school to accommodate parents’ desire for quality full-day programming, that is delivered in a play-based, developmentally appropriate manner remained a focus.

-Dual-credit programming and career coaching:

HPSD has developed a strong dual credits program for all jurisdictional senior high students in partnership with Athabasca University, Grande Prairie Regional College, Lakeland College, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Northern Lakes College, the release says.

More than 750 high school credits and many college credits were earned by HPSD students in 2016-17 in various industry trades (carpentry, electrical, power engineering, and welding), certificate programs (business courses, healthcare aide program), assorted courses (environmental awareness, play-based learning).

“The career coaching team, based in all senior high schools and outreach centres, provides significant support in developing and expanding opportunities for our students to earn dual accreditation, to transition beyond their K-12 school years and encourage students’ engagement in learning,” Henkel says.

-Inclusive education:

Inclusive education is another priority.

“Our division is committed to increas understanding and capacity in regard to inclusion,” Henkel says.

Schools received dedicated funds to implement supports in keeping with the needs of their school community.

Staff was able to access resources and support through student services.

“A team of dedicated individuals, including our inclusive education co-ordinators, registered psychologists and occupational therapist, worked diligently to address the needs of staff and students,” Henkel says.

Collaboration with the HPSD regional collaborative service team, Northern Lakes Collaborative Services, occurred regularly.

-First Nations, Métis, and Inuit student success:

“HPSD is determined to close the achievement gap that exists for many of its First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students and in 2016-17 continued implementation of our coordinated approach to support these students,” Henkel says.

That approach is outlined in the HPSD FNMI Strategic Improvement Plan: Eliminating the Achievement Gap, available for viewing on the HPSD website.

The HPSD FNMI co-ordinator worked toward achieving the goals of the strategic plan by deploying six success coaches in the 2016-17 school year.

Success coaches work directly with students, staff, community members, and related agencies.

Their purpose, along with other jurisdictional and school-based personnel, is to support HPSD in eliminating the achievement gap for our First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students by keeping an ongoing focus on strategies to support student learning.

At the schools and in the communities, the coaches meet with parents, elders, students, and other community members to provide information and to listen to local concerns.

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