Our School Plan Progress 2017-2018

Improving Student Learning

The Abbotsford School District’s Strategic Plan reflects our public commitment to BC’s new curriculum by working together to continuously improve learning for each student.

School Goals

Under the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning, all Abbotsford School District schools are required to develop a long term plan to improve student achievement, one that maintains a balance on the intellectual, social and career development of students. Each year, each school develops an annual plan and sets individual goals to improve student achievement. 

Howe Middle School Goals

This year our Staff have decided to shift the focus of our School Plan for Student Success toward our student's Social Emotional Learning. Research shows that students are more successful in school and daily life when they:

  • Know and can manage themselves
  • Understand the perspectives of others and relate effectively with them
  • Make sound choices about personal and social decisions

These social and emotional skills are some of several short-term student outcomes that SEL programs promote (Durlak et al., 2011; Farrington et al., 2012; Sklad et al., 2012). Other benefits include:  

  • More positive attitudes toward oneself, others, and tasks including enhanced self-efficacy, confidence, persistence, empathy, connection and commitment to school, and a sense of purpose
  • More positive social behaviors and relationships with peers and adults
  • Reduced conduct problems and risk-taking behavior
  • Decreased emotional distress
  • Improved test scores, grades, and attendance

Intellectual

Our students will learn key academic skills - like reading, writing and math - to encompass the knowledge and processes associated with intellectual development. As learners and meaning-makers, students take subject-specific concepts and content and transform them into a new understanding. 

Our celebrations of learning

9 Attributes of a Howe Learner

Through interdisciplinary curricula, the faculty and staff at Howe Middle School teach students skills that are built upon throughout their schooling and recognize that:

  • Students learn best when they are actively involved in their learning.
  • Learning must be relevant and engaging.
  • Students learn in different ways and all students need individual differences recognized.
  • All students can be successful when we encourage their unique skills and abilities.
  • All students need challenges.
  • All students are the responsibility of the family, school and community.
  • We must always expect the best from others and ourselves
  • We must include and integrate technology as a part of the learning process

In support of this obligation, at Colleen & Gordie Howe Middle we are committed to develop learners who are:

  • Critical Thinkers
  • Collaborators
  • Effective Communicators
  • Socially Responsible
  • Well-Rounded
  • Open-Minded
  • Digitally Literate
  • Innovative
  • Respectful

Aboriginal Education

An Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement is an agreement set between the Abbotsford School District, the Ministry of Education and the Aboriginal community. Extensive consultation were undertaken in order to choose the goals for this agreement. Abbotsford School District's Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement is a set of four goals that seek to ensure success for Aboriginal students at school.

District Goals

  • Increase the school completion of Aboriginal students
  • Increase the number of Aboriginal students that are meeting expectations in reading
  • Increase cultural pride in Aboriginal students
  • Increase the sense of belonging of Aboriginal students at school

The following images provide examples of Howe Middle Staff and Student commitment to fulfilling these goals.

This We Believe

We believe successful Middle Schools, like Howe Middle provide:

Curriculum that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory.

  • An effective curriculum is based on criteria of high quality and includes learning activities that create opportunities for students to pose and answer questions that are important to them. Such a curriculum provides direction for what young adolescents should know and be able to do and helps them achieve the attitudes and behaviors needed for a full, productive, and satisfying life.

Multiple learning and teaching approaches that respond to their diversity.

  • Since young adolescents learn best through engagement and interaction, learning strategies involve students in dialogue with teachers and with one another. Teaching approaches should enhance and accommodate the diverse skills, abilities, and prior knowledge of young adolescents, and draw upon students' individual learning styles.

Assessment and evaluation programs that promote quality learning.

  • Continuous, authentic, and appropriate assessment and evaluation measures provide evidence about every student's learning progress. Grades alone are inadequate expressions for assessing the many goals of middle level education.

The photos below provide evidence toward how the Howe Middle Staff are commited to these characteristics of successful Middle Schools.

This awesome project was done in collaboration between our Aboriginal Worker, Mrs. Serviss and our Grade 7 Teacher and Aboriginal Champion, Mr. Giesbrecht.

Human & Social

Our students will study personal and human social skills and as they relate to students' identity in the world - both as individuals and as members of their community. We are learning that personal and human social skills encompass the abilities students needs to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world. 

Our celebrations of learning

WEB Program

WEB, which stands for “Where Everybody Belongs” is a middle school orientation and transition program that welcomes new grade 6 students and makes them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience. Built on the belief that students can help students succeed, the program trains mentors from grade 8 to be WEB Leaders. As positive role models, WEB Leaders are mentors and student leaders who guide new grade 6 students to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to middle school and help facilitate grade 6 success.

Community Service

Service-learning is a powerful, hands-on teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful service and classroom content. The process creates authentic learning opportunities while teaching civic responsibility through service to others with reciprocal benefits for all involved. 

In the redesigned curriculum, Career Education Curricular Competencies related to Service Learning include:

  • Examine the importance of service learning and the responsibility of individuals to contribute to the community and the world
  • Appreciate the importance of respect, inclusivity, and other positive behaviours in diverse, collaborative learning, and work environments
  • Question self and others about the reciprocal relationship between self and community
  • Demonstrate leadership skills through collaborative activities in the school and community
  • Explore volunteer opportunities and other new experiences outside school and recognize their value in career development

The following photos depict Howe students contributing to the community.

Arts and Athletics

Howe Middle features strong curricular and extra curricular sports programs which include Volleyball, Cross Country, Football, Basketball and Rugby. We also have a lunch intramural program including indoor soccer, basketball, badminton and dodge ball.

Our Music program features Guitar Ensemble, Concert Band, Choir, World Percussion and Music Explorations which provide students unique opportunities to discover and hone their musical talents.  At Howe, music brings our many cultures together, allowing all to celebrate as one community.  Music students take part in many performances and cultural events throughout the year at school and in the community at large.

Careers

Our students will succeed in a much different future from the one we envisioned 10 or 15 years ago. It is our responsibility to prepare all children for success in whatever life path they choose, connecting learning opportunities with future career possibilities. We know that real-life experiences - like community involvement, gaining business knowledge, and hands-on-learning - build better students and life-long citizens. 

Our celebrations of learning

Explorations

The middle school years are a crucial period when students can benefit greatly from career exploration activities. Career decisions are built over time, with the middle school years creating the optimal opportunity to help students develop an awareness of who they are, their unique strengths and weaknesses, what they enjoy, and equally important, what they do not enjoy. Howe Middle Explorations program is designed to help our students develop a sense of self-awareness, and an appreciation for the career possibilities that the world has to offer them.

Howe Middle Entrepreneur Fair

Students have fun gaining real-life career experience by exploring the world of business. As they build their own independent business ventures, they set and achieve goals, acquire confidence and develop practical life skills. They put their plans into action at the Young Entrepreneur Show, a dynamic event where they interact with customers and earn money. By donating a portion of their profits to charity, they also discover the impact of giving.

In this task students:

  • Prepare business plans, conduct market research, develop products, set pricing, and design marketing materials.
  • Work with others to learn teamwork, problem-solving and planning skills.
  • Utilize and hone creative, communicative and abstract thinking abilities. 
  • Interact with customers and earn money at an exciting showcase event.
  • Donate a portion of their profits to charity and experience the impact of giving. 
  • Evaluate their efforts and identify success strategies for the future.