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COMMUNITY SCHOOLS PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE (CSPI)
PROJECT REPORTING TEMPLATE
REPORTING YEAR 2009-2010
SCHOOL DIVISION: WINNIPEG SCHOOL DIVISION
David Livingstone Community School
Ms. Debbie Lenhardt Mair, Principal
Mr. Dennis Perron, Vice-Principal
Ms. Julie Halcro, Community Support Worker
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
The school’s administration, Community Support Worker (CSW) and staff have historically collected feedback and ideas from parents and the community on a regular basis. We have worked very hard at making connections between families, the community and school to make David Livingstone the best place it can be for all stakeholders. At the end of last year the school surveyed parents for specific ideas related to this project. We also collected information informally about the wants and needs of our families at various events and during parent time in our Family Room. During our monthly Community Gatherings parents and caregivers discussed ideas and shared their opinions with staff about the variety of activities put in place for families and/or students. Parents had other opportunities at school to informally provide feedback about special events. Our CSW and administration continually asked families to make sure the programs were a match to needs that were identified throughout the year. We surveyed, interviewed and collected information from our students regarding activities they would like to participate in on their own and with their families. The school’s Community Support Liaison met on a regular basis with several community agencies to share ideas and develop new connections. He continued to serve as a strong link between the school, parents and community.
Together, families and the school developed a list of activities that would best meet identified community needs. The activities and needs were prioritized and goals were established to implement the various projects. From these priorities the school then met with community agencies to match needs with services. This year the school further strengthened partnerships developed last year and built new connections in response to parents’ suggestions.
Our CSPI programs started early this school year because of the information and feedback that was collected from students, families and the community at the end of last year. Another factor for an early start was the existing successful partnerships established from last year between the school and various organizations.
Families felt the school provided a variety of activities to support and enrich students, parents and families’ lives last year. Families wanted the school to continue on with what was established as well as expand on the supports and activities to meet a wider range of needs or to try new programs. Families shared a strong desire to have safe, well run programs for students (of all ages) to attend after regular school hours. They also asked to have events that the whole family could attend together in the evening, and to offer activities that just parents would attend.
Human resources- A full time Community Support Worker (CSW) is an important part of our school team. Our CSW has been open and very approachable. Parents/caregivers felt comfortable with our CSW and have developed trusting relationships. Parents often drop by for coffee and have a chat with her. She is organized and able to follow through on suggestions from parents about activities they want to participate in.
Volunteers- Staff members and others are needed to volunteer and help with ensuring that the programs run smoothly. Several staff members committed many hours in attending events over the year. Stronger relationships were developed between families and staff as they interacted together during events.
Community Volunteers- This year we had volunteers from different community groups that supported programs in our school. Our police School Resource Officer (SRO) continues to support the Cadet’s program, Graffiti Art Gallery had volunteers plan and oversee a variety of art programs and Urban Adventures provided volunteers for a music/boxing program. All of these volunteers committed their time on a regular basis. There were many other volunteers who came on a one-time basis and were greatly appreciated.
Material Resources- The financial support from CSPI was instrumental in maintaining existing successful programs and provided an opportunity to develop some new programs in our school this year. It allowed families and the school to have materials/resources and to provide a nutritious snack at all the events funded by CSPI.
The following is a list of programs or activities that students, families, parents and the school participated in this year:
Ongoing or weekly activities
FAB Night (Film-Appetite-Book) – every second month families gathered at school for a fun evening. We had supper, watched a movie and each family took home a book based on the movie.
Winnipeg Police Services Cadets –students from grades 5-8 met weekly since September to practice drills, volunteer and develop their self-confidence through team building and group activities.
Graffiti Art Gallery programs – once a week students were taught visual art, dance and hip hop. The sessions were run in blocks to target different age groups all year.
CHOICES program, Winnipeg School Division and Manitoba Justice - a program aimed at teaching grade 7 students positive life choices. A leader from the program worked with students once per cycle during the school day. There was also a weekly evening component for students to participate in fun activities throughout the year. On occasion the CHOICES program hosted a “Family Night” where students brought their families to participate in activities together.
Community Schools Investigators (CSI) Summer Program - This program offered students daily academic and extra curricular activities for a period of five weeks during the summer. It was sponsored by the Social Planning Council, Government of Manitoba-Healthy Child, MECY, Royal Bank RBC, CAHRD, Western Diversification (Urban Aboriginal Strategy), Sussex Realty, Urban Green Team, Winnipeg School Division, Point Douglas Chronic Disease Prevention Initiative, Winnipeg Rotary Club and Delta Kappa Gamma
SKIM (Seniors and Kids In Motion) Events - swimming (grade 4) and bowling (grades 1-8) - Students had an opportunity to participate in these fun sports.
YWCA Exercise program - parents from school went once a week to the YWCA to participate in an exercise program. Everyone had fun and looked forward to their day at the gym.
Urban Youth Adventures music/boxing classes - provided students with an opportunity to learn how to play musical instruments (guitar) and enjoy singing songs together. Students performed at the April assembly for their peers and families. Students also took great delight in learning the fine art of boxing and the training involved. We had a wide variety of students participate in this activity.
Lord Selkirk Park Adult Literacy Centre - program run out of our school’s location in the evening to support adult literacy in the community.
Our Family Room is open daily for parents to come in and visit with our Community Support Worker. They are welcome to have a coffee/tea and pick-up a newspaper. Gift certificates were purchased as prizes for several draws to encourage parents to be in the school and to get involved in the Family Room events as a first step towards parental engagement at school. There was a 17% increase in visits to the Family Room this year, 742 visits (2008-2009) from 635 visits (2007-2008).
Story Sack Workshops – In partnership with Creative Retirement, Parents and staff took part in a two day training on how to create a story sack to enable parents to nurture the love of reading at home with their children. Parents and staff worked cooperatively to choose appropriate books, do the sewing for the sacks, create visual learning aides to create excitement for learning and enjoy each other’s company.
School Wide Publishing Center – In cooperation with a local publisher “Peanutbutter and Jelly Press”, our school’s students are now the proud owners of their very own publishing center, a classroom space where they can bind books numerous ways, create a wide variety of covers and foster a love for literature.
One time events
Staff Retreat at the Petro Forms, an ancient Aboriginal healing site in the Whiteshell. The staff and parents were taken on an insightful, interpretive tour of the ancient rock formations at the site. We all shared a meal at the end of the evening. The next day we watched a documentary that deepened our understanding of the teachings and we followed up with a successful sharing circle.
George Bear - Hoop Dancer. Mr. Bear performed for our students at our school and inspired us with his knowledge, creativity and dancing talents. This is an event the whole school and community looks forward to every year.
Breakfast with Santa and Christmas celebration. A time for families, all students and staff to share in the happiness of the season.
Families enjoyed lunch at the Bear Clan Gathering Feast at the Friendship Centre hosted by the Winnipeg Police Service.
Family Room events – Nutrition Bingo, Kookum Bingo, FAST Works, Clothing Sale.
Volunteer Tea - a wonderful afternoon to honour all the adult and student volunteers in our community who have supported our school.
SKIM (Seniors and Kids In Motion) - supported community members to join in on the exercise program at the YWCA.
Winter Carnival - another event that all students participated in with staff from the school and volunteers from the community. At the end of the afternoon, everyone was invited to enjoy a bison burger and each others company at Turtle Island Community Center. Goldie, the mascot from Winnipeg Goldeyes also joined our celebration.
Community Support Worker developed a Parent/Child Lending Library located in the Family Room.
Informal visits to the Family Room.
Local community artist worked with our Art teacher and students to further develop everyone’s understanding of images in Aboriginal art and what they represent. Some students and the Art teacher worked closely with the Aboriginal artist in producing art.
Nursery/Kindergarten Learning Olympics – A two day event of hands on educational activities that brought families together for fun and learning.
Outdoor Classroom/Community Garden – Our parents/school community expressed a desire to create an Outdoor Classroom/Community Garden where we could develop and nurture an environmental focus for our school community. A Medicine Wheel and planters for flowers/vegetables provide the structure for the Outdoor Classroom and gave our students opportunities to learn and develop their skills. Students and their families have been working hard in the garden and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour. Students and their parents have volunteered their time to tend to the garden during the upcoming summer months.
Veteran’s Day Services – In honour of our Veteran’s, our school holds a special assembly and luncheon to educate, show our gratitude and display to our students the merits of service to our country.
Career Trek – This program gives our students the opportunity to learn life long job skills and interact with professionals in their specific fields of expertise at the post secondary level. In partnership with the Universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg and Red River College, they are exposed to 80 different professions over twenty Saturday sessions.
RAP (Roaring Adventures of Puff) – This program targeted students with health concerns, giving them a forum to receive information and personal skills to encourage healthy habits and routines. They also were able to share experiences and concerns with each other as they were guided by public health nurses. Our partner in this program was the Winnipeg Children’s Asthma Education Center-HSC.
Community Honorariums – Opportunities were presented to our
parents/caregivers to earn honorariums as they provided unique skills and services to our school. This also provides an opportunity to earn income for our families and has become a unique networking tool to gain trust, understanding and develop positive relationships within our school community.
Wii Fitness Activities – A Wii system was purchased for our Family Room to provide opportunities for Family fitness, to strengthen family relationships and to build cooperative skills within the family structure.
Bicycle Rack – Continuing with our school’s environmental focus, a bicycle rack was purchased for our school community to provide a secure location for those choosing to use a bicycle for transportation to and from school. This also provides opportunities for daily exercise for our students and their families.
Dishwasher – To help encourage parents to display their cultural cooking talents to our students, a dishwasher was purchased to promote good health as well as model an environmentally friendly atmosphere. Parents were very pleased with this addition to our school.
Family Room events – Nutrition Bingo (approximately 12-14 people attended each time), Kookum Bingo (6 kookums regularly attended), FAST Works (43 people attended), Clothing Sale (approximately 12-20 parents attend each time). All these events are strongly supported by our families. Informal visits to the Family Room- 602 visits were recorded in the Guest Book so far this year.
FAB Night (Film-Appetite-Book) – This event was held five times during this school year. Always well attended by our families, our largest gathering saw over 100 people attend. Families overwhelming supported this activity and agreed to continue it next year. Some of the parents and students said: “We love the movie night and would never miss it”, “Let’s do this again next year. It was so much fun” and “We really enjoyed cuddling together and relaxing as a family at this event”.
Winnipeg Police Services Cadets – This program met once a week for twenty weeks. Four students attended on a regular basis. Kids said they really wanted to do this again next year and many are already asking about how to join next year. Since the Cadet program started students have developed new friends and bonds that have lasted after the program ended for the year. Parents were very supportive of this program and most parents/caregivers attended the graduation. They felt it offered older students a positive option after school. They also liked the drill and practice portion of the program which provided students an opportunity to develop self-discipline and confidence.
Graffiti Art Gallery program – This program was offered in blocks throughout the year and each block targeted certain age groups. There were thirty-six sessions in total. Six students attended all sessions. The students really enjoyed the variety of arts they were exposed to. Some of the sessions required parent and child participation. Parents gave positive feedback about the program and wanted it to continue next year. There were no overlaps in programs because of improved scheduling this year.
CHOICES program- Program began in October and took place once per cycle for the rest of the year. There were twenty-five students who participated. Twenty-five evening sessions were held. Approximately 5-8 students attended each evening session. Parents and families were very supportive of this program.
Urban Adventurers - 14 students enrolled in the music classes and 10 students attended on a regular basis. Lessons were held weekly, along with three lunch hour practice sessions. All sessions were conducted one-on-one with adult volunteers. Parents were very satisfied with the growth of musical skills of their children because of this program.
CSI Summer Program- About 50-60 students attended the program regularly and ten other children attended occasionally during a four week block in the summer. Students really enjoyed the activities and learning opportunities that were offered. They were excited that we would be continuing this partnership again this summer.
SKIM (Seniors and Kids in Motion) swimming/bowling- Swimming lessons were provided to all students in grade 4 during the school day. On average 20 students participated in swimming weekly. Also every class participated in a one hour bowling excursion courtesy of the cooperating partnerships in SKIM. Parents were very supportive of these well organized events.
One time events
George Bear Hoop Dancer - Primary students attended and we experienced an incredible show. This has taken place for the past nine years and is one of the highlights of our school year. Many guests shared how much they enjoyed the event.
PD at Petro Forms in the Whiteshell - Thirty-eight staff members attended. Staff learned about the importance of the Petro Forms and their significance in aboriginal teachings. This visit affirmed some of the things we are already doing and we learned new strategies and approaches that we are going to try next year. Staff felt very positive about the sessions and wanted to follow-up next year.
Breakfast with Santa and Family Santa Pictures - Eighty five parents/caregivers and community members attended the breakfast, which is more than last year. Everyone had an awesome time. It is a favourite family event every year.
Volunteer Tea - Thirty-one adult volunteers and twenty seven student volunteers will be attending.
Winter Carnival- All students and 30 adult volunteers representing various community agencies participated in this event. This was a very successful event. Our staff and the volunteers were keen on holding this activity again next year.
Attendance at our Student-Led conferences has increased from 92% to 94%
N/K celebrations for various events - attendance of parents/caregivers have ranged from 95%-98% throughout the year.
WHAT WE WANT??
SHORT TERM OUTCOMES
Staff and families getting to know each other better and building stronger relationships of trust and understanding.
Parents building relationships between themselves and administration in order to feel more comfortable when approaching the school.
Parents improving their physical fitness levels.
Students having safe and fun recreational and learning opportunities after school.
Families feeling happy and relaxed when spending time together at events.
Through the programs the Community Support Worker and staff can build first steps for families in accessing the resources in the community. Once parents have been exposed to the various resources in the community they continue to access the resources on their own outside of the school’s programs.
Students making new friends and connections at school.
Families/students are provided with a nutritious snack or meal at events.
Parents building stronger relationships with each other while attending programs.
Developing stronger relationships between community groups, families and the school.
Parents/caregivers becoming more involved in the school. Making parents feel more comfortable talking to staff and visiting the Family Room more often.
A deeper trust and sense of engagement developing between the families and school on a long term basis.
LONG TERM OUTCOME
Parents becoming engaged in the school as an equal engaged partner in their child’s education.
Families feeling valued and are an important part of the school’s life.
Parents and families becoming stronger as a unit and being stronger advocates for what they need.
Developing a strong community where families look to the school, agencies and one another to help fulfill their needs. Feeling positive and proud of their community.
New relationships developed between staff members when working on various programs involved with CSPI.
Full time permanent Community Support Worker position to support families in our school.
CONSULTATION/ PARTNERSHIPS/PEOPLE/GROUPS/SECTORS INVOLVED
Parents and students - partners in the planning process, identifying needs, participants in programs and provide feedback on the progress of the project.
School staff - partners in the planning process, assisting in matching community needs with community resources, volunteers to support the operation of programs and collectors of the feedback.
Neighbourhood residents - volunteers, assisting in identifying needs and providing support for the community.
Businesses and community agencies- partners with the school to provide services in meeting identified needs, supporting community residents and providing financial supports through services, donations and jobs.
The school’s methods of information and feedback collection has been stated at the beginning of this report.
ASSUMPTIONS AND RISKS/CHALLENGES
Our school believes in the importance of strong connections between parents, community agencies and the school. Through our hard work in this area we have provided many positive benefits for students and their families. When families and school work hard together the benefits are stronger families, healthier communities and resilient self-confident students. The more connected families feel to the school the more likely they will remain in the community and help to support and direct its growth.
The following are challenges that the CSPI program and our school faces:
High mobility rate. Just when strong connections are being made between families and schools, the family moves or has a crisis that weakens their unit.
Being able to sustain funding for this program over several years.
Having enough volunteers to help support the programs.
COLLABORATION PLANNING/MONITORING PROCESS
Our commitment to a community school approach has been very beneficial to all the partners involved. We have noticed an increase in the number of parents coming into our school for a variety of reasons. They feel positive and valued when interacting with staff. There is a greater level of trust and comfort when dealing with issues between administration and parents. Students feel happy and safe when they have positive options to participate in after school. There is a great sense of self-confidence and relationships are stronger between students, staff and community volunteers.
School leaders and staff are committed to continuing our partnership with parents. The school will work hard at welcoming and engaging all parents in decision making. The project will evolve in response to the partners working together and how community needs could be met.
Every year our school will follow a process of surveying parents for needs that are pertinent at the present time. Together, needs will be prioritized and plans will be developed. The school’s leaders, CSW, school’s Community Liaison person, parents and volunteer coordinators will actively strengthen or develop new community partnerships and work together to meet the needs of students and families.
We appreciate this opportunity and the resources this program provides for the school to work closely with families in supporting them in a variety of activities.
Date: May 30, 2009