Message from School Administration

At Prairie Waters we are clear in our desire to instill a love of learning and a strong skill set in our students.  As a staff, and school community, we recognize the importance of preparing our students for a rapidly changing, increasingly global world.  It is vital that students have strong literacy and numeracy skills, while developing competency in areas such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.  Further, to thrive in this changing world, students need to be open-minded, principled and risk-takers in their learning.  Developing these skills and character in our students is paramount to their success and drives every decision we make as a school.

However, instilling these skills and attributes in our students is a big challenge.  At Prairie Waters we rely on several foundational pieces to accomplish our goals.  Our staff believes that all students are more successful learners when they are engaged in what they are learning.  To accomplish this, our teachers collaboratively plan student learning so that it is as relevant, purposeful, and authentic as it can be.  Students are provided voice in their learning and we strive to make it as meaningful to an individual student as we can.  This is a challenge.  However we are getting much stronger at it.  We want students to recognize the importance of what they are doing and to receive specific feedback on how they are doing.  It is common at Prairie Waters for students to access experts to enhance what they are doing and influence change because of what they have learned.  Learning should be a process that leads to something positive, not just end with a test and signal a move onto the next unit or chapter.

We also recognize that many students need very direct instruction in literacy and numeracy.  At Prairie Waters, we have strong processess and culture that ensure that students receive individual and small group literacy instruction that is responsive to their needs and continually reflected upon by the student and their teacher.  We employ an "all hands on deck" model where every child receives very targeted, small group instruction in literacy four days a week for a half hour each day.  Doing this ensures that all students' progress is closely monitored and rsponded too, so no student "falls through the cracks."

Our challenge is to replicate a similar process to build our students' numeracy skills.  Presently, our students receive all numeracy instruction within their home classroom.  Achievement tests tell us that this approach is appropriate and successful for the strong majorityof our learners.  However, we are diligently communicating how we can ensure our numeracy instruction is as effective as if can be for all learners and learning styles.

As a school, we are extremely excited about the learning culture we have created at Prairie Waters.  Our parents and students express their excitement as well.  Our students have opportunities to engage with their work in purposeful and engaging ways.  We strive to be a school that is safe for all students and encourages them to take risks and explore their curiosities.  Although we feel confident that we are an excellent school, we continue to strive for improvement at every turn.  Our students and communities deserve nothing less!

Document Actions
Filed under: