Collaboration and inquiry about teaching and learning is at the heart of our work in schools. On Friday, September 25th, teachers and principals from Gulf Islands schools were engaged with each other about “What’s going on for our learners?” and what’s next for us as we continuously improve student learning experiences in our classrooms.

Teachers at Gulf Island Secondary Schools met to do action planning on five key areas identified at Planning Day last year:

  • How do we improve opportunities for collaboration time?
  • How do we promote school spirit and enhance school culture and pride?
  • How do we adopt the ‘Readiness for Learning Rubric’ and turn it into a reporting tool?
  • How do we raise the academic bar?
  • How do we make changes to our assessment practices in our classrooms?

Teachers in inquiry groups of 4 to 12 discussed aspects for each area of inquiry and summarized proposed next steps to their colleagues in the larger group.

Teacher Ian Mitchell reported out to the larger group about four ways collaboration can be supported.

  1. Creating time built in to school schedules for collaboration such as during the flex block, or by regularly using shared preparation time.
  2. Scheduling co-teaching situations that provide opportunities for mentorship, co-teaching or to support personalized learning.
  3. Using established networks such as school-based team or department meetings, or occasions presented by cross-discipline project-based learning.
  4. Teacher collaboration also promotes the sharing of resources.

Teacher Susan Robinson from the assessment group reported an interest in continuing the Breakfast Meetings about Assessment from last year.

  • A number of schools in the district collaborated around place-based learning.
  • Cate McEwen led a “Wild School” workshop at Fulford with outdoor, place-based and water theme activities followed by teachers sharing outdoor/nature activities. Cate also worked with Fernwood staff on developing a year plan to adopt Duck Creek using a water theme.
  • Physical Therapist Judith Bradley provided a workshop at Fernwood on physical foundations for learning.
    Salt Spring Elementary used a retreat format on Galiano Island to share aboriginal perspectives and resources, to collaborate on a “Mind Up” curriculum implementation, and to explore best practices around assessment and communicating student learning.
  • Brain research and the “growth mindset” themes were explored by Galiano staff.These examples of professional development represent represent deep work on the part of Gulf Island educators to continuously update teaching and learning repertoires.

These examples of professional development represent represent deep work on the part of Gulf Island educators to continuously update teaching and learning repertoires.

Upcoming Professional Development Events

October 23rd
Island Early Years Network & Island Net – Sparking Inspiration for ECE and primary teachers
Vancouver Island – Nanoose Bay

  • Also on October 23rd, and listed on the Gulf Islands Professional Development site:
  • Children Aren’t Made of China on personal and social competencies Coquitlam
  • Uncovering the Essential Curriculum for Yourself Artspring, SaltSpring Island
  • BCTELA – Story and the Landscapes of Learning Richmond
  • BCPTA – Empowering Learners Vancouver

October 27 to 29
ERASE Bullying Training SJ Willis Auditorium, Victoria
Contact your principal if you would like to learn more about ERASE training.

October 29th
Creating Circle of Support for Kurzweil Users (SIMS) SET-BC on Salt Spring

October 30
Accessing E-Text on an iPad including using ARC-BC SET-BC on Salt Spring

November 3-4
IT4K12 2015 – Transforming The Learning Landscape Richmond

January 15, 2016
Google Chrome Extensions for Struggling Readers and Writers SET-BC on Salt Spring

February 22-23
POPEI – Provincial Outreach Program for Early Intervention Richmond


Educational Assistant series – anticipated again this year… information upcoming

Online courses with POPFASD – Provincial Outreach Program for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder at These are not only designed to meet the needs of students with FASD but of complex learners in general.


Doug Livingston
Director of Instruction – Learning Services