Aboriginal Inquiry: Lifting All Learners

An Impact Assessment of the Aboriginal Enhancement Schools Network (AESN)

6.1 Successful impacts and outcomes of AESN focused on academic performance standards

A number of schools, from K to 12, demonstrated significant improvement in academic achievement in literacy, social studies, and mathematics. For ease of reference, the inquiries reviewed are categorized by year they were completed.


Brechin Elementary, Nanaimo. Will the use of Aboriginal content improve reading for primary Aboriginal students as measured by the PM Benchmarks? AFL strategy implementation-84% of the grade 2’s were approaching, meeting or exceeding expectations – an increase of 31%

Conrad Elementary, Prince Rupert. Will using Aboriginal content literature improve reading comprehension for Aboriginal students? Differentiated instruction, Self assessment and setting goals, peer assessment – improvement in reading comprehension from not yet meeting at 43% Fall to Not Yet meeting in Spring 16%, Meeting rose from 59% to 84% over the same period.

Eighth Avenue Elementary, Alberni. Will working in small group, focusing on a specific writing program, benefit primary Aboriginal students –focus on grade three personal writing standards – AFL strategies – in the Fall 100% not meeting, in the Spring 12% not meeting

George M Dawson secondary, Haida Gwaii. Will a focus or oral storytelling positively impact student performance in reading, writing and understanding? Use BC Performance Standards, SMART Reading, First Nations BC FNS 12 curriculum – students demonstrated increased capacity for discussion and collaboration in classes

Ladysmith Primary School, Nanaimo, Ladysmith. – Will the participation of Aboriginal students in a formal guided reading program led to improved levels according to BC Performance Standards? AFL strategies, criteria, self, peer assessment – results moved from Fall not yet meeting 42% to Spring NYN 21%

Mouse Mountain Elementary, Nechako Lakes. Will reading comprehension improve for our grade three Aboriginal students with the explicit use of AFL strategies ? Use of AFL strategies, exemplars, use of nonfiction text features- improved levels of performance

North Oyster Elementary, Nanaimo Ladysmith. Will small group mathematics instruction with an emphasis on scaffolding skills help build intermediate students; confidence in themselves as mathematicians and improve their numeracy scores? AFL strategies and real word practice, metacognitive learning, – results – moved from 11 students not meeting in the Fall to 4 not meeting in the Spring – plans to meet with the Aboriginal community

Princess Margaret Secondary, Okanagan Skaha. How does the use of culturally relevant reading materials at the secondary level (English 9 & 10) effect Aboriginal students sense of belonging, visibility and engagement in schools? Use of AFL strategies and novels to improve sense of Aboriginal identity – results – six student – at beginning 3 not meeting, at end all 6 were meeting according to English performance standards

Ripple Rock Elementary, Campbell River. Will the development of English oral language skills through legends stories of the local Aboriginal people make a significant difference in the learning and pride of our Aboriginal students? AFL strategies and embedded learning about Aboriginal knowledge. Use of AFL strategies and participation from the Aboriginal communities – results Fall Not yet meeting 56%, O% Not Yet Meeting, approaching 44% in Spring

South Nelson Elementary, Nelson. Will providing a one-to-one literacy program with a focus on adding detail and sequencing ideas improve the students’ ability to express himself more clearly and fully, both orally and in writing, as measured by the BC performance standards in writing and oral language? One student working with support of Aboriginal worker – student increased his performance in each of the targeted areas, developed self confidence

West Bench Elementary, Okanagan. How does using the SMART Learning Process within Native content impact the written output of Frist Nations learners, especially in regards to the visualization strategies and tools? focus on metacognitive skill development, in Fall 2009 69% not meeting, in Spring 7% not meeting

BX Elementary, Vernon. Will the use of technology based learning with Aboriginal content enhance the grade 3/4/5 students’ reading and writing knowledge of Aboriginal culture? Students use a variety of multi-media technology, in Fall 60% were not meeting and 40% approaching whereas in 0% were not meeting, 17% approaching and 33% were exceeding using Social Studies Performance Standards


Lakes District Secondary, Nechako Lakes. Will the introduction of daily student support, a pyramid of interventions, SMART goals and weekly teacher collaboration time improve the academic success of Aboriginal students in grades 8 – 10? focus on weekly collaboration, relationship building by staff to ensure students are reaching learning targets – result – percentage of students not successful in at least one course fell by 20% from 2008/2009

Springvalley Middle School, Okanagan. Will our Aboriginal students become more successful in their reading and writing when they experience an increased sense of connection to their heritage through literature circles? Aboriginal students performance and engagement around use of AFL strategies – results – more teachers became involved with acquiring more Aboriginal resources and student talked more openly about heritages

Sunset Elementary, Vancouver Island North. In what ways will student impromptu when using performance standards written by students into a checklist used for self and peer assessing? AFL strategies – peer coaching and assessing – results – Fall not yet meeting 21%, Spring 0% for grade 3, Grade 5/6 not yet meeting 0% Spring 5% but significantly more in meeting 57% compared to 4% in the Fall

2011 – 2012

Aspen Elementary and Arden Elementary, Comox Valley. How will the use of student-friendly oral language lessons, inquiry, and formative assessment strategies increase the oral language skills of our students? literacy skills, AFL strategies, results 30 not meeting in Fall, 10 not meeting in the Spring

Bayview Elementary, Nanaimo. Will Using Talking Tables Kindergarten oral language program increase kindergarten and at risk grade one students’ phonological awareness in segmenting sounds, rhyme, blending of sounds and auditory perception? intensive intervention around oral language development – results – noticeable increase in oral language fluency

Cedar Community Secondary, Nanaimo Ladysmith. Do the school-wide Northern Games at Cedar develop and support a sense of belonging to the school community for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students and for our school staff? Do the games enhance student and staff understanding of Aboriginal history and culture, especially when situated in a contemporary context –participation in games may enough of an impact that students felt a stronger connection to the Cedar community – results – a high percentage of students valued participating in the games

Dr. D.A. Perley Elementary, Boundary. Will the active participation of parents engaged in reading with their children during the after school tutoring program improve Aboriginal student performance as determine by the fall/spring SMART reading assessment? Parents were coached to participate in students’ literacy learning – results – more students were approaching and meeting in Spring 2011 than in Fall 2010

John A Hutton, Boundary. Will the active participation of parents engaged in reading with their children during the after school tutoring program improve Aboriginal student performance as determine by the fall/spring SMART reading assessment? Parents were coached to participate in students’ literacy learning – results – more students were approaching and meeting in Spring 2011 than in Fall 2010

Kildala Elementary, Coast Mountains School District. By using culturally relevant stories, and by delivering the stories in ways that mirror cultural presentation practices, will First Nations students demonstrate higher levels of comprehension as indicated by the performance standards? Use of metacognitive strategies

Lillooet Secondary, Gold Trail. Will using daily math problem solving questions with a local Aboriginal flavor, help Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students gain a better understanding of local First Nations culture – connection established between local culture and problem solving – results a slight shift from approaching to meeting 2% to 12%

Parkway Elementary Okanagan. Will using the social responsibility performance standards (contributing to others and solving problems in peaceful ways) and student friendly self assessment improve student behavior in the classroom and on the playground? focus on self assessment and regulation – results – steady improvement form 11% not yet meeting in 2008 to 3% not yet meeting in Spring 2012

Skeena Junior Secondary, Coast Mountains School District. To what extent will the direct teaching of literacy skills help First Nations’ students improve information retention as measured with the Reading for Information performance standards? AFL and reading performance standards – Fall read 485 not meeting Jan read 5% not meeting

WL McLeod Elementary, Nechako Lakes. How will a volunteer reading program that engages Aboriginal parents in reading with students (coaching) once a week for 9 weeks improve relationships between Aboriginal communities and WL McLeod Elementary? Relationship building as parents are taught AFL strategies-results-5 adult learners in the beginning, 3 at the end, 2 participants went on to enroll in an Aboriginal Early childhood program