Good day, OurSCHOOL Division/System Coordinators.
This email provides information to acting OurSCHOOL Division/System Coordinators. If you are not the acting Division/System Coordinator, please forward this email to your Division/System Coordinator and copy me. Thanks.
I would like to begin by welcoming you to a new school year and an opportunity to engage with and hear from students and teachers about factors that influence student outcomes. Thank you in advance for your participation and effort in the implementation of the survey and in using results to improve student engagement. This survey enables schools to continuously monitor various indicators that can be used to help assess the effects of school reform and guide both school policy and practice. Thanks to your leadership and support, OurSCHOOL has become embedded in planning at all levels of the sector.
Following are important updates for the 2019-20 administration. You may wish to use parts of these points in your messaging to your school coordinators.
- Provincial reports are now available:
In 2018-19, the provincial OurSCHOOL administration had over 108,000 student responses as to their engagement, instruction and school climate. Please find attached the 2018-19 Provincial Elementary and Secondary reports for your review. You may wish to forward these provincial reports to your school coordinators and principals. These reports will also be distributed through the Bi-Weekly Bulletin and Monthly First Nations Bulletin on September 17, 2019.
- Administration window:
Following are the OurSCHOOL survey administration windows for 2019-20 school year. Every provincial school with students grades 4-12 is expected to participate at least once per year. Please let me know whether you will be administering the survey in the fall, spring, or both, and inform your schools as to the dates that the survey will be available in your division/organization.
Student Survey September 30 – December 13, 2019 March 2 – May 15, 2020 The platform will be open for divisions/authorities to compose their survey on September 25 so that schools may survey as early as September 30, if desired. Teacher Survey October 1, 2019 – June 26, 2020
- Division Coordinator Training:
If this is your first year as a coordinator, or if you would like a refresher course, a one-to-one training session can be arranged to walk you through the set-up of your survey and to answer questions that you may have. Please let me [firstname.lastname@example.org (1-306-787-9881)] or Melissa Morgan (The Learning Bar Account Success Manager) at [email@example.com or 1-877-840-2424, ext. 3048] know if you wish to set up an individual session.
- School Coordinators’ Start-up Training via Webinar:
This fall, The Learning Bar has made a number of regularly scheduled, recurring webinars available to all coordinators from across Canada. Please make a point to attend one of the forthcoming sessions. Your leadership is what makes a difference for establishing value, buy-in and sustainable use of the OurSCHOOL results in divisions and schools. There will be a minimum of 2 live webinars per week for each month from October – December, providing many opportunities for your School Coordinators to attend.
At the link below, please review the dates provided with your OurSCHOOL team and register to attend a live session, if possible. Attending the live webinar provides an opportunity for you to ask questions and provide feedback as well as to connect with other coordinators across the country. A recorded session will be available within this link as well.
- set-up a survey completing all steps including the addition of optional open-ended and multiple-choice questions;
- generate usernames and passwords; and,
- become familiar with attributes of the survey site with a view to understanding the importance of their role to increase value of the survey data in their schools.
- Custom Question Webinars:
This past year, 70% of schools customized their local survey to inform local initiatives and school improvement planning. This year, The Learning Bar will be offering three live webinars to provide information and guidance to create and add custom questions. To register for these webinars, please use the following link:
- Increased custom space:
The ministry has had a number of requests to increase the space for custom questions at the division level, and as a result, there will be space to add up to 3 Multiple-Choice/Multiple Answer questions to your survey. If you would like to add a third question to your survey, please message Melissa Morgan (The Learning Bar) @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Survey measures for 2019-20:
- Please contact The Learning Bar or your provincial coordinator Jacqueline Hagel for a copy of the 2019-20 provincial configuration for the elementary and secondary student surveys.
- The provincial configuration for this school year will be locked for the first implementation cycle for each school division, fall or spring. The survey has been configured to ensure that every school, division and authority will have access to three thematic reports at the secondary level: School Completion, Bullying and School Safety and Student Engagement. These thematic reports will provide information and support for school divisions and schools in the work towards improving engagement and graduation rates.
- Three measures have been added to the provincial configuration at the secondary level only: Alcohol-Extended, Marijuana-Extended and Exclusion (may add up to 2 minutes).
- With the addition of the Exclusion measure, each school division and school will have access to the Bullying and School Safety Report. As the First Nations, Metis & Inuit Engagement and Graduation Rate Outcome aims to reduce the disparity of inclusion between students, these metrics will add value to the provincial picture. The addition of the extension to the alcohol and marijuana questions will provide further information to these measures.
- Within the demographic factors, the gender identity question will appear in both the elementary and secondary survey. Also, within the demographic factors, the term Indigenous Status will replace Aboriginal Status.
- As in previous years, there will remain space to add measures that can support local initiatives to this provincial configuration.
- New OurSCHOOL features are coming this fall. Following are some of the new features for OurSCHOOL and links for more information.
New this Fall
- Trend reports:
2019-20 will see the addition of Trend Reports which will allow schools to easily access the impact of their policy or practice across time. Visual representation of trends and the ability to sort change will allow schools to quickly pinpoint areas for attention. Schools be able not only to analyze trends over time but to apply national, replica school and Saskatchewan norms (available at the beginning of the new year) to these reports. The Trend Reports also allow schools to compare and contrast trends among specific student groups (e.g., by grade, gender, Indigenous status, new Canadians, students with a disability).
- Student Survey: Guide for survey administrators:
Please find attached a student survey guide sheet that may assist teachers or other staff in introducing the survey to students prior to surveying.
- Teacher Survey:
About 50% of schools administer the teacher survey each year. The OurSCHOOL Teacher Survey is available to each of your schools. You will receive an aggregate report which must be requested from The Learning Bar. The default access is master login (a single login link for all users). If you want a unique login for each teacher, contact email@example.com . If you would like more information about the teacher survey, please follow this link.
- Parent Survey:
Although the parent survey is not funded within the provincial contract, it is available to schools for a reduced cost of $100 per school. Last year, 12 school divisions offered the parent survey in their division. This year the parent survey will be available in 22 languages (e.g., Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Tagalog, Russian, Urdu) to provide an increased opportunity for parents to participate.
- Supports and Resources:
- The Learning Bar continues to add to the Knowledge Base within the OurSCHOOL web platform. There are many supports and resources that can assist you in using the OurSCHOOL survey and results as well as a list of support documents that you may find useful in explaining and preparing students, staff and parents – see the attached presentation template for an example. The effort in preparing your students to take the survey is essential to increasing the validity of the results. Please take a moment to check out some of these supports: https://ourschool.thelearningbar.com/hc/en-ca.
- The ministry, in collaboration with schools and divisions and First Nation education authorities, has also developed numerous resources intended to support and guide the OurSCHOOL process. These resources are available in English and French and can be accessed at the Ministry Blackboard site. This year, the addition of a number of Student Engagement in Action Briefs, will be available highlighting a number of schools and divisions/authorities and their efforts to improve student engagement and education outcomes. If you have a story that reflects a school/community’s efforts in response to student voice, please let me know so that we can share with others through this site.
Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can assist you or your team in data-driven conversations and plans in response. Thanks for your continued efforts in supporting student voice.
Provincial OurSCHOOL Coordinator