In the spring of 2015 the North Glenmore Elementary School Community made the decision to embark on a new path of school improvement that used an 'appreciative' model rather than the more traditional 'deficit' model. Rather than focus only on where improvement was needed, in our appreciative inquiry model we would ask questions to find out what was working well and then find ways to do more of it on a broader scale. In this way, we hoped to take the school beyond 'meeting expectations' to exceeding them! The groundwork was laid by forming a cross-sectional steering committee with all stakeholders represented, and a solid understanding of the inquiry process and the work we would be doing was fostered.
On Friday, October 9th, we held our first ever NGE Appreciative Inquiry Summit with the goal of bringing together teachers, support staff, parents and community partners to collaboratively plan and create a compelling vision for our future. In all, there were more than 80 people participating representing all of our various interest groups. We had a very successful day filled with rich discussion and meaningful planning.
At the end of the Summit we had narrowed our focus into two 'actionable goals':
Further work allowed us to establish four 'targeted initiatives' designed to help us reach our goals:
- To focus on cultivating a culture of kindness
- and… to grow the school into an integrated hub of resources and supports
- Create a school-wide kindness mission
- Cultivate a welcoming school environment
- Develop a Parent & Community Resource Bank
- Facilitate easy access to Community Services
For a Graphic Summary of the Learning Plan that was born out of our Appreciative Inquiry Summit, please go to this link: NGE Learning Plan