Thursday, 18 February 2016

COL = CAR: Oamaru schools move into first gear

Community of Learning COL
Representatives from interested schools attended a COL scoping meeting at Redcastle, Oamaru 16th Feb 2016: WBHS, SKC, OIS, Weston, Papakaio, Oamaru North, Totara (interested but unable to attend), St Joseph's, OKA
Representatives from Ministry Dunedin office: Julie Anderson, Lynn McKinney, Roz (newly appointed COL specialist team member)
Image from
Julie Anderson shared the following information to start the round table discussion:
Community, collaboration, career opportunities
Achievement challenge, focus on achievement for all in the community
Resourcing to support the process, time, money & sharing of expertise
Other things can happen as part of being the community to allow learners to flourish. Drive best practice for all learners.
Follow student’s pathways. Sometimes achievement drops off during transition.
Conversations across boundaries should be driving the learning - thinking about the families spread through the community (eg. responding to needy families).
Staffing numbers based on September guaranteed minimum staffing for consistency.
Travel - resourcing for isolated and rural schools
Teachers have a range of career pathways and funding to support the way the teachers work with teachers -across school teachers ( $16000 and release) -in school teachers ( $8000 and release time)
2-3 across school teachers, 2 year appointments and targeted against achievement challenges
10-15 in school teachers , appoint within your own school, extras can then be in a pool and any teacher could apply, employment process managed by COL with support person as necessary.
Teacher must have board and principal support. Apply against COL agreed criteria and through a COL  appointments committee.
Principal role - project management, big role, coordinating the professional learning 2 /3  in own school and 1 /3  coordinating - builds own school and allows capacity of others to grow eg. DP, AP
Across school teacher and principal 2 days per week, can be managed in a way to suit the schools (might be a week a month instead). They will need to plan how someone else is going to step up for them. Two year contracts for everyone,
Some can be employed permanently within school. They would give 2 hours a week to the COL and then support teachers in their own school.
Basis of everything is around teacher led inquiry - what are we going to do about this and how are we going to solve it ? Everyone in the community contributes.
Other groups evolve: Stewardship group, group alongside the lead principal, appointment panel and so on.
Community  Business world supportive, approach as a bigger group for contracts for purchasing etc
Process Bring data and unpack it to see where we can support students.
Achievement Challenges
Data and evidence around children, commonality within group, 3-5 challenges. Some intermediate, primary, secondary 2-3 year targets. Take into account gender, ethnicity, literacy, numeracy, age groups and then come up with the targets based on robust discussion. Rethink what we do. Could be  eg.maths  Yr 5-8 broader base and more resourcing to sort this out.

Next step nationally is to source funding potential for Early Childhood to fully engage.
Every school gets about 50 hours in your opps grant to support the PLD to free up your teachers. Funding comes into our staffing and then can be balanced against budget.
Is 8 big enough to start ? Yes The goal is for the COL to be approved by April.
Other schools ? Be open. Plan ahead in case we grow ? Be inclusive and see if anyone else wants to join.
Extra points discussed:
It needs to be based on good pedagogy. High trust model. Manage the process of educating our community around data. Some suggestions were put onto the table:
  • Pasifika Talanoa - definitely needs to be included
  • Technological wave - sharing and synergy with SNUP
  • LCN pedagogy with transitions - worked well
  • Vocational pathways
  • Vulnerable children - special education
There is a facilitated process with the COL to draw out common needs. Determine skills and attributes from across the group.Time, trust and transparency. What is the pedagogical philosophy of learning that drives this group ? What strategies will we use to drive this ?

MOU to be signed for trust and professionalism to operate together. Utilise Smart technology, google hangouts will help to alleviate distance concerns.

Method of communication from this point - talk with boards and staff.
Think about charter goals and information to bring to a follow up meeting.
Important to encourage  board members to the meetings as it is communities that we are growing.

Next steps: Board committing and teachers being part of it, send off agreements to Roz, share at NOPPA meeting. Another meeting to be arranged to talk further across schools. 
What will happen when we move into second gear ?

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