Welcome to JLA! At James L. Alexander, we are committed to providing a safe, positive learning environment for all our students. We work to develop intrinsic motivation so students are able to put their best effort into all of their academic work by providing opportunity for high expectations, commitment, resilience, respect and curiosity. As a staff, we model positivity, self-motivation, hard work and risk-taking as key elements of a successful, lifelong learner. At JLA, we work together with students and families to ensure that every student has the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
Our 2018-19 Strategic Plan, or school goal, is focused on meeting the goals of the Ministry of Education and of Saskatoon Public Schools. We are working towards each student learner reading at grade level. This is achieved by administering focused assessment tools to determine where each student is at and developing a course of action to move reading levels forward through specific instructional strategies. We are also focused on improving students’ understanding of grade level math. Basic skills and operations can be supported at home through games and other activities.
In the classroom, we are looking at developing mathematicians who assess the problem, ask relevant questions, collaborate with peers, analyze and critique methods for solving the problem and provide a solution that they can defend. In math, we are using screeners at the beginning of the year to gather information about areas of strength and those areas that are challenging, as well as identifying where specific students require further attention. Once this information is collected, a plan is designed to meet the needs of the students. At the end of the year, the screeners are administered again to determine growth.
We have seen evidence that a positive attitude and growth mindset can significantly impact areas that students find challenging. It is equally as important to encourage learners and use language framed in the positive such as ‘This may be hard but I can figure it out’ or ‘I don’t get it yet’. Resilience is a significant part of success. We are also working on developing consistency in using writing rubrics across grade levels. Grade 4 and 7 students will complete provincial writing assessments so we have committed to ensure that students are prepared for these assessments at each grade level. We believe that the acquisition of skills required for standardized tests are practiced and enhanced throughout their K-8 experience; students will be familiar with rubrics and writing portfolios in every grade.
Respectfully, Chandra Gerich
Principal James L. Alexander School