School Name: Beaver Creek Elementary
School District: SD#36 Surrey
Inquiry Team Members:Stacey Anderson; email@example.com
Tammy Dillon; firstname.lastname@example.org
Niki Jenkins; email@example.com
Jane Kamimura; firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott McCrae; email@example.com
Inquiry Team Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Inquiry: AESN (focus on Indigenous learners or Indigenous understandings)
Grade Levels: Primary (K-3), Intermediate (4-7)
Curricular Area(s): Other: transitions
Focus Addressed: Community-based learning, Social and emotional learning, Transitions
In one sentence, what was your focus for the year? We focused on helping our students transition to school, building trust with our families and attempted to make positive connections with students and families.
Scanning: This year, we planned to adapt the four questions to our parent community. We planned a meeting
with our parents and asked for their input in planning our First Nations in Residence week.
We have worked hard to develop positive relationships with our parent community. Just as we think we
are developing trust, something happens that shows us that we are not there yet. This focus needs to
remain an important element to our work at Beaver Creek.
Focus: We were hoping that by continuing to make positive connections with our families that we could ease
the transition between home and school. Research indicates that clear and effective communication
between home and school can increase parental engagement and benefit students in many ways
including: boost children’s self-esteem, increase motivation and engagement with learning and can lead
to increased learning outcomes
We were/are hoping that by meeting with a group of our parents outside of a school setting, we will be
able to strengthen that relationship and begin to see more of the positive outcomes listed above.
Hunch: Many of our families have had negative school experiences. Every time that a problem arose (could be
unkind words or a misinterpretation of a situation) deep seated feelings that school is a negative place
New Professional Learning: At our upcoming staff meeting we will be sharing out the success of our meeting at Kekinow and the
connections between school staff and parents created at Bannock and Books.
Taking Action: Early in the school year, we had planned to meet with our parents. The meeting was being arranged
through a coordinator at Kekinow Native Housing Society. He had relationships with many of the
families and children and it was hoped that this relationship could help bridge the communication gap,
and increase parental trust and attendance at the meeting. Unfortunately, the coordinator left the
position and our initial plan had stalled.
Christmas Play Dinner- As part of our afterschool Play program (min. 50% first nations students), we
hosted a lasagna dinner for our families. Parents volunteered their time in preparing the dinner and
setting up the dinner.
Bannock and Books- Our goal was to connecting the school and our first nations families at a social,
playful event. We felt that having our parents and students in for this event was an important and
allowed for our families to connect with teachers in a relaxed setting.
Meeting at Kekinow- In planning our First Nations in Residence week, we sought advice from our
families. We were able to arrange a meeting in the common room at Kekinow. Several families were
able to attend and provide some insight into what they would like to see during that week and in what
ways they would be able to provide support in planning and executing the event. The meeting seemed
like a success and all parents were excited to share ideas.
Checking: Bannock and Books. Parental engagement seemed higher. Many parents attended similar events in the
past and did not seem to be actively engaged in the activities surrounding the event. This year we
noticed many of the same parents engaged and involved with their children in craft making and game
playing. Several teaches were able to touch base with parents and form new connections.
Our main focus has ended up on our First Nations in Residence Week. As this celebration has not
happened yet, we are still in the process of learning. We feel that we have made a good start in
connecting with our families and are excited to continue building those relationships.
Reflections/Advice: We have learned the value of involving our first nations parents in our decision-making processes. We have begun to build trust with the families and the children. We feel that holding the meeting at
Kekinow rather than the school was beneficial in that it helped put the parents at ease and it showed
our commitment to seek out their ideas and showed the respect that we feel for the families.
We plan on continuing to build this relationship with families. When asked, the families requested that
the follow up meeting take place at Kekinow. As we wrap up this year and celebrate our first nations in
residence week, we plan on asking school staff their impression and ways they think we have succeeded
or failed. We hope that they see the success in our connections with families and are more engaged
with those families next year.
We would suggest that other schools make an attempt to meet families where they feel most