Laggan Public cited as model school RICHARD MAHONEY

have a special tea service in their hon- our, on a day of their choosing, hosted by CFCA. Sponsor a Day participants also receive a place of honour on the gallery’s calendar as well as a full family member- ship. That is why Barb and Leo Lehtiniemi, who live in Glen Robertson, chose to cel- ebrate their wedding anniversary with a tea service at the Arbor Gallery. “It was a fun way to celebrate a special day and we enjoyed learning more about the gallery’s operation,”said Barb Lehtiniemi. We enjoy visiting the exhibits at the gallery, and we especially like the speaker series presenta- tions that are held each winter. It’s a wor- thy institution to support.” Arbor Gallery normally hosts 10 exhi- bitions a year, but can only afford six to eight shows this year. “More donations and more visitors mean more shows”, said Greenwald. Donations through Sponsor a Day go directly to funding year-round the gallery’s programming and operations. The Hawkesbury and District General Hospital Foundation will benefit from the annual Tim Hortons Smile Cookie cam- paign being held this week. Between now and September 29, Tim Hortons custom- ers can purchase a Smile Cookie for $1 at participating restaurants, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to the hospi- tal foundation. “It’s amazing to see the dif- ference $1 can make,” say Paul and Susan Burke, Hawkesbury Tim Hortons restau- rant owners. “We want to thank our loyal guests for their generous support of the Smile Cookie campaign year after year. We encourage everyone to visit us this week to get their own delicious Smile Cookie in support of a great cause.” “The foundation appreciates the support from the Smile Cookie program,” says Pierre-Luc Byham, Development Officer for the Foundation. Accountable talk has proven its worth and is nowpart of the school improvement plan in all subjects. This focus sees students use talk in mathematics and when deconstructing problems, sharing and analyzing. Children work in pairs and small groups, trying to build on each others’ideas and to improve their answers. This process encourages students to see other pathways to solutions. To enhance their delivery of the curriculum, teachers often go to the EQAO Web site to find sample problems to use with their current focus in the classroom. Now on the EQAO questionnaires, Laggan students report that they enjoy mathematics and are confident that they are using their cognitive strategies wisely. The blending of the French and English streams during the English portion of the day aligns with the child-centred and inclusive atmosphere of the school. The culture of caring encourages collaboration and communication with students and staff, according to the EQAO. Time to help hospital

LAGGAN | A small area school is getting provincial attention for its consistently high academic performance. Laggan Public School, with a student population of 186, is profiled as a success story by the Education Quality and Accountability Office, the agency that administers standardized provincial testing. Among grade 3 students, Laggan has been constantly improving in the three Rs. In the most recent tests, the percentage of grade 3 pupils meeting or surpassing the provincial standard was 83 in reading, 100 in writing and 89 in mathematics. Among grade 6 pupils, the percentage making the grade was 86 in reading, 79 in writing and 76 in mathematics. As Principal Silvia Speck notes: “By looking at the evidence from EQAO, school and classroom data, we know where we need to improve. We build our school’s success plan around that. We know the children, what is happening in the classroom and the kind of teaching strategies being used, so rich data is more than just numbers on a paper. Common instructional practices are the key.” Laggan Public is a balanced-day, dual- track French immersion school. The students are from a mix of socio-economic

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Silvia Speck, Carolyn Harrison, Shona Fraser andWendy MacDonald. backgrounds, and almost 25 per cent have special education needs and are given support in the classroom. Inclusion and differentiation are key elements of the school’s culture.

the gender gap decreased, they reviewed the EQAO and school-based data for other areas of need and introducednew teaching strategies to support and improve their reading and writing programs. Teachers find the EQAO Item Information Report a useful tool in their collaborative process for developing high-yield strategies. The data in this detailed report inform their teaching and facilitate remediation and differentiation for clusters of students in specific areas. Once an academic focus is chosen for the school improvement plan, there is a whole-school approach to implementing change. Teachers work collaboratively, and the same framework is used throughout the grades. For example, through the Teacher Learning and Leadership Program, the staff found research that suggested “accountable talk”as a gateway to learning. In this strategy, students are encouraged to talk about what they are learning, to contribute ideas and to listen to the ideas of others.

Success strategies at Laggan include the use of EQAO data and resource materials when developing the school improvement plan. When analyzing EQAO’s Detailed School Results, teachers noted a gender gap and began to focus on literacy for boys. As

Your special day at Arbor Gallery


VANKLEEK HILL | For the second year in a row, the Arbor Gallery and Centre for Contemporary Art proposes its Spon- sor a Day program to those interested in supporting the organisation in a very different way. “It always has been tough to finance any art gallery, but after the economic crisis, it has been even more difficult to obtain grants”, explained Arbor Gallery president, Mark Greenwald. While the community greatly supports the gallery, additional support is needed, he further explained. “It is a constant struggle to keep the doors open. That’s why we need donations and do fundrais- ing.” Sponsor a Day was an idea they had last year, after learning about this kind of fundraising event in another gallery. Anyone who sponsors two days will

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