First year reflections

Our FIRST Year at Hayden!

We imagined a school community where students would lead the learning for teachers, parents, administrators, trustees, and the community. We encouraged and activated students’ voices to refine our teaching-learning processes to meet their needs and interests and to enhance community engagement and improve student achievement.  As a result, we honoured the strengths within this school campus and deepened all learners’ interests and successes. Our focused framework of school community, 21st century learning , and mental and physical wellness provided students with the ability to build Their school, Their way.

How did we do?  Our June Report Card 2014

  • Before our students and parents stormed the doors on September 3, our opening day, we virtually connected with our community. Social media was utilized daily to connect and build relationships, build a brand, nurture professional growth, and enhance student learning.  Our Howl Polls, Twitter announcements, school app, Google DOCS, Tedtalk Passion Projects, Flipped Lessons, and Civic Mirror are some examples.  We continue to refresh our Twitter feed and website daily!

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) coupled with chromebook free lending created a synergy to ensure trust in our students, ensure equity, and developed a shared learning with teachers and students as partners in the curriculum.  Chill spaces, community interactive boards, and a strong wifi infrastructure meant learning was endless and not defined by the ‘bell.’

  • Student Engagement was our school goal.  Our faculty have been trained in Developmental Assets and Link Crew as a strength-based approach to building meaningful relationships with every student. Our students, staff and parents learn together to create and refine structures that allow for meaningful engagement both inside the classroom and beyond.  Our Parent Engagement program and open houses demonstrated a true partnership in connecting school and home.

  • Integral to the structure was our common lunch.  Students recognize this as a valuable, daily opportunity to connect with all members of our school community. We feel passionately about this hour together to provide time to co-ordinate and plan for the myriad of activities and clubs as well as seek support for learning within our subject clinics with staff.  Our school goals, school portfolios, and focus on building developmental assets, drove our curricular and co-curricular offerings.

  • Our Tell Them from Me Survey results in November 2013 and more recently May 2014 indicate that our students feel safe, secure, and have strong sense of belonging.  This data indicates our students have one of the lowest levels of depression and anxiety in Halton and one of the lowest in Canada!  The Hayden Lib Dub to Pharrell William’s song Happy and our Memories of Semester 1 are two examples posted on our website to demonstrate  Husky pride in who they have become.  We believe this is a result of our intentional efforts to build meaningful relationships with each other as mutual learners.

  • Academically, Husky students ROCKED!  Our 600 students achieved  a  99.5% credit accumulation rate  which means there were only 13 unsuccessful credits out of 2500 credits! Way to go!  Our flipped lessons, critical thinking, no textbooks, and Google learning feedback cycles supported an incredibly curious, and engaging learning environment for student success.

  • As a school community, the Burlington Public Library and the City of Burlington have been incredible partners.  One cannot distinguish between a Halton Board , Library, or City employee as we work together to support students inside and outside of the classroom.  The various Try It activities, Day in the Den, and Extreme Hangout are some of the examples of how we play together. Our shared campus means that our three turf fields, eight gyms, skateboard park, theatre, and classrooms are enjoyed by an entire community.  Our campus hosted numerous events including the Halton Community Resource Fair, Musical Arts Festival, sport tournaments and open houses!  

Thank you for an incredible opportunity to imagine and build a great school community with engaging relationships for all.