FNSSP (First Nation Student Success Project) is a project funded by AANDC (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada). The aim of the project is to increase student achievement in the areas of Numeracy and Literacy as well as increase student engagement. The Wikwemikong Board of Education began implementation of its project in 2010-2011 school year. Now in our fifth year the program has been through many phases and changes but through each phase there remains a focus on developing the capacity of our system through effective resourcing, effective collection and use of data for improvement and the investment in professional learning for its staff.
The first year of implementation, Laying the Foundation – Year 1, introduced; a framework for system wide professional learning, student data collection and analysis tools and a literacy coach. External Consultant Mrs. Marjatta Longston and Program Coordinator Mrs. Maxine Ferguson led the first phase of the program and Mrs. Julie Balen focused our learning on Literacy. Successive years have been responsive to our data to refine the implementation and support additional focus areas. Currently the program supports the areas of Numeracy, Literacy including Early Reading, as well as the use of Technology in the classroom. The current program staff are:
- Mr. Mick Staruck, FNSSP Principal
- Ms. Candace Cheechoo, Math Facilitator
- Mrs. Alison Biedermann, LLI Specialist/ Literacy Facilitator – Reading
- Ms. Cathy Harley, Educational Technology
- Ms. Jacenta Manitowabi, Early Learning/ Literacy Facilitator – Writing
The additional information presented in this section of the website attempts to document the many initiatives within the system that the program supports, and document both where we have been and where we are going.
Mick Staruck, Principal FNSSP
Components & Programs
The purpose of student learning assessments is to gather information to support the school success planning process. The results of student learning assessments are used to identify areas to be targeted for improvement. Results are aggregated at the provincial and national levels to measure and report on progress and outcomes.
The purpose of the Performance Measurement component is to support a First Nation school’s ability to monitor the progress of students, manage school and program-related information, and make it easier to gather, analyze and report on financial performance indicators.
In support of the FNSSP proposal, student retention is a priority of the program. Overall we want our students to succeed and graduate from grade 12. There are many ways that this issue is being addressed directly and indirectly.
Looking at direct strategies all three schools has implemented the School Success Period. This is a whole class period, where struggling students can receive intense support from teachers to deal with those problematic learning areas.This is a great opportunity for students to increase their knowledge and gain the one-on-one or small group direction that they need.
Another direct strategy is through the SMART goals set by school improvement teams and professional learning communities. They may set a student retention goal to deal with a driving issue within their own school, apart from the other two schools.
Indirectly student retention gets addressed through strategies related to differentiated instruction. Differentiated instruction may be accompanied with new teaching strategies that create a deeper engaging learning environment for every student with different types of learning needs. Both of these frameworks create a learning support for all students including issues relating to the different learning needs of boys and girls.
Student retention has many facets of issues that are deep and rooted or on the surface and easy to address. When dissecting the problem, some reasoning relates to student engagement in the classroom, personal problems, at home stability, late or absenteeism, learning disabilities, etc, etc.. There seems to be many issues that impact students from kindergarten to grade 12, each school is addressing their own problems in a way that is progressive, timely and requires its own strategy or multiple strategies.