Showcase

Project Profile

Project Title:
Successful Transitions for Aboriginal Students from Rural or Isolate Communities to Urban Schools
Initiative:
Aboriginal Twinning Project
School Name:
Sir Winston Churchill Collegiate and Vocational Institute
School board / First Nations school jurisdiction:
Lakehead District School Board
Project Theme:
  • Connect [relationships]
  • Engage [active & participatory citizenship]
  • Thrive [health & wellness]
  • Lead [leadership]
Grade Level:
9, 10, 11
Subject Areas:
Aboriginal Studies, English, Science, Social Sciences and Humanities
City:
Thunder Bay
Province/Territory:
Ontario
Community Partners:
Elders from Fort William First Nation
Nishnawbe---aski Nation (education Counselors and Communities)
Northern Nishnawbe Education Council (Education Counsellors and Communities)
Lakehead University Faculty of Aboriginal Affairs
Lakehead University Faculty of Education

Successful Transitions for Aboriginal Students from Rural or Isolate Communities to Urban Schools

This project would see a group of students from isolated northern First Nations communities and during their first Semester at our school use iPad technology, an outdoor classroom, inquiry learning methods and differentiated instruction in a paired Locally---Developed Native Studies class (already approved by the Ministry of Education) and a grade nine Applied Science to assess and improve the students' success and transition to high school more effectively. This project would improve the students' numeracy and literacy skills, transition them effectively to an urban community from home reserves, help them deal with the social and emotional difficulties of moving away from their families and boarding with people who are more often than not strangers, help them communicate more effectively with each other and their home communities and schools to create a larger support network by using applications on iPads. The iPads will not only engage the boys more effectively as documented in the Me Read… And How document, but will assist all students to not only complete ordinary school work, but to document and create visual and written stories of their journeys. Blogging will be a daily practice in the class in order to connect personal experiences and multiple intelligences with academic success and to communicate with home communities on an on---going basis. Students will further learn how to use the provincial Learning Management System and e---Learning Resources in order to give themselves confidence and future success in other models of distance education. The outdoor classroom that this grant money would create would be used for a traditional garden and teachings.

Update (July-05-13)

Part of our project was to create an outdoor classroom for use of all students, particularly our aboriginal and at-risk workplace level students. At Sir Winston Churchill we integrate outdoor experiential learning with scientific inquiry and problem based learning. Over the last 6 years we've established a functioning garden that produces food for our school cafeteria and annual outdoor cook-off, the 100 K day. We grow food in an garden as well as a student built greenhouse. We compost all the veggie waste from the cafeteria and use is as our fertilizer in our gardens. Our students learn about soil and water chemistry as well as the integration of First Nations agriculture and ecological practices. We have established an outdoor classroom with the grant money so that any teachers can take their classes outside. Our addition with the support of this classroom was to create benches at the school, by the students, so that all students will be able to use the space as an effective learning environment. The extension of this project and funding will be next year as the school will now have access to a portable iPad lab to use outside in conjunction with the outdoor garden to study soil conditions and to blog in a natural environment. Pictures to follow!