Our school seeks to provide opportunities for children to develop their whole personality to the best of their individual abilities: intellectually, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
With the support of parents and staff, the school encourages students to respect themselves, others, and the environment. Priorities include the development of literacy and numeracy in all Cycles. Technology is used to enhance competency development. Individual student success is tracked effectively through competency development and a variety of assessment and evaluation procedures. The Staff continues to pursue professional development with an emphasis on collaborative planning and ICT integration.
Open to learning, open to the worldCognita et aperta, ut in aperto mundo
School and its Community
Onslow Elementary is an English school which is part of the Western Quebec School Board. It is situated in the charming village of Quyon, Quebec, on the banks of the beautiful Ottawa River and the smaller Quyon River. Onslow Elementary School was built in 1945 and has an area of 1080m2. The community is known throughout the region for the Quyon Ferry service to Ottawa as well as Gavan’s Hotel, a cultural and historical landmark for local music talent. Many of the residents work in agriculture or commute to Gatineau or Ottawa for employment. Onslow Elementary enjoys excellent service from the local CLSC health and social services agency which provides counselling for the students and their families. The CLSC also provides services from a school nurse, psychological and psycho-educational assessments and referrals. The town also is served by a local Maison de la Famille, or family assistance center and local service groups that partner with the school for various projects. Many of the local businesses in Quyon and surrounding towns are also excellent partners for the school.
Many of the students (55%) are bussed to school.
Socio-economic Ranking: 14.94% of the students attending the school reside in neighborhoods with area codes with high socio-economic indicators. In particular, the mother’s level of education and the employment status of the adults in the home. In other words, approximately 15% of the students come from homes in which the mother is without a high school diploma and neither of the parents is employed. In the case of a single parent home, the parent is not employed. The level of education of the mother is of significant importance since research shows a direct correlation between this indicator and the student’s achievement level in school. Often mothers hold the primary role for instilling values related to education, and usually are the ones who work with the students on homework. This indicator is worth 2/3 of the overall calculation of the Socio-economic Status (SES) while 1/3 is attributed to the employment status.
Literacy: Many of our students arrive in Kindergarten with little exposure to literacy concepts or literature. Few have attended an organized daycare with literacy development up to four years old. As a result, vocabulary development, access to background knowledge and fundamentals for reading are an important emphasis between home and school.
Ethnic Diversity: There is practically no ethno-cultural diversity among the students at the school. For the most part, they are from homes with Western European ancestry (French, English, Irish, German, Polish) and are fairly homogeneous. For the small minority of students with a different ethnic background, or for the smaller number of students with different skin color, the difference in ethnicity does not seem to be an issue either positively or negatively.
There are 6 classrooms in the school, including the library that twins as a resource support room. A small resource room is used for remediation, testing and special exam conditions (includes assignments and evaluations as well). There is a library, a Kindergarten room, a French room, and three other classrooms used for cycles 1 to three. Another large room is used for daycare and for some resource support throughout the day.
Our teachers employ various teaching approaches and vary them when needed. Some of the teaching strategies used in the classroom are: reading buddies, guided reading, read-aloud, modeling, shared reading, graphic organizers, verbal/written retell, Soundprints, essay competitions, debate, the use of math and writing exemplars, and the daily five.
Teachers use various types of technology to enhance English Language Arts and Math lessons. 100% of teachers have reported positive effects on student learning and motivation as a result of the incorporation of technology into lessons. There is a SMART BOARD in each of the classrooms in the school, a few computers in classrooms, computers in the library and a portable tablet lab.
As of October 19/20, the principal of Onslow Elementary works a 70% week as site school manager, with a 30% role in education technology for the WQSB.
The school secretary is a 12 month employee but works a 60% workweek as allocated by the central board office, and fills the role of a behavior technician for 40% of her work week. The hybrid role provides for smooth running of the office and more importantly, to ensure that additional student support is in place.
There is a subsidized government daycare program that offers three sessions of supervision and programming each day at the school. The cost of registering is $8.15 per day. Parents can drop their children off at the daycare at 6:15 am and the pick-up time at the end of the day is 5:00. During the lunch hour, the animator also supervises the students while they eat and when they go outside to play.
There is a K-4 multi-age program at the school that is quite popular with our parent population. The pre-schoolers begin school in the first week of September and attend for 5 days a week. They attend until the last week in June.
Students have access to a breakfast program every morning in which a healthy meal is prepared for them. The students enjoy the menu and their parents enjoy the convenience and affordability of the program.
The OLWEUS Program was implemented in 2014 after a Grand Opening at the school on the evening before classes started. This Anti-violence and Anti-bullying program was adopted by the Western Quebec School Board for all of its schools. This program has been successfully implemented. The staff conduct weekly meetings with their students and once a month, all students meet together for school-wide activities to promote a safe and healthy school climate. Our ABAV plan evolved to include relational and restorative practices which focus on individual student needs. Indeed, the title of our ABAV plan is more about community: Our Community Plan.
For the 2019-2020 school year, there is a total of 13 staff members, including a principal (70%), one secretary (60%) / technician (40%), two Kindergarten teachers, a cycle one teacher, a cycle two teacher, a cycle three teacher, a French teacher, three part-time integration attendants, a homework tutor, a full-time caretaker, and a noon-hour supervisor. Some of the part-time staff were also hired to take on a secondary role at the school as tutors, and attendants in the classroom.
Special Education Support: The ratio of special education support personnel to students is quite high. For 99 students, there is a 100% resource teacher, and integration attendants in the cycle 1 classroom, Kindergarten rooms, and a number of projects (Early Literacy and School Success Initiatives) that place a technician and a teacher in classes on a regular basis.
Families and Communities
Most of our families have a history of parents and children attending Onslow. Given the small community (village and surrounding farms) there is an intimate, almost familial sense in the staff, students ans our parents. Indeed, our Home & School Association plays a key role in our school life.
We do have families under considerable economic stress ans some are highly mobile, moving to and returnng from adjacent communities. We benefit with extra CISSO supports as well.
Analysis of Situation
The following challenges have been identified by the members of the school success committee at the school:
Reading Comprehension: collaborative planning with a focus on essentials will be the core of our efforts beginning in November 2019 and expanding in January/February 2020. Mathematical Reasoning: similar to the above, we will be focusing collaboratively on the key elements in Math to support success. Safe and Healthy School Environment: Our Community Plan is the underlying basis for promoting health and safety at the school. To a larger extent, life beyond the school, the Quyon community is in dire need of economic stimulus.