RESPECT AND RECOGNITION Schools are expected to provide opportunities for all students to become knowledgeable about Aboriginal values and culture and to demonstrate respect and recognition of Aboriginal values and culture. In fulfilling this expectation, schools may:
invite Elders and other knowledgeable people into the classroom
permit use of sweet grass and practice of smudging in the school
celebrate National Aboriginal Day on a yearly basis
employ Aboriginal protocols in meetings with parents and in dealing with disciplinary matters
acknowledge through permanent and rotating school displays of Aboriginal art, symbols and student work that Aboriginal students are part of the school community
use Division supports such as the Aboriginal Collection On-line, Aboriginal consultants and liaison workers.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT To ensure community involvement, the Division will:
maintain an external Aboriginal advisory committee
establish alliances with Aboriginal agencies and organizations in support of shared goals for Aboriginal students and families
develop and maintain alliances with post-secondary institutions to support effective transitions
establish relationships with Treaty and Métis authorities
employ strategies to encourage the involvement of Aboriginal families
support schools to develop and maintain respectful dialogue and partnerships with Aboriginal agencies and organizations, as well as others serving Aboriginal families, to provide resources that respond to the complex needs of some members of the Aboriginal community.
STAFFING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT To assist all staff to become more knowledgeable about Aboriginal values and culture, the Division will:
provide Aboriginal cultural sensitivity training for all staff.
for new hires to the Division provide Aboriginal cultural sensitivity training as soon as possible but within two years of employment.
provide opportunities for staff to participate in professional development regarding: - infusion of Aboriginal outcomes, including the resources that support the outcomes - practices related to the "oral tradition," holistic approaches, hands-on experiences, and other research-based approaches found to be effective with Aboriginal learners. - working effectively with Aboriginal families.
ACHIEVEMENT For programming purposes and internal use, the Division will:
track the achievement of self-identified Aboriginal students, including graduation rates
track the attendance and retention rates of self-identified Aboriginal students
track the involvement of Aboriginal students in various alternative programs (e.g., International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Registered Apprenticeship Program and special education)
disaggregate Aboriginal student achievement results at the school level for schools with sufficient numbers of Aboriginal students for reporting purposes
report the tracking data to the Board of Trustees.
All schools are encouraged to nominate Aboriginal students for a Nellie Carlson Award or other awards as appropriate.
CURRICULUM The Division will support the continued evolution, development and use of the Aboriginal collection online.
PROGRAMS AND PROGRAMMING The Division will annually consult with the Aboriginal community regarding the demand and support for Aboriginal language alternatives and develop programs as required.
The Division on an ongoing basis will research and evaluate effective practices in Aboriginal education and provide this information to school and Division staff.
The Division will encourage participation in research studies related to Aboriginal education.
The Division will sponsor workshops and seminars related to Aboriginal education.
ASSESSMENT The Division within its own decision units and in partnership with external groups will research and evaluate assessment instruments and practices as they relate to Aboriginal students and provide this information to school and Division staff.
ENHANCED SUPPORTS FOR LEARNING
The Division will encourage and support effective transitions by:
establishing links with reserves in the region with the intent of developing practices that will support the transition of students between reserves and the Division and between schools in the Division
assisting schools to liaise and collaborate with Head Start programs, home visitation programs and child care providers to support the transition of students between early learning and Division programming
establishing links with Aboriginal employment agencies, organizations and programs (e.g., Oteenow, Yellowhead Tribal Council) to support the transition of students to the world of work
collaborating with post-secondary institutions to support the transition of students to a range of post-secondary opportunities.
The Division will support a range of strategies to encourage and support students to stay in school, including:
collaborating with community organizations to extend, establish and maintain a range of supports, including Aboriginal mentoring and role-model programs
investigating alternative provision of counselling through Elders and Aboriginal agency staff
using alternatives to Attendance Board such as community conferencing.
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Edmonton Public Schools
Centre for Education
1 Kingsway NW
Edmonton, Alberta T5H 4G9 780-429-8000