Waimea Schools Community of Learning
The Minister of Education has approved an application from the schools in the Waimea district to form a Community of Learning (CoL). The 12 schools in the Waimea CoL currently are:
St Paul’s School Richmond
Waimea Intermediate School
What is a Community of Learning?
CoLs are part of the government’s Investing in Educational Success programme, designed to bring local schools into closer partnership with each other to improve student achievement. CoLs are forming throughout New Zealand as groups of schools share student data more closely, identify common challenges and work together to overcome them. CoLs encourage teachers, Principals, Boards of Trustees and communities to view the success of all students in a district as a shared responsibility. A CoL must include schools that cover Years 1-13; that is, primary, intermediate and secondary. Early Childhood centres may also be drawn into a CoL.
What sorts of things does a CoL focus on?
CoLs identify the achievement challenges that are particular to their students and set targets for improvement. Many CoLs identify achievement challenges in core curriculum areas: English (reading and writing) and Mathematics, and may identify specific groups of students (for example, Year 6-8 boys’ writing). CoLs develop action plans to meet their challenges, and these may include a wide range of strategies that help to improve learning; for example, student well-being, transitions between schools and better home-school relationships.
How is a CoL run?
Each Community of Learning appoints a leader from among the Principals of the participating schools, who is released two days per week to manage the CoL. Each CoL also appoints teachers with particular expertise from among their staff to support the work of reaching their achievement challenges. Some of these teachers provide expertise across all schools in the CoL and others share their expertise within their own school. CoLs receive additional funding for these roles to do their CoL work. None of these appointments have yet been made in the Waimea CoL.
Does a CoL mean our school will no longer be self-managing?
No. All schools that are part of a CoL retain their own Boards of Trustees and continue to manage themselves much as they have always done. The difference is that schools contribute some time, energy and resources towards meeting the common challenges of the CoL.
A school does not have to join a CoL.
There is a long tradition of collaboration among the Waimea schools on matters of staff professional development, sporting and cultural events and sharing student information. The CoL will build on these positive relationships with the intention of improving schooling for all our students.
Parents and whanau will have opportunities to contribute to the goals and work of the Waimea CoL as it develops. If you have any questions about the CoL please contact the school office.
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