School Context

Sentinel Secondary currently enrolls approximately 1160 students in grades 8 through 12. The Sentinel Community is very ethnically diverse, with students from over 30 countries. There are 120 International students.  Sentinel offers a variety of programs including the Pursuit (formerly Super Achievers), Premier Academies, Advanced Placement and French Immersion.  The school population also includes about eight percent International students and an additional number of English Language Learners.


(What do you, as staff and community, know about your students – their successes and challenges? What’s going on for them?)

Sentinel Students are a motivated group.  Lead by teachers, many participate in the Me to We Club for the Free the Children Organization, Cinderella Project, Stream Keepers, Spartners Leadership and Recycling Club, just to name a few.  The Career Preparation Program enrolls 120 students. Students take part in many community activities, such as Rotary Seawalk Run, Art Exhibitions, Lighthouse Festival and Community Day Parade. AIDS Awareness, Friends of Seymour Elementary and Interact are all involved in service to the local and global communities.  They also consistently perform at a high level of academic success.


(From what you know, what is the most important work you can do to improve the success for your students?  What key area of learning will you focus on?)
To develop a lifelong love of learning, desire for self-development, and the skills to provide ethical leadership.  In particular, enhancing the awareness and authenticity of community involvement, social responsibility and appreciative inquiry.

Inquiry Question

(State what your driving question will be>)
How to create a school community of individuals who are authentically engaged in the development of the three key cross-curricular competencies: thinking, personal responsibility, and communication?


(What is leading to this situation for your learners?)
The School Planning council, consisting of students, staff and parents, felt it was important to develop contexts, experiences and strategies that push all stakeholders to a higher level of engagement.  They wanted to do this in connection to the Ministry’s ‘Cross-Curricular Competencies, while at the same time not sacrificing any of the rigor or success that our students already experience.

New Professional Learning

(Summarize the new areas for professional learning and how you will go about designing new learning for yourself and your staff that will impact your learners.)
New areas for professional learning include developing Thinking (critical, creative and reflective), Personal Responsibility (positive identity, personal and social awareness/responsibility) and Communication.  Staff, students and parents will work collaboratively to establish a road map, and the implementation strategies for successfully integrating the new school Inquiry Question into the culture of the school

Taking Action

(Describe the actions that you propose to take related to your inquiry.  What will you do more of, less of, or do differently to improve outcomes for your students?)
Our next steps include educating the stakeholders, implementing the competencies and assessing the progress.  We plan to spend more time promoting our Inquiry to students thru classroom content, presentations, assemblies and bulletins.  Our parent community will become aware thru PAC, newsletters, information evenings, e-bulletins and mailings.  Awareness to our staff has already occurred thru staff meetings, bulletins and coordinators meetings.  Moving forward we plan to utilize pro-d time to execute joint pro-d with Staff, Students and Parents.  Staff will be able to work departmentally and inter-departmentally during Collaboration time and staff meetings.  We will also use external facilitators to help establish a ‘road map’ for visioning.  We are currently looking at redesigning some comment codes for assessment and will survey students, staff and parents moving forward.


(Describe how you will know what you are doing works and that you have made a difference for your students?  What are you using as your baseline evidence? Please be clear on what you will be using as evidence of growth.  How will you respond if you see no changes?)
There should be a marked shift in student/staff/parent accountability.  A reduction in the number of social issues (eg. online bullying, greater student accountability on missed work, increase in teacher/parent communications).  We will monitor comment codes used that are specific to cross-curricular competencies.  We will schedule regular meetings of the school goal planning council.  Surveys to all stakeholders will provide feedback.  We will track the number of guest presenters brought in to discuss social, emotional issues in assemblies.  We will also collect anecdotal evidence.  If the response is not as impactful as we hoped we will refocus on our ‘road map’ and seek clarification of next steps from planning council and external facilitators.

Connection to the District Goals

(District Achievement Contract and District Literacy Plan)
Sentinel’s Inquiry connects directly to the district’s Foundations of Learning goal.  Creating students that are authentically engaged in their learning and their development of the 3 cross-curricular competencies is aligned with goal #2.  In terms of literacy, Sentinel’s Inquiry was established with the success of all students and their learning in mind.  Students that are underachieving or are struggling will be supported with the focus of the Inquiry

Communication Strategies

(How will you communicate your inquiry and your results to the school community?)

The School Goals will be discussed at staff, coordinator, and departmental meetings.  The community will be informed by the school newsletter, ebulletins, and information evenings.
The Action Plan for Student Learning will be posted on the Sentinel School website.

Parental/Community Involvement

(How will you work together as a school community to do this work?)
The Parent Advisory Council is actively engaged in school activities. Parents will be involved in professional development opportunities with staff and students.  Parents fundraise for school programs and improvements. Parents volunteer for field trips and in classrooms. Bilingual parents act as interpreters at information meetings. Three parents sit on the School Planning Council.
Parents will be informed regularly through school newsletters, ebulletins, information evenings and PAC meetings.  The Action Plan for Student Learning will be posted on the Sentinel School website.

Action Plan for Student Learning 2013/2014

Summary of Inquiry Question To create a school community of individuals who are authentically engaged in the development of the three key cross-curricular competencies: thinking, personal responsibility, and communication.

School Community:

  • All Stakeholders (Teachers, Support staff, SEA’s, Custodians, Students, Parents, Community…)
  • Culture of caring relationships (ethic of care
  • Rapport building
  • Mutual respect
  • Collaboration

Authentically Engaged

  • Reciprocal connections of the Curriculum to the students’ knowledge
  • Student context, knowledge, life experience
  • Engagement happens thru multiple teaching strategies
  • Meaningful relationships


  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Reflective thinking

Personal Responsibility

  • Positive Identity
  • Personal Awareness and Responsibility
  • Social Awareness and Responsibility


  • Language and Symbols
  • Digital

West Vancouver District Goals – District Achievement Contract 2013

Goal 1 – Literacy: To improve Literacy skills from K-12
Goal 2 – Foundations for Learning: To raise student achievement levels by improving students’ social, emotional and physical health and socially responsible behaviors