Queen Elizabeth School will ensure that all students achieve their potential with a focus on developing leadership, citizenship, perseverance and healthy, active lifestyles.
Queen Elizabeth Elementary will provide support, encouragement and will enable students to become self-confident, independent thinkers as well as lifelong learners. Developing a sense of pride in accomplishments and respect for others will enable students to face the challenges of the 21st century.
We strongly believe all children in our school can achieve and want to achieve to their potential regardless of external circumstance or past achievement.
SUCCESS FAVOURS THOSE… WHO PERSEVERE
Our School and Its Community
Queen Elizabeth School is situated in the village of Kazabazua, Quebec, on Chemin Begley just off of Highway 105. It is about 60 km away from Gatineau. The residents of this community enjoy a picturesque view of the Gatineau Hills and the Gatineau Rivers. As well as its numerous lakes and forests. The communities served by the school include; Kazabazua, and the neighbouring villages such as Danford Lake, Gracefield, Venosta, Low, Brennan’s Hill and Lac Ste-Marie. This represents a fairly large geographical area.
In the immediate area, the largest source of employment is in forestry. The harvesting and hauling of trees, as well as the production of lumber in the sawmill in Low provides employments opportunities for members of the community. There are also small family businesses in the region such as: small farming operations, general contracting, convenience stores, restaurants and artisan shops as well as ecotourism (ski hills, golf course, horseback riding) which also provide jobs. However, many residents commute between an hour or two to work every day. We have had a daycare that opens at 7am and closes at 5:30 for two years. The WQSB recognized that some of our parents could not work unless they had somewhere safe and secure to leave their children during their long commutes to and from school. Our daycare has definitely attracted students to our school.
Many socio-economic factors directly affect the lives of the students and indirectly the school climate. The Ministry of Education of Quebec has ranked this school as being in the 9th decile of a possible 10 (10 being the least favourable) when two major indicators are considered. The level of education of the student’s mother and the employment status of the parents are highly correlated to academic success. Our school face a significant challenge given that many of our students are from home which the mother does not have a high-school diploma and/or the parents are not employed. The school moves between the 9th and 10th deciles from year to year.
Due to our socio-economic situation, we have formed partnerships with the Breakfast Club of Canada and with Dreams Take Flight. Our students are fortunate enough to ALL eat breakfast every morning. For a very low cost, students start their day with their stomachs full. We know that it is impossible to learn without food in our stomachs and our students eat healthy, hot and cold breakfasts every day. The Breakfast Club of Canada subsidizes the students who can’t afford to pay for breakfast, all they ask is that they volunteer and help. We have students who help set-up, take down and cut pancakes during breakfast, so that they get to start their day with a healthy meal every day. We also have a local restauranteur who comes in and serves a hot lunch two days a week to our students for $5. She subsidizes many families herself who cannot afford the $5.00. Our students who do not have the privilege of getting to travel, often are chosen for Dreams Take Flight. We have been sending students for over 10 years and we send at least 4 students a year on this magical day. A day they will never forget.
According to educators in the local area schools and members of the CLSC, the level of literacy in the region is much lower than those of the regional and provincial averages. Our students come to school with very low literacy levels. The MEESR has given us many grants; including a full-time K4 program 3 years ago and teacher resource support for our K5-2 learners. We have already noted the difference in our cycle 1 readers. MEESR recognizes that we have to frontload our students with the literacy skills they are lacking from early childhood.
We ensure our students are exposed to many yearly cultural events. From the Lac Ste Marie children’s festival that we are invited to every year, to MASC performances at the school (drumming, dancing, Plays etc) to our first QE student Musical this year, participating in Musicmakers on stage at the Palais de Congres, ukulele club and a yearly museum trip. We read culturally rich stories to the students and make sure they are aware of the greater world around them.
Community School Partnerships
Despite the challenges posed by the socio-economic reality in the region, Queen Elizabeth School and the general community enjoy tremendous support from dedicated agencies, the Lions Club, the Seniors Club, the Fire Fighters in Kaz, the local churches, the local library…they are always willing to share their resources or lending a helping hand. They are also very keen to work with staff at Queen E to improve the lives of young people and their families in the community. We run a camp for families who cannot afford regular camps out of our school in the summer. We charge $300 for the month and if multiple children $250 each. Many of the local municipalities sponsor us, as well as the Lions Club annually. Parents are then able to continue on to work for that extra month and only have to take holidays or find places for their children during the month of August.
The majority of the families at our school are English-speaking, however, it seems that more and more francophone families (who can get Bill 101 approval) are coming our way. Our population has gone from 52 five years ago to 88 in 2019-2020. The school has a shared Principal at 50% with St. Michael’s High School in Low. Presently the school has 6 full-time teachers and one part-time, 4 full time and one part-time Attendants who work supporting students and teachers in our school. Other staff positions are secured through grants throughout the year (Rural Schools grant, NANS grants, MEESR grants etc). Our percentage of special needs students is very high. We have almost 40% of our school population who has individual education programs (IEPs). We are very lucky to have a Special Education Technician through a grant, who is always available to give kids breaks, to support students when they feel like giving up or just to encourage students individually when there are outside sources causing stress in their lives. We have created a sensory room, where students can go to regroup and come back to the classroom ready to learn. Students “walk the track” numbers 1 to 7 throughout the school and return to class, students go to the sensory room and talk things our with our spec ed tech. Students are then ready to return to class and do their best.
The school boasts modern facilities like our beautiful gymnasium, the floor was redone and the new lines make our gym very accessible for all sports. The students benefit greatly from the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular sports such as various tournament and cultural events. Students are also given a very reduced rate towards a ski pass at Mte Ste Marie ski hill. One of our partners encouraging a healthy living lifestyle for our students who might not otherwise be able to afford it. ($40 season pass)
Parent involvement could improve. The same small group of parents help with everything. They are our volunteers, our fundraisers, our readers, our school trip and sport trip volunteers. We need to somehow encourage more parents to get involved.
Almost all students are bussed to the school from the surrounding villages. Some are on the bus for close to an hour because of the distance.
Daycare facilitates parent coming home late from work, lack of academic resources/technology at home and lack of parent skills to help their children.
Queen Elizabeth has developed strong communication with parents. Several teachers have webpages, newsletters, facebook pages etc. We send home monthly newsletters and calendars to make sure our parents are up to date and know what is coming up. We have a REMIND account to send quick messages to parents with emails and/or cell phones (bus cancellations, spirit days etc). We have a school facebook that we use to update our parents. Over 85% of our parents come to at risk interviews when asked. The school is visible to the community by taking walks through the village and collecting Halloween candy on Halloween. On earth day we clean in the village. We go to church at Christmas for a local non-denominational service and then we celebrate with a big turkey dinner where we invite our school supporters.
In reviewing our School Survey from the Learning Bar, June 2019, the following observations have been made;
- There are some students who feel they are being bullied, less than 15% at any grade level. Whether this is because they are being bullied or we need to work harder on making sure students understand what bullying is, I am not sure, regardless we need to try and reduce this number.
- Students say bullying is taking place mainly in the hallways (15%) and outside of school (62%). We will discuss hallway supervision.
- They also have indicated that it is happening at recess. Again, we will review supervision.
- The types are verbal and social. Students indicated that over 80% of them feel there is someone safe to go to and that they take care of the situation immediately.
Collecting student fees is a very big problem, poor lunches and snacks, completion of homework, lack of a bigger group of parent volunteers and services from local CLSC/DPJ for our students.
In keeping with our school’s mission and vision, a careful assessment of Queen Elizabeth’s Strengths and challenges have provided the direction for the Educational Project. It seems necessary given the circumstances that the school continues to build a strong academic foundation for our students, focusing on the following academic areas:
- Literacy in English Language Arts – both in reading comprehension and writing response
- Math Competencies – specifically with math vocabulary in application and situational problems – math comprehension
- French Competencies – reading comprehension being the main focus
- Healthy Lifestyles – providing many moving opportunities for our students; sports, physical education, extended recess times next year, tournaments, intermurals during lunch hour etc. Providing good examples, talking about nutrition and demonstrating what healthy eating and healthy lifestyles looks like. Making sure there is lots of healthy foods available at our breakfast program so students are eating one healthy meal a day.
Analysis of Academic Achievement
|June 2016 – Cycle 3.2
|Final Exams (60%+)
|Year End Mark (60%+)
|June 2017 – Cycle 3.2
|Final Exams (60%+)
|Year End Mark (60%+)
|June 2018 – Cycle 3.2
|Final Exams (60%+)
|Year End Mark (60%+)
|June 2019 – Cycle 3.2
|Final Exams (60%+)
|Year End Mark (60%+)
As we are a socioeconomic 10 school, we are very fortunate to have many grants. Therefore, we are able to offer a lot of small group support in all subject areas. The service d’accueil grant helps us provide students who have never had French instruction, who come from home school or other provinces or countries, with extra French help.
Professional Development Plan – 2019-2020
Our marks were lower than usual this year in our exam results. We have dug deep and realize that it is in most cases about reading comprehension and that we need to do some work as a school in this area as a whole.
- Reading Comprehension – Math, English and French
- Review exemplars of exams together
- Book study – Academic Conversations
- Look at the importance of the TALK competency and develop tools to support learning in this area
- Pre –teaching Vocabulary focus in Math, English and French. Use Namur’s math example.
- Develop a package from grades 1-6 of strategies and examples to use with students in the three areas or reading comprehension