Our School Story
Sharing Our School’s Story:
Who Are We: Spul’u’kwuks is named from the Musqueam language meaning, “place of bubbling water,” where the land and water meet. It is near a former permanent Musqueam fishing settlement going back thousands of years. Spul'u'kwuks Elementary School was built in 2000 and opened in October that year. Currently, we have grown to about 400 students. Half of our students are English Language Learners (ELL). We are the only school in Richmond that has a balanced calendar, three months in session followed by a one-month break. Our breaks are in December, April and August. Our mascot is the eagle.
Our Mission Statement: At Spul’u’kwuks we are a community of learners committed to developing a nurturing environment that encourages caring, respect, trust and personal growth. We value diversity, believe in the importance of building relationships and honour the uniqueness of each individual. We strive to create meaningful experiences that encourage a joy for learning. We have inspirational words on the wall in our foyer: Create, Transform, Imagine, Explore, Discover and Wonder.
Our School Goals: School Goals provide staff with a focus to develop collective efficacy. They build on each other and a new one does not eliminate an old one.
In 2010-2011, the school developed a social responsibility program that focused on empathy, problem solving and emotional well-being. We developed a plan around the 3 Cs – caring for ourselves, caring for others and caring for our place.
In 2014-2015, the school developed a goal focused on mathematical thinking. We noticed our students have computational fluency but lacked deeper conceptual understanding. Teachers engaged in professional development designing activities to increase understanding of math concepts.
In 2016-2017, with the onset of BC's New Revised Curriculum, we focused on two of the Core Competencies: Communication and Personal Awareness and Responsibility.
In 2017-2019, we narrowed our focus to The Core Competency of Personal Awareness and Responsibility, we went deeper into student self-regulation and well-being. In the spring of 2019, staff revisited our school values and designed the acronym, S.O.A.R. Our students were engaged in this process and helped re-design our eagle logo and participated in activities to choose our four values (Safe, Ownership, Accepting, Respectful).
In 2019-2020, we continue to strive to help our students develop their self-regulation skills and sense of well-being. As a school, we recognize that being part of the larger school community is part of a child's well-being. This September, we organized our first leadership conference for our grade 6/7 students. The theme of our conference, was, "service above self". Over two days, students were engaged in a variety of personal development and team building activities and given an opportunity to volunteer in our school for a variety of jobs. Our hunch is that when students are more actively involved in their school community and have a better understanding of their strengths, their self-esteem, self-regulation and well-being will improve.
In 2020-2021, we continued with our work from the previous school year. Classes focused on the students’ understanding of themselves as a vehicle to develop self-regulation skills and their sense of well-being through a variety of activities in the classroom. In support of the hunch from 2019-2020, students were offered the opportunity to be engaged in community-building activities within the school. Some examples include beautifying outdoor areas, caring for the garden beds, volunteering as morning announcers, anonymous acts of kindness and participating in a school-wide fundraisers. Our hope is that through their participation and volunteer work, our students will develop a sense of connectedness to and ownership of our school at the same time as developing their personal skills and well-being.
The 2021-2022 school year marks the first time since March 2020 when all of our students are attending school in-person. A significant number of our students chose to learn from home, although most had returned to school by July 2021. Over the course of the pandemic, we were concerned for the well-being of our students, as they were not able to engage in their typical social activities. From our school-wide survey at the end of last school year, a strong percentage of students indicated that they learned more about their strengths and skills to self-regulate. Self-confidence was lower, as was feeling connected to school. From our examination of the survey results and a hunch that social-emotional supports may be required we decided to engage in re-scanning as we entered this school year and that we would implement more school-wide activities to see if we can help to increase students' sense of connectedness to the school.