Homework Zone

The Homework Zone (HZ) program is a collaboration between McGill's Social Equity and Diversity Education (SEDE) office and Montreal's Lester B. Pearson School Board. Now in its third year, HZ connects McGill students with inner-city students in an after-school tutoring program. The goal of HZ is to help elementary students create an emotional connection to school through positive educational experiences. The strong connections that are forged between mentors and mentees impact their view of themselves as successful learners and provide a model of educational attainment that the mentees can aspire to. The program, originally established in three schools, continues to grow from one term to the next.

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Working Together for Change

Subject departments socialize teachers into what is important in their subject content, how it should be taught, and why it should be taught. In turn, they influence the how and what of teaching, giving the department great political power. As content specialists, secondary teachers hold closely to the academic traditions of their discipline; consequently, they can often appear impervious to reform efforts. In this article, we briefly look at how departments came to occupy their place in the school, and how principals can work with their departments to align the purposes of the school with those of the department. We suggest that this work centers on the cultivation of trust-based reciprocal relationships with departments, and the development of a respect for the roles, and responsibilities, that departments have.

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Raising the Bar

How does a school board with a high graduation rate raise the bar and improve outcomes in an era of accountability? This article outlines how the English Montreal School Board, with over 50 percent of its schools identified as inner-city, increased its seven-year graduation rate from 83 percent to 88 percent, five years ahead of its government-mandated target date. Midway through a ten-year provincial action plan, the school board remains focused on implementing evidence-based practices, developing teacher learning networks, prioritizing early literacy and supporting alternative learning high schools. The data collected indicate that student learning and graduation rates continue to improve.

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Dr. Kate Tilleczek: 2013 CEA Whitworth Award Winner
Teaching Out Loud (Episode 7) - Flipping the Classroom - Changing the Teacher-Learner Dynamic