Bringing Learning to Life”

Eke Me-Xi Learning Center




Submitted:   July 12, 2022

Principal:     Leah Hubbard



Introduction – School Context

 The School Context section describes the contextual elements that have a major impact on school decision-making, including the assets and challenges that affect the school’s response to improving student achievement.

School Mission Statement

Our mission is to create personalized educational experience for each student in a safe, supportive and caring environment where the holistic needs of each learner are valued and considered.  We strive to offer a variety of programs and services that reflect and connect to Indigenous culture, traditions and values, based on respect and understanding of each person’s uniqueness and potential.

The Goals of the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement are also considered central to our vision at Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre.

·         All Aboriginal students will experience a sense of belonging and respect through the recognition and honouring of their culture, history and values.

·         All partners will work towards increasing the level of academic success for each Aboriginal student

·         All students will experience Aboriginal content in all subject areas and at all grade levels.

·         All partners will work together to foster success for Aboriginal students through relationship building and partnerships with parents, families and communities.

·         All partners are committed to providing Aboriginal students with a high level of support and resources that encourage language Revitalization.

We are preparing students to attain their career and occupational objectives; to assist in the development of effective work habits and the flexibility to deal with change in the workplace.

School Context

Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre is located in Tsulquate (drying place), on Kwakiutl territory. Serving the Gwad’zi (Port Hardy) region and Tri-Band communities of Quatsino, Kwakiutl, and Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations. Eke Me-Xi is operated by the School District in partnership with the First Nations Education Council and the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation who have hosted the program in their community since 1997.

Eke Me-Xi provides a variety of programs and services towards completion of the secondary graduation program for all students achieving a Dogwood Diploma, Adult Dogwood Diploma or Evergreen Certificate (School Leaving Certificate). We offer a full range of courses available for grades 8 – 12 for learners of all ages. At Eke Me-Xi, students, staff and partners work towards educational goals specialized to meet the learning needs of each learner.  Our population ranges from 45-60 learners with approximately 90-95% of our population identifying as Indigenous.

In the 2015-16 school year, a Band Council Resolution was passed and additional land was allocated for expansion of Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre.  The school district purchased and installed an additional building next to the current building. This additional 1000 square feet is the new home to the senior students and it has a small kitchen sink, janitorial cupboard, and an accessible washroom facility with a shower.  This school year the school district completed a deck on the ocean side of the new senior building.  This has allowed for additional learning space and a recreational area for students and staff.  Band Council Resolution was passed this June 2021 and the School District has agreed to install another building.  The goal is to have the third building operational for September 2021.  The third Eke Me-Xi building will serve for the grade 8/9 classroom and trades room.

Technology in our learning environments consists of smart boards and laptops; our entire school is on the NGN Service. The main building includes two classroom spaces equipped with two projectors, a kitchen, office space, and a small resource room.  A central component of the program also includes a variety of community based learning activities including fieldtrips, special projects, catering and fundraising opportunities. We try to encompass the outdoor learning space in our territories as much as possible.  Our old people always reinforce that our values and history do not come from a text book but from our land.

Size is an ever growing concern within our learning center. Our school works on providing place based learning in our nations’ traditional territories every week. When the tide is out our school is graced with a large outdoor tidal flat to explore and when the tide is in our outdoor space is limited in size.  Currently the School District is working to alleviate the lack of space we experience by adding a new portable.

Summary of Student Body Assets

Eke Me-Xi students bring a variety of skills in both the educational realm and cultural awareness.  Our staff strive to meet students where they are in their learning and work as a team to engage learners and help them navigate in their learning journey.  Classroom teachers work closely with our LART/Resource/ELL teacher in order to meet the needs of all learners.  Tiered instruction occurs when all students receive high-quality instruction differentiated to meet their needs.  Periodically, students are screened to identify learners who need intensified support based on their rate of progress and level of performance. ​Our staff also work with SD85 and community partners to meet student needs.

All students at Eke Me-Xi are immersed in Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw language, culture, and traditions.  Students and staff are provided many opportunities to learn from each other and together in order to practice and engage in traditional ways of knowing.  Academic learning focusing on Metis, Inuit and all Indigenous history and culture happens within course content as well.

Mental Health Grant funding from the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Education enabled Eke Me-Xi learners to explore place based learning every week.  Throughout the school year we were able to explore Kwakiutl, Quatsino, and Namgis territory.  Students identified feeling happy being able to engage in learning outdoors at least once a week.  It also allowed staff and students to engage in more meaningful relationship building.

Summary of Student Body Needs

Students struggle with successful grade transitions, completing secondary school on a five to six year grad plan and retention.

Section 1 – Student Achievement Profile

School-Wide Write:

School-Wide Writes:

Fall 2021 (30 wrote) 29% 53% 18%
Spring 2022 (23 wrote) 22% 48% 30%


Grade Level Reading data:
School Selected Additional data: (examples:  student learning survey data, FN survey data, EDI data, attendance or absence rates…)

Section 2 – School Goals

Briefly describe the school’s 3 goals for the year based on the broader areas identified in the Ministry’s Policy for Student Success: The Educated Citizen.

Goal 1 – Intellectual Development


 To build interdisciplinary project based learning into the entire school in order to promote engagement in learning. Every student will be tasked with two projects to complete over the course of the school year that will go towards their assessment over various classes and competencies.   

Rationale: (the why to support this as a school goal)

The projects will provide opportunities for students to develop their abilities to analyze critically, reason and think independently, and acquire basic learning skills and bodies of knowledge.  The project based learning approach will also require staff and students to work collaboratively to monitor mastery of learning objectives and competencies.  The intention is to improve retention rate of students, support them in grade transition and ultimately in graduation. The dropout-prevention research has also emphasized that “close mentoring and monitoring of students” is critical in retention.

Action Plan: (specific actions, structures or resources that are needed or that you plan to do to work on this goal)

Staff to plan collaboratively over the course of the school year on two major projects.  Projects will be included in multiple grade books and will require teachers to work together in assessment.  Teachers will need to build a rubric that spans over the multiple courses. The first project will span over the first quarter of the linear school year and skills needed will be explicitly taught.  The first project will be specific to place names and will allow learners to interact transdisciplinary with a variety of Kwakwaka’wakw place names and locations.  The project will cover learning objectives in numeracy, literacy, applied skills, and scientifically.  Guest speakers will be brought in to interview after classes have lessons on how to conduct an interview and devise questions.  Project one will be completed by the end of quarter one, assessed and students will have an opportunity to share their projects at elder’s lunches at Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw elder’s center. Students will have an opportunity to work on their own project during quarter 2 & 3 with monitoring of mastery of skills outlined in the rubric.  Students will then be able to showcase their projects at a community celebration during the fourth quarter.

Evidence/Data: (how will you measure progress toward this goal)

The data collected will be percent rate of grade transition, retention rate and graduation rate.

Goal 2 – Human and Social Development


To strengthen intergenerational relationships between students, staff, community members and elders.

Rationale: (the why to support this goal)

To create a sense of belonging and connect learning in a more meaningful to student’s lives.  Taking into account the First People’s Principles of Learning that, Learning involves generational roles and responsibilities.

Action Plan: (specific actions, structures or resources needed)

Staff will need to plan with the elder’s coordinator at Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw to facilitate regular interactions with the elders in community.  Monthly hosting of elders lunch by Eke Me-Xi as part of our foods class.  Develop over time a self-assessment tied to competencies for students to complete after interactions.

Evidence/Data: (how will you measure success)

Participation rate will be tracked as well as student’s self-assessment.

 Goal 3 – Career Development


All students will transition successful from secondary school with the core competencies to achieve their life and career goals.  Students will learn to track and monitor their own learning and goal setting strategies in order to obtain these goals.

Rationale: (the why, include evidence analyzed to support this goal)

Transition rates to post-secondary and/or trades programs show a need for improvement.

Action Plan: (specific actions, structures or resources needed)

Staff to implement time daily for student’s to develop and reflect on goals both short term and long.  Daily online agenda to be kept to log learning and monitor goal attainment.  Students will be supported in how to create goals, action plans and track goal attainment.  As well emphasis will be on how to adapt goals and action plans when needed.

Evidence/Data: (how will you measure success)

Transition rates to post-secondary/trades programs and successful grade transitions.

Section 3 – Professional Inquiry (expansion of one of the above school goals, based on the Spirals of Inquiry).

School Inquiry Project Application (2022-2023)School:

“In what ways will deliberate and planned activities in the classroom, on the land, and in community shape students’ sense of identity and influence their metacognition of transferable skills and strengths?”

School Team:

1.      Scanning:

The focus in the previous years was learning on the land with planned activities in the classroom, on the land and in the community that would influence students’ metacognition of their transferable skills and strengths.  Our focus on land literacy not only connected students with traditional land based activities, it has also provided a foundation for students to develop a connection to core competencies that will be used in transitions for success beyond school.  Bringing together students, teachers, Elders and community, these learning experiences have helped build a foundation for learners to develop transferrable skills for success in all contexts. We will build on reflection activities of our students, to prepare them for completing their capstone project for graduation.  These activities are designed to engage our learners with the goal of improving our attendance and graduation rates from the previous year.

2.      Focusing:

Based on the student interview responses and our previous year’s work we have identified the following areas of focus:

3.       We are a safe and caring school and many students comment on the sense of belonging they feel while attending Eke Me-Xi. We have many alumni who stop by to visit and tell us that they miss being at our school. Next year, we will build on this context by encouraging our learners to follow the traditional value of Maya’xala (respect).

4.       Teacher Collaboration and Cross-Curricular Planning has happened to plan and create additional learning opportunities on the land – This has had mixed results.  We have found that some students look forward and attend every outing where as other students will purposely miss the activity.  We will continue to work on providing deep and meaningful activities for students who attend outings and those who stay at the school.

5.       We have found how some students have grown in their participation in Wednesday’s activities and are able to make connections in their learning. They are able to see the big picture and understand the importance of land based learning and are able to make it applicable to learning in the classroom. Other students are not interested in participating in any activities outside the classroom and cannot make connections based on land literacy. They need assistance to make the deep connections to the content or place based knowledge.  This year we will provide project based learning opportunities tied to our outdoor learning.

6.       We piloted several Student Learning Plans (SLPs) this year. We found that completing the SLP with the Child and Youth Care Worker or Principal elicited important information to jumpstart the student’s relationship with the school. We have narrowed our templates to one SLP format that we will be implementing next year.

7.      Developing a Hunch:

High participation by some students in field trips and during traditional food harvesting activities are seen as positive indicators that this is the direction to move towards. Attendance and engagement in activities are more consistent during field trips and community learning experiences. We are going to build on our land activities by adding in weekly opportunities for students to reflect on their learning. Students will build a portfolio during the year that they can use to guide them in reporting on their core competencies and eventually their capstone graduation project.

8.      Professional Learning:

·         How to differentiate instruction to engage students in multi-level classrooms. (Mini-workshops)

·         A deeper knowledge of reflection and its impact on learning. Teachers will introduce the skill through direct instruction, develop the skill by practicing skill application during the teaching of other things (with coaching), provide opportunities for fluent use of the skill (without coaching or minimal support) and extended applications of the skills.

·         Co-curricular planning for activities on the land that explicitly link to core competencies.

·         Preparing and including Elders in learning activities, both on the land and in the classroom, that integrate traditional ecological knowledge.

9.      Taking Action:

Develop project based learning linked to land base learning in collaboration with elders linked to core competencies mastery.

10. Checking:

·         Student attendance records indicate less absences.

·         Involving Elders in learning activities builds community.

·         Student reflections document student growth and success.

·         Students complete core competency assessment based on their reflection portfolio.

·         Students complete self-assessment portion of their SLP and see connection to graduation.

·         Students have completed the seasonal tasks they have committed to.

11. Budget: (this section will not be published on the school district website)

·         $1,100                   Land/water-based activities (bussing costs, KEDC crew boat)

·         $500                      Honoraria for Elders (to be grandparents in classes once per day)

·         $200                      Inquiry Planning Sessions for Staff (September and May)

Adapted from Dr. Judy Halbert and Dr. Linda Kaser “Spirals of Inquiry: For Equity and Quality”