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Black Mountain Elementary
Leading with our heart, hands, and head!
Our Learning Plan

The two areas of focus for our school inquiry has been with the ubiquitous teachings of the 7 Habits of Happy Kids and Leader in Me program, as well as the evolution of our Learning Commons from a library. We continue to honour and use the language of our district's attributes of our One Goal, and build these into our new core competency instruction and student self-assessments.


We only get one chance to prepare our students for a future that none of us can possibly predict. What are we going to do with that one chance?

--Stephen R. Covey12088362_1073823625969850_3972655501121166106_n.jpg

The world has entered an era of the most profound change in human history, creating new challenges for today's students. Meeting these challenges will require a different skill set than previous generations. In an effort to provide our students with key skills vital for the 21st century, we teach Stephen Covey's 7 habits through the Leader in Me process.

Black Mountain Elementary understands that today's students need the skills and self-confidence to succeed as leaders in the 21st Century. They need to be able to communicate clearly, to work as a team, and to be self-motivated and analytical thinkers. We have aligned with the district's five attributes of a learner - learner, thinker, collaborator, contributor, and innovator.  In the spring of 2015, two staff members and the principal attended a symposium in Edmonton about the book entitled 'The Leader in Me", which is based on Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. We were absolutely engrossed by this material as it strongly aligns with our new mission statement. We strongly believed that with introducing these teachings, along with our continued development of critical thinking, we could further reach our school goals and develop our students as life long learners and leaders. 

So, we have committed pro D days to train our stafff in Dr. Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People over the last four years.

We are excited and are seeing wonderful evidence that this journey, developing the leadership abilities of our students, helping each child become leaders of their own learning and life, incorporating the 7 Habits into our daily instruction, connecting them to the new core compentencies, and providing multiple leadership opportunities in every classroom and throughout our school for students is having great success.

For more information about the Leader in Me see



  • Scanning involves:
    • A wide perspective on learning, informed by learning principles (OECD)
    • Finding out what learners think and feel about their learning and
    • what their families and communities perceive about their learning


  • Focusing involves:
    • Using information from the scan to identify an area for concentrated team learning
    • Gathering more information if you need it to understand the situation
    • Building on strengths or positives, as well as clarifying challenges
    • Identifying a common area that the team can work on together
  • Focusing is NOT:
    • The time to introduce completely new areas disconnected from the scanning process
    • About assuming you have it all figured out and need to investigate any further
    • Just about problems or challenges
    • About everyone choosing his/her own area of interest


Developing a Hunch

  • Developing a hunch involves:
    • Getting deeply held beliefs and assumptions out on the table about your own practices
    • Focusing on things your team can do something about
    • Checking your assumptions for accuracy before moving ahead
  • Developing a hunch is NOT:
    • A general brainstorm of all possibilities
    • Being obsessed with the actions of others or with issues over which you have limited influence 
    • Venting about the past, fuming about the present, or finding someone to blame


  • New Learning is:
    • Tailored to the situation
    • Directly linked to the focus identified earlier in the spiral
    • Exploratory testing how new approaches could be better than previous practices
    • Sustained and supported over time
  • New Learning is NOT:
    • Pursuing the latest trends 
    • Disconnected from the context
    • Uncritically adopting new ways without understanding the purpose
    • A short-term or quick fix

Taking Action

  • Taking action involves:
    • Learning more deeply about new ways of doing things and then trying them out
    • Evaluating the impact on learners and seeking their feedback
    • Building trust and cultivating a growth mindset
  • Taking action is NOT:
    • Trying something new without considering its value and relevance in your situation
    • Implementing without monitoring the effects on learners
    • Assuming everyone feels OK about the change


  • Checking involves:
    • Knowing what you want to accomplish for your learners and having specific ways to determine how you are doing early in the inquiry process
    • Setting high expectations that your actions will make a substantial difference for ALL learners
    • Setting the stage for what comes next
  • Checking is NOT:
    • A routine to follow at the end
    • Seeking some difference for some learners
    • Judging the capacity of learners to succeed
    • Justifying your actions