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An entire community raises the child

EducationMatters-ChristineYounghusbandWhat makes a great school? “We have an incredible staff and great community school serving our student and parent communities,” says Halfmoon Bay Elementary School Principal Ray Clayton.

At Halfmoon Bay Elementary, the structure of the school day and hours of instruction are unique from other schools on the Sunshine Coast. From Monday to Thursday, the school day is a little bit longer so that Fridays can be a half-day. Most of the instructional time on all five days of the week occurs in the morning. The structure of the school day and hours of instruction contribute to both good student behaviour and student achievement.

With a deliberate focus on the social and emotional health of students at the school, learning happens and the underpinning of students’ academic success is the social and emotional environment at this community school. Both staff and students practice restitution and restorative justice; and live by a set of core values represented by the following questions: Do you feel safe? Do you feel confident? Do you feel accepted?

Halfmoon Bay Elementary is also a community school. The Community School Association has a daily presence in the building with Breakfast for Kids, parent and grandparent volunteers, and recreational programs. The Community School Coordinator, Sue Lamb, is fully immersed in the school community by providing support to the PAC, collaborating with teachers, and facilitating student focused programs such as homework club and student leadership.

An exemplar of Halfmoon Bay Elementary staff and students working together with the Community School Association and PAC is the school’s annual Christmas Concert. What makes it happen? People in the school community come forward to donate their time and expertise to produce a fantastic musical.

At Halfmoon Bay Elementary School, it’s the community that raises the child.

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