Peter Dubinsky

Michael BrighamMDI Champions

 

Peter Dubinsky

School District 41
Burnaby, BC
@pdubinsky


I’m the Director of Instruction for the Burnaby School District, responsible for Community Schools, Out of School-time programs, SEL and MDI implementation. I’ve spent the last 5 years working with schools and community partners to work together in a wrap-around fashion to meet the needs of students in the middle years before, during and after school. We have used the MDI as a tool to hear student voices, inform and guide our practice, and forge stronger partnerships with groups and organizations in our community.

 
 

Champions supporting other Champions

What do you find most valuable about the MDI?
I feel so privileged to be moving into our 5th year working with the MDI in Burnaby. I have long believed that, in the learning process, student-voice is a critical component and the MDI allows students to tell us how they are feeling and what they are thinking about. It provides a 360 degree perspective into their world of social and emotional development, perceptions of school culture and climate, peer and adult relationships, academic experience and connections to their community. The instrument takes this data and creates a rich and colourful narrative for schools and communities to view, understand and address student well-being.

The MDI has helped us to be more intentional with our work with students, has aligned well with the Core Competencies, our commitment to SEL in the district, and has contributed greatly to overall community development around the middle-years. It is not seen as just a means to collect and distribute data, but rather a valuable tool and resource for our schools and community in order to meet the needs of all students.
How have you made use of MDI data?
The tool has provided our schools with data that guides their practice in the classroom, informs school goals and begins and extends conversations with parents. Some of our secondary schools are using the data to assist in articulation into grade 8 and to get a better sense of how incoming students are feeling before they start high school.

At a district level, we have used neighbourhood data to bridge the gap between our schools and our greater community by holding HELP facilitated symposiums and round table discussions with school district staff and community groups and organizations. This has had a positive impact on Out of School-time Programs and has opened our schools up to possibilities beyond the bells. We have seen great success in our Community Schools, but we can be doing a better job in this area and are committed to continuing the conversation around “What is Possible in the Out of School-time Hours” with all our stakeholders. The MDI provides valuable data around the importance of this time, and with the redesigned curriculum focusing on big ideas, choice and flexibility, along with passion projects, OST programs are a critical link to engaging student learning and activity after school has ended.