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Empowering Student Voices in Shaping Competency-Based Learning Pathways

School District 46 uses SpacesEDU to support meaningful core competency reflection and goal-setting

Organization Profile

School District 46 Sunshine Coast (SD46) is a small rural public school district located in the coastal community of Sunshine Coast in British Columbia. Today, the school district is home to over 3,400 students (K–12) who are supported by 600 dedicated staff members.

With 9 elementary schools and 4 high schools, SD46 offers a wide range of innovative programs including prenatal programs, early years supports, K–7 nature-based learning programs, alternative education programs, online learning, and indigenous learning and support programs.


Capturing student voice and making learning visible

With the requirements of the new K–12 Student Reporting Policy in British Columbia, SD46 was looking for a way to enable students to reflect on Core Competencies and set goals in a way that was visible to families, while also ensuring student voice was meaningfully captured. “We also really wanted to capture student voice so having a variety of multimedia options was really important to us,” explains Pam Kaatz, District Inclusive Technology Coordinator at SD46.

In exploring solutions, the district wanted to take their existing digital portfolio work to the next level. Leveraging a working group of teachers who were experienced with digital portfolios, they developed a set of criteria to explore different digital portfolio products and make their decision. From there, they compared different platforms, measuring them against the criteria they had set, before making their final decision.

We were able to take this locally-based research and present it to the entire district through a series of open houses and surveys, and we were able to generate really good criteria, and see how other platforms measured up against it. – Pam Kaatz

From their thorough research of potential products, the district chose to pilot SpacesEDU as it best met the set criteria.


Providing inclusive and accessible learning through multimedia

As of the 2023–2024 school year, SpacesEDU is implemented district-wide and used by all K–12 students, teachers, administrators, and district leads for Core Competency reflections and goal setting. While students and teachers are going to use it a minimum of three times per year, many teachers are using it more frequently. “Some of them are using it for things like e-portfolios for their students, as a place to track student assessment data over time, for overall student reporting, and for communicating with parents,” explains Patrick Wadge, District CSL Teacher Lead

Upon transitioning to SpacesEDU, SD46 provided a full day of training for all educational staff in the district. Since there were educators using SpacesEDU the previous year, teachers were able to lead the learning with their colleagues and share examples of student voice being captured on the platform including a voice recording of a 12th grade student reflecting on their hopes and dreams for securing a job that would pay the bills, but also provide a sense of meaning and purpose to their life. This teacher-led training that emphasized student voices captured in the SpacesEDU provided a common thread that united the district:

I think one of the unexpected outcomes was that SpacesEDU helped us unite as a district on a common platform and pedagogy around student reflection and goal setting. So it reminded us of the why behind the Ministry's reporting policy and the importance and the meaning of the work that we're doing. – Kirsten Deasey, District Principal, Learning and Innovation

Since moving to SpacesEDU, there has been positive feedback from students, staff, and families. The multimedia functions, in particular, have had a positive impact on students, providing built-in learning supports for all, and honoring the diversity among learners in that they can access and express their learning in many different ways.

Many staff have found it really easy to use, and they appreciate all the built-in flexibility that it has for students. A lot of students get really excited about SpacesEDU. They also appreciate those multimedia features… to capture their learning and their reflections. And a lot of parents are very appreciative of that. They get a window into their child's learning in the classroom and they appreciate the ongoing communication from teachers about their child's learning. – Desiree Harris, District Vice Principal, Learning and Innovation

To ensure alignment and track progress towards goals, SD46 uses the Admin Class Management Tool. This administrator feature allows them to look at overall engagement, troubleshoot for staff, and explore what students are doing and what their reflections are.

Teachers have also found time-saving benefits when leveraging the platform to review student core competency reflections. “We really like how it's all in one place. It's really easy for teachers to quickly scan down and see who's made their reflections, who hasn't, who's still working on it, “ says Patrick Wadge.

Fostering a lasting and trusting partnership

In shifting to this new platform, SD46 has found that the partnership between their district and SpacesEDU has been impactful in other ways:

We also feel like SpacesEDU has an excellent response time when it comes to any staff requiring extra support with troubleshooting, and we also value the close relationship that SpacesEDU maintains with our district. We really appreciate that SpacesEDU has been really responsive to our product feature requests as well. – Desiree Harris

Result & Next Steps

From unified vision to driving learning forward

SD46 has been able to effectively implement the use of SpacesEDU as the vehicle for core competency reflection and goal setting.

“As mentioned, one of the things that our district has found most powerful is the multimedia opportunities that SpacesEDU provides. We've been really looking for a way for student voice to be central and for students to have choice in how they document their core competency reflections,” explains Kirsten Deasey.

Now that they’ve successfully implemented the platform across the district, Desiree Harris shares “We hope to have core competency reflection, and goal setting that is embedded into the daily learning experiences in the classrooms. And that these are connected to the curricular competencies, so that students are reflecting in deep and meaningful ways, and that their reflections are driving their learning forward.”

The district is also hoping to leverage SpacesEDU to facilitate the celebration of learning over time for all members of the learning community, including staff, students, families, and educators “and concrete ways for grade 11s and 12s to look back at their reflections over time…and engage with those in meaningful ways, perhaps as part of their capstone,” says Desiree Harris.


Assessment and Reporting, Digital Portfolios, Equity and Inclusion, Family Engagement, Personalized Learning

Partner Information

School District 46 Sunshine Coast
BC, Canada
3,400 students


Kirsten Deasey
District Principal, Learning and Innovation
Desiree Harris
District Vice Principal, Learning and Innovation
Pam Kaatz
District Inclusive Technology Coordinator
Patrick Wadge
District Communicating Student Learning (CSL) Teacher Lead


Assessment and Reporting, Digital Portfolios, Equity and Inclusion, Family Engagement, Personalized Learning
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