School Plan for Continuous Growth 2020-2023 (year 2)

School Mission: The mission statement of St. Gerard Catholic School is to provide a Catholic education that inspires all students to learn and experience academic growth in a safe, nurturing, and accepting environment based on Gospel values. .
School Vision: WE BELIEVE: -that each child is a precious gift and sacred -in the goodness, dignity, and worth of each child -that all can learn and develop their gifts -in building Christ-centered communities for service to one another -in celebrating our diversity and witnessing our faith -that we all have rights, roles and responsibilities for which we are accountable - that education is a shared responsibility in which parents have a primary role
School Charism: “God will Provide” Providing loving service to our local and global community. Nurturing and growing a love of life-long learning through our faith filled hearts and eagerly serving hands. We are truly “a Place to Shine”.

Priority:  Growing in Faith
Our students and staff will learn and live the Word of God through worship, witness, and service.
Key Strategies:
F.4 Provide formation opportunities for students and staff that further their participation in our faith and enable them to discern the presence of God in their lives.
F.5 Engage families, parishes, and Catholic organizations to provide opportunities for growing in faith.
Actions we will take
God will Provide is our charism at St. Gerard School, and we truly are “a Place to Shine.” It is our desire to provide faith-filled service to our local community and beyond, and to instill in each student a desire to use their gifts to reach one another and their community. Our students serve by visiting the elderly, making cards, and cleaning up around the city, to name a few. Students at St. Gerard are given the opportunity to grow in faith and learn about the presence of God during our annual Faith-Based Kids Convention. Students select topics that are personally meaningful to them, in order to cultivate the personal aspect of their faith. We cultivate the communal aspect of their faith through regular celebrations, religious instruction, and daily prayer. As a staff, we believe that it is important for us to reconnect with our parent community. It is our desire to provide opportunities for parents and guardians to be part of liturgies, celebrations and events here at St. Gerard. We will make sure they are made aware of such activities and will provide invitations to attend either virtually or in person when possible. We also want to have a strong connection to our parish by having our chaplain remain in close contact with our pastor. With the pastor, the chaplain will identify opportunities for sacramental prep and send invitations to the parents of eligible students. If possible, we will attend masses at our parish at least twice a year as a school. We will further connect our parish and parent communities by communicating times for Sunday Mass, Reconciliation, and other sacramental or liturgical events to parents. Throughout the year, we will invite families to attend important events, particularly at the high feasts of Christmas and Easter.
Performance Measures (Domain - Local and Societal Context):
Local measures are under development for this priority. Our performance in this area will also be measured using the:
  • Division Assurance Survey (Catholicity items).
  • Increase in sacramental prep for our students.
  • Increased presence of our Parish team in the school.
Priority:  Student Success
Through a holistic approach, students will develop to their fullest potential through multiple pathways.
Key Strategies:
S.2 Implement teaching and assessment practices to deepen students’ understanding and to increase ability to target teaching and improve learning.
S.4 Continue to support students’ diverse needs through best practice and responsive and flexible programming.
S.5 Support student achievement by engaging in collaborative, whole school approaches to capacity building in First Nations, Métis and Inuit education.
Actions we will take
St. Gerard is a place where students come to shine. We believe that each student has something unique to offer, and we strive to provide each student with meaningful opportunities to share their gifts. The St. Gerard staff appreciates and values the diversity of our community and recognizes the importance of getting to know our students’ hearts as we help them achieve their goals. We believe that students should be active participants in their learning, and are often given choice in how they can best demonstrate what they know. As we get to know our students, we can build on our relationships to better inform our teaching. We hope to work with students and their families to create personalized learning goals based on their diverse needs so they can continue to shine their brightest! Teachers will continue to support curricular outcomes for our FNMI students through flexible groups, observations, and targeting instructions based on student needs. As a team we will be accessing collaborative response models, such as FSLW/MDT/ MHN, with support directed to FNMI families and students. We will continue to incorporate Indigenous language within the school and classroom to encourage both language and culture.
Performance Measures (Domains - Student Growth and Achievement & Learning Supports):
Local measures are under development for this priority. Our performance in this area will also be measured using the:
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Student Learning (Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma Exam Results);
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of High School Completion;
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Citizenship;
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Student Learning Engagement;
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Learning Environment; and,
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Access to Support and Services.
Priority:  An Excellent Place to Work and Learn
We will provide an optimal learning and working environment that fosters a culture of faith, trust, unity, inclusivity, confidence, respect, value and appreciation for one another.
Key Strategies:
E.1 Ensure that all teachers and leaders have the acquired skills to meet the foundational knowledge of First Nations, Métis and Inuit standard as outlined in Alberta Education Teaching, Leadership, and Superintendent Leadership Quality Standards.
E.2 Develop, promote, and oversee the application of excellent professional practices consistent with the Teaching Quality Standard, Leadership Quality Standard, and Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard, all which guide and support student achievement.
E.6 Continue to create an excellent Catholic educational working environment through the provision of faith formation, health, and wellness opportunities and supports for all staff.
Actions we will take
As a staff we engaged in learnings from Dr. Carrington’s book Kids these Days. We will continue to take information and strategies to implement in our classroom as well as enlighten our broader understanding of the mental health of our students. We will align these teachings with our religion and PATHS program to ensure that not only are we as staff taking care of ourselves, but our students are learning strategies and actions to take care of their mental health as well. As a staff we will continue to develop the PAX program with our students. We have also created an SOS program whereby we make purposeful connections with students and families. This assists us with implementing practices to check in with students and create safe environments to share information. Our EBS, MHN, FSLW and learning coaches will work to develop new strategies to make connections including our FNMI students and families. This year we will participate as a learning team in the CRM- Collaborative Response Model. We will have our MDT working with us including weekly meetings to ensure we are meeting the needs of our students. We will continue with sharing best practices learned in professional learning sessions through community of practice as well as teacher mentorship. As a staff we will continue with staff faith formation and Mental Health boosters at each staff meeting. We will implement morning staff gathering prayers and wellness opportunities and physical activity breaks for staff. Our FNMI lead will provide ongoing/monthly professional development to staff to meet foundational knowledge of Indigenous history and culture, as outlined by the LQS. Our Professional Development will be organized through workshops with support from “Climbing the Mountain: Educating for Reconciliation Canada.”
Performance Measures (Domain - Teaching and Leading):
Local measures are under development for this priority. Our performance in this area will also be measured using the:
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Education Quality.
  • -Increase the capacity to develop literacy skills in our students by using daily 3-5, emphasizing guided reading, phonemic awareness, word work and guided writing using cooperative teaching in Gr. 1-6.
  • -Mentor new staff to implements the PAX program to encourage positive learning environments.
  • -Teachers will present new learning and skills at staff meetings.
  • -Assign every staff one to two students to develop a special relationship by having intentional moments to connect and build closer relationships each school day.
Priority:  Building Our Future Together
We will engage in good stewardship of all resources through principled governance and engagement.
Key Strategies:
B.2 Continue to walk together recognizing the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
B.3 Ensure that resources are being used effectively and efficiently while providing flexibility for how schools and departments meet their unique needs.
B.4 Continue to nurture collaborations, relationships and partnerships to provide programs and services for students from Pre-K-12.
Actions we will take
At St. Gerard we believe in the power of collaboration and the importance of building strong connections within our community. We believe that relationships are the basis of strong and resilient students and faith communities. We seek to build and strengthen our connections between families and the school by supporting social emotional learning, fostering communication, and focusing on being solution focused. With the support of our FSLW, EBS and mental health therapist, the students at St. Gerard school are encouraged to celebrate and rejoice in their identities when God calls them by name. St. Gerard's teachers strive to foster connections with families with ongoing communication, an open-hearted approach and genuine compassion for each student and their unique circumstances. Staff will continue to focus on supporting the mental health and well-being of our students and families. St. Gerard teaching staff and administration believe in collaboration and working together to provide the best possible programming to support each student where they are at and striving to reach their full potential as learners and citizens.Staff and administration are dedicated to consistently monitoring and supporting classroom communities with regular check-ins and a genuine interest in the wellbeing of staff and students. The staff at St. Gerard are grateful for the access to resources available in the school and recognize the value in of our multi-faceted community and seek to honour and recognize the needs of our families. We understand that each child is a gift from God, who will bloom in their own time and are to be celebrated in all their successes. We will be organizing monthly events, activities, or sessions (such as Drumming residency) to incorporate FNMI teachings with the students through multifaceted approach (music, visual art, dance, games, etc.)
Performance Measures (Domain - Governance):
Local measures are under development for this priority. Our performance in this area will also be measured using the:
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Parental Involvement; and,
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Budget-Actual Comparison.
  • Parent participation and partnerships.