School Plan for Continuous Growth 2020-2023 (year 3)

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.1 Re-engage families, parishes, and Catholic organizations to provide opportunities for growing in faith.
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.
Actions we will take
As a staff we aim to grow and maintain 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. Our staff would like to create more faith opportunities for our students concentrating on students learning more about the Catholic Faith which can be done not only through religion class, but through Kids Convention, modeling and more connections with our parish. We would also like to initiate more social justice opportunities for our students to engage in throughout the year.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be evaluated using the following Local Measure:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Catholic Identity.
  • Increase in sacramental prep for our students.
  • Increased presence of our Parish team in the school.
  • Sacrament board displaying student celebration of sacraments
Priority:  Student Success
Through a holistic approach, students will develop to their fullest potential through multiple pathways.
Key Strategies:
S.1 Identify and apply best practices for curriculum implementation to ensure student success.
S.2 Implement teaching and assessment practices to deepen students’ understanding and to increase ability to target teaching and improve learning.
S.6 Continue programs and enhanced academic and cultural supports for all students that lead to successful transitions and encourage life-long learning.
Actions we will take
As a staff we will continue with our literacy and phonological program in the early years with the extension of literacy in the upper years. We will continue to focus on reading behaviors, screening data as well as using our resources to improve student learning in math and literacy. Creation of flexible grouping groups in upper elementary. Implementation of the new curriculum in grades K-3 for literacy and math. Grade 4-6 physed and health new curriculum implementation. Our learning coach will assist with curriculum support and implementation. Our EBS, MHN, FSLW and learning coaches will work to develop new strategies to make connections including our First Nations, Metis students and families. Collaborative Response model team meetings to occur throughout the year extending to all grades. Feedback from our assurance surveys will be taken into consideration with Student voice and choice in learning along with feedback to inform and improve learning. Students asked for a comment box so suggestions can be anonymous. We will also introduce weekly school wide assemblies to discuss who in the school you can talk to ; and offer more ways to communicate better to parents what we are doing at our school so they know the supports and services offered at our school . We are excited to bring Free Play to our school for afterschool programming and reintroduce clubs.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be measured using:
  • 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
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Access to Support and Services
Local Measures:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Access to Help, Support and Resources
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Student Engagement
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Safe and Caring Learning Environment
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit
  • -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.
  • Use of Haggerty Phonemic Awareness in Kindergarten as well as Phonemic Program in primary years.
  • Number of Collaborative team meetings throughout the year in a variety of grades
  • School wide Write ons
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.3 Provide and engage in professional learning to enhance the level of subject matter, conceptual, and procedural knowledge expertise and competency.
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 St. Gerard staff we will continue to grow in our knowledge and implementation of EDIAR, as well as ensure that staff participate in Division Wide professional learning. We will develop a PD on site plan which will further our knowledge in new curriculum, EDIAR as well as literacy and numeracy focuses. Our TRC lead will continue lead and promote knowledge and understanding through project based learning, inquiry and initiatives including Kid's Convention with an Indigenous focus. We will continue to implement effective programs to facilitate social emotional and wellness growth through the PATHS program, PAX strategies, Fully Alive and other wellness activities for staff and students.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be measured using:
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Education Quality
Local Measures:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Teaching and Assessment Practices
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Staff Engagement and Respect in the Workplace
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Overall Satisfaction with Edmonton Catholic Schools
  • -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.4 Continue to nurture collaborations, relationships and partnerships to provide programs and services for students from Pre-K-12.
Actions we will take
We will continue to seek Indigenous residency opportunities including Metis focus cultural experiences for our students. As a staff we will continue our Kids Convention with an TRC focus utilizing the EduKits through ILS as well as invite parents to engage in teachings and learnings of culture and celebrations. We are creating an outdoor classroom space to assist with learning in a variety of ways. Social Justice project with partnerships as well as community partnerships will be a focus for the upcoming school year. We will aim for continuous improvement by revisiting our growth plan throughout the year at staff meetings, school council meeting and student assemblies. We will continue to build trust relationships with students- ensure students are aware of who in the building they can talk to and trust. Continue with physical and mental health supports including mental health boosters, nutrition program through PC Grant and Alberta Grant for wellness.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will also be measured using:
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Parental Involvement and,
  • Alberta Education Assurance Measure of Budget-Actual Comparison
Local Measures:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Parent/Guardian Involvement
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Implementing Frameworks and Procedures
  • Number of Kid's Conventions offered throughout the year
  • Number of PD sessions offered to staff
November Review:
Addition of weekly assemblies in the gym every Monday. All students come together and we are able to address topics as a whole group. Father Glenn has been to our school several times since the beginning of the year including blessing our outdoor classroom and coming to our meet the staff night. We have many students who have signed up for Sacramental Preparation with St. Alphonsus Parish. Leadership team working on social climate activities and support. Mental Health leadership team bringing ideas forward as school activities. Our students created kindness cards for our neighbors and delivered them to the houses around the school. Mental Health Leadership group have been promoting monthly activities with the school. We have had teacher inservices with our math consultant and assessment consultant to work with our teachers to create goals for assessment and learning. We have school wide guided math and literacy initiatives occurring this year. Our EBS and FSLW have been working in classrooms with large groups and small groups assisting with a variety of social skills, problem solving skills and mental health wellness skills. TRC- we have had a whole school smudge and round dance. We are beginning our clubs now that the weather is colder for students which will include culturally based clubs. We have had a few write ons and have marked them collaboratively as a staff to address the needs in each room and set goals for the new year. We will be collaborating with teachers from St. Alphonsus and our ELA consultants in January as well to create school wide goals and cross grade collaborate. We have created new partnerships with other schools as well as community members.
February Review:
We met as a staff to do one on ones with the focus of our growth plan. We looked at what we are doing well, how we are meeting our goals and what we can improve on. Looking through what we have done for each goal and actions we have taken to achieve each goal as well as what is left to work on to improve. We also used the student survey time to ask students what is working and what we can do better as well. Our students and staff will learn and live the Word of God through worship, witness, and service. Our students are signing up and completing sacramental prep at St. Alphonsus Parish. It has been so wonderful to celebrate the sacraments with our students. Father Glenn is still visiting our school and the students are making the connections with the Church. We are also going to the Church for two celebrations, and our grade four class went to the Church for their Bible blessing. We continue to have school liturgies as well as celebrations and family gatherings. Through a holistic approach, students will develop to their fullest potential through multiple pathways. We have invited many consultants to the school this year for PD as well as working one on one with staff to help develop and support curriculum and learning needs. We gathered as a staff with St. Alphonsus School for a joint PD with the Language Arts consultants and our teachers continue to collaborate together. We invited in the assessment consultant, math consultant, ELA consultant, EAL consultant as well as our inclusive consultant to work with classrooms, teachers and support staff. We have also started a monthly Support Staff meeting for our support staff to offer PD and learning opportunities. We have reintroduced clubs back to the school. We are excited to have started a Makerspace area with technology including a 3D printer. The teachers are offering clubs such as, Numero, Pokemon Club, Library Club, Card game club and board games club. The leadership and Mental Health team continue to plan events and activities for our students to engage in. We are also continuing with our kids conventions and school wide events such as inline skating and more field trips. We will engage in good stewardship of all resources through principled governance and engagement. We have reached out to the Edmonton Catholic Schools Foundation, PC grant as well as Apple Schools to help us to continue to feed our students breakfast and snack. We have support staff who have gone over and above in preparing a warm breakfast in the morning for our students. We will reach out to Rupertsland for resources for our Metis students and continue to access Jordan’s Principle for funds to support our First Nations students. Being an Apple School has enabled us to expand our mental health and wellness initiatives in the school.