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

School Mission: Rooted in faith, we are committed to student-centred learning and empowering children to use their minds, hearts and hands to serve others as disciples of Jesus..
School Vision: To ignite all learners in becoming effective communicators and critical thinkers, prepared to serve with compassion and guided by the teachings of Christ.
School Charism: In the same belief as our school name, we: - acknowledge that all children are God’s gifts and that we bring hope to our students through acts of love, sincerity and security. - bring hope to our Christian Community by acknowledging, realizing and recognizing individual potential and skills. - bring hope to our Catholic school, using Jesus as our model, though our respect towards children, teachers, staff members, and parents

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 Empower students and staff to express and share their gifts from God and explore the school’s charism and its importance.
F.3 Provide an excellent Catholic education that empowers students to discern current events from a Catholic worldview and to witness our faith to all.
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
1. We will build a deeper understanding of and connections to the Gospel values: what it means to truly be a child of God. By visiting the historical significance, we can better understand the importance of these traditions and build connections to the world that we live in now. We will do this by focusing on the meanings of the signs, symbols and actions we hold dear (i.e. signing of the cross, mass rites and parts, common prayers, connecting celebrations to a pre/post activity and/or reflection, etc.), both in our religion programs, cross curricularly and within our monthly student led General Assemblies. 2. As a School of Hope, we will share the joy of our faith and evangelize the Good News through our actions towards others. We do this not only through our thoughts and prayers, but through our actions. Through the leadership of students in our GLOW group, we will focus our social justice initiatives to spread hope and bring joy to those around us and within our local/global community: acts of kindness, words of hope and celebration of a loving God.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be evaluated using the following Local Measure:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Catholic Identity.
  • triangulation of conversations heard/had, observations of community members and data within reflections/activities
  • social media sharing of our deeds and celebrations (Twitter and Weekly News Updates via Swift)
  • school family contributions and ideas
  • community surveys (school created)
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.4 Continue to support students’ diverse needs through best practice and responsive and flexible programming.
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
We will foster academic growth and excellence in literacy and numeracy through the inclusion of proven best practices/pedagogy guided by assessments gathered (observations, conversations, student work). Katherine Therrien takes pride in the relationships built, a safe place to learn and the support we give students to move them from where they are to a better person, whether it be academically, spiritually, emotionally, physically or a variation thereof. We know that academic growth is not accomplished without a sense of security and belonging. The supports of our wrap-around services, multi-disciplinary team and parish priest will further boost the holistic growth that we encourage in our community. Our academic goals can then be accomplished through school focused and division led professional development in both literacy, numeracy and differentiated practices. MathUP and the Collaborative Response Model will continue to guide our practices and meeting the needs of students, individually or as a group. We will reinstate our monthly FLEX days to allow for alternative learning environments as health regulations allow to facilitate the application of learning into cross-curricular environments and promote the development of skills in multiple pathways.
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
  • triangulation of intentional student data collection (reading assessment measures, whole school writing, basic math fact measures, bi-monthly problem solving focus, observations, conversations, school created surveys)
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.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.3 Provide and engage in professional learning to enhance the level of subject matter, conceptual, and procedural knowledge expertise and competency.
E.5 Continue to create opportunities and pathways for staff to develop and pursue advancement within their employee groups for robust succession planning within the Division.
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
Katherine Therrien takes pride in the relationships built, collaborative teams developed and a safe place to work and learn. We pride ourselves on the collaborative team we have build to support one another. We celebrate what we have developed to move students from where they are to a better person, whether it be academically, spiritually, emotionally, physically or a variation thereof. Positive self-advocacy and self-regulation are skills that we continue to develop with our students. We look to intentionally incorporate those theoretical practices we have learned over the past year: Focus & Sequence, Dr. Jody Carrington's "Kids These Days" as well as cooperative learning strategies (Kagan). We will continue to hone our collaborative response model (CRM) practices. Where available, professional development from our division and outside organizations will be incorporated as they become known. The supports of our wrap-around services, multi-disciplinary team and parish priest will further boost the holistic growth that we encourage in our community.
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
  • triangulation of conversations, observations and other data collection (discipline data, academic data, staff and student attendance, referrals to wrap-around services)
Priority:  Building Our Future Together
We will engage in good stewardship of all resources through principled governance and engagement.
Key Strategies:
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
We will create and sustain a positive community that supports its members holistically through intentional and frequent celebration of successes, opportunity to celebrate the many cultures in our school, positivity in wording, a growth mindset, ensure a balance of activities that support holistic development, an intentional focus and inclusion of focus-and-sequence as well as Moments with God, and continued support of wrap around services (MDT, FSLW, food security, etc.). We will work to greater community involvement through our social justice initiatives. We will also promote greater student and parent/guardian participation within the school community through invitation to join our school council, volunteering (as health practices allow) and/or seek other ways that our stakeholders' voice.
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
  • triangulation of conversations, observations and other data collection (student attendance, use of school food bank, parent/guardian involvement in school council meetings and projects, parent surveys (school created), referrals to wrap-around services, etc.)
November Review:
GROWING IN FAITH: In our first few months, we have focused on a deeper connection to our faith and living it outwardly. We have begun diving into the meaning of the traditional symbols of our faith, starting with 'the why' we sign the cross before our prayers. Students connect to God through prayer (communal and individual intentions), class discussions, living our faith through empathy, journalling and moments with God (silent reflections of gratefulness). STUDENT SUCCESS: Fostering relationships and a safe-and-caring environment began our school year. Understanding how our actions impact others and taking responsibility for them are foundational to the success of learning: it is important to having a growth mindset and the comfort to make mistakes to learn from. Baseline literacy/numeracy data is guiding the teaching process and skill work through building reading stamina, phonetic reading skills, MathUP, interactive math journals, Flex days and small group instruction. EXCELLENT PLACE TO WORK AND LEARN: Open communication and team flexibility has created an environment that serves the needs of our student population. Understanding students and applying the learning from Teachers these Days has proven valuable discussions with implementation of strategies in our classrooms. Allowing students to not be okay while walking through problems with them, learning to love mistakes and creating positive outlets for emotions caters to the whole child. Our school council has committed support to this area of our school growth plan through their community connections and ongoing supportive ideas. BUILDING OUR FUTURE TOGETHER: We are actively creating a positive environment to foster the growth of the whole child. Students are sharing their cultural understanding with one another and celebrating each other's differences. Social problem solving, empathy learning, recognizing emotions and building those skills are an active part of daily routines. We are involved with social justice projects that are meaningful to our students. Students donated a piece or part of their Halloween candy to the Hope Mission, collecting over three boxes (approximately 60 pounds) in total. With the support of ECS Foundation, we are able to support those who require snacks or additions to lunches when needed.
February Review:
GROWING IN FAITH: With our actions, we are seeing students who participate more in faith activities because they have a better and/or deeper understanding. Students see themselves in and can articulate their likeness of God as well as celebrate each other's uniqueness. We hear students expressing their want to visit the Church and to receive their sacraments. Students and staff are open to learning together which is viewed as a shared faith journey. STUDENT SUCCESS: The fostering of effective relationships has created strong bonds with our community of learners. Mental health and wellness has fostered the ability to promote a growth mindset and we see large gains in overall student success. Students feel safe in school and come with positive attitudes. Students are more willing to learn, are excited about the variety of tasks provided and actively support one another. We have measured/seen increased confidence and stronger retention of information (particularly in math). We will continue to encourage a growth mindset: reframing mistakes to encourage a "try again" approach. We will continue to use the data to guide us on what next-steps are best made in literacy and numeracy practices. EXCELLENT PLACE TO WORK AND LEARN: Communication and collaboration with and between staff and students has grown a happier student body. Staff laugh and cry together as we lean on one another for support and strength. This has spread to our student body. Students are more open to talk, be risk takers, show more confidence and self-advocate their needs in appropriate ways. BUILDING OUR FUTURE TOGETHER: We recognize that many of our students are developing a more positive and accepting attitude towards one another. They engage in class discussions and openly ask clarifying questions to gain a better understanding. This is done without feeling judged. They are showing more empathy and compassion towards one another and are consciously showing (verbalizing and in actions) a recognition of how their acts impact others. We continue to look at celebratory ways to share our cultural heritage, continue building student resilience (learning from mistakes) as well as celebrating growth consciously and regularly no matter how small a gain. We are also seeing more parents/guardians beginning to join us in our school council as we continue to invite them through the excitement of their child(ren).