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

School Mission: St. Richard School is a vibrant community of learners where individuals are valued, loved, and inspired to fulfill their potential in a Christ centered environment. .
School Vision: At St. Richard, we are committed to educating the whole child; intellectually, spiritually, socially, emotionally, and physically. We inspire students to become conscientious environmental stewards, caring for God’s creation. Our Catholic identity is infused into our curriculum with special focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). We provide opportunities to learn about the environment and discovering ways to care for God’s creation. We follow in the footsteps of Jesus to love and serve one another through our daily words, actions and social justice projects. We create a challenging and collaborative learning environment where we strive for academic excellence. We Inspire the joy of reading, exploration, discovery and the wonder of learning. We promote critical thinking and creativity to solve real-world problems through technology and design solutions. We integrate our subject areas and creating connections to the humanities; languages, literature, and visual and performing arts.
School Charism: We inspire students to Care for God’s creation and to become conscientious environmental stewards.

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 Green STEM school, we will intentionally increase our focus on our faith to ensure that is permeated throughout all we do. The students compost, recycle, garden, look at water conservation, and take part in social justice activities with an environmental focus (yard clean up, and seed paper). All classrooms have a specific prayer area and incorporate prayers into the daily routine. Whole school liturgies allow us to celebrate special religious occasions as a whole school. We are connected to the parish with regular priest visits and once covid allows regular visits to the church will resume. Morning announcements provide a prayer, gospel reading and a reflection on the gospel. Our very special relationship with Sakaw Terrace Seniors residence allows the students to regularly engage in acts of service. We will continue to do monthly activities with them. Fundraising efforts will continue in support of the Catholic School Foundation so they may continue supporting others in need. In addition to providing assistance to our families in need through food and clothing drives, we will continue to build relationships with local businesses for food donations. We will use our new greenhouse to grow fresh food to help feed our hungry students and families.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be evaluated using the following Local Measure:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Catholic Identity.
  • Participation of grandfriends, parents and school families.
  • Participation of priests, staff and organizations of ST. Theresa Parish
  • Engagement with our school community and the public using social media platforms to demonstrate our permeation of faith within our school
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.4 Continue to support students’ diverse needs through best practice and responsive and flexible programming.
Actions we will take
Our school prides itself in meeting the needs of all students. We will use all the resources we are given and apply for any available grants, donations or fundraising to provide additional human resources to support our diverse learners. We strive to honour every member of our school community and to treat each other with dignity and respect. We will continue to expand our use of Kagan Strategies to promote engagement for all students. STEM will continue to be a focus with more opportunities to provide different learning experiences. We will continue to have the focus sequence available in the halls, having access to a sensory space, making sure that the Pathways program is implemented in each classroom, and we will continue to prioritize mental health by accessing our Family School Liaison, and the AHS psychologist. We will provide Collaborative Response Model time to discuss classroom needs and make sure that emergent needs are addressed, and supports are given to ensure growth and success. Authentic outdoor learning will be a focus to promote whole body interaction with curriculum areas.
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
  • Stories of outdoor learning experiences in our two new outdoor learning spaces will be shared in a variety of communications including social media, our STEM nights and open house.
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.7 Begin to implement the ECSD Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Strategic Plan.
Actions we will take
As a school we value collaborative relationships. We engage in face to face collaborative planning time with the teachers on a regular basis. As a staff, we will decide at the start of the year which ATA workshops, consultant PD or outside PD we would like to have in order to increase our capacity to provide diverse learning experience to the students. We will prioritize Indigenous perspectives, health and wellness and teaching applications such as STEM, Kagan and Outdoor learning. Our month will include many opportunities for us to gather as a staff to plan instruction as well as, dedicated time for staff to explore areas of teaching and learning that enriches the children's learning experiences. We will provide opportunities and encourage our staff to lead within the mentoring opportunities with the other STEM schools or with parent engagement events. We are planning PD for our staff to implement new curriculum in kindergarten to grade three and piolet the new science curriculum from Kindergarten to grade 6.
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
Priority:  Building Our Future Together
We will engage in good stewardship of all resources through principled governance and engagement.
Key Strategies:
B.1 Continue to develop collaborative plans with the Council of Elders and Indigenous communities to enhance supports and services for Indigenous students.
B.6 Engage and inform government and stakeholders in advocacy for equitable access to excellent Catholic education.
Actions we will take
We will utilize the Collaborative Response Model in order to identify our diverse learning needs and find creative ways to spread our resources throughout the school to meet the emerging needs of students. We will incorporate the Indigenous in-services offered by the Division and ATA into our Professional Development times in order to build capacity in our teachers. We will continue to spend time examining our vision and mission statements to align them to reflect our current school community and their values. We will continue to involve our parent community through information evenings, surveys and our Parent Advisory Committee to get feedback and share information in order to reengage our school community after the removal of pandemic restrictions.
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
  • Parent participation and attendance at engagement opportunities
November Review:
The new playground was blessed this fall. We are pleased to order a new Pedal-a-Watt via the A+ for Energy grant. Students participate in STEM activities are consistently through the week and through clubs such as MakerSpace in both divisions. A new Eco Club, focused on actionable climate change awareness, is building capacity in student leaders who are planning activities for the student body. A new Drama club is helping build self-confidence and we plan to tie STEM into the visual arts. In addition to grade level visits all students gave a Halloween concert for Grandfriends at Sakaw Seniors Home. We continue to share all these activities via our social media. Teachers incorporate social emotional activities to support positive mental health skillbuilding by students. Teachers now share assessment on a monthly basis with parents via email and work sent home, in addition to the two Demonstrations of Learning in December and March as well as two summary reports via PowerSchool at the end of January and June. Collaborative Response and Division level meetings have permitted planning for targeted support of our students. With all the new curriculum and as one of five Science curriculum pilot schools, all teachers have been taking advantage of the numerous professional development sessions each month. The focus of the collaboration and PD is on delivering a quality STEM program with engaging learning activities for our students that integrates the new curriculum and support students to improve their reading, numeracy, collaborative and critical thinking skills. We have shared Parent Engagement opportunities, we are looking forward to the first ever STEM evening at the Zoo on December 7th and we are planning on two whole school STEM challenges in December around snow sculpture and reducing waste through a gift wrap challenge.
February Review:
We are very proud of the effort that we are putting in as a school community to make St. Richard a welcoming, engaging, and responsible place to be. As a ‘Green’ STEM school, our charism is to empower the students to be true stewards of God’s creation. So far this year, that has included a ‘Green’ club, (looking after the plants and animals), propagating strawberries in each class, growing pumpkins from old pumpkins during STEM time, composting, and most recently a garbage audit to analyze our waste and make a commitment for change. This garbage audit was incorporated as part of our “spirit buddies” time. Spirit buddies is a time for the teachers to be able to collaborate while the students are learning about the 13 virtues attached to the tipi poles. So far, we have earned our poles for Obedience and the garbage audit is to help us earn the pole for Respect as we work towards increasing our respect for our Earth. Added into the ‘respect’ tipi pole was respect for our elders. We have gone over to celebrate Halloween by singing to our Grand friends and have invited them to share in our STEM flavored Christmas concert. Our continued STEM focus allows us to immerse ourselves in exploring best practice. We have engaged in PD to improve our cross curricular teaching by embedding numeracy and literacy into our STEM projects. We have looked at improving engagement by exploring Kagan strategies, and our next PD will be focusing on universal designs for learning targeting of our unique learners. Literacy and numeracy are not only embedded into STEM but has become an area of focus within our school community. We engage in math games and sharing of math activities at staff meetings and include literacy and numeracy activities to do at home in our parent weekly updates. Recently, we were very proud of our results in the mental health survey in that most of our results exceeded our expectations. This shows that we are on target with meeting the needs of our students. We have created a mental health Champion student group that is working on ways to build resiliency in their peers. One of the ways they are doing this is by creating “resiliency” tips for our school announcements. We are very fortunate to have dedicated teachers that have put extra time and effort into making our announcements special. They are student centered, incorporating scripture, student news stories and lots of humor. We are very proud of our school and have been appreciating the consistent positive feedback from our families.