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

School Mission: Our mission is to engage all learners by implementing best practices for improving student achievement. Through collaboration, respect, love, and faith, we strive to create an inclusive community where students will be inspired to take risks as life-long learners, problem solvers, and Catholic citizens..
School Vision: Good Shepherd School will be a community of learners where children are supported to reach their potential through acquired knowledge, skills, and attitudes in a Christ centered environment.
School Charism: Inspired by our Good Shepherd, Jesus, to Love, Learn and Lead.

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.2 Understand that we are in a Catholic school as the result of Christ’s call and recognize ourselves as members of the Catholic Church.
Actions we will take
Ensuring that every student is aware of our school charism is our goal since a life dedicated to following the model of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, to love, learn and lead in service to others is what we want for all of our students. Deepening student understanding of the charism through cross-curricular activities and connections will be focused on by homeroom teachers. Our newly initiated Student Faith Day, which will be held in May of every year (in conjunction with our Feast Day, which is celebrated yearly on the fourth Sunday of Easter), will be dedicated to outcomes that support understanding of our school charism. We are also seeking to supporting more student-initiated action that is intentional and carried out under the guidance and supervision of staff and parents. Now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted, student leadership groups can be established and student-initiated action/social justice projects will be more frequent. Making connections between the parish, families and the school has been a challenge, especially during the pandemic. For the 2022-2023 school year, the goal will be to attend mass at the parish regularly as a school community (students, staff and parents/guardians) and to also involve parents and the parish community in special school events and activities. Organizing more connections to be made between individual classes and clergy is a priority as well; bi-weekly visits, whether in-person or virtual, is a goal. Teachers can also organize visits/virtual meetings individually with parish staff or archdiocese clergy. The school chaplain will support teachers and the school with initiatives.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be evaluated using the following Local Measure:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Catholic Identity.
  • Students are able to connect their actions to our school charism.
  • Social Justice Project Report for the school includes an increased amount of student-initiated social justice projects and projects that are Stages 2, 3, 4 and 5.
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.
Actions we will take
Kindergarten to Grade 6 teachers will consistently implement teaching and assessment practices that support the Science of Reading and addresses the 5 pillars of literacy. This includes consistent targeting reading instruction and the explicit and consistent teaching of phonics from Kindergarten to Grade 6. Results from the CC3, LeNS, and T-Series will be used to guide instruction. Teachers will focus on a conceptual approach to teaching mathematics which requires a greater focus on teaching the concepts or ideas of mathematics and making sure students understand the connections between them. Teachers will use consistent mathematical language and discourse. Students will be consistently provided with visual models/representations of mathematical concepts, ranging from discrete physical objects or pictures to continuous models. Most importantly, students will be provided with opportunities to apply these understandings and build upon their knowledge to think and reason mathematically in problem-solving situations that are rich and meaningful to them in their everyday life. MAST results will be analyzed by staff and used to target instruction. Improving pedagogical practice, more specifically, visible thinking skills, will be a professional development focus for the 2022-2023 school year.
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
  • Learning environments display mathematical vocabulary and student work that is conceptual in nature.
  • Learning environments display subject area vocabulary and co constructed anchor charts for student reference to support learning.
  • Targeted reading and mathematics instruction taking place consistently in learning environments.
  • Students are using visible thinking skills and routines consistently.
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.3 Provide and engage in professional learning to enhance the level of subject matter, conceptual, and procedural knowledge expertise and competency.
Actions we will take
At Good Shepherd Catholic School, we will be focusing on four big areas for professional learning next year: Targeted Reading Instruction, Teaching Mathematics Conceptually, Unwrapping the New Curriculum and Improving Pedagogical Practise. One area of professional learning that will be a constant focus in 2022-2023 is the effective implementation of the new Language Arts/Literature and Mathematics curriculum in Kindergarten to Grade 3 and the Physical Education and Wellness curriculum in Kindergarten to Grade 6. Teachers will participate in Division and school professional development sessions, work with consultants and work collaboratively with their grade partner(s) to plan effectively for the changes. One Thursday afternoon a month will be dedicated to collaboratively planning. Staff will continue to participate in professional development and cultural experiences to increase our foundational knowledge of First Nations, Metis and Inuit for the benefit of all students. Building this knowledge will enable our school staff to gain a deeper knowledge and understanding of, and respect for, the history, culture and perspectives of First Nations, Metis and Inuit. As teachers gain expanded and deeper foundational knowledge, using the Program of Studies, they will provide deeper learning opportunities and experiences for our 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
  • Teachers will be confident in the implementation of the new curriculum.
  • Teachers will tweak their teaching practices in order to implement best practices.
  • Indigenous guest presenters will be visible at our school site throughout the school year.
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.5 Ensure decisions are data-informed; enable best practice indicators and transparency to ensure continuous improvement.
Actions we will take
Looking at data is integral to guide programming for student success and to create optimal learning environments. Teachers will confidently implement the elementary assessments in literacy and numeracy as part of the continuous improvement cycle. After analyzing the results, teachers will plan for targeted literacy and numeracy instruction. The gathered data will help to guide instruction for teachers and will deepen their understanding and teaching strategies in terms of differentiated instruction. Needed Tier 2 and 3 support for individual students will also be identified. Teachers will use the information from the January T-Series, LeNS & CC3 to monitor and adjust whole class and small group Tier 2 intervention to be responsive to student needs. School administration and staff will continue to review all survey and PAT data (PAT results, Alberta Education Assurance Measure reports, ECSD Assurance Survey results, Mental Health Survey reports, Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health reports) and address areas of concern with staff, students and parents. Wellness goals will be added to our APPLE Schools Action Plan. Other areas of concern will be addressed during staff meetings and school goals will be created and implemented over the course of the year depending on survey results. The school goals that are created over the course of the year will be based on universal practices and/or targeted instruction/best practices. Monthly team meetings will be held consistently by the pedagogical leadership team to ensure the needs of our tip of the pyramid students (academic and behavioural) are being met. The learning coach will work with teachers to support targeted reading instruction, differentiation of instruction and best teaching practices.
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
  • PAT results
  • Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health Report
  • Mental Health Survey
  • T-Series, LeNS and CC3 data
November Review:
Goal 1: Our school charism is posted in every learning space. Post-COVID, we are re-establishing our connection and relationship with Good Shepherd Parish (i.e.: Thanksgiving Mass, Easter Mass, Grade 6 Farewell and sacraments). During our Curriculum Evening, which was held at the beginning of September, the pastoral assistant from Good Shepherd Parish attended to provide information to parents regarding sacramental preparation at the parish. Students who have received sacraments receive a special pin and are recognized on morning announcements. We celebrate school-wide celebrations and liturgies together in the gym. Family members are welcome to join the school community to celebrate their faith at celebrations, masses and ceremonies that take place both at Good Shepherd School and Good Shepherd Parish. Community outreach has been happening (i.e.: cards for veterans). The first annual Student Faith Day was held in June last year. It was a huge success. This year, Faith Day will coincide with the third Sunday of Easter which is Good Shepherd Sunday, so just after April 30. Staff participated in our ECSD Annual Faith Development Day in October, sharing in a time to collaborate and reflect on our faith. The Grade 6 Leadership Team has been created and is collaborating to organize a variety of social justice projects that they would like to lead the school community in this school year. Daily morning announcements continue to focus on our faith by incorporating the readings of the day or Gospel reading. Prayers written by students are also shared, as are reminders of our school charism, vision, and mission. Staff gather together for a Monday morning prayer every week. Goal 2: Teaching staff have conducted an in-depth review of the CC3 and LeNS results and have done some goal setting in terms of next steps. Teaching staff also worked with the Division math consultant to review the numeracy screener results with all grades in order to place students into targeted reading instruction groups. During the months of September, October and November, teachers received professional development on the Math UP resource, effective assessment practices, the New Learn Alberta site (and resources), curriculum crates, pacing guides, visible thinking routines, student portfolio development and student-led conferences. Multiple Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 teachers attended the August Summit on the new curriculum. Staff are consistently accessing ECSD professional development sessions organized by subject specific consultants. Staff are also working closely with the learning coach in order to support student learning. As a result of data analysis, targeted interventions in literacy and numeracy are taking place in classrooms consistently. Various additional resources to target instruction are being purchased and implemented with students. The reading intervention program for our Tier 2 students is being utilized by staff. New mathematics manipulatives are being introduced in classrooms to support the development of conceptual understanding (i.e.: Digiblocks).
February Review:
Continuation of November Review: Goal 3: Teachers have participated in a variety of PD and are having professional conversations centered around best practices and resources that the New Learn Alberta Site has to offer, as well as the Division. Teachers have participated in professional development on effective assessment practices and visible thinking routines. Portfolio development and student reflection have also been focused upon at our site. Since September, we have completed our literacy screeners (T-Series, CC3, and LeNS), identified at-risk students, and have used this data to guide targeted instruction (individual, small, and whole group). Additional groups have been established by our assistant principal and learning coach. Resources such as Tools-4-Reading, REWARDS, and Morpheme Magic are being used by teachers to support student literacy development. The Truth and Reconciliation initiative has strong leadership at the site and has provided staff with learning engagements and resources to support indigenous programming. Homerooms are weaving Indigenous foundational knowledge into daily learning engagements. Staff have explored resources on the New Learn Alberta site that provide cross-curricular and FNMI connections. Teachers are provided with the opportunity to collaborate one Thursday afternoon a month. Professional development on how to effectively use new resources for planning and instruction with the new curriculum has been offered. There are also opportunities for staff to access Division supports. Teachers have attended intervisitations at other sites in order to broaden the strategies that they are using. There have been increased contributions to our sensory space and more resources have been added to support student need. Professional development, with embedded time to explore the new curriculum, the New Learn Alberta site, ECSD curriculum resources and consult with Division curriculum consultants continue to strengthen instructional practices. Apple Schools initiatives and campaigns are taking place at the site. Goal 4: Meetings with the math consultant to analyze the data from the numeracy screeners have helped staff in the organization of targeted math instruction. Staff met with the Division literacy consultants and reading specialists to analyze the literacy data (LeNS, CC3, T-Series) and create a targeted plan for instruction to address areas of growth. The Apple Schools committee created an action plan for the year. The action plan includes monthly campaigns, initiatives and strategies that will be incorporated in home/school life and learning engagements. Our site has developed a nutrition policy and have healthy mental, social, emotional and physical initiatives taking place on a monthly basis. Staff analyzed the mental health survey results that were conducted with Grades 4-6 students, and goals were set as a staff. A Grade 6 Student Leadership Team has been created at the site and students have planned school-wide initiatives and social justice projects. Tier 1 and 2 supports are being implemented in classrooms through whole group and guided supports. Universal supports are in place in instruction. Literacy and numeracy interventions are in place to support students. Teaching staff have reached out to the learning coach and Division consultants for advice, education, and mentorship.