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

School Mission: With Jesus Christ as our model, J.J. Bowlen Catholic Junior High School nurtures the mind, body, & spirit by engaging students to fully develop their gifts and achieve their potential..
School Vision: All students are warmly welcomed by learning opportunities centered on mutual respect, perseverance, and creative thought. Our academic curriculum shall promote critical thinking, collaboration, and inquiry. By working, learning, and serving together, all members of our school community will experience a true sense of belonging and acceptance.
School Charism: With John James Bowlen's life of service as a guide, our school community seeks inspiration from the Holy Spirit as we develop an ever-deeper faith in the person of Jesus Christ.

Priority:  Growing in Faith
Our students and staff will learn and live the Word of God through worship, witness, and service.
Key Strategies:
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
We will provide a rigorous academic and religious program that encourages students to be searching and open-minded. The blessing of having St. Dominic's Catholic Parish across the street shall be fully utilized by scheduling all students to attend Mass at least seven times during the school year, either with the entire school or their Homeroom. This will provide them with ample opportunity to explore and deepen their personal relationship with Jesus and to better understand God's word and message. Each day, a student will share their prayer during the morning broadcast. Our Chaplain will coordinate with the Parish to offer sacramental preparation classes in our school to those students wishing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Finally, conducting semi-annual food drives will encourage our entire school community to compassionately reach out with the light of Christ to struggling families.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be evaluated using the following Local Measure:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Catholic Identity.
  • * Monthly Newsletters will include a "Catholics in Action" page with a message from our Chaplain outlining initiatives
  • * Each Flex day will have one or more sessions with a Catholic Focus on local, national, and international events
  • * Liturgical Calendars will be posted around the school to help students and staff alike journey all year with God
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.3 Continue to create opportunities for students to engage in hands on learning experiences that transition to career pathways.
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 be taking specific and decisive action in the 2021-22 school year to address the learning setbacks caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Literacy and Numeracy deficiencies shall be targeted by adjusting our timetable to add an extra block of both Language Arts and Mathematics. Reading comprehension will be a focus as it is the foundation of knowledge and skill acquisition. Teachers are going to be taking professional development in current assessment practices to ensure that student growth is both fully supported and accurately measured. As our students experience increased confidence in their knowledge and skills, additional challenges will be provided that promote resiliency and the love of learning. Our diverse assortment of Option classes will also permit them to explore new horizons to discover their interests and passions. Whole school presentations will return with a Christian message focussing on hope, joy, love, and peace.
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, MĂ©tis and Inuit
  • * Increase literacy and numeracy instructional minutes
  • * Flex Time will change from being offered weekly to being offered monthly
  • * Family School Liaison Worker time will be doubled and the Student Advisor Program enlarged to provide additional emotional and mental health supports to our students
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.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
J.J. Bowlen School has seen more than half a century of genuine student and staff success. In the coming year, proven practices that have helped bring this about will be continued and new ones added. Every teacher will be given up to fourteen Professional Development opportunities over the coming ten-month school year including monthly Professional Learning Team meetings with their Lead Academic Teacher and colleagues. Division PD opportunities will be regularly accessed too, and a modest fund made available to those teachers seeking to further extend their learning. During ongoing professional dialogue, teachers will share their pedagogical discoveries with each other. Students will be the main beneficiaries of this collaboration by being provided with every opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for a successful life. Recognition of students will take place on a weekly basis to encourage them to always put forth their best efforts. There will always be a faith dimension to staff gatherings and monthly meetings will include a wellness item.
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
  • * Conduct regular wellness check-ins with students and staff
  • * Timetable will be adjusted to add extra instructional minutes in key areas
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.
B.5 Ensure decisions are data-informed; enable best practice indicators and transparency to ensure continuous improvement.
Actions we will take
Educational budgets are meant to be balanced, whether they be at the government, division, or school level. The J.J. Bowlen budget will be balanced for the coming school year and the funding we receive will be spent entirely on providing the very best Catholic education possible to our current students. Staff and School Departments will have the resources they need to fully achieve this objective. Parents will be kept well-informed of all significant budgetary matters through Parent/School Council meetings and Principal emails sent out to the entire community. Students will also be able to access those all-important extra-curricular activities including an Honour Band, various Theme Days, Student Leadership initiatives, and whole-school presentations by nationally acclaimed speakers. Our partnerships with the Edmonton Public Library, St. Vincent de Paul Society, and Holy Childhood will provide service and volunteer opportunities for both students and staff. Our ultimate goal is to enable our students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to achieve their potential in the life God has prepared for them. Our student, parent, and staff surveys along with the Provincial Achievement Tests results will help guide us on the road to student success.
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
  • * Increase Religion and Physical Education instructional minutes
  • * Meet with Academic Department Lead Teachers on a monthly basis
  • * Add a minimum of one additional community partnership this year
November Review:
The past three months have been very productive at J.J. Bowlen Junior High School. Adding additional Religion minutes to our timetable this year has permitted a deeper and more complete connection between teachers and their homeroom students as they explore the wonders of our Catholic Faith together. Our School Chaplain has been very active working with students to ensure their active participation in our online Celebrations and Services. The in-person Masses have been precluded by the ongoing pandemic but we have taken concrete steps to begin sending one or two classes every few weeks (the two classes would be in an existing PE Cohort). Student success today and in the future is of course our main goal. The increased time and focus on literacy and numeracy provides students with the opportunity to overcome the learning gaps caused by the past two interrupted school years. We have given an experienced teacher a number of blocks in her Timetable to provide extra support to our FNMI/ELL students. She is using this time to help these students academically and to also promote Truth and Reconciliation amongst all peoples. Our monthly staff meetings always have a Wellness Item as does the weekly Principal Broadcast/Message to students. Our investment in two Teacher/Student Advisors along with a half-time Social Worker and part-time Mental Health Therapist has provided our students with the supports needed to assist them and their families as they navigate the remainder of this Covid-19 pandemic along with the regular challenges of adolescence. The School Budget is on target to be balanced once again this year. All funding put towards learning and student growth has been both strategic and measured. Our School Community and Division can rest assured that all necessary steps will be taken to remain on track.
February Review:
We have had another successful three months here at J.J. Bowlen Junior High School. The extra Religion minutes are paying dividends in terms of improved behaviour and happier students (they always go hand-in-hand!). The in-person Masses are continuing in March with the pandemic slowly moving towards an end (we hope and pray!). The extra block of both Math and LA are also paying off to improve numeracy and literacy which in turn is translating into deeper learning and better grades. Our additional PE Block is also a real winner as it is definitely helping students with both their mental and physical health. The monthly Wellness discussions during staff meetings are going well as we seek to support our staff as much as possible after the trials they have endured these past two years. The weekly school-wide Principal Broadcast has been supplemented with a mental health component. We have had to expand the weekly "Student of the Week" from one student to two in order to adequately acknowledge the wonderful deeds our students are doing for each other and the school as a whole. The two Teacher/Student Advisors, our half-time Social Worker, and our part-time Mental Health Therapist are providing the ongoing support students need now that we are two years into this Covid-19 pandemic. Our School Budget remains on target with the dollars being invested into learning and teaching. Finally, the J.J. Bowlen Parent Association had a successful two-day Casino in mid-February. The funds being realized from that will help us do even more to help our students be successful both today and tomorrow.