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

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: Growth Integrity Faith Truth Service

Priority:  Growing in Faith
Our students and staff will learn and live the Word of God through worship, witness, and service.
Key Strategies:
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.
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
We will continue to provide a rigorous religious program that provides students with many opportunities to explore and hopefully establish a meaningful personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The awesome blessing of St. Dominic's Catholic Parish being across the street shall be fully utilized by scheduling students to attend Mass at least seven or eight times during the school year, both with the entire school and in smaller groupings of two or three Homeroom classes. Every day will begin with a student prayer during the morning broadcast, and we will have a school-wide prayer at lunch too. Our School Chaplain will coordinate with the Parish to offer preparation classes to those students wishing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. We will also arrange two Reconciliation/Confession whole school events for our students within a school day (during Advent and Lent). Homeroom visits by the St. Dominic’s Youth Minister will be arranged. Our weekly updates to parents and students will contain Catholic information and messages as will our sign out front. Catholic Symbols will be displayed throughout the school including in classrooms. The Catholic Faith section of the JJ Bowlen website will continue to be improved and updated. Finally, conducting semi-annual food drives will encourage our entire school community to compassionately reach out with the light of Christ to struggling families in north-east Edmonton.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be evaluated using the following Local Measure:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Catholic Identity.
  • Number of students receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.
  • Number of students receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
  • Number of students joining the Youth Group at St. Dominic's Parish.
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
The targeted and decisive action taken in the 2021-22 school year to address learning setbacks caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic bore great fruit! Literacy and Numeracy deficiencies were targeted by adding an extra block of both Language Arts and Mathematics. As our students experience increased confidence in their knowledge and skills, additional challenges were provided that promoted hard work, determination, and the love of learning. The extra Block in both Math and LA will continue to be part and parcel of the 2022-23 Timetable as we continue the journey of providing students with every possible opportunity to build a solid foundation for future life success. As we slowly move beyond the Covid-19 pandemic, additional measures will be taken to support all students' in body, mind, and spirit. The third weekly PE Block added in 2021-22 will remain in place as will the extra Religion Block. One Teacher will be provided with time in their schedule to assume the position of School Chaplain and ensure our celebrations are meaningful and student-led. Our Family School Liasion Worker will have her time at doubled to full-time. This will assist us in helping students process what they have experienced during the past two+ years and to navigate their way through the many challenges they face in today's world. Our School will continue to devote specific times for our four core academic Professional Learning Teams to meet and collaborate. Teachers' will also engage in all District Professional Developments opportunities to further develop their pedagogy.
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
  • * Keep School Parent/Council fully informed on all aspects of student success
  • * Establish a School Student Council with two representatives from each HR and have monthly meetings to discuss what can be done to improve student wellness, success, and engagement
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.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
Four designated Teachers will be provided with time in their respective schedules to act as Team Leads for the four academic cores - LA, Math, Science, and Social. They will coordinate the monthly meetings to promote best practices among their cohorts along with consistent and comparable assessment practices. They will also continue the established JJ Bowlen practice of inviting School Division Consultants to and come onsite and share their extensive expertise. Clear expectations will be shared with all teachers that they engage in a minimum of three Division Professional Development opportunities during the School Year. At least one of these will be in the field of EDIAR. Our school will also make a concerted effort to fully engage with both parents and students to discuss and explore the Division's EDIAR Strategic Plan and how it can be best implemented here at JJ Bowlen. The Student Leadership Group and our School Council will both be access points to help realize this engagement. Our well-established GSA/Life Group will continue to meet every Friday at lunch to help all students feel valued and respected.
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
  • * Continue the FSLW Wellness Wednesday lunch-hour meetings
  • * Conduct regular informal wellness check-ins with students and staff
  • * Do a student and/or parent survey before the end of Term 1 to determine the perceived success of the school's implementation of the EDIAR Strategic Plan
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
Our budget will be balanced or close to it in the coming school year. We may spend part of our current surplus to increase our Family School Liaison Worker to full-time from half-time in order to provide the supports our students need after two+ years of a pandemic. Staff and School Departments will have the funding and resources needed to carry out their many responsibilities as Catholic educators. Students will continue to have countless opportunities to access those all-important extra-curricular activities including Athletics, Honour Band, Theme Days, Student Leadership initiatives, and whole-school presentations by acclaimed Christian speakers. We will continue partnerships with the Edmonton Public Library, St. Vincent de Paul Society, and St. Dominic Parish to provide service opportunities for both students and staff. Our ultimate goal of course is to help our students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to achieve their potential in the life that God intends for them. Student, parent, and staff surveys (along with our Provincial Achievement Tests results) will help keep us on the right track.
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
  • * The Religion and Physical Education instructional minutes added in 2021-22 will continue
  • * Core Academic Lead Teachers will be provided with the time needed to discharge their duties
  • * We will seek a new partnership with the Marian Centre located in Edmonton's inner city
November Review:
As we continue to grow in Faith as a school community we do so with our homerooms attending Mass together as small cohorts and going to Mass as a whole school for the School Opening and Thanksgiving, then for Advent. We also sent out information for Sacramental Preparation for our students. We are planning Reconciliation for the Advent season. We completed Social Justice initiatives such as a cereal drive and clothing drives for St. Francis of Assisi and Ben Calf Robe. We will be collecting food for hampers for Christmas too. To ensure student success, our FSLW continues to work with students that require supports for their social and emotional well-being, building strategies to cope and social skills. We also completed the reading screeners whole all our students and gathered the data to develop a school wide plan to increase our student literacy in our school across all subjects areas using Tier 2 supports such as word walls. We also had all our students complete the MIPI which is a math formative assessment to tell us what areas are require more support for our students. As a staff, we have participated in professional development to increase our knowledge of best teaching practices and assessment practices put on by our inclusive and assessment consultants. We are also having Trauma Informed PD to increase our understanding students and their needs. Staff continue to meet as departments to create continuity and common assessment practices. EDIAR continues to be our main focus with creating a Cultural Student Association group as well as bringing Braided Journeys to our school in the new year. Our GSA meets every second week and discusses different topics with our students. Finally, we are working with students to build our positive student community once again since COVID. We started the year with a whole school BBQ, Terry Fox Run, theme days and now we have activity days coming up. It is very important to us to continue to bring back the normalcy for our students with extracurriculars and fun activities.
February Review:
We continue to attend Mass as a school community in small grade level cohorts with corresponding homerooms. We went to St. Dominic Parish for Christmas Mass during the last week of Advent. We attended Mass for Ash Wednesday and then Easter at the end of Lent as well. We have created a JJ Bowlen prayer that has been shared with our school community and it is recited every morning on our Broadcast Announcements. For all students that complete their Sacraments this year, we are going to celebrate them in the weekly Giant News. We are raising money for a local charity during the month of February with our Cultural Student Association. Our Learning Coach and English as an Additional Language Designate continue to work our students that are struggling learners. We are supporting our students through the inclusive lens and ensuring that all students feel heard and supported. We have planned fun field trips to improve Mental Health and ensure that students have a much-needed break. Our FSLW continues to work with students and families, ensuring that they are supported and can find success at school. Mental Health has been our focus with BELL LET's TALK day and the whole school taking part in making a pledge. Our Cultural Student Association has planned activities for the whole month of February for Black History Month. Our goal is to celebrate our differences and the cultures we come from. We have added Braided Journeys to support our self-identifying Indigenous Students, twice a week. Finally, we are meeting with all core subject teachers and consultants in March to review best practices and data gathered from Common Formative Assessments, Common Summative Assessments, PAT's and reading/math screeners. We also celebrated our honours standings for first semester with the students’ names posted in the school. Assurance survey results from the previous school year were reviewed with parents at staff to plan to move forward together with feedback acquired.