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

School Mission: We are committed to supporting the development of full learner potential and maintaining an environment which nurtures growth of individuals, encourages respect for others, and models self-respect, justice, and compassion..
School Vision: St. Nicholas Catholic Junior High School is a Christ-centered, culturally diverse community that fosters critical and creative thinking, international-mindedness, and social justice. The staff and students are devoted to creating an environment that embraces life-long learning; an environment where everyone is inspired to achieve excellence in academics and strength in mind, body, and spirit.
School Charism: St. Nicholas is the patron saint of children, and sailors among many others. Bishop Nicholas of Myra spent his life helping the less fortunate. As a result, at St. Nicholas Jr. High School... …We serve all in need.

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.
Actions we will take
Our charism is "We serve all in need". As a school community we will be to providing opportunities for our students to engage in Catholic worldview dialogue around current events that are relevant to them and the world around us. From this dialogue we will aim to generate ideas/projects/social justice initiatives that will fulfill our charism. These activities will be developed and carried out by and for all our community stakeholders. The engagement processes will take place within the regular Religious Education Classes and our Daily Religion Reflection Exercises. We will also work closely with outside agencies in our surrounding community (EPL, Hope MIssion, Beverly Interagency Group) to establish way that we, as a school community can "give back" to the community agencies that help/support us. We will share our projects with our community in our monthly newsletters and submit them for the Division Social Justice Report.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be evaluated using the following Local Measure:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Catholic Identity.
  • Monthly Newsletter inserts showcasing our projects
  • Publication of our projects in the Division Social Justice Report
Priority:  Student Success
Through a holistic approach, students will develop to their fullest potential through multiple pathways.
Key Strategies:
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.
Actions we will take
As a school community we will be working with our Division and Learning Services to implement assessment practices that will help teachers better understand student achievement and better inform/direct teaching. The following assessment pieces in Mathematics will be added to the 2021/2022 school year: Non-calculator Math Assessment (Nov 1-5) Non-calculator Math Assessment (Feb 7-11) Non-calculator Math Assessment (May 2-6) We will also be piloting the following assessment pieces in English Language Arts and Social Studies: Reading Screeners-Pilot (Sept 20-Oct 1) ELA/SS Writing Assessment-Pilot (Oct 11-29) Reading Screeners-Pilot (Jan 17-28) ELA/SS Writing Assessment-Pilot (Feb 28 - Mar 4) Reading Screeners-Pilot (May 23-June 3) As we move into our second year of implementing the Collaborative Response Model (CRM) we will take a constructive look at our Collaborative Team Meetings (CTM). Seeing as the CTM provides the forum for continual sharing of practices to not only respond to the needs of students but to intentionally increase capacity and efficacy of the entire team through the process we will ways to further improve this process. We will also establish supports for our Indigenous students through the Braided Journeys Program. The focus will be on Literacy Development and successful transitions between grades and to High School.
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
  • Data collected from Math Assessments
  • Data collected from the ELA Reading Screener Pilot Assessment
  • Data from the ELA/SS Writing Pilot Assessment
  • Feedback pertaining to our CTM engagement process
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.
Actions we will take
With the Braided Journeys Program going into its 8th year at St Nicholas Catholic Junior High we are aiming to expand the breadth of what the Program offers to both our students and staff. For our students, the Program will focus on Literacy development at all grade levels with the aim to have all our students reading at grade level by the time they transition to High School. The Program will also implement the Transition to Ten Program to ensure a successful transition to High School. For our staff the Program will provide Professional Development opportunities so as to 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 and Leadership Quality Standards. Staff will also work together (Professional Development and collaborative dialogue) on a regular basis to ensure practices are in place that help students succeed in diverse and complex learning environments. As a school community we will establish an inclusive learning environment in which diversity is respected and members of the school community are welcomed, cared for, respected and safe. This will include collaboration with community service professionals, including mental health, social services, justice and health as well as inviting First Nations, Metis and Inuit parents/guardians, Elders/knowledge keepers, cultural advisors and local community members into the school and classrooms.
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
  • Student, staff and parent/guardian feedback
Priority:  Building Our Future Together
We will engage in good stewardship of all resources through principled governance and engagement.
Key Strategies:
B.4 Continue to nurture collaborations, relationships and partnerships to provide programs and services for students from Pre-K-12.
Actions we will take
To ensure that we are ALL building our future together our school community will collaborate with multiple stakeholders to establish enriched, faith filled learning experiences/programs for our students. These collaborations/relationships/partnerships will include but not be limited to the following groups: Council of Elders Division Chaplain and our local Parish Beverly Interagency Group Parent and School Council Our goal of this engagement will be two-fold. Looking at ways to further support our students population and examine ways our students population can be active members in our community and "give back" to those we are in relationship with. Staff will also work closely with students to establish a Student Leadership Team that will represents and be the voice of and for our student population within the school community and outside of the school community. Students will also be provided with a spot in our monthly newsletters.
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
  • Regular stakeholder meetings
  • Regular stakeholder feedback opportunities
  • Monthly newsletter updates
November Review:
Goal 1: We have engaged in fundraising activities to support the Hope Mission (Tegler Centre Location). To date we have raised more than $2000 through in-school activities (Christmas Craft Sale, Student Leadership Drives). We have also collected over 500 pounds of food for the Edmonton Food Bank and staff and students raised funds and non-perishable food items to make 32 Christmas food hampers for families within our school community. Furthermore, some students from our Braided Journey Program volunteered at the Edmonton Food Bank. Our school also participated in the Terry Fox Run for Cancer after not being able to do so for the past two years. The total funds raised exceeded $1000.00. All these forms of service and topics related to social justice are discussed and examined during our regular Religion classes as well as shared during our Daily Religion Reflection sessions. Goal 2: Like all schools, our students participated in the Non-calculator Assessment. Following the assessment our math teachers broke down the data to determine areas of success and areas of concern. They collaborated with our Division Consultants and have begun to devise a plan to address the areas of concern. Regarding the ELA/SOC Writing Assessment our students wrote the assessment in November and our teachers are involved in the evaluation of the assessments so as to establish grading rubrics. Our ELA and SOC lead teachers met with the Division Consultants throughout the process and are collaborating with two other schools. We continue to implement the Collaborative Response Model in our school which allows us to not only respond to the needs of students but to intentionally increase capacity and efficacy of the entire team. We have identified areas of success and areas of concern in all core subject areas and are establishing a plan that enables us to program for our students who are either at grade or below grade. Our Braided Journey Program is up and running and offers multiple platforms for academic support for both our Indigenous and non-Indigenous students ranging from after school tutoring via Teams or in-person tutoring with university student tutors. One on-one and small group support is also provided for struggling students during core subject classes. We are currently working with our ELA teachers to establish how we can best deliver a Literacy Support Program for our struggling readers. Goal 3: Our Braided Journey lead instructor provides a wide range of lessons and covers a wide range of topics related to Indigenous culture and history. These topics are shared both during our CTF Thursday classes and at after school drop-in sessions. We have invited our Division Indigenous Animator to share an Indigenous Smudge teaching with all our students and staff. Staff have also invited our Braided Journey lead into their classes to share an Indigenous perspective in connection to what they are learning in that particular subject area (i.e. SOC, ART, ELA) Our TRC lead has shared numerous resources with our teachers that can be used in all subject areas and has presented information on Indigenous culture/history at several of our staff meetings. Goal 4: Although current restrictions have limited our ability to engage with stakeholders outside of our school community, we have been able to work with Hope Mission and the Food Bank. Our Student Leadership Team was re-established this year after having been put on hold for the past 2 years. They have been involved in enhancing school morale, implementing Social Justice initiatives, and acting as a voice for the student body. We have also created a Student Yearbook committee who have been collecting pictures and stories of the events that our school community has been involved in throughout the school year. We held one "Student Voice" session where students were asked how we can better enhance our school community and the learning environment. Session
February Review:
Goal 1: As a school community we continue to do in-house fundraisers to support Hope Mission/Tegler Centre. Durng the month of February where we recognized Black Histroy Month our fundraising efforts were directed to the African Canadian Civic Engagement Council. Like all other fundraisers this was chosen by our student body and complimented the theme of Black History Month. All these forms of service and topics related to social justice continue to be disucssed and examined during our regular Religion classes as well as during our Daily Religion Reflection sessions. Goal 2: Through the continued implementation of the Collaborative Response Model (CRM), staff continue to honour the successes of our students and address areas of concern. It is evident that the pandemic has left a great number of learning gaps with many students. In response to this all core subject are teachers have worked to establish the following additional learning supports: CTF Thursday Academic Support: Students can sign up or teachers can sign students up for a CTF Academic Support Block (Thursday - Block 2) for one, two or more classes to get the help they need or work on incomplete assignments. CTF – Math Minds: Students in Gr 7, 8 and 9 who are needing additional support in mastering the foundational skills in Math were pre-selected by their math teachers and enrolled in a CTF Mathminds Course where they receive targeted support to help improve their math sense and prepare them for the remainder of this school year and years to follow. After School and Virtual Tutoring: We have After School Tutoring in our Braided Journey’s Room every Wednesday from 3 – 4 pm. Virtual tutoring is available every Thurs 4-6pm for all Braided Journey students with Braided Jounrey staff and Stantec Engineers supporting Additional support with science is available for all Gr 8 and 9 students on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 2:45 – 3:15. Additional support for Grade 7 science students is available on Tuesday from 2:45 – 3:15. Additional support with math is available for all Gr 8 and 9 students on Wednesday from 2:45 – 3:30. Support for Grade 7 students is available on Fridays during the lunch hour. Students needing additional support with improving their literacy skills can attend literacy support circles throughout the week and/or make one-on-one or small group appointments with their ELA tachers for addtional support. Goal 3: Our Braided Journey lead instructor continues to provide a wide range of lessons and covers a wide range of topics related to Indigenous culture and history. Braided Journeys is also offering a Transition to 10 Course for our Indigenous and non-Indigenous Gr 9 students transitioning to HS. Our TRC lead continues to share resources with our teachers to be used in all subject areas and presents information on Indigenous culture/history at several of our staff meetings. Goal 4: Our Student Leadership Team continue to be involved in enhancing school morale, implementing Social Justice initiatives, and acting as a voice for the student body. The Student Yearbook committee continue to collect pictures and stories of the events that our school community has been involved in throughout the school year. We will be holding our second "Student Voice" session where students will be asked to share their thoughts on our School Conduct Policy and our Dress Standard Policy. We will also invite our School Council to engage with the staff to provide input on the direction the school goes with both of these topics.