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

School Mission: École Archbishop MacDonald Catholic High School is a compassionate Catholic community where we engage with challenging and rewarding programmes while fostering diversity. We empower our students to be inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring while serving others in the name of Jesus Christ..
School Vision: École Archbishop MacDonald Catholic High School provides a learning environment that is safe, productive and has the flexibility to support students' specific learning styles. The students will be engaged with active learning where their curiosity will be cultivated through encouraging inquiry, logical thinking and critical reasoning. We prepare students for successful roles in an ever-changing society by challenging them to persevere and by instilling an appreciation of intrinsic beauty of learning.
School Charism: To Know God, to Love God, and to Serve God.

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.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.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 at Mac is "To Know God, To Love God, and To Serve God." Through a variety of initiatives led by our chaplain, administrators, and teachers, we will build a sense of community with an emphasized focus on the "Knowing" of God. These initiatives will include existing and newly formed clubs, engaging PLT sessions, celebrations and liturgies that centre on Knowing our God, purposeful weekly prayer themes, enhanced marketing for school-wide events (e.g., athletic events, fine arts showcases, drama production, etc.), as well as Mac Council events that are innovative and creative. We believe that when we build a strong faith-based environment that is focused on student-centered activities, we create a community in which students can celebrate their collective and individual gifts, and better come to Know God. Our chaplain will be working to create the understanding that to be a Catholic school is to be in relationship with the Church. To celebrate our Catholicity, we will be attending Advent and Easter masses at the Basilica, welcoming our division chaplains into the school for PD and student-centered activities, celebrating our school's namesake on his April 3rd birthday, supporting our Catholic community through Social Justice (CSS, ECSF, yegSpark, etc.), and providing invitations to students to start/continue their sacramental journeys. As a learning community, we will be looking at increasing the ways in which we permeate our faith into all department areas of the school. Department heads will be invited to have discussions about permeation during department meetings and our chaplain will provide research on current events that can help stimulate these discussions and be used in the development of student-friendly resources or presentations. We will also explore new ways to use PLT time to engage students in faith-based discussions and experiences.
Performance Measures:
Our performance in this area will be evaluated using the following Local Measure:
  • ECSD Assurance Survey of Theme - Catholic Identity.
  • Parent/SAC engagement data
  • Student engagement data
  • Staff engagement data
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.4 Continue to support students’ diverse needs through best practice and responsive and flexible programming.
Actions we will take
As Mac is approaching its next, regularly scheduled, external review of our International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, we will be working to be as prepared as possible. Every department will be taking targeted action towards improving IB curriculum implementations, documentations, and/or assessments. We will also be working as a school community to examine the culture within the IB programme in the school. The IB culture at Mac should be well-developed, student-centered, and take the IB mission of "develop[ing] inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect" to heart (IBO). Various department area actions will target instruction, assessment, reporting, and the student learning experience. Examples include a shift towards more student-centered classes in fine arts; teacher engagement with programs of study to allow for curriculum mapping in instruction and assessment; enhanced reporting procedures; continued work relating to student achievement of level of excellence; creation of opportunities to engage students more fully in the assessment process; assessment of students using a wider variety of methods and tools; use of enhanced formative assessment and feedback strategies; and significant work in developing and using common assessments at a school and a division level. Teachers in CTS and fine arts will expose more students to post-secondary programming that is an extension of their complementary course studies. Our religion department will create opportunities for students to learn that their career journeys can also include a faith component by engaging with guest speakers from various fields. Our student services department will take a multidisciplinary approach to supporting students in their academic pursuits as well as in developing resiliency skills.
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
  • Student engagement data
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.
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
Through a variety of opportunities, Mac teachers will learn more about inclusive classrooms and communities, anti-racism, anti-bias, and trauma-informed teaching practice. These opportunities will include speaker and PD sessions with experts in these areas, as well as work with division initiatives. As a staff, and with the support of our student services department, we will also endeavor to use language that is inclusive, reflects our shared values, and that emphasizes success for ALL students. Our admin team and our chaplain will partner in creating a positive work environment rooted in our faith and health. This will include surveying staff on their needs for faith formation and wellness (and then in supporting these needs through PD time) and increasing awareness about faith-based PD sessions. Our department areas will need time to invest in the actions they have identified. Time will be given for department collaboration, inter-department collaboration, as well as division-level PD/collaboration to occur. We also have teachers planning to participate in IB training, to attend PD sessions hosted by other specialized organizations, and to work with Alberta Education. Given our upcoming IB review, we will also be dedicating time for developing more thorough understandings of the IB policies and for designing practices that support the implementation of the IB Standards and Practices. Over the course of the last few years, Mac staff have participated in professional readings and PD learning centered on foundational knowledge. This year, we would like to bring those opportunities to our students. Staff who wish to continue to develop their skills and leadership in this area will be given the opportunity to participate in, or lead, those sessions and initiatives.
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
  • Staff engagement data
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.
Actions we will take
Mac staff will be extending the opportunity to students to be part of our conversations about Truth and Reconciliation and the Calls to Action. PLT time will be devoted to student-centered activities and discussions that are engaging and that allow for any and all students to take part in this learning. A student-led initiative focusing on one chosen Call to Action will be put together to bring this to life in our school. At Mac, we are proud to have developed, in partnership with Indigenous Learning Services (ILS), our own Treaty 6 Acknowledgement. Posters of the Acknowledgement (complete with student artwork, approved by ILS) will be hung throughout the school and in every classroom. We will continue to bring awareness to the importance of Land Acknowledgements and we will include our Acknowledgement in all school special events.
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
November Review:
*Through our school charism “To know God, To Love God and To Serve God” we are actively exploring the lives of the saints this year by highlighting the feast days and giving students context as to what made that saint special. * As a staff we are researching what impacts COVID has had on education. The literature review has been global, national, and local in scope. Teachers are sharing best practices to mitigate the effects of COVID. Our staff utilize our PLT times to help students regain foundational knowledge and skills that have been lost during COVID and the periods of online learning. * Archbishop MacDonald remains committed to maintaining the high standards of the IB program in our post COVID world. Students will continue to benefit from this unique pathway to a successful post-secondary future. * As a staff we are also assessing the impact that COVID has had on the mental health of students. Teachers have participated in professional development, and we continue to have the crucial conversations and open dialogue about how best to implement strategies that will help our students heal, de-stress and reduce anxiety. We have reintroduced extra and co-curricular activities for students to participate in. The reconstruction of the social fabric of the school will play a significant role in the mental health of our students. * Students and staff are involved in ongoing PD and conversations related to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism. * Many of our PLTs this year focus on acquiring knowledge and skills with respect to our First Nations.
February Review:
*We continue our work to Grow in Faith: An update with respect to the use of our chapel. We were able to celebrate a mass during Advent in the chapel which was livestreamed to the school. Students gathered in the chapel during Advent to pray the Rosary with our chaplain. This practice will resume during Lent. We are also in the process of planning to offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation at some point during Lent. There are also preliminary investigations with respect to installing stained glass windows. *We continue our work to ensure student success: Our staff are still navigating the impacts of COVID on the education of our students. The omicron wave has reminded us that COVID is not finished with us yet. The mental health of our students remains paramount. Staff continue to implement best practices to help our students reduce anxiety levels both in and out of the classroom. PLT times continue to be used to regain and reinforce knowledge and skills Staff continue to do a wonderful job at ensuring our extra and co-curricular activities move forward with as much normalcy as possible. The crucial conversations continue with respect to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism. Staff and students remain committed to the process and both groups have had the opportunity to engage in both small group and large group activities within our school community and with outside presenters. The IB five-year review process continues, and staff are working diligently within departments to support our international curriculum. Division common exams were field tested in January and our staff is providing feedback to our consultants on ways to improve the assessments. *We continue to be an excellent place to work and learn: In consultation with Indigenous Learning Services, we are investigating participating in the “Moose Hide” campaign. This campaign is an indigenous led movement standing up to end violence against women and children. Select staff have begun their work on our Outcomes Based Assessment and Reporting pilot project. The project involves the book study “Grading From the Inside Out” and division PD. *We continue to build our future together: Through various surveys, administration continues to collect data to ensure that decisions enable best practice and are transparent. Staff continue to dialogue with respect to the data gleaned and continue to contribute PD ideas with this information in mind.