Principal Vince Hunter and Vice-Principal Jordan Rhodes presented an overview of the school’s Education Plan. The school is investing considerable work in ensuring that strategic planning is always connected to FSD’s Vision for Leading and Supporting Learning to ensure continuity for students coming into to the school from a variety of feeder schools. The school is proud of its results and the culture that has been established, and is moving forward with a concerted focus on three central ideals:
1) What students are expected to learn must be clearly defined and appropriately measured; 2) When students require support, the job of all educators is to close the gaps; and 3) Effective schools ‘plan backwards’ from mission and goals to ensure appropriate strategies and clear direction.
Based on these ideals, the school’s primary goals for the remainder of the year are:
A. Ensuring success with effective classroom instruction and intervention: Strategies include prioritizing instructional time and targeting additional individual instruction for students who are struggling with particular topics and concepts. To this end, the school has restructured some roles and created new grade level leadership teams to create a “Circle of Support” to ensure that all students have access to resources based on their needs.
B. Building trust through high involvement, high energy and a common language: The emphasis is on building trust with students and families through effective communication, creating a common language to ensure a clear understanding of the learning resources available to students and staff, and, as a learning team, continually reflecting back on strategies to hold themselves accountable.
C. To inspire staff and balance exciting initiatives while setting the stage for High School Redesign: Vince acknowledged the great team of employees at all levels who are invested in establishing trusting relationships with students. As part of Alberta Education’s Redesigning High School initiative “aimed at transforming the high school experience for students and teachers through changes to school structure, culture, pedagogy or leadership”, FCHS/AHSFA plans to focus on personalizing learning for the remainder of the year. Strategies include planning for students’ needs within the classroom, flexible groupings, and co-planning across teaching disciplines to share resources, knowledge and exemplars.