Part 1: Analysis of Context

1. What do we know about our learners?

Our Mission:

Our mission is to create a learning community where students can fulfill their personal potential by participating in quality learning experiences, prepare for a lifetime of challenges and opportunities, and develop a personal vision of a preferred future.

Our Vision:

The staff of Sullivan Heights Secondary School is committed to helping students develop the knowledge skills and attitudes that will prepare them to be productive citizens of the twenty-first century. To achieve this goal, we will design learning experiences that will help students:

·      Develop oral and written communication skills, problem-solving skills, mathematical and scientific literacy, and the ability to work cooperatively with others.

·      Learn to use technology to access, select, organize, evaluate, and apply information.

·      Understand and begin to fulfill a role as citizens in an economically, socially, and culturally diverse local and global community.

·      Use the processes of critical, creative and reflective thinking.

·      Demonstrate goal setting, decision-making, and career planning skills, and the attributes of a responsible, self-directed life-long learner.

·      Develop an appreciation of and an interest in the Practical and Fine Arts.

·      Understand the need for physical, social, and emotional well-being.

2. What evidence supports what we know about our learners?

Our Context: Sullivan Heights is home to approximately 1525 students in grades 8 to 12. Our junior program for grades 8 and 9 offers a linear structure while our graduation program is semestered. We are guided in our practices by inquiry research in 21st century assessment, teaching practices and the use of technology to enhance learning. We offer students a strong academic program combined with outstanding opportunities in athletics, fine arts and performing arts. We are committed in our endeavor to support our students in leadership and global awareness initiatives. Sullivan Context  

Core Values:
At Sullivan Heights we Value:

·All Learners

·A diversity of learning opportunities for all students

·Social emotional wellness and healthy living for all students

·Students taking responsibility for their learning and behaviour

·Engagement of parents and community in student learning  

Code of Conduct: ·        
Based upon the values of RESPECT

Part 2: Focus and Planning

3. What focus emerges as a question to pursue?

Inquiry Questions:

How will the implementation of the new graduation program improve student engagement and success through their ability to personalize their education plan?

How can the implementation of the middle school philosophy and structures improve student transition to secondary and their achievement?

Process for developing the Strategic Plan:

Staff engaged in an extensive process over one year to review data/evidence to determine our current reality and compare that to where we would like to be in the future. Staff, Student and Parent feedback was utilized and as a result we were able to develop our areas of focus for the school. We utilized strategic planning processes including One Smart World -4DI to develop or plan.

In the school year 2015/2016 our areas of focus were:

School Culture –Review, Define and Align our Values, Identity and Align Expectations
Junior Program –Develop Junior Program to maximize Learning/Success
Student Learning –Review/Implement Strategies to improve Student Learning

Current School/Staff Initiatives:

Learning Partners -Staff Collaboration
Competencies Department Leaders -New Curriculum Implementation
Culture Club –Reviewing School Culture
Communicating Student Learning
Departmental Assessment Strategies

4. What professional learning do we need?

2016/2017 Strategic Plan

Factors Considered:

·         Implementation of new redesigned curriculum for grades 8-12

·         New Graduation Program

·         School culture (Staff/Students and Parents)

·         Changes in Communicating Student Learning

·         Current assessment Initiatives

·         Evolution of Junior Program

·         How can we align staff development initiatives to support areas of focus?


Inquiry Questions:

How will the implementation of the new graduation program improve student engagement and success through their ability to personalize their education plan?

How can the implementation of the middle school philosophy and structures improve student transition to secondary and their achievement?

5. What is our plan?

2016/2017 Strategic Plan

Innovation through Risk-Taking

Areas of Focus:        

Continue to implement the new graduation program and redesigned curriculum.

  • Use current structures and staff meeting time to create awareness of implementation plans and share resources.
  • Use Department Leaders’ retreat to build capacity for Department Leaders to provide support for their department members with the implementation plan
  • Share new program and curriculum with parents at PAC meetings and also using school communication structures.
  • Provide release time for teaching planning and sharing session.

Continue the development of the Junior Program

  • Use Department Leaders’ retreat to provide workshop on Middle School Philosophy
  • Visit Calgary Science School to explore Inquiry Model
  • Further explore how to maximize learning opportunities using student podding and the implementation of Humanities and Scimatics at Grades 8 and 9.

Continue to explore/develop assessment strategies

  • Implement communicating student learning structures and strategies that are aligned with new curriculum/program.
  • Develop and implement a process for students to reflect upon the core competencies. 
  • Use current structures and staff meeting and share best practices.

Part 3: Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate

6. How will we know our plan is making a difference? (evidence / success criteria)

As part of the new curricular requirements, students are expected to formally document their reflections on Core Competencies  in their learning. The core competencies along with literacy and numeracy foundations and essential content and concepts are at the centre of the redesign of curriculum and assessment. Core competencies are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need to develop in order to engage in deep learning and life-long learning.

Communication -The communication competency encompasses the set of abilities that students use to impart and exchange information, experiences and ideas, to explore the world around them, and to understand and effectively engage in the use of digital media.

Thinking – The thinking competency encompasses the knowledge, skills and processes we associate with intellectual development. It is through their competency as thinkers that students take subject-specific concepts and content and transform them into a new understanding. Thinking competence includes specific thinking skills as well as habits of mind, and metacognitive awareness.

Personal and Social – Personal and social competency is the set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society. Personal and social competency encompasses the abilities students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world.

Core competencies are evident in every area of learning; however, they manifest themselves uniquely in each discipline. In the current drafts of the redesigned curricula, competencies are embedded and evident within the learning standards. Competencies come into play when students are engaged in “doing” in any area of learning. This includes activities where students use thinking, collaboration, and communication to solve problems, address issues, or make decisions. The ultimate goal is for learners to employ the core competencies every day in school and in life, and for the core competencies to be an integral part of the learning in all curriculum areas.

The Sullivan Heights Model: 

Learn About the Core Competencies from our Sullivan Heights Staff:

How will Sullivan students reflect and document their reflections: 


Highlighted Initiatives: ·         Google Classroom (Leadership, Science, and Physical Education) ·         Freshgrade Portfolios for assessment (Dance, Music, Drama, Humanities, Math) ·         Assessment Maps ·         Digital Portfolios to capture student work ·         Learning Partners

7. Based on the evidence, does our inquiry require adjustment?