Assurance Background and Process

 

Alberta's Education system is continually seeking improvement. There are new professional practice standards for teachers, principals and system leaders, a major curriculum program renewal, a high school flexibility initiative, and new legislation and commitments to making schools caring, safe and welcoming. 

School authority planning is also an integral component of continual improvement. Elk Island Catholic Schools Board of Trustees, in collaboration with Central Learning Leadership Team and key stakeholders, work collaboratively to develop a plan that sets our educational goals, outcomes, and strategies.

Based on the following guiding principles, we will provide assurance and

  • Share responsibility for student growth and achievement
  • Build professional capacity and a commitment to continuous improvement
  • Facilitate communication and engagement with all education partners
  • Engage and communicate regularly with education partners
  • Use evidence from a variety of sources to be responsive and transparent in decision-making
  • Reflect local context
  • Recognize the unique learning needs of students and foster equitable and inclusive learning environments
  • Commit to fiscal responsibility
  • Provide a structure to ensure that what is measured and reported is consistent with the best interest of student growth and achievement, and the goals of education in Alberta

The planning cycle involves the following steps:

  • Developing and yearly updating of a Division and School Assurance Plans that aligns to provincial goals, outcomes and performance measures and the Division's vision, mission and values
  • Promoting community engagement
  • Preparing priority based budgets aligned to support student learning, achieve goals and improve results
  • Implementing strategies aligned to Goals and Outcomes 
  • Using data to highlight successes and identify areas for improvement 
  • Communicating with stakeholders (staff, students, parents, guardians, school councils, public and Alberta Education) about school authority and school plans and results

Domains for Public Assurance and Desired States

The Division Assurance Plan is organized around five primary interconnected assurance domains and corresponding desired states. The desired states are key indicators of public assurance. They are specific, measurable and achievable.

1. Student Growth and Achievement Domain

Student Growth and Achievement refers to the ongoing progress students make
in their learning, relative to identified provincial learning outcomes and consistent
with their needs, interests and aspirations.

Public assurance occurs when the public has trust and confidence that students
demonstrate citizenship, engage intellectually and grow continuously as learners

Desired States:

  • Students use on-going assessment feedback to reflect continuously on their progress, identify strengths and areas of need and set new learning goals.
  • Students achieve prescribed provincial learning outcomes, demonstrating strengths in literacy and numeracy.
  • Students are active, healthy and well.
  • Students apply knowledge, understanding and skills in real-life contexts and situations.
  • Students advance reconciliation by acquiring and applying foundational knowledge of First Nations, Métis and Inuit experiences.
  • Students demonstrate understanding and respect for the uniqueness of all learners.

2. Teaching and Leading

Teaching and Leading refers to teachers and leaders analyzing the learning context; attending to local and societal considerations; and applying the appropriate knowledge and abilities to make decisions resulting in quality teaching, leading and optimum learning for all. 

Public assurance occurs when the public has trust and confidence that certificated teachers and certificated leaders demonstrate their respective professional practice standards (TQS*, LQS* and SLQS*).

Desired States:

  • Teachers and leaders respond with skill and competence to the unique learning needs, interests and cultural, social and economic circumstances of all.
  • Teachers and leaders improve their professional practice through collaborative engagement in processes of growth, supervision and evaluation
  • Collaboration amongst teachers, leaders, students and their families, and other professionals enables optimum learning.
  • All teachers and leaders are accountable to a standard of professional conduct and a standard of professional practice.
  • University teacher education, university leadership education and on-going professional learning programs prepare teachers and leaders to meet the standards for professional practice.
  • Teachers and leaders use a range of data arising from their practice to inform cycles of evidence-based continuous learning.

3. Learning Supports

Learning Supports refers to the mobilization of resources, (including expertise, facilities, human and community services) required to demonstrate shared, system-wide responsibility for all children and students, and the application of these resources to ensure quality teaching and leading and optimum learning for all. 

Public assurance occurs when the public has trust and confidence that resources are managed effectively in establishing learning environments where local and societal context is recognized, diversity is embraced, a sense of belonging is emphasized and all learners are welcomed, cared for, respected, and safe.

Desired States:

  • Learning environments are welcoming, caring, respectful and safe.
  • Learning environments are adapted as necessary to meet learner needs, emphasizing a sense of belonging and high expectations for all.
  • Education partners fulfill their respective roles with a shared understanding of an inclusive education system.
  • Students and their families work in collaboration with education partners to support student learning.
  • The school community applies the resources needed to support First Nations, Métis and Inuit student achievement.
  • Cross-ministry initiatives and wrap-around services enhance the conditions required for optimal learning.
  • Infrastructure (e.g., technology and transportation services) supports learning

4. Governance

Governance refers to the processes by which policy leaders attend to local and societal context; determine strategic direction; evaluate policy implementation; and manage fiscal resources to ensure learning supports, quality teaching and leading and optimum learning for all.

Public assurance occurs when the public has trust and confidence that policy leaders demonstrate stewardship of system resources with an emphasis on student success, generative community engagement, transparency and accountability.

Desired States:

  • Governors engage students and their families, staff and community members in the creation and ongoing implementation of a shared vision for student success.
  • Legislation, policy, and regulation provide clarity regarding the roles and responsibilities of education partners in matters of governance.
  • Fiscal resources are allocated and managed in the interests of ensuring student success, in alignment with system goals and priorities and in accordance with all statutory, regulatory and disclosure requirements.
  • Curriculum is relevant, clearly articulated, and designed for implementation within local contexts.
  • Governors in school authorities and in government employ a cycle of evidence-based continuous improvement to inform on-going planning and priority setting, and to build capacity.

5. Attending to Local and Societal Context

Attending to Local and Societal Context refers to the engagement practices of schools and communities, with support from the broader system, in identifying and responding to the learning needs, interests, aspirations and diverse cultural, social and economic circumstances of all students.

Public assurance occurs when the public has trust and confidence that the education system responds proactively to local and societal contexts.

Desired State:

  • Staff and community stakeholders attend responsively to the unique and diverse cultural, social and economic factors that impact our students’ aspirations and learning needs.