June 22nd, 2024

Faith, safe learning environment rate high in Holy Spirit report

By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on January 6, 2023.

Last month, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division’s Board of Trustees reviewed the finalized summary of its Annual Education Assurance Report (AEAR) from the 2021/2022 school year.

The results highlighted a positive student response towards their faith, safe learning environments, and scholarship eligibility.

“We submit an education plan each May, and then the results from the previous year are released in November. Essentially, they are the results from a number of measures that are on the assurance framework that speak to different metrics, as it relates to how the quality of education is concerning,” said Ken Sampson, superintendent for Holy Spirit. “It speaks to the student’s growth and achievement, teaching and learning, support, and governance. We measure our success based on our education plan, and what the results come from in the various surveys that are put out by the province. Together with the academic data that comes from the provincial achievement tests and the diploma exams, all of that data is summarized into that one document. And we go back into it and look at it in terms of how our students are doing relative to the four priorities that the board set on a three-year cycle.”

The priorities are: Faith and Experience of Catholic Education; Quality Instruction and Effective Assessment to Support Growth; First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Education for All and Fostering a Culture of Wellness that Supports Learning.

Priorities have a seamless transition from one priority to another due to a central focus. “When creating priorities, it is particularly important to be able to see the connections between them. We do believe that our faith is the center of all that we do. As a result of that, our faith permeates all other areas of schooling experience from in the classroom to learning,” said Sampson. “Wellness is rooted in our faith as well. The connections with our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities are connected to their way of being and their way of living. Which is in many ways centered around their faith and how they view the Creator as being that source. When we look at how faith – because it is central to everything that we do – they are interconnected and interwoven with the other priorities.”

The AEAR shows that 95 per cent of students felt encouraged and given the opportunity to actively live their faith in the school and in the community. Another 90.7 per cent support Holy Spirit’s education quality. More data highlights FNMI students, with a 1.2 per cent drop out rate, and 54.1 per cent of students were eligible for the Rutherford Scholarship.

“The results are resoundingly positive,” said Sampson. “We are a Christ-centered learning community where children are cherished and achieve their potential. The classrooms, the schools, allow for our teachers to be able to provide that structure for our students to be able to experience the richness of that faith.”

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