CANMORE – As the 2022-23 school year comes to an end in June, Canadian Rockies Public Schools (CRPS) is now looking towards the third year of their four-year plan that will begin in the next school year.
The plan will address three priorities – health and wellness, engaged learning and student support. The four-year plan serves as a guide for the division in its budget decisions.
“It is our education plan that drives our budget, not the other way around,” said Chris MacPhee, superintendent of CRPS.
Originally, CRPS operated on a three-year plan, but the decision was made to switch to a four-year plan to give the board more time to develop strategies to guide the division. It is a living document, which informs practices in the school division and guides the work in CRPS. It is also reviewed, updated, and modified each year.
“It was an intentional choice by the board to allow us to dig deep and really look at how the strategies and actions in this document have an impact on student learning,” said Debbie McKibbin, deputy superintendent of CRPS. “It has been a very effective guiding document and something we often refer back to and we use it to guide our decisions.”
As part of health and wellness, there will be an expansion of collaborative problem solving across the division and the creation of inclusive learning environments by supporting teachers so they can meet student needs.
For engaged learning, the division will continue to focus on real-world problems and hands-on activities and learning, while putting a particular focus on student achievement in language arts and math.
CRPS will be implementing a new educational service agreement with the Stoney Education Authority as part of its commitment to student supports, while focusing on the learning needs of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit students.
In the past two years, MacPhee said there have already been improvements in the division due to the implementation of the four-year plan.
“We have noticed, in the past year, some significant gains post-COVID. We hope that it continues,” MacPhee said. “If you are on a path that is working, you don’t start shifting again. It is not the next shiny item. We are getting results and need to keep moving forward in this direction.”
In the third year of the plan, work will begin on formulating the next four-year plan. This is the same process that began near the end of the last three-year plan for the division.
Violet Parsons-Pack, assistant superintendent of learning and innovation, said the school division recognizes the need for extensive engagement to take place.
“We had that before this four-year plan came into place, so we could gather more information,” she said.