Principal's Message

BCHS is a dynamic school where our quality of caring is well known, along with a diversity of programming & supports to offer our students rich opportunities in their learning experience. We have many accomplishments, particularly in the area of successfully graduating our students & having them transition to post-secondary. On the Alberta High School Redesign stage, we have been acknowledged for connecting with our students to engage them in developing to their highest capacity. We have been offering a learning advocate & coach for every student in our school through each Advisory teacher.

We have articulated three high school values at Bert Church that develop identity for our learners as individuals & as a part of our Charger community: Inquisitive, Inclusive & Innovative. We have focused on being Inquisitive this past year to develop skilled mindsets on how to approach new learning & relationships with curiosity. We daily practice being Inclusive & encourage students to accept others, with compassion & caring. Our learning supports are excellent & we have dedicated teachers focusing on literacy & numeracy. We do stay Innovative in our learning offerings, such as ConnexZone, where students connect to learning & staff. We do what we need to do to make sure that our students get what they need to be successful.

For 2017-18, we are leaning deep into the school value of being Inclusive. We have chosen to use educational research to form the norms needed to be demonstrated at BCHS for this next year: 1) Safe & Caring; 2) Support; 3) Membership. True inclusion means that every learner in our care, along with their families, feels that every opportunity & experience are provided for the best learning outcomes possible. It means a recognition of where each student is at in their lives & learning, as well as accepting that there are diverse needs to be recognized so that we can effectively respond. It means a knowing of what is needed, as well as the implementation of effective instructional strategies & assessment to provide every student in our school to have equitable opportunities to learn at their highest level. It means securing student voice & carefully listening to what is needed to empower each one to take control of their learning. In the end, we want all of our learners to enter their post-secondary worlds with the competencies & the confidence necessary to feel capable of navigating constant change.

For our transformation in our physical school design this next year, we anticipate creating even more feelings of safety & support for our students. We are excited about the learning opportunities in the upcoming year, including our BCHS homegrown Career Advantage Program (CAP), with our first focus on the Health Sciences. We do a great job of career exploration & this initiative will transfer in our students being able to more meaningfully experience what it is like to learn about & possibly pursue a career concentration. Wanting every student to be able to have as many possibilities as possible, we are excited about our new grade 9 offerings in math numeracy skill building & Robotics. We are motivated to recognize our students in more effective ways, including acknowledging improvement. We are persistent in involving our parents and families as they are a valued voice in our going forward as a collaboration.

Finally, our student leadership at BCHS is exemplary. Our student Link Crew members welcome our new grade 9 students with aplomb, every year. A group of students trained as Community Peer Helpers through our partner, CMHA. Our Youth Champions for the Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre have taken great strides to create awareness & learning to support others. Our overall Student Leadership program has accomplished a great feat by our securing being the school host for Alberta Student Leadership Conference (ASLC) 2018. BCHS is always a happening place, yet the province will have all eyes on our amazing Chargers this next year! This principal is so very proud of our students, our staff, our families & our school.

Please contact me when needed – you are most welcome to connect.

Laurie Johnston, B. Ed. (Distinction), M. Ed., Principal

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