Three-Year Education Plan

Each year, the NLPS Board of Trustees is required to approve and submit a Three-Year Education Plan that includes the strategies the division is planning to implement or continue to use to improve in the areas identified by Alberta Education, as well as the priorities it has set as a division.

Until 2021, NLPS combined its Three-Year Plan with its Annual Education Results Report, which details how the division is meeting the goals set for it by Alberta Education, and how it is addressing priority areas it has identified.

In 2021, the timing to submit the documents changed, so the division now produces its Three-Year Plan in June and its AERR in November.

2022-2025 Three-Year Education Plan - Approved May 25, 2022

Stakeholder Engagement

The foundation of the Northern Lights Public Schools 2022-2025 Three-Year Education Plan is an extensive stakeholder engagement process that took place during the 2018-2019 school year. At that time, stakeholders identified two priority areas for the division to focus on: improving students’ mental health and wellness; and improving students’ numeracy skills and understanding. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted progress in several areas identified to address these priorities and so the Board is continuing with them as a focus in its 2022-2025 plan.

The Board provides ongoing opportunities for all stakeholders to be involved in the education plan and its priorities through ongoing communication, opportunities for engagement on specific initiatives, participation in school councils, and Student Voice initiatives. In 2021, the division introduced Engage NLPS, as well as an internal engagement site for students and staff, designed to provide stakeholders with increased opportunities for engagement. Since January 2021, the sites have been used for engagement on a variety of topics including the Board’s Transportation Policy, the division’s school calendar, curriculum implementation, and an ongoing conversation about mental health.

In January 2022, the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education awarded NLPS a
Bravo Award of Distinction for its Cold Lake Configuration Online Engagement. This engagement took feedback gathered from in-person and virtual engagement sessions, and provided participants with an opportunity to discuss two scenarios for changing the configuration of schools in Cold Lake, ask any questions they had (with the answers shared publicly), and then take a survey. The Cold Lake Configuration Committee then reviewed the data, and made a recommendation to the Board about which option to proceed with.

As a followup to that engagement with parents and the community, the internal engagement site was used this school year to engage students at three different schools who will be coming together to form a newly-configured grades 7-9 school. The students brainstormed a new name for the school, school colours, a new mascot and a new name for a student commons area. This is helping to build a sense of community and belonging amongst the students before they are even on site together.

Most recently, the division has launched two very important engagements with students and parents. The Engage NLPS site was used for parents to complete a Mental Health Survey that collected data about student mental health and what resources and supports parents need to better support their children. This was paired with a Student Mental Health Survey done by all students in Kindergarten to Grade 12. Combined, this will provide the division with critical data as it proceeds with its 2022-2025 Three-Year Education Plan and addressing its student mental health priority.

By the end of the 2021-2022 school year, NLPS will also have completed an Indigenous Student Voice engagement. This consists of a survey for all Indigenous students in grades 7 - 12, followed by in-person focus groups. This engagement is collecting information about the experiences of our Indigenous students, factors that are impacting their achievement, and what supports they need to be successful. This information will be invaluable when developing and assessing strategies to support Indigenous student achievement and success. In 2022-2023, NLPS is looking forward to re-engaging face to face discussions with its students at the division level through the Student Voice program. More opportunities for all stakeholders to engage will be available as NLPS proceeds with its 2022-2025 Three-Year Plan and strives to evaluate existing strategies and develop new ones to address its goals and priorities.

NLPS also supports parental engagement through School Councils. School Council Regulation (94/2019), requires each school in Northern Lights Public Schools to have a school council made up of parents/guardians, school administration, teachers, and sometimes students or members of the community. School councils are advisory in nature and provide advice to the school principal and school board on matters such as school plans, budgets, policies, and programming opportunities for students. NLPS Trustees attend school council meetings throughout the year. The Board also supports the attendance of school council members at the Alberta School Councils’ Association annual conference.

Over the past several years, the Board has met with school councils regionally. This is a change
from previous years where all school council executives travelled to one location. The regional
approach has allowed for better sharing opportunities between schools in specific locations and
information specific to the region being shared with school council members. This approach has
led to an increase in attendance in sessions. While COVID forced these meetings into a virtual
format, the Board is looking forward to hosting in-person meetings again.

Improvement Goals and Priorities 2021-2022

This year Northern Lights Public Schools is shifting to the assurance model for its Three-Year Education Plan. That provides the division with the flexibility to develop its own goals while incorporating the five domains identified in the Alberta Education assurance model.

For the 2021-2024 Three-Year Education Plan, NLPS has chosen to continue with the four
outcomes set by Alberta Education in the previous Accountability Pillar model. Those four
outcomes are: Alberta’s students are successful; First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students in Alberta are successful; Alberta has excellent teachers, school leaders and school authority leaders; and Alberta’s K-12 education system is well governed and managed. These will continue to be a focus for NLPS in addition to the two division priorities established through stakeholder engagement in the 2018-2019 school year: improving students’ health and wellness, and improving students’ numeracy skills and understanding.

It is likely that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may continue to impact the division’s ability to implement the strategies within the Three-Year Plan, as it did in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021. The safety of students and staff, and the ability to provide ongoing programming in challenging circumstances will be our first responsibility. Beyond that, we continue to be committed to the improvement goals and priorities included in our 2021-2024 Three-Year Education Plan.

Assurance Elements

Northern Lights Public Schools is committed to ensuring student success and works toward
increased student achievement through in-school and external supports, partnerships with
various community organizations, and the continued growth and development of our staff.

As we plan for the 2021-2022 school year, we are mindful of the impact COVID-19 continues to have on our students. Plans for continued growth in achievement and personal success of our staff and students is at the forefront of our decision to continue to offer our Learning Together Anywhere program. This program allows families to choose a home-learning environment while still being a part of NLPS, an option many families have come to appreciate over the course of this past school year.