Our School Story
École Secondaire Hugh McRoberts Secondary School is a dual track school located in central Richmond. The school serves a vibrant area of Richmond where there is great ethnic diversity, a high regard for education and schooling, and an emphasis on developing the whole person (both inside and outside of school). Many of our students are very involved in a wide variety of extracurricular activities offered by the school as well as the community (including Athletics, the Arts, and countless hours of community involvement). A great majority of our students (significantly higher than the provincial norm) are post-secondary bound often taking a fairly high academic course load.
Our current staff consists of a mix of veteran staff along with a number of staff newer to the profession. It is a fairly stable staff with many of our staff members having been at McRoberts for 10 years or more. This committed and caring group of educators work hard to support the needs of our students in whatever way is needed. Though as a staff we feel this is a good place of learning, we all feel that we must continue to work hard to improve our school for our students.
Our parent community is involved and engaged. As student success is a partnership between home and school, we hope to continue this shared responsibility in helping our students achieve the success they deserve. While it is fair to say that parental involvement tends to decrease at the secondary level, our hope is to continue to stress the importance of parental involvement and help parents find ways in which they can continue active participation as their children become young adults. We recognize that we must continue to find ways to improve our level of communication so that parents can be best equipped to support our students at home.
McRoberts prides itself on supporting the growth of the “whole” person. While we value what happens in the classroom, we also know that so much of the learning that occurs in schools happens through extracurricular opportunities. We are proud of our opportunities McRoberts has created in the Arts (both performing and visual), in Athletics (through our three distinct seasons of play) as well as our wide variety of clubs. Student service and leadership are also a focus for our students' success. Through our Peer Tutoring, Human Services, Career Preparation Programs, Leadership offerings, and through a commitment to infuse the many skills and opportunities both curricular and extracurricular, we feel that students are given many ways in which to hone these important life skills.
Over the last two years, we have elicited feedback from our parent, student and staff community to determine our needs as a school, as we have emerged from the Covid-19 Pandemic. Not surprisingly, the feedback highlighted concerns around personal and mental health and awareness, feeling connected to the local and greater community, and the core competencies of personal and social awareness and responsibility. While scanning our community, we considered the following questions as they pertain to McRoberts:
How do we foster relationships?
As a school, what do we value?
How can we improve our community’s overall sense of connection and wellness?
In alignment with the Core Competencies, and the Richmond School District’s Strategic Plan priorities around Equity and Inclusion and Connected Learning Communities, we determined our focus to be:
- improving our community’s sense of balance and wellness, and
- building an inclusive community through rebuilding relationships and connections.
Our goal this year is to continue on the path we started two years ago, and to build students’ social and emotional wellness through classroom activities, schoolwide events, and school initiatives. In addition, this year we will focus on fostering connections between staff and students and across grades to rebuild what was lost in the last two years with Covid protocols. In past years we worked on large school-wide initiatives such as Mental Health May activities and the CHEW (Community, Health, Education and Wellness) Committee 5-Day Challenge. This year, as we are emerging from years of isolation and disconnect, we will also work to develop social awareness and build meaningful relationships through service and extracurricular participation.
We will use regular check ins with student focus groups to determine if we are making a difference. We will collect evidence at various intervals throughout the year, with surveys, one-on-one and group conversations and anecdotal evidence. We will know we’ve made a difference when students report that they feel like they have a voice in our school community, they feel “seen,” respected, and connected.
Core Competencies SD38 Strategic Plan
|The Personal and Social Competency is described as embodying “what students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world.” Within the Personal and Social Core Competency, The Personal Awareness and Responsibility sub-competency involves comprehending connections between one’s well-being and personal and social behaviour, while the Social Awareness and Responsibility sub-competency focuses on the “awareness, understanding and appreciation of connections among people.”||
Equity and Inclusion
“Equity and inclusion are foundational to learning and leading, and are critical to success, wellbeing, and fulfillment. It is our mission to ensure that all of our students, families, and staff feel welcomed, are treated respectfully, and have a sense of belonging. We acknowledge our responsibility to support all learners so they may successfully complete their education with a sense of dignity, purpose, and options.” (Richmond School District, Strategic Plan 2020 -2025)
A Connected Learning Community
“Communication and collaboration are crucial within our district, within our schools, and with our partners and communities. We will model collaboration and put in place the opportunities, tools and techniques needed for our communities to connect and to work together.” (Richmond School District, Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025)
Below is a description of Actions and Evidence that demonstrate student learning related to our focus. The Action posts are examples of ways students are enhancing their learning related to our focus. The Evidence posts share the difference we are making in student learning related to our focus.