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Edwin S. Richards Elementary
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Edwin S. Richards Arts Based Curriculum Elementary School



Edwin S. Richards Elementary School was named after Edwin Sidney Richards in appreciation of 25 years of continuous service on school boards in our District from 1924 to 1949. This was a signal honour to a public-spirited resident as it was the first time a school in this District was named after an individual. Edwin S. Richards was born in England, came to Canada in 1905 and was a resident of Hatzic Prairie for 47 years. He lived until 83 years old.



 Edwin S. Richards Elementary School is a designated Arts Based Curriculum school of choice (September 2013). Its vision is to move its students to a place where creativity, collaboration, leadership and thinking skills go hand in hand to provide active, positive, and effective learning experiences. Classroom teachers, while not having fine arts degrees, are actively pursuing innovative ways in which students can demonstrate their understanding with and through the arts. Professional discussions, staff collaboration, as well as partnerships with artists in residence and parents have provided the keys necessary to unlocking the door for the school’s continuing arts journey. While the process of using the fine arts to provide rich learning experiences for its students is paramount, the school celebrates  with its community each spring through a presentation of its arts learning.     






Edwin S. Richards Elementary School Receives Arts Schools Network Award

On June 16, 2014, Edwin S. Richards Elementary School received the New and Emerging School Award from the Arts Schools Network (ASN), the nation’s largest professional membership organization of specialized arts schools. This award is presented to a promising young school in its first three years of development. Designed to recognize schools that exemplify solid planning and well-defined goals, this award is given to a new school that demonstrates promise as an emerging school of excellence. 


Dedicated to excellence and leadership in arts education, Arts Schools Network, a non-profit professional organization founded in 1981, is a dynamic resource for arts schools leaders, innovative partners and members of arts education institutions.  Its mission is to provideleaders in arts schools with quality resources, support, and networking opportunities.  ASN has provided communications, programs, services, conferences and events to support these goals for over 30 years. Visit the website at to learn more.


Edwin S. Richards Elementary School is a vibrant school where high expectations are set for academic excellence, growth in the fine arts, and citizenship.  The school has a strong focus on literacy as well as promoting a caring and accepting culture that fosters inclusion and embraces differences.  In May 2013, the Mission Public Schools' Board of Education declared the school an arts based curriculum school of choice after a two-year pilot project. The staff has begun to explore the ten building blocks of arts integration taken from the staff professional learning community study of “Creating Meaning Through Literature and the Arts” by Claudia Cornett :

  • Developing the school’s philosophy and core beliefs about arts based curriculum instruction.

  • Developing arts literacy in literature, art, drama, music, and technology.

  • Exploring collaborative planning with resident artists and each other.

  • Creating an aesthetic learning environment both in the classroom and the school.

  • Connecting quality literature with the arts.

  • Pursuing best teaching practices informed by research

  • Establishing ongoing structures and routines emphasizing student-led activities with and through the arts.

  • Differentiating instruction to allow success for all students

  • Developing clear expectations focusing on performances, long-term projects, and on-going observation through the use of portfolios, rubrics, and checklists for teacher, peer, and self-evaluation.

  • Creating community connections outside of the school through collaboration with artists, community groups, and parents to enrich the arts based curriculum philosophy of the school.


In November 2014, the staff identified five core beliefs, which will guide the teaching practice and vision being developed for the school:

  • The arts will be integrated purposefully into the curriculum so students are able to demonstrate their understanding and represent their learning in a variety of formats.

  • Current and best practice teaching will continue with explicit teaching of both academic and arts concepts.

  • Time for learning for both teachers and students is imperative; especially in fine arts professional development for teachers.

  • Open- ended learning will be employed to meet the future needs of our changing world. Children need to be problem solvers and critical thinkers rather than just rote learners. It is highly motivating for students to take ownership for their learning.

  • The staff will recognize and value multiple intelligences, thereby building the students’ skills.

  • The staff believes that effective assessment is a collaborative effort with students meant to support individualized learning and build student self –awareness.   Using a balance of summative assessment (tests, quizzes, etc.) and on-going feedback in such forms as student created criteria, peer discussion, and individual conferences, assessments will not only inform all stakeholders, but drive the instruction in the class.



June 26, 2014 Mission City Record Reporter Carol Aun

Mission School Wins Big Award

June 10, 2014 Mission City Record, Reporter Jason Roessle

Adopt the Sea

February 26, 2014 Mission City Record, Reporter Staff Writer

Every Student Respected

June 12, 2013 Mission City Record, Reporter Jason Roessle

Pilot arts-based curriculum proving successful at elementary school

June, 2013 Mission City Record, Reporter Carol Aun

Celebrating Africa.jpg

May 8, 2013 Mission City Record, Reporter Carol Aun

Trustees Approve School of Choice

Mission Chamber of Commerce, Clare Seely Edwin S. Richards Elementary School Art Work