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
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 www.artsschoolsnetwork.org to
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
Developing arts literacy in literature, art, drama, music, and
Exploring collaborative planning with resident artists and each other.
Creating an aesthetic learning environment both in the classroom and the
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
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.
OUR SCHOOL IN THE NEWS
June 26, 2014 Mission City Record Reporter Carol
Mission School Wins
June 10, 2014 Mission City Record, Reporter Jason
Adopt the Sea
February 26, 2014 Mission City Record, Reporter
June 12, 2013 Mission City Record, Reporter Jason
curriculum proving successful at elementary school
June, 2013 Mission City Record, Reporter Carol
May 8, 2013 Mission City Record, Reporter Carol
School of Choice
Mission Chamber of Commerce, Clare Seely Edwin
S. Richards Elementary School Art Work