School Performance Plan

H.J. Cambie Secondary School



School Context

Henry James Cambie Secondary is a comprehensive school serving a learning community in the north-eastern quadrant of the Richmond School District. The original H. J. Cambie school was constructed in 1928 and was located on Sexsmith Road in central Richmond. After undergoing numerous enhancements over several decades and experiencing a significant neighbourhood shift from a residential to a retail–industrial profile, the Richmond School District made a decision to re-build at the present location.

A modern campus was constructed on Jacombs Road in East Richmond and opened in September 1995, providing educational programs for a broad range of student learning needs in Grades 8 – 12. The new H.J. Cambie campus is part of a larger structure that houses the Cambie Community Centre. The existing joint-use agreement between Cambie Secondary School and the East Richmond Community Centre Association has created a strong partnership providing collaborative programs, and ongoing sharing of facilities and resources.


The school and community centre complex is located close to family-centred residential neighbourhoods.  The Cambie catchment area is surrounded by residential neighbourhoods, but also agricultural, light industrial, storage and transportation activities. These characteristics, plus close proximity to the City of Vancouver, give Cambie an interesting demographic profile that is unique in Richmond. 

Cambie School has a diverse student population that is reflective of the multi-cultural nature of Richmond City.  Our student body represents the wide range of cultural and religious backgrounds that are readily visible in many parts of the City of Richmond and Greater Vancouver.  Enrolment at H.J. Cambie has been in decline over the past nine years as a result of changing demographics and school boundaries in the north – east quadrant of the school district.  At its height of enrolment, the new Cambie school building was home to over 1,400. Today Cambie’s enrolment is around 640 students.

Strengths & Challenges

The academic programs at Cambie are known for their richness and diversity. Programs offered include: Advanced Placement courses in Visual Art and English Literature, Honours Mathematics courses at all grade levels, Calculus, three Modern Languages (French, Mandarin, and Spanish), and a full range of Science course offerings (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Science and Technology and Health Sciences).  Coupled with the Mathematics and Science stream is a strong Social Sciences program up to grade 12, which includes offerings in Law and Psychology. In addition, Business Education, Technology, Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Applied Skills and Information Technology programs provide excellent learning opportunities for students. There are also several successful Career Preparation courses in Health Sciences, Business Education and Leadership. Cambie is completing its second year of the Pathways Incentive program for selected grade 8 and 9 students.  The focus of this program is on leadership development, outdoor education and academic enrichment.  Next year Pathways 10 will be introduced.

The Special Education Program provides our neighbourhood children and others with exceptional learning needs with tremendous learning supports.  Each and every one of our students adds a special dimension to our collective learner profile, while contributing as a vibrant and valuable part of the learning community.

Extra-curricular initiatives found in athletics, clubs, special events, and intramurals round out the many student experiences at Cambie.  School organizations such as Student Council, Drama Club, Robotics, Ecosaders Green Team, World Committee, Peace Club, Me To We club among others, are all very rewarding for students, staff and the larger community. One of the unique programs that started at Cambie is the First Responders team. This group of highly trained student first aid attendants looks after a range of medical emergencies on a daily basis under the guidance of a highly trained staff member. 

The Cambie school community is a very caring place.  There are many positive student/teacher relationships that help students to be successful.  Our Leadership students link with our grade 8 students to help them as they begin their high school years.  This begins on our first day of classes, and is then reinforced at the grade 8 retreat in the fall, and through a number of events throughout the year.

Cambie parents and community members are active participants in a range of capacities related to school programs including Parent Advisory Council, athletics coaching, supportive spectators, fundraisers, chaperones and sponsors. One successful project that is entirely parent driven is the annual Dry After Grad Celebration.  Feedback from parent and community sources regarding academics, athletics and other programs at Cambie is very positive. 

The Cambie school website is one way in which we have tried to engage the parents.  This past year, we have focused on enhancing communication with parents and families by creating and sending home electronically the Cambie WAAG (“Week at a Glance”) that highlights important dates, special events, and communicates valuable information for parents. Our goal is to share information and stories with families in the Cambie community to showcase and celebrate the great opportunities available at Cambie.  The Cambie Parent WAAG is also posted on our website each week.  Cambie also engages with our community through social media on Twitter.  This has permitted us to showcase some of the authentic learning experiences in our school community.

Goal No.1: 
Reading and Writing : To increase student skills in reading and writing across the curriculum. (Continuing)


The focus for 2015-16 will be to improve the reading comprehension and the writing skills of all students, with the primary focus on Grade 8 students for Reading and Grade 10 & 12 students for writing. 

Why is this goal important to the school community and how will this enhance the experiences of our learners?

Reading and writing skills are the foundations for success in school and essential in the development of an educated citizen.  As such, the importance of developing all aspects of reading and writing are an area of critical focus. Through an analysis of the skills of our students, it is clear that a commitment to the development of all aspects of reading and writing will be beneficial.   

How will we know we are achieving our goal(s)?  What evidence will we collect? What will this look like in the school and classrooms? Refer to Provincial data, District data, School data, Classroom data

We have adopted an assessment for learning framework to support our students’ literacy and writing needs.

  • A skills assessment is administered to our Grade 8 students in September/ October to gather baseline data through the Performance Based Assessment.
  • Midpoint assessments are completed by classroom teachers informally from November to March to determine improvement in skills for which students have received specific instruction as indicated by earlier testing.
  • Final Reading for Information skills assessment is administered in May to measure student growth.
  • A cognitive skills analysis based on the English 10 provincial exam is provided to the schools.  This serves as a guide for classroom teachers along with our Writing Support teacher, to develop other classroom assessment tools and target specific writing skills.
  • As students learn new skills for reading and writing, teachers will notice an improvement in their abilities and submitted work in all subject areas demonstrating transfer of these skills into all subject areas.
  • Students and staff continue to spend 15 minutes daily engaged in silent reading.  The literacy team has worked to make this a meaningful experience for students by trying to ‘match’ students with a book that would be of interest to them.
  • Cambie continues to be the secondary school with the highest circulation of library books in the district.  Considering our lower student enrollment, this is a positive sign for our focus on literacy.

Performance Indicators / Assessment Tools:

  • Teacher observations of targeted skills.
  • PBA scores will be used to generate data for determining success.
  • Cognitive skills analysis provided by the Ministry of Education.
  • A variety of Formative Assessment Tools.

Actions Taken to Address the Goal(s): 
What strategies and actions will we undertake? 

Our Literacy leader and our Writing Support teacher are integral in leading conversations about improving student reading and writing skills with our staff. Through conversations, a variety of teaching strategies continue to be introduced and shared as a means of developing skills in the areas we are hoping to improve.
Listeracy remains as a standing item on our monthly staff meeting agenda for discussion.  

Cambie is currently discussing changing our learning support model to a drop in learning center that would be available for all students rather than the current model of supporting students who have been identified as needing additional support and enrolled in a Learning Strategies block.  If this model goes ahead for next year, we believe it will provide valuable support to all students in reading and writing.  We will be able to analyze the number of students who visit the learning center on a daily basis and can filter how many of the students are receiving support in each subject.

Strategies: Grade 8 Literacy

  • Performance Based Assessments were administered to all grade 8 Science students in September/October.  This assessment collected data in order to inform teacher instruction. 
  • Collaboration amongst grade 8 teachers from all content areas to create, score the Fall PBA
    • Goals based on Fall PBA: Note-making, main ideas and connections.
  • How team members have worked to meet goals:
    • Direct instruction in Cornell Notes, Linear notes, Web notes by teachers in different areas (English, Social Studies, Science)
    • Direct instruction in using text features to illicit information (eg.: THIEVES), GAP, Word, Sentence, Phrase.    Direct instruction on vocabulary development, prefixes/ suffixes, key words (English, Science, Socials), etc.
    • Co-teaching and co-planning with literacy leader to implement strategies in different content areas
    • Attend literacy meetings where strategies for these areas have been presented
  • Creating Independent Learners
  • Note-making
  • Accuracy and completion: Highlighting ALL parts of question, strategies for when students are “stuck”

Strategies: Grade 10 Writing Support

  • Examination of the provincial exam results for the English 10 classes showed an slight decrease from the year before; although this is only a small indicator and is consistent with the trends across the district and province. 
  • Our Gr. 10 Writing Support Teacher targeted essay-writing instruction in Gr. 10 English classes.  The teacher worked with both students and teachers to provide a consistent framework for teaching essay structures, citation of sources, elements of research, as well as worked with the English department to standardize marking rubrics and writing assessments.  

Changing Results for Adolescent Readers

  • Cambie is one of two secondary schools in the district who have two teams of teachers participate in the district initiative Changing Results for Adolescent Readers, where teachers were asked to select a case study and an inquiry question to change, modify, adapt teaching practices in order to help the student and class of students grow as readers.  While data is anecdotal, both groups have seen gains in their case study students as well as their class as a whole.

Communication Plan:
How will we communicate our goal and plans to students, staff, parents, and school community?

The goals of our School Performance Plan have been developed in conjunction with feedback and direction from our staff.  The Literacy leader gives regular updates at our staff meetings, and our Writing Support teacher collaborates with the entire English department.

We will communicate Cambie’s School Performance Plan with our school community on our website, through our weekly Parent ‘WAAG’ (Week at a Glance), in our monthly newsletter as well as in our staff handbook.



Goal No. 2

Social Responsibility: To increase student awareness of what constitutes positive citizenship in a vibrant and dynamic school community, and develop a rubric with a focus on student work habits.


The focus will be to see a measurable increase in socially responsible student achievement and behaviour.  Strategies will focus on in-classroom behaviours, specifically work habits, and actions, as well as those in the public areas of the school. This will be measured by correlations of appropriate sections of the annual Student Satisfaction Survey, as well as the results form the ‘Tell Them From Me’ student survey.

Rationale: Why is this goal important to the school community and how will this enhance the experiences of our learners?

Research has shown that developing common behavioural expectations around strong and effective social responsibility skills will increase the likelihood of more students engaging in these positive behaviours.  As well, our school data indicates that work habits and student engagement are areas of needed improvements. 

The Cambie staff continues to focus on Positive Behaviour Support system, called the “Cambie 3R’s” (Responsible, Respectful, Ready to Succeed).  We have a school wide work habit rubric based on Cambie’s 3R’s that is included in each students agenda book and is used as a self-evaluation and teaching tool in classrooms.  This work habit rubric is designed to clearly identify the expectations for students in terms of attendance, in-class behavior, and home study.  We have also discussed adding some new sections to our work habit rubric to outline clear expectations for hallway behavior, digital citizenship, and fieldtrips.

How will we know we are achieving our goal(s)?  What evidence will we collect? What will this look like in the school and classrooms? Refer to Provincial data, District data, School data, Classroom data

In February, 2014 we administered the “Tell Them From Me” student survey to all of our grade 8 – 10 students.  Part of this survey focused on social responsibility, including Cambie’s PBS.  This school year we will once again be administering the survey in May and expect to see improvements in the area of student respect and safety. We will also continue to analyze the satisfaction survey results, which are given to grade 10 and 12 students every year, pertaining to student engagement, respect and safety to see improvements in the area.  

Alongside of these surveys, the Cambie staff will continue to use the work habit rubric to help students reflect on their behavior and work habits with the goal of increasing students’ ability to self-regulate their actions.   The components of the rubric will be used in classes to report on work habits for the student report card, but also as a learning tool for students to self-assess their progress.  

As well, the PBS staff committee developed criteria around the “3 R’s” and communicated these with the student and staff community. The committee collected baseline data on the distribution of 3R’s “tickets” that were given to students who demonstrated the behaviour outlined in the criteria.  Our goal is to see an increase in the number of 3R tickets distributed each year.

The PBS committee has also been working on implementing a progressive discipline plan that clearly outlines different levels of intervention.  The PBS committee has presented this plan to staff to be implemented for next year.  The purpose of this plan is to increase consistency between staff members so that students are held to a consistent set of expectations.  Part of this plan includes a discipline referral form that will help to collate data on student behavior for ongoing reflection.

The Cambie PE department has developed and is continuing to revise an assessment rubric for aspects of positive citizenship.  This rubric is shared with students at the beginning of the year and classes engage in discussions around the different categories so that they understand them and so that they can use them to accurately self-assess their progress each term.  Students set goals for each term to focus on a specific area of the rubric.  Teachers then follow up with each student by having a discussion about their self-evaluation and progress towards their goals.

Performance Indicators / Assessment Tools:

•    Satisfaction Surveys given annually to grade 10 and grade 12 students
•    Tell Them From Me students survey given annually to students in various grades
•    Work habit achievement levels on student report cards  
•    Comparison of 3R ticket distribution totals.
•    Data collected from discipline referral forms
Actions Taken to Address the Goal(s): 
What strategies and actions will we undertake? 

This year we continued to develop our own school-wide program based on the key understandings of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS). While the rubric is complete, it must be emphasized that this document will continue to evolve.

Actions taken in 2014-15:

  • The “3 R’s” criteria published in the student agenda and staff handbook
  • Homeroom teachers were given short lessons to use in the introduction of the “3R’s”
  • 3R’s “Tickets” are printed throughout the year and are used by staff to give to students to reinforce the positive behaviours;
  • Our Cambie staff e-mail conference was used to publish statistical data in relation to the “tickets” given to students
  • The e-mail conference was used to help staff focus on a particular area or goal for a specified period of time
  • Teachers developed and students have used a work habit rubric on the 3 R’s, specifically related to student engagement.
  • The PBS committee has finalized a discipline intervention plan that will increase consistency in how staff respond and correct behaviour in relation to these core expectations.
  • We plan to track data from the discipline referral forms to explore trends that need further attention.
  • Rec. leadership students in Gr. 12 worked with grade 8 students to present a lesson related to being good citizens and getting involved at Cambie.  
  • Rec. Leadership students organized a school-wide ACT week at Cambie to promote Acceptance, Community & Tolerance.  This day was a great success and demonstrated positive values that are inline with our 3R vision.
  • We have many clubs and programs (Pathways) that provide students with practical opportunities to demonstrate positive social responsibility in our school and community.

Future Strategies 

  • Review the core expectations in the area of social responsibility and determine if there is a need to create new basic understandings.
  • Continue to communicate, teach, and reinforce these common expectations through common language throughout the year.  
  • Provide consistent mini lessons for staff to use in September to reinforce and teach aspects of the 3R’s
  • Continue to provide accurate and efficient direct and indirect descriptive feedback to students and parents in relation to these common expectations.
  • Continue to evaluate and refine all elements of the PBS system.

Communication Plan:
How will we communicate our goal and plans to students, staff, parents, and school community?

The goals of our School Performance Plan have been developed in conjunction with feedback and direction from our staff.  The PBS committee gives regular updates at our staff meetings as well as uses Pro-D days to further staff understanding.
The “3R’s” rubric itself we will once again publish in our student agenda. We will communicate Cambie’s School Performance Plan with our school community in our newsletter, Parent WAAG, school website as well as in the staff handbook.