Our School Plan Progress 2021-2022

Improving Student Learning

The Abbotsford School District’s Strategic Plan reflects our public commitment to BC’s new curriculum by working together to continuously improve learning for each student.

School Goals

Under the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning, all Abbotsford School District schools are required to develop a long term plan to improve student achievement, one that maintains a balance on the intellectual, social and career development of students. Each year, each school develops an annual plan and sets individual goals to improve student achievement. 

Upper Sumas School Goals

School Goal for 2020-21

The 2020-2021 school year brings with it the unique challenge of teaching and learning during a global pandemic. We have four guiding principals that drive our school goals this year. The first is to ensure a healthy and safe environment for children, families and employees. The second is to provide the services needed to support the children of our essential service workers. The third is to support vulnerable students who may need special assistance. The fourth guiding principal is to provide continuity of educational opportunities for all students. The health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is our top priority. Classroom teachers teach and practice our health and safety protocols with our students on a consistent and regular basis. Establishment of these routines is essential. See the attached “Upper Sumas Elementary Restart Plan” document below for specific details on these policies and procedures. Families can support us with these efforts by assessing their child(ren) for daily symptoms of influenza, COVID-19, or other infectious respiratory diseases before sending them to school, using the School District’s Daily Health Assessment Checklist. Students and staff are to stay home if they are sick, to help prevent the spread of germs to others. When our students are safe, healthy and happy, learning flourishes. 

At Upper Sumas Elementary our current school plan is to improve all students’ achievement in reading. This is our third year working on this goal. Our intermediate teaching team will be focusing on improving grade 4 & 5 students’ reading comprehension through the explicit teaching of comprehension strategies to further develop transformative thinking. Our primary teaching team will be focusing on improving grade K-3 students’ personal growth in reading by teaching connections as a comprehension tool to gain a deeper understanding of text, as well as improving students’ oral language strategies for retelling story narratives. In addition to the explicit instruction of reading comprehension strategies in every classroom, common reading assessments will be administered each term to ensure consistency amongst the classrooms and grade levels. Teachers will be attending professional development opportunities that focus on comprehension strategies and assessment tools, and spending time collaborating with colleagues on these topics. As a school, Upper Sumas Elementary will regularly promote and encourage a love of literacy through our school wide “Upper Sumas Families Read” initiative, read-a-thons, book swaps, and literacy-themed special events. It is Upper Sumas Elementary’s goal to meet Abbotsford School District’s Grade Three Reading Imperative to have all of our students fully meeting grade level expectations in reading by the end of grade three.


Our students will learn key academic skills - like reading, writing and math - to encompass the knowledge and processes associated with intellectual development. As learners and meaning-makers, students take subject-specific concepts and content and transform them into a new understanding. 

Our celebrations of learning

Human & Social

Our students will study personal and human social skills and as they relate to students' identity in the world - both as individuals and as members of their community. We are learning that personal and human social skills encompass the abilities students needs to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world. 

Our celebrations of learning

Indigenous Education

Increasing the sense of belonging of Indigenous students at school and celebrating cultural pride in Indigenous students are district-wide goals. Upper Sumas Elementary runs a daily before-school program where students learn Halq’emeylem, participate in talking circles and receive academic support. Our Cultural Support Worker visits classrooms and teaches all students Halq’emeylem words (such as counting) and songs. Our school proudly participates in yearly events such as Orange Shirt Day, Rock Your Moccasin’s Day and National Indigenous People’s Day. In June we hold our annual Indigenous Awards Night to recognize and celebrate student achievement. In 2018, Upper Sumas commissioned and received our stunning new cedar bench from local artist Rocky LaRock. The salmon, eagle and wolf themed bench is the focal point to our school’s entrance.

Aboriginal Welcome Song at Annual PAC Country Concert
Student Welcome Song for Mr. Godden

Holiday Spirit at Upper Sumas Elementary

Upper Sumas Elementary runs an annual Christmas Store to give all students the opportunity to "shop" and experience the act of giving. This event is made possible through the support of PAC and Upper Sumas Women's Institute. December is a month of cheer and festivities for all!

Pink Shirt Day

Grade 5 leaders at Upper Sumas Elementary promote kindness and acceptance of all each February in honour of National Pink Shirt Day.  

The Tulip Project

Debbie Mar (grade 3/4 teacher) and Rhys Martell (Rhys Martell films) collaborate to document students learning on THE TULIP PROJECT: The Friendship Between Canada and Holland.

A tribute to Abbotsford soldiers who lost their lives liberating Holland during WW2. 

Upper Sumas Elementary: Celebrating 100 Years of Education

On Friday, September 20th, Upper Sumas Elementary celebrated its 100th year anniversary. We marked this milestone with a day full of events for our students, families and the community at large. In the morning our students attended an assembly to learn about our school’s history, joined by special guests: Mayor Braun, School District Trustees, Superintendent Godden, Assistant Superintendents, district principals, and several former students. In the assembly, Mayor Braun and Board Chair Petersen brought our school greetings. We learnt how a small school house was built in 1919, and a new, larger school was built in 1938. We learnt students took horses, trains and busses to get to school back in the day. Outhouses were used and wood-burning stoves kept staff and students warm. Four former students who attended school in the 40’s, 60’s & 80’s shared memories with us. Of note, student discipline practices have sure changed over the years! In the afternoon our staff and students came together once more for a mini birthday party. “Happy Birthday Upper Sumas” was sung, and birthday cake for 173 students was happily consumed! In the evening PAC organized a spectacular celebration as we invited our community in to join our festivities. Excited visitors lined up early to be the first guests in to tour the school. We had former students who attended school as far back as the late 1920’s who came out for this event. It was fascinating to hear the stories and memories our guests shared with us. There were tales of line dancing in what is now our preschool room, roller-skating upstairs after-hours because the custodian would sneak the kids in, and a show-and-tell cat that got lost in the school! After a building tour, guests stayed for hours, mingling, reminiscing and listening to musical performances by Memphis Train and Nikki Meier long after the sun set. PAC, Upper Sumas Women’s Society, school staff, district staff and guests made this a day to remember.  We hope when Upper Sumas Elementary celebrates its 150 year anniversary, many of our current students are able to return and keep the memories of this beloved school alive.


Our students will succeed in a much different future from the one we envisioned 10 or 15 years ago. It is our responsibility to prepare all children for success in whatever life path they choose, connecting learning opportunities with future career possibilities. We know that real-life experiences - like community involvement, gaining business knowledge, and hands-on-learning - build better students and life-long citizens. 

Our celebrations of learning

Library Learning Commons at Upper Sumas Elementary

During weekly library learning common sessions, classroom teachers and the LLC teacher collaboratively plan Applied Design, Skills & Technologies lessons. Both primary and intermediate students learn creative thinking and problem solving skills through coding, engineering, makerspace and STEM challenges. Dash & Dot, Sphereos, LittleBits, Bloxels, EduBreak Out, Scratch, and  a green screen are just a few examples of the resources our students use. It is exciting to see students as young as kindergarten being able to program/code/construct and confidently explain how they did it.

District Library Learning Commons Tour

Public Speaking at Upper Sumas

Grade 4 and 5 students at Upper Sumas Elementary participate in our annual public speaking competition. Our top grade 5 speaker moves on to represent our school in Abbotsford School District’s public speaking competition. Public speaking helps develop students’ oral language skills and is a great way to develop confidence!

Grade 5 Young Entrepreneur Fair at Upper Sumas Elementary

Each year, grade 5 students at Upper Sumas Elementary participate in an entrepreneur fair. The purpose of the program is to have students build their own business and gain real-life experience as an entrepreneur. As part of the program, students host a Young Entrepreneur Fair where all students sell the products they have planned and developed. Entrepreneurial skills challenge students to think outside the box, create unique solutions, and become leaders at a young age. The entrepreneurial mindset teaches students to take initiative, solve problems, think critically, make decisions, interact with people confidently and look for opportunities around them.