"In order to determine the needs of the users of a media center, a media specialist should conduct a community analysis, including demographics relating to both the community and the school itself." (Bishop, 2007)

Community Analysis Report

Ecole St. Sacrement, Vancouver

Anica Teglasi

ESS.jpgSchool Information

Ecole St. Sacrement is a Roman Catholic French Immersion elementary school with just over 200 students in grades Kindergarten to grade 7. The school is located in an historically French-Canadian neighbourhood next to Vancouver's only Francophone church, Paroisse St. Sacrement. The school was established in 1954. Ecole St. Sacrement is part of the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA). Parents participate actively in various school events which contributes to the great community feel of the school.

Taken from Google Maps
Taken from Google Maps

The majority of the students live in Vancouver but there are some families that come from different areas of the Lower Mainland since there are only 2 French Immersion Catholic Schools in the CISVA, one being Ecole St. Sacrement in Vancouver and the other Our Lady of Fatima School in Coquitlam, about 20km outside of Vancouver.

Parents are required to pay an annual tuition fee. Most families in the school tend to be middle to upper middle class. There are very few families that are considered low income. Those families considered low income receive special subsidies from their parish so that they may attend the school. The school does not exclude students due to financial difficulties.

Students are required to wear a school uniform. All students are able to apply for admission to the school however priority is first given to families that are members of the parish, then to other Catholic families and if there is still some space then other students are accepted. The student population is stable. However in recent years there have been more families moving further out in the Lower Mainland due to very high housing prices in Vancouver. This is a trend in all schools in Vancouver, not just Ecole St. Sacrement. Despite this trend, the school has managed to maintain the same student numbers because parents seem more willing to commute and there are no cross-boundary issues like in the public schools.

There are many ethnic backgrounds in the school. Approximately 35% of the school population is from Filipino background. In some Catholic schools the Filipino population is approximately 50%. The strong presence of Filipinos is due to the recent influx of Filipino immigration to Vancouver. The Philippines is the third largest Catholic country in the world which explains why many choose to put their children in Catholic schools. The remainder of the school population is mainly European background and some Asian families.

Ecole St. Sacrement has one class per grade. The class size limit is 28 for all grades. Some students leave French Immersion in the intermediate grades so often the primary classes are full and the intermediate grades are smaller. There are 13 teachers on staff and 3 teaching assistants. There are very few changes in staffing. Many teachers have been at the school for more than 20 years. There is a music, physical education, learning assistance and library specialist. The school also has a vice principal that helps the principal with administrative duties. The average age of the staff is about 40 years old. The school principal is quite new to the position. He is 40 years old with lots of energy and ideas. He was previously a student and a teacher at the school. He's also the one who painted the beautiful murals on the exterior walls of the school.

The school has many students who speak another language at home but there are no students who are designated ESL and need a special program. This school year there are 5 Ministry designated students with Special Needs. Ecole St. Sacrement does well in the yearly Ministry FSA (Foundation Skills Assessment) testing with very few students not meeting learning expectations.

Ecole St. Sacrement is located in the Fairviewneighbourhood which is a middle/upper middle class neighbourhood. Vancouver General Hospital and many medical buildings are two blocks away. There is a high number of appartment buildings and a small percentage of school-aged children in this neighbourhood. There is public transit within walking distance including the Canada Line and major bus routes. There are a number of stores, parks and a shopping mall within a few minutes walk.

Student Enrollment- 2011/2012

Number of Students

CISVA Information and History
Taken from CISVA Website

Catholic schools in British Columbia have had their share of struggles and challenges. "Catholic schools in British Columbia were started in the middle of the 1800's by the Sisters of St. Ann with the opening of St. Ann's Academy in Victoria. In 1872, a year after British Columbia entered Confederation, the first Common School Act was passed. Although Catholic schools had been present for several decades, the Act failed to recognize their existence." (CISVA website) For several decades after, Catholic schools tried to gain recognition from the provincial government but they refused to recognize independent schools. Throughout the 40s, 50s and 60s, small milestones were achieved. "In the late seventies, after many years of lobbying, the government passed the Independent Schools Support Act (1977). The Act provided Independent Schools with financial aid that amounted to a maximum of 30 percent of the per capita grant to public schools. The Independent Schools Act (1989) increased provincial funding operating grants to a maximum of 50 percent of the per capita grant to public schools. After over a century of struggle, Catholic schools of British Columbia were recognized educationally and financially by the provincial government." (CISVA website)Catholic schools are unique in that they receive funding from the government, tuition from parents and funding from the parish. The government does not provide any funding for capital costs such as land, buildings and equipment for students, this is the responsibility of the diocese and the parish. "Because they receive public funds, teams of educators from the Ministry of Education regularly inspect all Catholic schools. These teams ensure that all aspects of the school are administered and operated according to the Independent Schools Act." (CISVA website)The province is divided up into 5 dioceses- Vancouver, Kamloops, Victoria, Prince George and Nelson. Catholic schools play a vital role in serving the communities in which they are located. "Each school is an integral part of a larger community of Faith that includes the parish and parishioners." (CISVA website)

Number of Schools
Number of Teachers
Number of Students
Diocese of Vancouver
Diocese of Victoria
Diocese of Prince George
Diocese of Kamloops
Diocese of Nelson

vancouver.jpgCommunity Information

For the purpose of this community analysis, I will be focusing on the city of Vancouver as a whole since students at Ecole St. Sacrement live across the city and not in one particular neighbourhood.

The city of Vancouver is a very beautiful, multicultural and diverse city that has some of the most affluent and impoverished urban neighbourhoods in the country. The city of Vancouver has a population of 578,041, which is the third largest metropolitan area in Canada. Vancouver is located on the Pacific coast and has the beautiful Coastal Mountains as a backdrop. Vancouver is considered to be one of the most livable cities in the world. The city has something for everyone including museums, art galleries, parks, beaches, architecture and breathtaking nature. Vancouver has hosted many world class events such as the 2010 Winter Olympics, Expo ’86, and the World Police and Fire Games. Vancouver’s mild and temperate climate makes it a very popular destination for tourists and for outdoor recreation. Vancouver has a professional hockey team, the Vancouver Canucks, and the BC Lions is the city's professional football team.

Vancouver is a very multicultural city with a high percentage of people coming from Asia. The metropolitan area of Vancouver, which includes Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Burnaby and Coquitlam, has the second highest population, after Toronto, of visible minorities in Canada. Of the Lower Mainland's 2.1 million residents, 41.7% belongs to a visible minority group. Nearly 62.7% of all visible minorities came to Vancouver within the last 15 years.

The largest visible minority group in Vancouver is the Chinese population which makes up 18.2% of Vancouver’s total population. The second largest visible minority population is the South Asian community. They represent 9.9% of the total population in Vancouver. Filipinos are the third largest visible minority group. They account for 3.8% of the total population. Other visible minority groups are Korean, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Japanese and Latin America which each represent 1-2% of the total population. (Census Canada 2006)

From the table below you can see that only 49% of the population speak English as their mother tongue. This link shows other key points about the city of Vancouver from the 2006 census.

Taken from City of Vancouver website

Trends in Vancouver Schools

The large number of ESL students has had a large impact on Vancouver Schools. Many programs need to be created to help these students. Another trend in Vancouver is the shift in population from urban to suburban centers. This has also had a big impact on Vancouver schools. Many families are moving out of the city due to very high housing costs. This has resulted in lower student enrollment and even school closures despite the overall population growth in the city. Enrollment in the Vancouver School Board has been declining for the last 10 years. According to the VSB website, the enrolment decline is projected to flatten over the next 3 years and begin to increase by 2013. New residential developments have shown that renewed housing at higher densities attract school age population. (VSB website)

Taken from City of Vancouver Website

Take from VSB website

Community Resources


Catholic Schools in the CISVA

The CISVA schools are a tight community. There are 40 elementary schools that easily accessible for resource sharing and collaborating.

Vancouver Public Library

There are 2 VPL branches located within walking distance to the school. The VPL can be a great benefit to our school by talking about summer programs and providing learning resources.

Vancouver School Board- French Immersion Schools I worked for the VSB for 9 years and still have many contacts in the system. The VSB also offers workshops for teacher-librarians.

British Columbia Teacher Librarians Association- BCTLA

This website has a lot to offer. There are blogs, wikis and lots of other general information for a teacher-librarian.

Project Specific:

Aboriginal speakers- I recently attended a neighbourhood festival and met a woman who coordinates the Renfrew-Collingwood Aboriginal Youth Canoe Club. She also does visits and talks in schools.

High Touch High Tech- WebsiteThis company offers many hands-on science experiments that match the B.C. curriculum learning outcomes. In particular they offer a workshop for the properties of matter. A scientist comes to the school and runs a 75 min. workshop.

Science World- Website

Science World is close to ESS. They offer many interesting programs and exhibits that touch on many curriculum learning outcomes.

BC Fisheries- Salmon Hatchery in North Vancouver

There are school programs offered that show the life cycle of salmon. This hatchery is open all year round.

Grouse Mountain Educational Programs- Website

They offer different kinds of workshops for First Nations, animals and plants. Specifically for grade 2 they offer "Bears of North America" and "Animals in their Environment". Grouse Mountain is about a 20 min. drive from ESS.

Vancouver Aquarium- Website

The aquarium offers a program in French called "Les merveilles de la mer" and a number of other grade appropriate programs in English.

Wild BC- Project WILD

Project WILD provides workshops and an activity guide in French. The goal is to help learners develop and awareness, knowledge and skills concerning wildlife and their environment.

Maplewood Farms- Website

The farm doesn't have any programs for schools but they offer students the opportunity to pet and to see farm animals up close. Teachers can easily create their own educational program.

Project: Grade 2 Science

Processes and Skills of Science

It is expected that students will:

- use their senses to interpret observations

  • observe, record, and make sensory comparisons

  • provide comprehensive explanations based on observations made or facts learned (e.g., “The best shape for a boat is…”)

  • draw specific conclusions based on observations (e.g., water is being wasted — protect our water)

- infer the probable outcome of an event or behaviour based on observations

  • with teacher support, observe and accurately record a specific process (e.g., a plant developing from a seed)

  • predict several likely recurrences not yet observed in other, similar situations (e.g., after seeing how a plant develops from a seed, recognize that the same type of development can be expected from other, different plant seeds)

Life Science: Animal Growth and Changes

It is expected that students will:

- classify familiar animals according to similarities and differences in appearance, behaviour, and life cycles

  • describe and illustrate in detail the appearance and behaviour of familiar animals

  • identify and compare similarities and differences between animals

  • compare and illustrate different types of animal life cycles

- describe some changes that affect animals (e.g., hibernation, migration, decline in population)

  • accurately list a group of animals that hibernate, migrate, or change coat to respond to the conditions encountered in the different seasons

  • identify the effects of a decline in a specific animal population (e.g., species extinction)

- describe how animals are important in the lives of Aboriginal peoples in BC

  • identify from historical sources how animals were part of the lives of Aboriginal peoples (e.g.., bear: fur for warmth during the winter; grease for cooking and personal care; bones for tools)

  • illustrate in detail how animals help to meet the needs of local Aboriginal peoples (e.g., seal oil and meat on the West Coast; eagle feathers in ceremonies)

- describe ways in which animals are important to other living things and the environment

  • make a comprehensive food web of items that can be obtained from a particular animal (e.g., leather, meat, milk)

  • identify things that are essential for the survival of an animal (e.g., water, food, shelter)

  • with teacher support, illustrate ways in which animals contribute to the environment (e.g., interdependence of food chains; nutrients for soil)

Physical Science: Properties of Matter

It is expected that students will:

- identify the properties of solids, liquids, and gases

  • observe and accurately list the properties of each state of matter (e.g., solid: stays the same shape, visible, you can feel it ; liquid: changes shape, fi lls and stays in the bottom of a container, may be visible or invisible; gas: changes shape, can escape from a container, generally invisible)

- investigate changes to the properties of matter when it is heated or cooled

  • conduct experiments on the properties of water (e.g., freezing, melting, evaporation)

  • observe and accurately record changes during experiments

  • describe in detail the results of their observations and investigations

  • interpret their observations and answer specific questions (e.g., Will cold water freeze faster than hot water?)

- investigate the interactions of liquids and solids

  • conduct experiments on the interactions of liquids and solids (e.g., sink, fl oat, or dissolve)

  • observe and accurately record changes during experiments

  • describe in detail the results of their observations and investigations

  • interpret their observations and answer specifi c questions (e.g., Will solids sink, fl oat, or dissolve in a liquid?)

Earth and Space Science: Air, Water, and Soil

It is expected that students will:

- describe physical properties of air, water, and soil

  • list the properties of air (e.g., expands or contracts; generally invisible) and water (e.g., changes state, shaped by container)

  • identify the main components of soil (e.g., sand, rocks, clay)

- distinguish ways in which air, water, and soil interact

  • illustrate and accurately label the parts of the water cycle

  • define and describe the processes of evaporation, condensation, and erosion

- explain why air, water, and soil are important for living things

  • with teacher support, create a micro environmental system, infer possible consequences of changes in that ecosystem

  • describe in detail how living things depend on air, water, and/or soil

Science Grade 2- Integrated Resource Package 2005

Library Information

The library is located above the gymnasium in a separate building from the classrooms. It is approximately 600 sq. ft. and has about 13,000 books. There are 3 computers for student use and a Smart board. The MAC lab, containing 15 computers, is located next to the library. The library has 2 tables for doing work which does not allow for a class to work in the library. There is a large carpet at the center which is where the lessons take place. The library has a fixed schedule as requested by the teachers. All 9 classes have a 40 minute period per week, we still have two half-day kindergarten classes. The library period consists of the teacher-librarian doing a lesson on information literacy skills and then a book exchange. The library has an old automated OPAC system. It is an open-source program that a former teacher wrote. It is very basic and does not access any external cataloguing databases. The library supports the new primary reading program and participates in the CISVA Readers are Leaders program. This program is very similar to Battle of the Books. The library is open Mondays-Wednesdays during lunch time.

For the last 20 years the library was run by a library technician. She did a good job at organizing and developing the library collection. Unfortunately she was not very comfortable with technology so I've spent the last year modernizing the library. Having a teacher-librarian is new to the school so it's been a gradual adjustment to the new model.

The grade 2 teacher who will be using the collection has 20 years experience teaching in a French Immersion school at the primary level. She is open to collaborating and is open to suggestions and new ideas. In the past, the library tech would select grade appropriate books and the teacher would use the resources in the classroom. Due to space limitations I will have to work in the classroom with the students. This year there are 27 students in grade 2. This teacher does not use much technology in her teaching but she is willing to work on this.


When I started doing this community analysis I wondered about the usefulness of this assignment. I know the school and community very well. I was born and raised in Vancouver and I attended Ecole St. Sacrement as a child. I have gone to the parish church since I was born and my mother was the school principal for 20 years. My roots are very deep in this community. However, I did learn some interesting things about the neighbourhood. Sometimes when you're too familiar with things you don't see the whole picture. This has been true for me as I did this analysis. It has allowed me take all the different aspects of this community and to ask myself how I can showcase them in the library. "Information gathered in a community analysis and needs assessments should be major influences for collection development and the school media center program." (Bishop, 2007). There is so much more to this school then just being a French Immersion school. This analysis has definitely made me stop, think and ask myself many questions. I found that the question that Greer and Hale asked "What does all this say to you about what the library ought to be intending to do?" is a very important question for my school and for myself. What role does the library have in the school? Where are the goals and futur plans? What are the needs of the students, teachers and parents? As I continue to explore my collection development I look forward to answering some of these questions.


Bishop, K. (2007). The collection program in schools: concepts, practices, and information sources (4th ed.). Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited.

Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA). CISVA History. Retrieved October 1st, 2011 http://www.cisva.bc.ca/general_info/history/

City of Vancouver 2006 Census Data http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/census/2006/index.htm

Greer, R. C., & Hale, M. L. (1982). New Pathways to Planning, The Community Analysis Process. Blue Skyways - A service of the State Library of Kansas. Retrieved October 1st, 2011, from http://skyways.lib.ks.us/pathway/article.html

Vancouver School Board. Planning and Enrolment Trends. Retrieved September 30th, 2011. http://vsb.bc.ca/population-and-enrolment-trends