Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday April 05, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Welcome back from Spring Break–seeing family, spending time with friends, working on home-based projects, continuing work in quieter spaces or a combination of activities. In the District Strategic Plan, a core value commitment is wellbeing– physical, social, mental, emotional, and environmental dimensions. The month of April is focused on sharing stories about wellbeing and the value and Grandfather Teaching, Humility.

Marion Schilling Elementary School

Principal Piggin and I started our school visit talking with Ms. Dickens, Administrative Assistant, about the importance of food programs in school. Through the Feeding Futures funding, students will benefit from meals programs cooked within the school in a new kitchen that will become a multi-purpose room for art and science projects and other activities.

We started in the gym to see Grades 3-4-5 engaged in ‘Active Kids’ formerly known as BOKS (Building Our Students’ Success) daily physical activities program for Grades 3-7. The students were engaged in small group games, and I learned that they also play a variety of games including “exercise bingo”. Ms. Piggin shared, “They love it and it is like a ‘soft start’ for older students to get energized and regulated by exercising and being together, which supports them to be focused.”

The same “soft start” was evident in Ms. Patton’s Gr. 1 class. They were making friendship bracelets at one table, playing with pattern blocks, lego, and one student was painting. In Kindergarten, Ms. Bos was reviewing with students what they had learned about the Shuswap. We stopped into Ms. Moroz’s Gr. 2-3 class, and she was on prep and shared what she loved about teaching primary students. Ms. Tracy Thomas, Aboriginal Language Teacher, took time to share what she was excited to do for the Day of Sucwentwe´cw, which they have been working towards through various learning activities through the week. The Gr. 6 and 7 students will be leading a school gathering tomorrow to engage in singing and drumming together with the other students. Ms. Thomas also works at South Kamloops Secondary School, and she shared a brief video that is part of a series that they had made with secondary students about traditional stories and practices.

Ms. Torbohm, English as a Second Language teacher, was leading a language game with three students whose first language was Spanish. The students said that they were having a good day and enjoyed this time learning English together. Ms. Anderson was with Mr. Evans class, and they were playing a game of finding a certain object hidden in the library. We then met with Ms. Flinn, one of the Learning Assistance Resource Teachers, and she shared the visual timelines used with students and described the success that they were having with providing structured breaks with rich decompression activities. She also described how they had established a differentiated reading group time where all students in primary grades read at their instructional reading level in different groups three times per week. They have witnessed excellent progress in reading through this strategy.

Ms. Bauer’s Strong Start program was busy with Grandparent Thursday spending time with their preschool grandchildren. A few grandparents explained how this is a valuable time to play and get to know how children interact and gain a comfort with being in the school prior to Kindergarten.

Mr. Bell was in his room and it was the start of recess. He showed us clips that his students designed and printed using a 3D printer. The clips had numbers engraved in them and the clips were easily removed from the table. We then met with Mr. Desaulniers’ Gr. 3 class, and a small group of students (Gabe, James, Sofia) shared that they were trying to beat a Guinness World Record by building the largest circle made of math link cubes. They were very proud of how their circle was progressing.

Acknowledging the Kamloops-Thompson Day of Sucwentwe´cw 2024 

The Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education and the Aboriginal Education Council with representatives of seven Secwepemc First Nations and Métis Nations communities articulated the Cultural Identity Priority In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan. The purpose is to ensure that every student is welcomed, sees themselves in school and district environments, and feels cared for, and has a sense of belonging in schools. Read more.

Cariboo-Mainline Regional Science Fair

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, Intellectual Development Priority, we create learning opportunities and environments in which students develop their critical and creative thinking as well as their literacies in different disciplines, including Science. One way that we encourage the sharing of students’ learning is through an annual science fair. The Cariboo-Mainline Regional Science Fair was held at Thompson Rivers University on Tuesday April 2 and Wednesday April 3. This fair happens annually, and the top science projects from elementary and high schools from around the region are submitted for judging and students can receive awards ranging from books, medals, trophies and monetary or a combination of the same. In total, over $8000 dollars of provincial cash prizes and scholarships were given away. Read more.

District Parent Advisory Council

It is time for PAC’s to apply for their gaming grants for next year. Applications are open from April 1st to June 30 and the details can be found here:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/sports-culture/gambling-fundraising/gaming-grants/pac-dpac-grants

If PAC’s would like some help to apply they should reach out to DPAC at: sd73dpac@gmail.com for support. Late applications are unlikely to be approved. This grant provides $20 per student to Parent Advisory Councils and can make a big difference to students and schools.

Budget Consultation

SD73 budget consultation for the public to watch live on YouTube is on April 10, 2024 at 7:00 pm., and more information is available here.

 

Rhonda Nixon, PhD

Superintendent

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