Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday March 15, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Thank you for your focus on relationships and connections, wellbeing, equity, and sustainability, core value commitments in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan. As we enter into the two-week Spring Break, many staff, students, and parents are traveling or staying home to take time to relax and rejuvenate. Others are working and enjoying the change of pace to focus on projects while also appreciating the longer days.

Westmount Elementary School

As I entered the school, Mr. Laboucan was working with a few students to take down the tipi to prepare for their upcoming book fair. As we started our classroom visits, Principal Styles and I met Jamie Garbutt, City Sustainability Coordinator, who was placing composting and recycling bins in the school. She shared, “We are very lucky to work so closely with students to address sustainability.” Mr. Styles remarked how they are fortunate to be receiving a grant from “Farm to School BC”, and they have used it to purchase a compost tumbler.

As we continued, Mrs. Caputo was engaged in an experiment with a balloon and candle showing how when she added baking soda to a gas called carbon dioxide (CO2) to be released. The balloon formed a seal around the bottle, and the gas produced couldn’t escape, so it filled up the balloon. The Gr. 2 students absolutely loved this experiment, and they asked to do it multiple times.

Next, we met Ms. MacDonald who was teaching Kindergarten, when she took a student, Henry P., to a wall chart of lists of facts that the class had developed about various animals. Henry had designed a bear out of painted boxes, and called it “Grizzy”. Ms. MacDonald assisted Henry to tell a sequential story from Grizzy’s point of view and then used the app, “Chatter Pix”, a software that animated his digital picture of Grizzy so that Grizzy’s lips moved to tell the story that Henry had created.

Ms. Evans and Ms. Williams were teaching Gr. 1 students to identify healthy and unhealthy snacks. Ms. Torchia’s Gr. 1-2 class was studying money trees to learn about needs versus wants.

Mr. Bigham’s Gr. 6-7 students were studying windmills. They tested the strength by how much weight a windmill could lift, starting with one, and then two, three, four, five, and six marbles. He taught students how to research the cost of building their windmill by starting with $3M and then having 1M to add items to them. Everyone was engaged working together to test for other variables such as time to lift objects.

Ms. Zirnhelt’s Gr. 3 class had been making arrays. They stopped to show me different ways to make 6 and then how to multiply using concrete representations of different numbers. It was close to lunch time, and as we proceeded down the hall, a child named Fynn said, “This is a great school! He [meaning Mr. Styles] is great!” We stopped to visit Ms. Ault’s gr. 3-4 class, and they were eating lunch and enjoying their afternoon.

Jesse Lipscombe’s #MakeitAwkward Campaign in SD73

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, we are committed to every student feeling safe, included, and welcome in our schools (Human and Social Development Priority). To accomplish this– equity: removing barriers and creating environments that provide accessible and empowering opportunities for all students and staff to thrive– is a cornerstone value. Read more.

Kamloops-Thompson’s Art in the High Country 2024 

In the 2022-027 District Strategic Plan, we are committed to students’ intellectual development in multi-modal (print, digital, music, drama) literacies. On March 5th and 6th, SD73's Art in the High Country 2024 exemplified how students in grades 5 to 12 are keen to grow and share their passions and competencies in a wide range of performance literacies showcased at the Sagebrush theater. Read more.

La Bonhomme Carnaval at Summit Elementary School

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, in the Intellectual Development Priority, our Board values rich language learning and development in all languages through curricular and extracurricular activities. Read more.

I hope that you are looking forward to many days of fun, relaxation, and rejuvenation. For those who are traveling, I hope that you stay safe and arrive in your locations as expected, with your luggage.

Have a wonderful Spring Break!

Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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