Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday March 01, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

March is a month that highlights stories that show our core value of sustainability and the Grandfather Teaching of Honesty as lived in schools and district departments.

Kay Bingham Elementary Welcome Video

On Friday, February 23, 2024, Kay Bingham students and staff worked together to develop a script to share the best of their school for students and families coming to join their community in September 2024. They emphasized the importance of on-the-land teachings and cultural experiences in Aboriginal education through the leadership of the Aboriginal Education Worker, Mr. Lysons. They shared the wide range of curricular and extracurricular activities and played the Welcome Song together outside as one example.

Pacific Way Elementary School

Principal Blais and I started our school visit with a presentation by several students (Chloe, Hartley, Kyla, Sophie, Kenzie, Tori and Kaia) about their sustainability project on composting. The two grade 7 teachers, Mrs. Morgan and Mrs. Wiwchar, often co-teach to encourage students to cooperate on student-led projects. They have had a lot of success in submitting sustainability project ideas and securing grant funding to develop those student-led projects.

Principal Blais and I continued in Ms. Wassing’s K class where it was snack time, and then Mrs. Anderson’s K class where they were studying family models and drawing and writing about their families. Ms. Gundel’s K class was beading and Ms. Thoms’ class was engaged in spelling. As we walked to the next class, we met with Vice Principal Bluhm who shared how she had a project where students learn about different countries on announcements with the “Guess the Country” contest. At the end of week, she challenges students to find a student from the school who is from or has visited that country and learn from them.

Ms. Greenwood’s K-1 class was dressed in pirate wear and they were in the middle of their hundred’s day activity solving math problems to 100. Ms. McLaren’s Gr. 2 class was watching one of the videos from the Diversity video resource developed by the District team. The one that they had enjoyed was a lesson about strengths using feet. Ms. McLaren said that she finds the lessons to be easy to follow and works them into existing lessons.

Ms. Finch’s Gr. 2-3 class was engaged in a read aloud, and we then met with Ms. Hill, Learning Assistance Resource Teacher, who was working on Individual Needs Assessments. Ms. Galloway’s Gr. 3-4 class was buddy reading and Ms. Galloway shared the results of a logo contest that she had done last year with students. We ended our visit in Ms. Noble’s Gr. 2 class studying precipitation and informational reading text features.

Westsyde Elementary School

Principal Scott and I began our day in Ms. Boulter’s Gr. 2 class engaged in a reptile scavenger hunt by learning about facts and applying them to questions in different locations around their classroom. Ms. Glassel’s Gr. 1 class was studying career education and developing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, Timely) goals. Ms. Dunn’s K-1 class and Ms. Connolly’s K class were working in centers (building, reading, writing, role playing).

Ms. Kristjanson’s Gr. 4 class was making forts using clay and popsicle sticks. Ms. Schneider’s Gr. 4-5 class was making medicine pouches and studying traditional Indigenous medicines such as sage and the importance of them in ceremony. Mme Demers’ Gr. 6 class was watching a video about the history of Pink Shirt Day to understand why pink shirts gained popularity and what it means to participate in Pink Shirt Day. They learned how two students in Nova Scotia had encouraged others in the school to wear pink shirts to signify their stance against the bullies who had mistreated another student for wearing pink. Mr. Berezowkis’ Gr. 6-7 class was engaged in Social Studies and some students were completing their Heritage stamps.

As we were leaving that class, a student, Terry, stopped to share the best things about Westsyde Elementary School-- “The teachers are nice and calm”, and he appreciated the many extracurricular options for students– “Basketball, Strings, and D&D.” He also highlighted “how much he liked his principal, Mr. Scott.” We then observed Ms. Mackenzie’s Gr. 3 class who were sharing summaries of stories using paragraph frames. I also learned how Ms. MacKenzie enjoys leading students in how to understand and apply the scientific process and helping them to participate in science fair.

Mr. Martin’s class was enjoying a presentation by Mr. Heal and his students from the secondary music classes at Westsyde Secondary School. Students are looking forward to starting their learning on different instruments.

South Kamloops Secondary Jazz Band

I received a letter this week from a proud parent of a student in the SKSS Secondary Jazz Band. She shared the wonderful news of the band preparing to showcase its talents in a national competition in Toronto by fundraising $14,000 at “Jazz Night in the City” held at the Coast Conference Centre on Feb. 16, 2024. Parents, students and the teacher, Mrs. McRae have been steadfastly committed to making this event a huge success. Congratulations to Ms. McRae and the dedicated students who have refined their talents to compete at a national level.

Pink Shirt Day- Feb. 28, 2024

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, our Cultural Identity Priority reinforces the need to ensure that every student feels safe, welcomed, included, connected, and has a sense of belonging in their schools. Wednesday, February 28, 2024 marked the 17th Pink Shirt Day provincially, and it was an opportunity to celebrate diversity and inclusivity. Read more.

District Parent Advisory Council

Retention, Recruitment and Wrap Up - The 3 R's of PAC Succession Planning: Join our DPAC executive to talk all things wrap-up for your PAC! We'll talk about best practices for closing out the school year strong, completing your obligations, hanging on to volunteers for a strong Fall start, AND recruiting new people next year! A combo of short presentations and open conversations, this social and idea sharing evening is open to any of your PAC members that would like to come!

RSVP required (just your school and number of attendees) to

As we start the first weekend in March, I hope that you enjoy getting outside and spending time with pets, family, and friends.


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


Contact Us