Reflections on the Year so Far

Posted On Wednesday April 07, 2021

By Rhonda Kershaw, Chair Board of Education

April 7, 2021

As we enter the final stretch of the school year, I would like to take a few moments to reflect on the year so far.  While it has been a tumultuous year our students have remained in class and learning.  We have seen many successes this year, and learning has looked similar as in the past, with some exceptions.  Students and staff have adapted through the year to new routines, and a lot of hand washing!  Masks are now the norm, and while the recent changes to the mask mandates have students wearing them throughout the day in grades four and up, they are adapting and happy to remain in classes.  I encourage families to talk with their students about the importance of wearing their masks, washing their hands, and adhering to the physical distance requirements whenever possible.  If we all work together, we can see through to the end of the year and successful completion of the 2020/2021 school year!

We’re now firmly in the grips of spring, with new life popping up everywhere from our gardens to the farmers’ fields, but unfortunately, we are not seeing the relief from COVID-19 that we had hoped we would by now.  Vaccine programs are ramping up, but unfortunately so are case counts.  I urge families to consider the impacts their activities may have on others, and the school system if they do not adhere to the health guidelines.   

On a lighter topic, secondary students will shortly be entering into their final quarter classes.  It is hard to believe we are three quarters of the way through the year, and we will shortly be preparing for graduations and summer break.  I hope students and staff all had a restful March break, and Easter long weekend with their families. 

The final quarter of the year will bring many exciting events in SD73.  One of these is the Day of Sucwentwecw (Acknowledging One Another), an annual initiative held on April 7 each year, to recognize and celebrate the Secwepemc People (Secwepemcul’ecw) and other Aboriginal people residing within the Secwepemc Territory. The theme for 2021 is “Learning together: In Memory, History, and Story, using Aboriginal Perspectives.”  Students across the District will be taking part, and many families will have the opportunity to view activities digitally.

At the district office, the Board of Education is currently considering our budget for the 2021/2022 school year.  The budget process is incredibly detailed, and countless hours of work go into ensuring student needs are met, while still operating buildings and busses efficiently.  Finance staff and senior administration have been working diligently to prepare a draft budget for public input this coming Thursday, April 8th at 7pm.  The presentation will be live streamed on our Facebook page and input will be received by the Board prior to final revisions and adoption at our April 26th public board meeting.  This will mark the final budget presentation by Secretary-Treasurer Kelvin Stretch who will be retiring later this year.  The Board will miss Kelvin’s leadership but wish him the best in his retirement!

This column appeared in Kamloops This Week: View from SD73 on April 7, 2021.

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