Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday October 20, 2023

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

During October, I share stories that show how we provide learning environments and opportunities that enact equity (value commitment) and courage (Grandfather Teaching) in the District Strategic Plan.

Clearwater Secondary School

On Monday, October 16, Principal Coates toured Trustee O’Fee, Secretary Treasurer Cassidy, Assistant Superintendent Hamblett, and I around the school. In the hallway, we learned how students enjoy reading poetry while guessing where the excerpts come from – Taylor Swift or Robert Frost.

Principal Coates walked us through the process of students studying local food-to-table programming by maintaining a community garden. He also showed us a full gym, which was developed through staff dedication to applying for and receiving grants and staff volunteers who supervise students before and after school so that they can exercise.

Prior to the Board meeting, trustees and staff met with the Parent Advisory Council, and everyone was appreciative of the work that Director Morris (left) had committed to so that everyone enjoyed a meal together. She held up a Clearwater coffee mug as Mr. Coates prepared his world famous coffee.

At the Board meeting, Mr. Coates, Mrs. Fraser, Mr. Menard, and Mr. Whelen presented their school goals and provided a glimpse into the incredible work that takes place every day to address them. Mrs. Fraser (Literacy Coordinator) said, “It is important to students to reach their academic goals, and reading can be a barrier for some students.” She spoke about the importance of removing these barriers to ensure equitable learning opportunities for all students to succeed. This is why they started and continue with their buddy reading program involving grade 8 and 9 students who choose to read with a grade 11 or 12 partner during their whole school daily reading block. Mr. Coates shared, “I really enjoy watching this program in action because of the caring mentorship defining their interactions.” When I asked why he thinks this program has been so successful, he explained, “I think that for the older students, they feel like they are making a difference because they witness their partner’s progress, and they know they are part of it.” Out of the 10-12 students who took part last year, Erica, a grade 9 student, shared, “I went up 1.6 levels in my reading, and reading and writing are everywhere, so I want to continue to improve.” Brooklyn was Erica’s older buddy, and she emphasized, “I participated in the buddy reading program because I wish that I had had someone to assist me when I was younger.”

Mr. Menard shared that numeracy results have declined, which inspired him to inquire into students’ perspectives about barriers to success. He found out that they were unclear why they had to take the numeracy test. The teachers have now re-invested in setting a clear purpose for numeracy activities to ensure that students see the relevance of engaging in numeracy tasks.

Mr. Whelan presented on how staff and students are focused on improving a sense of belonging. He explained how they are reading “Deepening Community” by Paul Born who led a session for their staff and had them learn about how to create a deep community based on mutual acts of caring and shared beliefs and absence of they/them or us and them mentality.

School Bus Safety Week

The Board of Education is committed to student safety as a top priority in their commitment to student well-being in the District Strategic Plan. School Bus Safety Week is an active and evolving public education program held during the third full week of October each year. Read more.

Thompson Rivers University Open House - Saturday, October 21, 2023

We are excited to share Thompson Rivers University (TRU) Open House invitation, which is happening on Saturday, October 21, 2023, from 9 am to 3 pm. Read more.

Empowering SD73 Students through Career Development

The goal of SD73s Career Development priority is to ensure every learner will graduate, know who they are, and have plans for who they aim to become through their career pathway as outlined in the District Strategic Plan 2022-2027. Recently, secondary students from across the District participated in career events through the Trades and Transitions Career Development program. Read more.

I appreciate your continued efforts to nurture connections/relationships, well-being, sustainability, and equity within our schools and District departments. Celebrate what has gone well because there is so much to be proud of at this early stage in the school year. Enjoy your weekend!


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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