Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Monday June 06, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

As we experience the busyness of June, it is important to remember that it is also the right kind of busy– celebrations, awards, and honors.

Sun Peaks School (K-9) and @KOOL Sun Peaks High School

Principal Boyle welcomed us to the three campuses at Sun Peaks school. We met Mr. Bankes’ grade 2/3 students while they were building a dam and bridges outside as they explored water systems. Mrs. Fell’s Kindergarten class was painting Spring designs. Mrs. Rinaldi’s 1/2 class explored tangram symmetry. Ms. Small shared the student’s artwork based on Munch’s “The Scream,” and Mrs. Cooper’s 3/4 class shared their self-portraits and Father’s Day creations. In the Conference Centre, Mrs. Schmalz and Ms. Erickson had introduced students to a Fantasy unit. Grade 5/6/7 students prepared book talks and wrote stories. Mr. Massey was working on math with the grade 8/9 class, while grades 10, 11, and 12 students prepared for exams and worked on projects.

Ms. Hawes and Mr. Blakeney explained that, through extensive fundraising efforts, these high school students have been well supported and achieved amazing accomplishments (i.e., they have become expert skiers, sailing instructors, dirt bikers, mountain bikers, and debaters) by engaging in their non-traditional, four-day, blended learning education program at Sun Peaks. Ms. Hawes and Mr. Hembling stood with Charlie Roberts who graduates in 2023. He is one of the original 19 students and the first student to complete his entire K-12 education at Sun Peaks. There are four students graduating this year from Sun Peaks through @KOOL.

As we travelled to the multiple locations, Ms. Boyle shared, “I have always loved Sun Peaks. It is a place where students ski to and from school, enjoy sports at lunch, and make tree forts and dams as a pastime. As they get older, many make careers out of their passions. It is a pleasure to work in this diverse community where students and staff are deeply grounded in their outdoor pursuits, embrace learning, and model our SKI matrix of being safe, kind and invested.”

Heffley Creek Elementary School and @KOOL within Heffley Creek School

Principal Hembling and I met Ms. Hayes who welcomed us to the school. We met Mrs. Silva’s K-3 class. They were writing stories and learning about life cycles of butterflies. Ms. McKay ensured that the chrysalises stayed safe. Self-regulation is a school goal, so several students demonstrated how they worked through the obstacle course that they had created.

Principal Boyle shared, “When I moved to SD73 in 2000, Heffley Creek was the first school I worked at, and it’s special to now be the Principal here. Ms. Silva is a gifted teacher and the students here are like a family. The older students support the younger students as they are immersed in their multi-aged, cooperative learning environment.”

Heffley Creek Elementary also serves as the base for @KOOL Elementary teachers. Principal Hemblng introduced me to Ms. Lancaster, Ms. McCarthy, Ms. Nichol, and Ms. Toews. They shared their innovative approach to rich literacy programming including in person and virtual guided reading, individual running records, and sharing of high- quality levelled literature. They share field trips and school events such as Track and Field with Sun Peaks students. Mr. Hembling emphasized, “This is an amazing team who ensures that parents are supported as much as the students, which makes this a truly immersive, supportive, high quality educational experience for everyone.”

Pride Month

In SD73, we celebrate Pride Month as a time to visibly show support for students, staff, and families identifying as LGBTQ2S+ and to learn about the history of pride. This month calls for a world without discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Different events and learning activities are planned at schools throughout the month. SD73 will walk in the Kamloops Pride parade on Sunday, August 28, 2022. All students and staff are welcome to walk with the SD73 group!

Communicable Disease Prevention Plan

We continue to emphasize the practice of daily health awareness strategies – staying home when sick, practicing good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and making choices about wearing masks – see our District’s Communicable Disease Prevention Plan for more information.

Thank you for working hard and enjoying the celebrations that continue in June.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD



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