Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday October 28, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Throughout October, everyone has worked together to foster connections/relationships, well- being, sustainability, and to share stories of equity and courage, which are value commitments in our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan.

Barriere Elementary School

Principal Brogan explained, “Our team aims to cultivate a calm, positive learning environment every day. Students, staff, and parents are committed to being kind, safe, respectful, and responsible every day.” As we walked class to class, students cheered together with Mr. Brogan and gave examples of how they were showing these values in action. Mr. Scott’s Kindergarten class read their morning message using letter cues. They knew that “to be safe, they strive to be kind”. Ms. Peterson’s K-1 class reinforced that message by adding that “no pushing” helps everyone to be respectful. Ms. Patton’s 3-4 class explained that to be responsible, they have “no hands on”. Ms. McGravey’s Gr. 1-2 class chanted that they are “the best in the west” through “teamwork”. Ms. Underhill’s Kindergarten class said that she is “awe” in “awesome”. Mr. Mckenzie’s class created posters that included drawings of these values as well as what they do each day to live them. Ms. Smailes’ Gr.4-5 class shared that they aim for “no jumping down from the monkey bars in case someone is below them” to be safe.

Barriere Secondary School

Principal Tyler and two student ambassadors, Mazey and Tahlia, greeted me with warm cookies from Foods class. Then, we began our tour in the learning commons. In SD73, equity is about removing barriers and creating environments that provide accessible and empowering opportunities for all students and staff to thrive. Students put away technologies that “can get in the way of connecting” and played card games and board games instead. Ms. Baruta supported students with research. Mr. Christian teaches Art as part of Mosaics (5- week options). Mazey stated that she “would not have tried water painting without Mosaics.” Tahlia confirmed, “I like the mix of subjects.” Mr. O’Reilly’s Gr.8s were engaged in Social Studies. Ms. Nomm’s Gr. 10s discussed the “Great Gatsby”. Mr. Biffert taught feedback in English 7. Ms. Pellegrino’s Gr. 7 class was editing their writing. Mr. Connor’s Gr. 11-12 Math class was solving equations. Ms. Harpman’s Gr.9 class participated in a Chemistry lab. Ms. Adams’ Gr. 11-12 class was making cookies. Others were learning how to make enchiladas with Ms. Laura Mairs. Ms. Foxall’s English 8 class watched a documentary about identity. Mr Fielding’s class was making benches in preparation for building sheds. We ended our tour with a picture of Ms. Gartner, Tahlia, Mazey, Ms. Luison, and Mr. Tyler- a delightful team.

Ralph Bell Elementary School

Vice Chair Wade and Principal Hawkins, and I began our school tour by discussing a bulletin board at the entry to the school learning commons that showed students’ favourite books on student-designed book bindings. Ms. O’Donovan’s class had written owl stories. Ms. Thompson’s Gr. 1-2 class had participated in ‘directed drawing” and had drawn uniquely shaped pumpkins with sophisticated highlights and shades. Ms. Wild’s class had written about the salmon life cycle after going on the salmon run. Mr. Hohensee’s Gr. 6-7 class was studying healthy foods. Ms. Bojesen’s class were sharing, and they were preparing to complete an art card project showing brightly painted sunsets, and winter and summer scenes. Their next step was to add painted black trees using the edge of cardboard to create them. “We have had such a great start to our school year–everyone is focused on teamwork and building a strong, positive school community,” said Principal Hawkins.

Adams Lake Band and SD73 Board of Education Dinner

On October 26, 2022, the SD73 Board of Education, the SD73 senior administration, and the Adams Lake Band Council met to share hopes and dreams for students in the community. We gathered in the Adams Lake Band gym and shared a wonderful meal and stories about student successes. Trustee Jules explained how truth and reconciliation is a focus throughout the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan. She shared  two videos that showed our value commitments (relationships/connections, wellbeing, equity, sustainability) and Seven Grandfather Teachings. Thank you to Adams Lake Band Education Coordinator, Ms. Diane Anthony, and to all staff who supported this event.

Drop Everything and Read

In celebration of National School Library Day, on Monday, October 24th, over 12,000 SD73 students and staff participated in Drop Everything and Read Day (DEAR). Read more

Salmon Festival

From September 30 to October 23, nearly 7,000 students from 31 schools across the Kamloops-Thompson School District have travelled to Tsutswecw Park to participate in the 2022 Salmon Festival. Read more

As you prepare for the end of the month, enjoy preparing for a safe and happy Halloween.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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