Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday January 06, 2023

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

I am hoping that you enjoyed a genuine break with your family and friends over the holiday. Last year at this time, we had a delayed return to school due to COVID. Over the last two years, you have worked collaboratively to navigate at-home learning, delayed starts, high absenteeism, and functional closures.

I am grateful that we are starting off together in what promises to be a wonderful New Year in 2023.

Relationships and Respect

Building meaningful relationships is a core value commitment in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan. In January, we are collectively focused on stories that show the value of building meaningful relationships that support and strengthen our learning and growth.

In SD73, we believe that to develop meaningful relationships, we each need to commit to values represented in the Seven Grandfather Teachings. This month, we will focus on the Grandfather Teaching of Respect by acknowledging the need to value the dignity and worth of every person and living thing, and to appreciate each person for who they are and what they bring to our district community.

District Student Advisory Council

On December 7, 2022, Director Rick Kienlein led the District Student Advisory Council by Zoom. Secondary schools were represented by two or more students and a staff leader. The students shared what they learned by interviewing and/or surveying students in their respectives schools about two questions: What has worked well since you returned to school in September? What do you wish to improve? Each school leadership team shared their results and a few themes emerged.

The first theme was that students acknowledged that our district has invested in student voice in many ways (i.e., District Student Advisory Council, Aboriginal Student Advisory Council, Principal’s Council in every school). Student voice and leadership has resulted in more students speaking about the need to welcome all students, to make them feel included by involving them in school activities that have been largely cancelled the last two years.

Their collective “wish” was to continue the focus on student voice around how to help everyone to share students’ views on matters of importance to students. They also found that a lower percentage of students were participating in opportunities for them (i.e, clubs, field trips, lunch activities), and students commented that this is “frustrating”, and they hoped to reverse this trend and to increase student involvement in school clubs, activities, and events.

Students emphasized that school staff are focused on inclusivity and diversity and recognizing students for academic success.

Their collective “wish” was to continue to celebrate student achievement that extends beyond high academic results. They suggested that staff seek students’ perspectives on what it means to recognize student success beyond academics.

Director Kienlein will continue to work with the District Student Advisory Council to develop strategies to strengthen what is going well and to address their “wishes” for improvement.Thank you to Director Kienlein for supporting learners to share their voice to further the core value commitments of relationships, wellbeing, equity, and sustainability in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan.

Preparing for Schools of Choice Registration and Kindergarten Open House

Just a reminder for parents who have children entering Kindergarten, you are invited to join us in January and February to learn more about schools of choice and registration in Kindergarten. Read more here. Thank you to the District Early Learning Team for supporting learners to transition into Kindergarten, an important part of the Intellectual Development Priority in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan.

Interior Health

As we continue to work and learn in environments with the new variant of COVID, respiratory illnesses, and flu, the preventative advice from Interior Health is as follows:

  • Vaccination remains the best defence against both influenza and COVID-19. Book both influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations with your text or email invite through the GetVaccinated system or call 1-833-838-2323, or call your local health centre.  All clinics offering COVID-19 appointments will accept walk-ins for families with children for their influenza vaccine.
  • Key preventative measures include:
  • Stay at home if unwell.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette.
  • Consider wearing a mask in crowded public spaces, and cough and sneeze into the elbow.  
  • Clean hands regularly.  
  • Avoid touching the face, especially eyes, mouth and nose. 

For more information, visit BC Centre for Disease Control. Asymptomatic testing is not recommended for respiratory infections.  

Thank you for helping to keep our schools and communities healthy.


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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