Stories from Barriere

Posted On Friday October 29, 2021

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Many of you began Halloween festivities in your classrooms, workplaces, and homes. I wish you many moments of fun with family and friends in your costumes and as you enjoy your favourite treats on Halloween.

Barriere Elementary School

I visited Ms. Tiffany Hawkins, principal of Barriere Elementary School. She described how, when she began her role in 2019, the staff reviewed reading results and decided to implement an early reading intervention program to improve them. Ms. Hawkins stated, “Our Learning Assistant Resource Teacher (LART), classroom teachers, and I take reading groups each week. Our goal is that students spend 90% of their time reading texts at their level and to have direct instruction using research-based reading strategies.” There has been a steady increase in students’ reading results over the past two years. “We meet every two weeks to discuss students’ progress,” Ms. Hawkins shared, “This is how we can assess whether our strategies are working and build on common instructional practices.”

District Strategic Plan Update

Our District Strategic Plan 2017-2022 has been our roadmap for student success because we focused on excellence and equity. This year, we invite you to join us in re-visioning our strategic plan for the next five years. So far, over 900 participants have taken part in either focus groups or our survey to answer: What type of world do you imagine/hope that our children will create?, What skills, attitudes, and competencies will they require to make that world possible?, and How do we get them there? Focus group participants represented 25 staff, student, and partner groups. In November-December, PCG Consultants will provide an analysis of the feedback, which will help us develop our new mission and vision. Watch for these updates as they are available at SD73Connects, and join us when we have our next round of opportunities to see what is being developed and to provide your feedback.

Communicable Disease Prevention Plan

We continue to focus on our daily health checks, staying home when sick, and implementing all of the health and safety measures in our District’s Communicable Disease Prevention Plan. This past week, because of everyone’s diligence, we continue to see a downward trend in our potential school exposures, which are published by Interior Health. That said, community cases in Kamloops-Thompson have been rising, so we will need to remain extra vigilant:

  • Wearing masks indoors and on busses
  • Washing hands and using hand sanitizer
  • Covering our mouths when we cough
  • Keeping respectful personal distances
  • Using specific entrances and exits
  • Limiting visitors to schools
  • Staying within gathering guidelines and limiting congestion within small spaces such as hallways
  • Using recommended HVAC filters and air flow procedures
  • Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting in all areas

As directed by the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Interior Health Medical Health Officers, our School District staff will continue to rely on Interior Health’s reporting of potential exposures. We rely on Interior Health only for the following reasons:

  • As per Public Health guidelines, not all school cases are infectious at school, so advising about these has no benefit to the school community
  • Public Health has the expertise to do the exposure assessment and will post on their website when the assessment is complete
  • Further notification beyond what Public Health provides can be harmful, promote rumours, and breach the privacy of individuals.

Thank you for your efforts to have fun this Halloween while also staying safe.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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