Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday January 26, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

As we are nearing the end of January, it is evident how much staff, students, and families are committed to working together to foster connections/relationships, which is a core value in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan.

Westsyde Secondary School

Principal Preymak and I visited staff in a team meeting to transition students, and as we continued, it was delightful to spend time with students working with Bernice Jensen, Cultural Coordinator, who was sharing her knowledge about how to prepare deer hide for drums. Students were soaking the hide, cleaning it, and cutting it while another group was making sinew. Aboriginal Education Workers Dayton Schadlich and Hailey Anderson were supporting the process. Together, they worked to cocreate what promised to be beautiful drums on wooden bases made by the wood working students. It was a beautiful example of how learning takes multiple teams from school and district levels, and how we learn by doing while being mentored by those who have the cultural knowledge.

We continued on to Ms. Carlson’s room, and she explained that students had just completed their capstone projects about areas or questions of interest.  One student had interviewed elderly people to learn what they described as some of their biggest life challenges and what they did to work through them. Ms. Hallstrom’s Pre-calculus 12 students were working on questions and final assignments to prepare for the end of semester.

Ms. Richards’ Art 11 and 12 classes were combined and working on varied projects that ranged from digital picture book creation, paintings, drawings, and 3D art sculptures. Ms. Richards explained the students’ investment in the “Butterfly Project”. Each student had selected a vignette of a student who had been killed in the Holocaust. This project was done to prepare for the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust (January 27, 2024) by the United Nations General Assembly.

In Drama 11, students were performing their plays and Mr. Sawka was filming them. I witnessed one example of a sword fight that was complex and believable because the students had perfected the different moves with their wooden swords.

In 11/12 Anatomy and Physiology, students were engaged in dissection and locating the particular organs. Mr. Reid’s students were making trading cards to represent famous historical figures. Ms. Isenor’s students were studying “At Great Risk” and creating multimodal responses (art, poetry, digital texts, personal responses). Students were invested in sharing their personal learning related to experiences of the Holocaust shared in the book. As we neared the end of our classroom visits, we went to the library and met with Ms. Piccini and Ms. Kachel who described how they continually expand their texts to share the diversity of communities and to acknowledge important celebrations and commemorative days.

ABC Family Literacy Day - January 20, 2024

Literacy is foundational to student learning and achievement. In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, the Board is committed to curricular and extracurricular programming that supports students to thrive.  SD73 enjoys a strong partnership with community organizations.  ABC Family Literacy Day, which took place on Saturday January 20 2024 at the Henry Grube Education Centre, showcases how that excellent collaboration kicked off Unplug and Play week in our Kamloops-Thompson region. Read more.

“Let’s Talk” Mental Health Day: SD73 is Proud to be Partnering with SD73 Graduate

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, we are committed to students' wellbeing and to learning from mentors and role models about how to experience life challenges from a growth mindset. Read more.

Art Show at Sa-Hali Secondary School

I attended the art show at Sa-Hali Secondary on January 24, 2024 at 6:30 pm. The theme was to share student projects about their big ideas as connected to a theme of importance to them. The pieces ranged from large and small sculptures, paintings, drawings, to mixed media. Students presented about how they appreciated the open nature of the projects which enabled them to choose their focus and medium. They each wrote a narrative to describe the big ideas behind their pieces which ranged from inspiration connected to causes (e.g., Save thePolar Bears), joys (fairy tales, siblings), and losses (wildfire, loss of a person), as examples. I appreciated the wide range of the projects and the Fine Arts teacher, Ms. Cacaci’s comments about students who engaged in the projects ranged from those who love art and to those who did not choose art as their first choice, and everyone found a way to express themselves and to feel proud of their creations.

Kindergarten Round-Up Information Night

If you would like to learn more about how to register for Kindergarten in our district, please join us on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 - 6:30 PM -7:30 PM (virtual session). Register here to listen and ask questions of community partners and School District 73 staff about Kindergarten 2024. For more information, read the Welcome to Kindergarten Handbook and visit our webpage. Read more.

Enjoy the weekend and take time to get outside and spend time with those you enjoy and love.


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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