Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday November 10, 2023

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Thank you to the many staff, students, parents, and community members who came together today for Remembrance Day ceremonies. This year we lowered flags starting on November 8th to acknowledge the important contributions made by thousands of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit veterans who served in both World Wars and in the Korean War. We continued remembering, learning, listening, and reflecting throughout this week to honour more than 118,000 Canadians who have died in military service over 200 years. Read more.

SD73 Continuing Education: First Steps and Street School

First Steps

Principal Mike Johnson and I met with three students in the First Steps program for expectant mothers and mothers 14-24 years old. They each shared how their ability to take classes on a flexible schedule has enabled them to accomplish their goals.

When we entered the classroom, the Math teacher, Mr. Jason Karpuk and Ms.Cheyenne Kennedy, had just finished cooking “Big Mac Tacos” with the students. The students planned for how much they required of each item, researched where to buy the food for the best price, and worked within a set budget which required them to also have “substitute” ingredients in mind.  Integrating math into cooking is a common life skills approach to teaching and learning in the First Steps program.

One student is expecting in May, and she shared how she appreciated being able to take courses to graduate as well as life skills training (cooking natural baby food, making meals, managing schedules). Two other students have had their babies and their children are in the daycare located next door. One student explained, “I am able to come here, drop off my baby and continue to learn and be here in case I am needed.” The other student shared, “I have learned so much from Anne Noble who has run the daycare for many years, and she has inspired me to want to work in a daycare.”

When I asked what the best thing about being in the First Steps program was, they shared: “It is easier to come here because it is small and I get to be with young moms”, “Teachers have more time for us so it makes the work easier.” Having the daycare attached is a huge relief”, and “I returned after coming here, leaving, and now I am ready.” First Steps is an invaluable program for our students, and it was inspiring to learn from these students and staff.

Street School

Principal Johnson and I then went to Street School which is for adult students who attend school by coming to NorthHills Mall for one-on-one instruction and online learning. One student was receiving help from Ms. Erika Dabner, the Humanities teacher and Street School Program Coordinator. She shared some graphics that students had completed about the “journey of a protein” and she explained, “We work with students one-on-one and find different ways to teach to inspire students to want to come back.” She emphasized the importance of creating a safe environment where students feel that coming to school is worthwhile so that they don’t avoid it and risk becoming isolated while learning only online.

We also met Ms. Leanne Holmes, the Outreach Worker, who shared how she has spent a lot of time with individual students this year who have returned to school, but it took persistence to get them to access counseling, stick with addictions treatments, and go to medical appointments. When I asked whether this is different than previous years, Ms. Holmes indicated that it is similar to other years but it seems more intensive this year.  Ms. Ericka Dabner emphasized that Ms. Holmes’ intensive work is paying off, and she has also found that putting in the time to get students to the school and connecting with them is resulting in more students succeeding and staying in school.

SD73 Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education Inaugural Board Meeting

On Monday, November 6, 2023, the Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education elected the positions of Chair, Vice Chair, British Columbia School Trustees' Association Provincial Council, and British Columbia Public School Employers' Association representative for the Board for 2023-2024. Read more.

South Kamloops Secondary School’s Treescape Art Exhibit

On Wednesday, November 8, 2023, South Kamloops Secondary students shared their stunning paintings in an exhibit at the Sagebrush Theatre. Guided by a theme focused on Kamloops Treescapes, each painting had the student’s reason for selecting that particular tree and their personal connections to that place.

Mr. Walt Kirschner thanked the students and Ms. Lisa Yamaoka, the Art teacher, for her leadership. Many students shared their creations and their appreciation for Ms. Yamaoka. Thank you, SKSS students, parents, and staff for your investment in taking the time to coordinate this annual event to showcase students’ talents in the arts.

National Career Development Month

SD73 began National Career Development Month by celebrating Take Our Kids to Work Day. Throughout the month of November, the SD73 Career Development Department is promoting District Career programs and events to all secondary school students in grades 9 through 12. These activities align with the Career Development Department priority outlined in the District Strategic Plan 2022-2027. Read more.

Girls Exploring Trades and Technology

On November 9, 2023, girls in grades 6-9 from SD73’s North Shore and North Thompson schools gathered at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) for the fifth annual Girls Exploring Trades and Technology (GETT). Read more.

Thank you for your efforts in preparing for the Remembrance Day celebrations which were beautiful and honoured veterans and those whose lives have been deeply impacted by loss in past and recent wars. As we continue into a weekend of remembering, please enjoy your families and those who make a positive difference in your lives.


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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