Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday February 02, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

February is kindness month, so it is an opportunity to be intentional about recognizing those who engage in quiet acts of kindness as well as stories that illuminate equity (removing barriers and creating environments that provide accessible and powerful opportunities for all students and staff to thrive). The core values of relationships/connections, equity, wellbeing and sustainability are foundational to who we are in SD73 as described in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan and are illuminated in the stories shared.

Arthur Hatton Elementary School

Principal Charron and I began our learning walk by speaking with Ms. Fehst who shared how the Gr. 4-5 students were preparing to cook lunch for students at noon. Different classes take on this learning and sharing about how to grow, purchase, budget, prepare, and serve food for guests. Feeding Futures has enabled the staff to develop resources for teaching food literacy so that students gain a repertoire of strategies to prepare varied dishes. Ms. May, Aboriginal Support Teacher, organizes guest speakers and cultural programming such as drum making, seasonal rounds, and loose parts activities.

Ms. Zanders’ Gr. 5-6 class was engaged in problem solving fractions and receiving one-on-one teacher coaching. Similar to the primary grades, Gr. 5-6 teachers have regrouped their students for literacy time to be able to teach collaboratively and share strategies.

Ms. Sweeney’s Gr. 5-6 students were working independently and in partners on math problems. They also work with Mr. Denby’s class to prepare 40 starfish backpacks for families every Friday. Mr. Denby’s Gr. 5-6 class was also engaged in math and he shared how students integrated math into taking care of the garden outside, when seasonally possible, and microgreens inside.

Ms. Elwood stopped to discuss the learning centre and sensory room and how it is used for soft starts, breaks, and one-on-one and small group learning.

Mr. Kershaw was reviewing hibernation with Gr. 1, and Ms. McMillan’s class was sharing their sayings on their shirts because it was “Read My Shirt” Day. Ms. Sutherland’s Gr.1 class was preparing for recess and finishing snacks.

Career Education Programming

In our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, Career Development is a priority and our ultimate goal is that every learner will graduate, know who they are, and have plans for who they aim to become through their career pathway.

To support high school students to consider varied career pathways, SD73 Career Education staff organized evening sessions for students to learn about the hairstylist progression of learning, and the Digital Arts and Technology Academy (DATA). These evening sessions inspired attendees who learned from students currently in these programs and from staff who were passionate about the career possibilities connected to them. Read more.

New Bachelor of Engineering Program at Thompson Rivers University

In SD73, we have a strong partnership with Thompson Rivers University and we aim to share information to support students and families to learn about new career pathways supported by TRU. For the Fall 2024, TRU is starting their new Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Engineering program. Read more.

Student and Family Affordability Fund

On August 29, 2022, the Ministry of Education and Child Care announced that school districts in BC would be provided with a one-time fund ($60 M) called the Student and Family Affordability Fund (SFAF) intended to provide additional funds to parents to offset costs of food through meals programs in the school, school supplies, and any additional fees so that students can take part in activities, such as field trips, athletics, and fine arts.

School District No. 73 received $1,656,248 in November 2022.

In the 2022-2023 school year, the District spent $760,236 of these funds supporting students and families with the cost of school supplies, course fees, academy fees, field trips, athletics, meals and snacks, leaving $896,012 for the 2023-2024 school year.

As of January 26, 2024, the District has spent approximately $670,000 which has provided assistance with an estimated $17,000 school fees.

There is $226,000 in funding available for the remainder of the school year that will continue to provide support for school supplies, course fees, academy fees and enhancement fees. To access these funds - Read more.

As we begin February, Kindness Month, take time to be kind to yourself and do something that you enjoy this weekend. 

Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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