Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday February 16, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

This has been a week of rich sharing in Families of Schools, Valentine’s Day activities, and Random Acts of Kindness. The stories shared were clear examples of living our values of fostering positive relationships/connections and wellbeing in our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan.

Beattie Elementary School

Principal Orr and Interim Vice Principal Jennifer Nielsen and I discussed the wonderful student leadership that has happened in the school around promoting acts of kindness. The students created a “Random Acts of Kindness” bulletin board where everyone who enters the school is encouraged to list and do as many acts of kindness as possible. They have also worked hard on developing a spirit of welcoming by starting their school year with activities saying welcome in languages spoken by their families, and the families who also put a pin on a world map showing where they were from. Mr. Orr shared, “It helps everyone to remember back and think about sharing their language and stories about where they are from. It creates a sense of belonging in the school community.”

Ms. Baglee explained that she has an Aboriginal student leadership group who has helped to make breakfast and lunches for the school through the Feeding Futures program. We visited Ms. Dunstan’s grade 6 class who were making pinch pots. Ms. Langford’s Gr. 5-6 class was sharing their Valentines and their compliments’ bags (each student writes nice things to one another). Ms. Simpson’s Gr.7 class was working on varied activities including writing fractured fairy tales. She shared how she and Ms. Greer’s Gr. 7 class will be sharing a Science activity focused on building stable structures for the upcoming Science Fair. Ms. Ratuski’s Kindergarten-Gr. 1 class were preparing to go skating the next day and students were trying on skates to get their correct size. Other students were writing their heart maps (giant hearts with spaces to draw and write what they loved the most). Ms. Hunter’s Gr. 2 students were discussing, “What makes a good friend?” and they watched a video with children sharing their ideas.

Promoting Girls in Trades in SD73

SD73 is committed to providing equitable access to Career programs by removing barriers and creating environments that provide accessible and empowering opportunities for all students to thrive. Read more.

Innovation Grant at Valleyview Secondary School

Earlier this month, five students from Valleyview Secondary School (Alex Morrison, Brady Creelman, Davis Klohn, Jimy Schroeder, and Nelson Warnick) took home a $4,000 scholarship prize from the annual Acres Industry Innovation Competition hosted by Acres Enterprises and Thompson Rivers University. The Acres Competition challenges students in SD73 to create innovative technology capable of solving major problems in industry. Team VSS created a body heat sensor intended to prevent heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses and injuries in physically intensive work environments such as construction sites. Their win marks back-to-back victories for VSS in this contest.

Families of Schools

In SD73, school leaders meet in groups of schools called “families of schools” that are located within the same geographic areas and serve the same students and families who live in those areas. Families of schools’ principals and vice principals gather with district leaders throughout the year to engage in professional learning that will benefit their students in literacy, numeracy, and feeling welcome, safe, connected to school, and a sense of belonging. They share ideas about how to improve life chances for students in their schools by working on strategies based on research about what has been effective in other contexts and what is promising in their own contexts. This year, families of schools’ leaders have been focused on a book study of Shane Safir and Jamila Dugan’s (2021) Street Data: A Next-Generation Model for Equity, Pedagogy, and School Transformation. They shared their learning throughout this week with each other, district leaders, and trustees. It was a powerful collaborative learning experience and shows the importance of sharing to continually improve student learning results.

A Good News Story of Kindness- Rescues of a Teddy Bear

Principal Deb Piggin wrote:

This particular little bear belonged to one of our Kindergarten students, Abigail, and unfortunately an older child misjudged his strength and the bear's flying power and the bear took flight right up onto our roof. As it happens, we did not have our regular day custodian and her replacement was not comfortable going on the roof. This was Dec 22, so the last day before the holidays and I did not want to see this bear spend Christmas on the roof. I called Art McDonald, who so graciously sent one of his crew over to rescue the bear. Abigail was so excited to have her bear back, she repeated the words "Thank you, thank you!"  You can see in the picture her delight with his return. I was so impressed by the quick response of our maintenance team to help with this task when they really did not need to.

Have a wonderful Family Day long weekend!


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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