Superintendent’s Update - Meeting Minister Rachna Singh

Posted On Friday January 27, 2023

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

We have had an exciting week meeting with Minister Rachna Singh!

Minister Singh Meets with the Board of Education and Inclusive Education Team and TRU Staff–January 22

Board Chair Heather Grieve has posted a summary of the conversation between the Board of Education and Minister Singh. Read more. Minister Singh also requested to learn about the delivery and content of Consent Café to grade 8 students. Alex Inglis, the Health and Promoting Schools Coordinator, shared an overview of SD73 professional learning to build staff capacity to teach inclusive sexual health education. She introduced TRU Wellness Coordinator, Chelsea Corsi and TRU Associate Teaching Professor, Tanya Pawliuk who shared their work with the Consent Café, one strategy that has proven effective with students.

Meeting with the Aboriginal Education Council

Minister Singh spent time getting to know the Aboriginal Education Council and what they hoped to achieve for Indigenous students and families. Knowledge Keeper Joan Arnous (left), a powerful voice in shaping the focus on the hearthfire (communities coming together) and the seven Grandfather Teachings in the District Strategic Plan, gifted Minister Singh with the stories of the Secwepemc Nation and the importance of the land and the teachings of Turtle (truth). Cheryl Thomas gifted Minister Singh with smoked salmon.

Student Equity Council at the Henry Grube Education Centre

As we continue focusing on developing connections/relationships, a core value commitment in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, I was fortunate to witness the first meeting of the SD73 Student Equity Council of over 150 grades 6-12 students who met at the Henry Grube Education Centre on Monday, January 23 to explore what racism means (what it looks like, sounds like, feels like) by bravely sharing stories of their lived experiences with each other in small groups. They considered next steps to take in their respective schools and as a school system to identify and begin to erase barriers that prevent change.

Assistant Superintendent Mochikas is leading this council and has championed the importance of anti-racism and human rights education in the district. Assistant Superintendent Mochikas stated, “We start with those who have experienced the harm, but we cannot rely on them to solve the problems or to implement actions. It is up to each one of us, especially those in positions of leadership and power to learn and to change the system.”

Launch of the K-12 Provincial Anti-racism Action Plan by Minister Rachna Singh

We were fortunate that Kamloops was chosen as the location for the launch of the K-12 anti-racism action plan. Minister Singh shared, “We know that Indigenous, Black and people of colour may face inequity within the education system. This action plan is a critical step forward for students, educators, staff and families as we all work to create school communities that feel welcoming and supportive for people of all backgrounds.”

Minister Singh Visits Valleyview Secondary School- East Wing Addition

Minister Singh toured Valleyview Secondary School East wing and appreciated learning firsthand about the favourite locations from two students, Rachel Farrow and Levi Purves. Mr. Dean Paravantes spent considerable time showing the design process of various projects utilising 3D printers, robotic circuitry, and laser cutters. Various student projects were also showcased that included intricately etched coasters, boxes, and furniture. Thank you to Principal Carmichael and Vice Principals Waage and Horton for leading the Minister through some of the most used, appreciated spaces of the East wing.

Celebrating Literacy in the Early Years: ABC Family Literacy Day at the Henry Grube Education Centre

In the 2022-2027 Kamloops-Thompson District Strategic Plan, literacy development is foundational to supporting learning opportunities that inspire students to thrive. When children begin to read, view, and listen to texts that captivate their imaginations, it is the beginning of a joyous journey of celebrating literacy moments and events throughout their lives. Read more.

Thank you to Marianne Vande Pol, Early Years Coordinator for her leadership in supporting this important community partner event.

Diversity Week

To develop healthy identities that value diversity and inclusion, students and educators need opportunities to engage in meaningful activities that connect them with each other to foster a safe and welcoming community. The February Short Film Festival strives to build a foundation of respect and understanding that students can carry as educated citizens throughout their lives. When diversity perspectives are introduced early in their lives, students are less likely to be discriminating against others. Read more.

Interior Health

As we continue to work and learn, and stay healthy, consider the following advice from Interior Health:

  • Stay at home if unwell. 
  • Practice respiratory etiquette.
  • Consider wearing a mask in crowded public spaces, and cough and sneeze into the elbow.  
  • Clean hands regularly.  
  • Avoid touching the face, especially eyes, mouth and nose.  

Thank you for a week of important learning, genuine sharing, and community building.

Take time for your family, friends, and yourself this weekend.


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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