Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday June 24, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

We celebrated National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 with the launch of a music video by the District Aboriginal Student Leadership Council. We also held our first district-wide Aboriginal Youth Wellness Conference Yecwestsu´t-ca - ‘To Care for One’s Self’.

Westsyde Elementary School

Principal Don Poelzer started our tour in Ms. Britt Boulter’s grade 2-3 class where students worked on reading familiar texts, then writing based on them. Ms. Kristin Glassel’s grade 1s were coding. Mrs. Alesha Connolly’s class engaged in buddy reading, and Mr. Chris Martin explained the school’s grant application to fund a mountain biking program. Ms. Jennifer Kristjanson’s and Ms. Chelsey Schneider’s classes were reading, writing, and preparing for Father’s Day. Principal Poelzer shared, “Student leadership has been a focus at our school. We have students planning and implementing intramural activities such as rugby, soccer, football, and baseball, to name a few.”

Westwold Elementary School

Principal Blake Buemann, Vice Chair Meghan Wade, and I walked through the original school house, which was built in the late 1800s. Now used as storage, this part of the school resonated with the charm of a close-knit school community. The K-7 students were outside for recess. One student shared, “I love this school because everyone gets along.” We then joined Mrs. Rachel Casponi who supported students to digitally locate Indigenous plants and determine their names in Secwepemctsin. Principal Buemann shared, “Mrs. Casponi integrates visual arts and music into their everyday learning, and she is so passionate about building strong community partnerships.”

Aberdeen Elementary School

Principal Tanya Rogers, Vice Principal Grant Naylor, and Mrs. Amanda Nixon (LART), introduced Jeremy, a grade 2 student who was delighted to put on a transformer costume and become a truck. It was truly inspiring to see his enthusiasm for the project he had developed with the support of CEAs Mrs. Theresa Rowand and Mr. Clayton Webber. Ms. Caity Reynaud (librarian) and Ms. Talaine Norton (library assistant) showed their Indigenous literature display. Principal Rogers explained, “We have collectively read and applied the theme of diversity in the text, ‘We Are All Dots’. Everyone is focused on celebrating diversity.”

Ms. Tannis Williams’ grade 1s were preparing for “Three Little Pigs” puppet plays. We then watched a performance of “Ray the Jay '' reader’s theatre in Ms. Sharlene Marican’s primary Montessori class. Mrs. Sandra Konkin’s music class presented an Orff instrumentation and recorder/voice ensemble of “Bluebells, Cockle Shells”. We met Jovani, a grade 7 student, who shared classroom research about the effects of bases and acids on eggs. Ms. Laurene Black-Haughton showed us her lesson on owl pellets to study what owls eat. Ms. Tracy Clarke’s Grade 7 Band prepared a video of “I Feel Good” by James Brown that was fantastic! Principal Rogers, Vice Principal Naylor, and LDP candidate, Ms. Stacey Kaczur met with me to discuss strengths and areas of focus in the school. Principal Rogers emphasized, “We are focused on being a team and the collaborative learning amongst students and staff is what makes us thrive.”

Pacific Way Elementary School

I started my visit at West Highland Park, where Ms. Beth Morgan’s students introduced their classroom project of a community garden to Mr. Jason Sandhu’s and Mrs. Lisa- Marie Galloway’s classes. Several students spoke about applying for a grant to create a pollinator garden and planning, building, and caring for the garden with the City of Kamloops. I went to Pacific Way Elementary School, where Principal Alain Blais introduced Ms. Alana Wassing’s Kindergarten class who were doing math with hands-on manipulatives, and Mrs. Sarah Gundel’s Kindergarten class who were reading and writing stories. Ms. Michele Thoms’ grade 1 class was working on fractions. Ms. Amber Piva’s grade 2-3 class was building boats, and Mrs. Jessica Greenwood’s Kindergarten class was on a “Language Arts rotation” (choice of reading, making words, writing, guided reading). Mrs. Teri Lynn Finch’s grade 3 class was engaged in collaborative research of Aboriginal communities and shared their dioramas. Ms. Michelle Salle’s grade 4-5 class worked on slide shows about anti-racism and anti-discrimination. Principal Blais commented, “I am very fortunate to work with such a collaborative staff and wonderful student and parent community.”

SD73 Graduation

The last of the District’s 15 graduation ceremonies wrapped up this week at Barriere and Clearwater Secondary Schools. We appreciate and celebrate each of our 1,100 unique graduates. Send a greeting to a Class of 2022 graduate.

Communicable Disease Prevention Plan

We continue to emphasize the practice of daily health awareness strategies – staying home when sick, practicing good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and making choices about wearing masks – see our District’s Communicable Disease Prevention Plan for more information.

From the Ministry of Education

Minister Jennifer Whiteside would like to extend a thank you to all students, parents and caregivers for their extraordinary efforts and accomplishments during the 2021/22 school year.

The final day of school is quickly approaching. Thank you for staying the course and learning, working, and celebrating together as we wind up the year. Enjoy your weekend with family and friends.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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