Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday November 12, 2021

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

I hope that you were able to honour those veterans who served and sacrificed for our country by taking time with your family, friends, or on your own to reflect on Remembrance Day (Nov. 11) and National Indigenous Veterans Day (Nov. 8).

Together We Thrive Video Project

Assistant Superintendent Mochikas, District Principal Bowden, and I attended a powerful unveiling of a student video project at Four Directions Secondary School on Nov. 9, 2021. Skyler Oakes, Mileo Merrill, Jaynus Lecoy Peters, Draiden Ambridge, Evan Tarlit, Kevin Lavoie-Dick, Flower Dick, Charlie Cuthbert, and Daisy South engaged as participants in a multi-day project in which they sang, played music, and danced to communicate their inter-generational reflections on how to move forward after the tragic discovery of the 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. One student said, “I couldn’t believe that I could sound like that.” The video production was poignant, moving, and professionally done. A special thank you to Ms. Courtney Bruin, Ms. Jordan Smith, Mr. Justin Young, Ms. Dyan Gunnlaugson, and Mr. Cory Carmichael for your wonderful leadership and unbridled, genuine commitment to these students. I will never forget it when one student paused and said, “This project changed my life.”

Parkcrest Elementary School

Mrs. Catherine Gorman, Principal of Parkcrest Elementary School, pointed to a picture in her office of the fire that had destroyed the original school building in September 2019. She said, “I keep it there to remind me of how grateful I am every day. We put together our school quickly with all of the ‘stuff’ that you need, but it was truly the energy and unwavering commitment of our district and school staff who did whatever it took to put us back together within a week.” She explained, “The consistency in our staff is the gift that we have in our building.” Catherine also showed how their staff have started to investigate innovative reading interventions and primary staff are invested in early reading diagnostic assessments from which to plan targeted instruction. Results show that we are making a positive difference in students’ literacy achievement, and she commented, “I look forward to where we can go with this differentiated approach.”

Communicable Disease Prevention Plan- Updated FAQs

We continue to focus on our daily health checks, staying home when sick, and implementing all of the health and safety measures in our District’s Communicable Disease Prevention Plan. Potential school exposures are published by Interior Health. To help respond to parent inquiries, please visit the District’s updated FAQs. The Ministry of Education just released a COVID-19 planning resource for mask exemptions to provide clarity for students and staff who are exempt from wearing masks.

Vaccination Policy Committee- Survey Results Forthcoming

Our Vaccination Policy Committee administered an anonymous survey to learn about staff perspectives on a Vaccination Policy that would require staff to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of it to the school district. The results will be collected after 4:00 p.m. today, Nov. 12, and our report will be finalized and brought to the Board In-Camera on Nov. 22, 2021. The Board will deliberate about whether or not to proceed to step two of the K-12 Sector Guidelines for Vaccination Policies.

Enjoy getting outside, taking a walk, and enjoying each other’s company this weekend.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD

Superintendent

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