Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Monday June 17, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Thank you for your passion and dedication to supporting students in rich learning as we progress into June. This kind of dedication is what assists us to continue to build strong, positive relationships and connections, one of the core commitments in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan

Raft River Elementary School 

I began my visit to Raft River Elementary School outside with Trustee Shelley Sim and Principal Carmella Mathieu. They shared the incredible efforts that have gone into conceptualizing and building the Outdoor classroom with the pond and pollinator garden as part of the grounds.

As we started in classrooms, Ms. Langton’s Kindergarten class was enjoying snack time and preparing for a presentation about invasive plants in North Thompson. Ms. Reid, Learning Assistance Resource Teacher, was administering the Primary Reading Assessment and the student said that it was enjoyable. This student has been using a pen that can read text aloud while scrolling over the words. This technology was on loan from SET BC. Ms. Burton’s Grade 1–2 class was dancing and preparing to go to Phys Ed. Ms. McTaggart’s Grade 2–3 class had just finished playing games in the gym.

We then met Ms. Williams and Ms. Gales, custodians, who were doing a wonderful job cleaning. Ms. Gale shared how she has enjoyed a full career and is now retiring. While in the hallway, Ms. Shook, who had been instrumental in starting the design and fundraising for the outdoor classroom showed me her vision for also expanding Indigenous plants there by working with Simpcw.

Ms. Johnson’s Grade 1–2 class was engaged in a project in which they were each building an object connected to a famous fairy tale. Ms. Hughe’s Kindergarten class was immersed in subitizing, and Ms. Jaya’s Grade 1–2 class was studying shapes. Ms. McTaggart’s Grade 2–3 class was playing Math games about division called “Uncover It!”

Ms. Green’s Grade 1–2 class proudly showed me their classroom bulletin board where they had each drawn, coloured, and labeled the life cycle of a butterfly. 

Ms. Boulet’s Grade 4–5 class was studying Industries across Canada, and Mr. Gauthier’s Grade 6 class played a game of “I have” and “you have” that was reliant on knowledge and application of multiplication facts. Ms. Cathy’s Grade 4–5 class had created land acknowledgements to be displayed in the school. Ms. Wilkes’ Grade 6–7 class was doing exercises about transformations of shapes. Ms. Harvey’s Grade 6–7 class had students working independently and in partners to design adventure parks using certain shapes, angles, and other criteria.

Clearwater Secondary School

Principal Darren Coates and I began the school visit with a conversation about the value of interviewing students to see what they share about what is or is not improving belonging in the school community. Teacher Ms. Lisa Fraser had been involved in the interviews and indicated, “Some of the students’ suggestions are easy to accommodate and the value in listening to them and responding to their requests goes a long way to build trust.” 

Mr. Whelen’s Foods Class was making multiple dishes (muffins, banana bread, chicken nuggets). Ms. Giesbrecht and Ms. Zietsov were working in the Learning Assistance Resource Room with multiple students. One student, Grace, was making a quilt while others were engaged in math and building cityscape models. Ms. Jansen was planning the National Indigenous Peoples’ Day on June 21, 2024, when the students and staff are going to Dutch Lake. The woodworking class is making wooden feathers to paint at this event.

As we continued to visit classrooms, we first met Darren, a student who was working on a design of dice and preparing to create them in the 3D printer. Ms. Herring’s class was engaged in CPR training. As we passed through the gym, which had been prepared for Grad, Ethan, a Grade 11 student was helping to put together the set for Grad. Ethan was also a student who helped to build the Dream Home (see Youth Train in Trades story). 

Mr. Leary, shop teacher, was supporting multiple groups in the metal shop to make shovels.

We met with Ms. Ludbrook who is the Flex Alternative Education program teacher. She explained that the success of the program (Wall of Grads) is that students have flexibility and can choose how to complete courses (at home, at school, online). The program has been moved from outside to inside the core of the school, and this has enabled students to take electives more easily. She added, “Students are also able to see their friends on breaks, and they are part of the school community rather than located away from it.”

To conclude our visit, we met with the day custodians, Ms. Chambers and Ms. Sollows, who were willing to have their pictures taken. The school truly shines because of the pride that they take in maintaining it, and they both expressed how much they are looking forward to Graduation and want the school to look its best.

Youth Train in Trades Students Build a Dream Home Together in Clearwater

The Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education is committed to community engagement with partners who can come together on learning opportunities that inspire students to thrive, as outlined in the District Mission in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan. On June 12, 2024, nine Grades 11–12 Clearwater Secondary students and two local community members came together to share the “Dream Home” they’ve been building since February. Under the instruction of TRU's Tim Kasten, this group participated in the  Carpentry Youth Train in Trades Level 1 program, offered through the synergistic partnership between the District of Clearwater, Thompson Rivers University, Borrow Enterprises, SkilledTrades BC, and the Kamloops-Thompson School District. Read more

The Third Annual District Powwow Welcomes Grade 5 Students

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, we are committed to Truth and Reconciliation through District participation in important ceremonies and days of celebration. On June 13, 2024, Grade 5 students from 26 schools across the Kamloops-Thompson School District gathered at Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Powwow Arbour for the third annual District Powwow. Read more.

District Long Service and Retirement Recognition

On June 11, 2024, The Kamloops-Thompson School District celebrated long service employees and retirees with a recognition reception in the Mountain Room at Thompson Rivers University. This annual celebration highlights one of the key value commitments from the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, Connection/Relationships. Throughout the evening, attendees reconnected with past colleagues, shared stories with friends, expressed their gratitude for each other, and celebrated the achievements and milestones of every honouree. The joy felt in the room was a testament to the meaningful connections everyone has built throughout their years with SD73 that support and strengthen the work we do in the Kamloops-Thompson School District. Read more.

Thank you for everything that you are doing to support students in June. Enjoy your weekend with family and friends.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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