Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday May 12, 2023

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

In May, we are highlighting stories about connections/relationships and the Grandfather Teaching of Courage in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan. It was National Mental Health Awareness Week (May 1-7) and the Moose Hide Campaign (May 11).  We stand together to support our core commitment to student and staff wellbeing and to voice our collective stance against gender-based violence.

I was also fortunate to go to three schools this week, two in North Thompson, and one in Westsyde.

Westsyde Elementary School

Principal Conroy and I started outside where we met with students who were reading on the grass and enjoying their “lunch hour mobile bookshelf” that was designed by one of the Certified Education Assistants, Ms. Pelland. Ms. Pelland had taken the time to paint pictures and quotations on the book shelf, which made it special for the students.

We then met Ms. Connolly’s K-1 class as they were visualizing during read aloud time. Mr. Martin was teaching Phys. Ed. to Gr. 5 and 6 students, and Mr. Conroy shared that he was looking forward to their new banner for their Tier One Competitive Girls Basketball team, which will be displayed in the gym. Ms. Langford’s Gr. 4-5 class was engaged in a video and activity about senses. Ms. Kristjanson was working with students to identify a Métis sash in a book. Ms. Schneider’s Gr. 5 class studied body systems, and she challenged them to work hard to win the “Schneider Cup”. Ms. Gill was in the library and she shared her role in the school, and then we visited Mme Demers whose students engaged in French charades.

Raft River Elementary School

Principal Mathieu, Vice Principal Gauthier, Trustee Sim, and I toured classrooms and visited with staff and students. Ms. Carter’s Kindergarten class was making words and Ms. Horne’s Kindergarten class was learning about patterns, time, and number sense in numeracy stations.

Ms. Harvey’s Gr. 6-7 class was in the gym. Ms. Gauthier worked with a literacy group, and they shared how they made new words by replacing the beginning consonant.

Ms. Johnson shared her book, “The Kindness Quilt” and Ms. Mathieu stood proudly by the school’s creation of their own kindness quilt. We carried on into Ms. Lourenco’s K-1 class engaging in literacy stations (guided reading, listening, digital reading). Ms. Graffunder’s class was focused on literacy. Ms. Cooke was in the same classroom and conducted a small group guided reading lesson. Ms. Green played the “swat it” word game. Ms. Shook’s Gr. 3-4 class was enjoying snack time while she met with students individually to see if they could measure certain shapes. Ms. Kerr’s Gr. 4-5 class went to the library, and Ms. Craik’s class studied poetry.

Clearwater Secondary School

Principal Coates, Trustee Sim, and I started in their new school health clinic which enables students to take medical appointments in their school. This is a new and vibrant partnership aimed at increasing student and family access to health services.

Two students prepared snacks for all students, and we witnessed how this collaborative effort is much appreciated by those who lined up to enjoy a morning snack.  The students also make muffins that they send to Raft River. During the silent reading block, Ms. Guilo’s Gr. 9 class was studying a unit in French. Ms. Mayer and Ms. Ziesta worked together with a few students to share how taking time to engage in Art fuels students’ passions. Caitlyn (Gr. 11) shared her portfolio with me, and her sister, Courtney, showed us her felt pen drawings.

As we entered the hall, a student, Alexander, was heading downstairs to work on the mountain bikes to prepare them for class. We then visited the flex program and Ms. Ludbrook shared that they have the highest number of graduates from their program to date, and she noted that more students access this program now that it is in the school. We entered into the wood working shop, and students were making memory boxes and Mr. Fraser explained how these boxes meet the needs of families who lose their unborn babies. The students are very invested in choosing symbols to engrave in the boxes to bring love and kindness into the hearts of those who receive them.  As we wandered through the wood working class, we met with Noelle who shared her unique modern table design. Thomas worked nearby on designing joints for pipes, and beside these students were students working on cars. One student, Andrew, shared how he had dropped his car lower and designed the gear shift and inside knobs to be unique.

A Great Finish to SD73’s Battle of the Books

It was an exciting finish to the Battle of the Books elementary reading motivation program this year! 28 schools participated in the program, and nine schools made it to the District Battle hosted on April 27th at the Henry Grube Education Centre. Read more.

SD73 Students Attended Geneskool

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, our District Mission is to provide students with learning opportunities and environments that inspire students to thrive. Hundreds of enthusiastic senior science students from all over School District 73 attended Geneskool, by Genome BC, at Thompson Rivers University during the first week of May. Read more.

Kamloops Thompson Honour Choir - Audition

Looking for a fun and exciting activity for your child? Give them the gift of music with our children's choir audition! Sign-up is now open Tuesday, May 16, 2023, for children currently in grades 2-6. Please contact Cyndy Olsen, Kamloops Thompson Honour Choir Manager, at Read more.

Thank you to everyone for making school visits authentic and for enjoying the time with students, staff, and trustees.  I hope that you stay cool this weekend while also enjoying the warm weather.


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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