Tuesday, August 27th, 2019
Dear Kootenay Lake - School District 8 students, staff, and families,
Thank you to everyone who made last year a huge success for our students, We value the role that our parents and staff play in ensuring this success for every student, and we are looking forward to another fantastic year of learning ahead!
We especially want to thank our parents, and are extremely proud to honour Slocan Valley parent, Ester Zdebiak, who received the 2019 George Matthews Award that acknowledges "excellence in parent leadership" from the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils.
Parents and guardians play a vital role in the success of our students and we encourage you to get involved in both school (PAC) and District (DPAC) activities. Contact your school Principal for the first date and time of the September meeting. Stay tuned to the District website as we have many Parent/Public learning nights coming your way.
Speaking of learning, nothing is more important than listening to our students. The role of our Student Trustee group is critical to bringing the students’ perspective to the board table and helping to ensure that the school board is acting in the best interest of the students.
Student Voice will continue to be a focus this year and we are pleased to announce our Student Trustees for 2019-2020:
- From Crawford Bay Secondary Elementary school – Liam Borhaven (2nd term)
- From J.V. Humphries - Jace Lamoureux (2nd term)
- From L.V. Rogers - Avie Waterfall and Harlan Hofmann (both new)
- From Mount Sentinel Secondary - Adriana Wilson and Calla DeRosa (both new)
- From Prince Charles Secondary in Creston - Aurora Jarvis (new)
- From Salmo Secondary - Kyla Jones and Brook Jessup (both new)
We have also hired some new staff roles to assist our students in achieving their success for the 2019-2020 school year.
We welcome to the District staff, our new Manager of SafeSchools – Scott Rothermel; our Mental Health Coordinator – Javier Gonzales; and new Crawford Bay Vice-Principal, Derek Apple. In addition, our new Director of Human Resources – Chandra Singh, will be joining us on October 1st.
Last year’s hiring of our new Secretary-Treasurer resulted in a balanced annual budget – revised and aligned with Ministry and Board goals. We have also realigned the Finance department and gone “green” district-wide through enhanced digital processes, and are making it easier for parents to pay for fees etc. using our new Point of Sale (PoS) opportunities.
Our new Director of Technology and his team initiated the first year of our Technology Plan. As part of our new communication plan and to enable our students to have more current access to information, we have launched fifteen new websites throughout the District and expect to complete the rest this year. Our overall look will be fresh and reflective of the 21stcentury. Thank you to Sotropa Communications and our own, Slocan Valley parent and communications expert, Eden DuPont, for all the hard work.
The Board of Education continues to focus on improving our Aboriginal Education with a view toward Reconciliation and BC’s new Tripartite Education Framework Agreement. This agreement will support First Nations learners and ensure that Aboriginal perspectives and worldviews are incorporated throughout all curricular subjects K-12. A focus on Operations will forward the Board’s goal of Organizational Excellence. The Board will also continue updating and reviewing district policies and complete an updated Facilities Plan. In addition, our district is participating in reviewing the Education Funding Model to find a more equitable and effective way to allocate funds to Boards of Education.
This fall, we launch the final two years of the new BC Graduation program, specifically for Grade 11 and 12 students and all of our Career Life Education and Career-Life Connections programs. You will also hear a lot more about our student portfolios and District Transformational Change/Deeper Learning research with Harvard University. To that end, we will be engaging in Year 2 of our Focus. Learn. Excel. professional learning vision and professional development opportunities that will result in improved achievement of our students in all areas.
Our teachers’ are amazing and strive for excellence everyday. They are rested and excited about the year ahead. In particular, we would like to highlight Kalso’s own JVH teacher, Grace Broadfoot, who is nominated as a finalist for Premiers Award for Excellence in Education. The ceremony takes place on October 3 and 4 in Victoria. She will be accompanied by her Principal, Dan Rude. Congratulations Grace, we are all so very proud of you!
Oh, and don’t forget we have moved: our new School Board office is now located on the 3rd floor of the Central School at 811 Stanley Street, Nelson.
We continue to focus on our Mission and Vision, and goals for School District 8 - Kootenay Lake.
- Our Mission: We focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.
- Our Vision: Focus. Learn. Excel.
- Our Goals: Learning, Organizational Excellence, Engagement, Relationships
I wish all of our teachers, parents, Administrators, CUPE and KLTF staff, and all of our new and returning students an excellent 2019-2020.
Dr. Christine Perkins