Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday April 26, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

It has been an inspiring week of learning in many areas- literacy, numeracy, healthy relationships, sustainability and Earth Day lessons, to name a few. We also enjoyed the opening of the second child care, Happyvale and the naming of the new elementary school in Pineview Valley.

David Thompson Elementary School

Principal Gunnlaugson and I had a wonderful time meeting staff and students. Mr. Grigg, the Day Custodian, offered inspiration for how to shape a positive culture starting by meeting students at the door. He said, “I meet students every morning and share reminders like, ‘Take your boots and shoes off’ to instill respect for the school as a facility.” He explained that greeting students daily enables students to take off their boots and shoes without being asked and it creates a sense of order and cleanliness by everyone, for everyone.  Wellbeing is a cornerstone value of the District Strategic Plan, and the school is gleaming with smiles and clean floors thanks to Mr. Grigg’s diligence about modeling respect for everyone and everything.

We entered Mr. Aitken’s Gr. 4 class that had just finished studying the History of Lacrosse and were reading and writing following the lesson. We continued on to see Ms. Jorgenson’s Kindergarten students who were making Earth Day posters and one student shared that “they were writing ways to be kind to the Earth.” When I asked her for examples, she said, “not littering” and “saving water”.

Ms. Svenson’s K-1 class was invested in learning about the lifecycle of a butterfly and one student showed me their live caterpillars eating and preparing to cocoon on branches. Another student shared how he used his scooter to get from one room to another. Ms. Kawa was singing about the continents and the Gr. 1-2 students happily joined in and answered questions about locations of the continents on a map.  Ms. Gurski’s Gr. 1 class was learning how to use their hands and chants to recall how to make doubles. They went into math stations to apply their learning.

Mrs. Webster’s Gr. 1-2 class was focused on positive self-talk and they had worked independently and with others to create booklets of positive self affirmations. They had just finished a lesson from the EASE program focusing on social emotional literacy and resilience. Ms. Bentz’s Gr. 3 students were learning how to multiple and apply active strategies to multiply by four.

As we entered the LART room, we met Hayley who was preparing to lead the Boys and Girls Club mentorship program outside with high school buddies. We also went into their regulation room, where staff work with students on a range of activities such as using a tent, rocker, sensory mats, and a body sock. They have started with a small number of 20 students who are trying these strategies and they have learned that 75% of the students respond positively to having time in this space and engaging in a range of sensory activities designed for refocusing and decompressing.

We continued into Mr. Mattes’ Gr. 3 class where Ms. Baker was teaching Health. Mr. Cinel’s Gr. 6-7 class was working on probability, but the students stopped to share songs that were written which were extended metaphors. Mr. Marchese’s Gr. 4-5 class was eager to share a range of their lessons from growing fruits and vegetables and holding a sale to inspire students to eat healthy. Another student shared their government unit based on Elections Canada resources. Another student showed how they also studied “Great Canadians.” Ms. McCauley’s Gr. 6 class was studying personal boundaries and in deep discussion about example scenarios in which they applied their learning. Ms. Morrison’s Gr. 2-3 class was working on Earth Day poems and preparing for hot lunch.  Ms. Morrison took time to share results of a professional learning session in which she learned how to make a Secwepemc mat of the seasons wheel. Mr. Covaceuszach’s Gr. 4-5 class was engaged in reading and Ms. Podovennikoff shared her work to support neurodiverse students.

Opening of Child Care, Happyvale

On Monday, April 22, 2024, we enjoyed a beautiful day at the opening of the Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education’s second Inquiring Little Mind’s Child Care, Happyvale. We recognize the need for child care in Kamloops, and I am proud of the staff for their hard work in applying for and receiving New Spaces for Child Care funding. Read more.

Celebrate the First Braille Library- RL Clemitson Elementary School

Michael Barrett, an 8-year old student at RL Clemitson, along with Rebecca Anderson, his CEA Braillist have worked hard this year to create the first braille accessible library in our school district.

At the special unveiling of the braille accessible library on April 24, 2024, Michael spoke with the gathered guests who have all supported the process along the way.  Michael shared, “I like taekwondo, checkers, chess and running… I started using braille when I was three.  I am a forever braille user.  I do everything in braille, including reading, writing, and math.” Read more.

Numeracy Professional Learning

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, numeracy is a foundational skill to develop in all students. Supporting students to develop numeracy skills happens when staff engage in powerful professional learning. Read more.

District Parent Advisory Council

The logo contest is now finished, and the District Parent Advisory Council has selected its new logo. Read more. Also, PACs apply for their gaming grants for next year from April 1st to June 30 and the details can be found here:

If PACs would like some help to apply they should reach out to DPAC at: for support. Late applications are unlikely to be approved. This grant provides $20 per student to Parent Advisory Councils and can make a big difference to students and schools.

Budget Consultation

We engaged in our public budget presentation on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. For parents who missed it, you have access to watch it on YouTube and to provide budget feedback until April 28, 2024. More information is available here.

Have a wonderful weekend with your family and friends.


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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