Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday May 17, 2024

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

It is timely to end the week on a positive note by sharing the exciting learning opportunities and celebrations that have inspired students to thrive throughout the last two weeks.

Blue River Elementary School

Principal Mathieu and I had a wonderful time with Blue River students and staff. Mr. Cudmore was supervising recess when we arrived. Students (Jace, Autumn, Grayson, Kayden) were enjoying the swings and then played a sandpit volleyball game. As we walked inside, Mr. Cudmore shared how much he and the students were looking forward to drum making with a Simpcw elder, and they had learned so much the week prior when they joined Vavenby and Clearwater students to experience a cultural wellness day led by members of Simpcw First Nation. Read more.

When we first entered the school, we met Kim Desjarlais, custodian, who shared that the pictures on the wall show the long history of students she has known including parents, aunts, and uncles of the students currently attending Blue River.

Two students, Nova (Grade 1) and Jayce (Grade 3), who are homeschooled, joined their regular Tuesday student designed activities. The students decided on story time, where three different students choose a book to read aloud. The eldest Jace read “I Love Christmas”, and younger Jayce then read a “Pete the Cat” story. Nova read, “Biscuit Finds a Friend” and everyone clapped.

We then toured their garden room where they each tended to peppers, cucumbers, Toms, butternut squash, and pumpkins. They will transfer plants into the community garden where they have their own boxes. Mr. Cudmore explained, “They sell the plants to raise money for charity, and they will share the food once fully grown.”

Vavenby Elementary School

Principal Mathieu and I then visited Vavenby Elementary and they were just finishing lunch when we arrived. Ms. Chapman, Certified Educational Assistant, was supervising outside. We then visited Ms. Beth’s Grade 4–7 class who were studying Moose Hide Campaign Day. The students learned that in August 2011, Paul and Raven Lacerte, two brothers, were hunting along what is known as “The Highway of Tears”, which caused them to reflect on the epidemic of violence against women and gender diverse people. They successfully hunted a moose, and then decided to take the moose hide, tan it, and cut it into small squares and in handwriting on the back of each square indicated the need for violence to end. They asked people to wear them by pinning them to their clothing to advocate together against gender-based violence, which became a tradition.

Ms. Beth asked students to consider what the goal was of those who wore the hides then and now, and the students contributed ideas about ways to be kind and to create safe spaces for everyone to feel welcome: “offer therapy”, “invite people over”, “reflect on actions”, and “work on friendships and relationships”. They then worked in smaller groups and helped each other to come up with more ways to build strong positive, welcoming cultures within their school community. Ms. Beth shared how they had been working on trading before this, and they studied commodities to trade historically and they would create the items and then set up trading stations where they uncovered what traded for the highest values and why.

Mr. Fuzzen’s K–3 class was engaged in practicing actions to play a game where others would guess which animals they were acting out. They shared in small groups and then in their whole group. The animals ranged from those that “slither” like snakes, “swing” like monkeys, “run” fast like cheetahs, and those that “fly” like eagles.

Kamloops-Thompson School District Acknowledges Moosehide Campaign

The goal of the Cultural and Identity Priority, outlined in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, strives to create an environment where every learner feels safe to thrive personally and culturally. One way the Kamloops-Thompson School District aims to achieve this is by visibly acknowledging and celebrating diversity in our learning environments, including important days that highlight Indigenous history and awareness. Read more.

Students Dig into Canadian History at the Kamloops-Thompson Regional Heritage Fair

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, we are committed to supporting students to develop a sense of identity as individuals as well as cultural safety and humility in communities. The Kamloops-Thompson School District has proudly supported the Heritage Fair since its inception in 1994. This multimedia, multi-disciplinary annual event was developed to inspire students to learn the history of their families, their communities, and their cultures. Read more.

Kamloops-Thompson Jazz Bands Win Gold and Silver at MusicalFest Nationals

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, we celebrate students’ collective commitment to develop as musicians and to perform and compete locally, provincially, and nationally. Congratulations to the South Kamloops Secondary School and Brocklehurst Middle School Jazz Band students, who both won awards in the Instrumental Jazz Division at MusicalFest Canada Nationals in Toronto this week. Read more.

Career Development Heats Up at Girl's Explore Fire Rescue 

Career Development is one of the key priorities outlined in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan and the Kamloops-Thompson School District is committed to helping prepare students to attain their career goals. The District's Career Development Department is dedicated to providing career exploration opportunities for a range of possible career pathways, including events that encourage students to think about careers they may not have thought to explore. Read more.

Thank you for all you do to support and care for students in our District. Take time to get outside, enjoy the outdoors, and relax on what promises to be a beautiful long weekend.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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