Saturday, August 25th, 2018
Dear Kootenay Lake - School District 8 staff and families,
As of this week, I have just completed my first full year as Superintendent of Schools/CEO for School District 8, Kootenay Lake. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for the support and the warm welcome you have given me throughout the past year.
The 2017-2018 school year laid the groundwork for positive change and improvement. During the year, in many meetings with students, staff, and parents, you told me you wanted improved communication (across all areas of district operations); better, faster, and more consistent technology; more professional learning opportunities for all staff (CUPE and KLTF), and increased opportunities for all our students. This is a journey we are going to take together as we aim at positive transformation in all areas.
First, our new website reflects a more progressive and forward thinking district. You will see a fresh look from the logo design (named “Breeze”) to the pictures representing our district and its natural environment. Over the next couple of years, we aim to improve and update all our school and program websites. All news will be posted on the website and users will also be able to access our updated communication on their mobile devices. We welcome your feedback so please take a moment to peruse our new website.
Last year, we completed a technology review with IBM and have moved forward with many new initiatives as a result of their analysis. Much of the work is behind the scenes: upgrading networks, installing some security devices and more access points, as well as, developing District Acceptable Use Guidelines. We aim to offer faster, more consistent service, and we will continue to improve in all areas over the next year.
The new K-9 curriculum has been very well-received. This September, we launch the Grade 10 curriculum followed by updates to the new Graduation program. We will also be taking part in a pilot of the new BC K-9 Reporting Process. In addition, we will increase use of myBlueprint, an eportfolio platform for teachers and students that supports the new K-12 Career Ed curriculum K. This past June, our students participated in the BC’s first full new Graduation Numeracy Assessment. The new Graduation Literacy Assessment will be field-tested November 2018. We look forward to seeing the results.
The provincial government is focused on fully supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and will be working with Superintendents and Trustees next year to implement the 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. Our Indigenous Education department is fully staffed and ready to go.
Our district also participated in reviewing the Education Funding Model to find a more equitable and effective way to allocate funds to Boards of Education. Expect to hear more about this during the provincial budget season in March of 2019.
Some of our Trustees will be up for re-election in October; for those of you who might be interested in running, please check the Board of Education section of our website for details. The election takes place on October 20, 2018.
British Columbia is one of the top education systems in the world, with some of the highest educated teachers. We know our students are in good hands. However, we always want to get better. For our Principals, Vice-Principals, Teachers, and Education Assistants, we are bringing some of the world’s leading educators to Kootenay Lake because we know, and research supports, that when we invest in our teachers and staff, we are ultimately investing in our students. Our CUPE staff will receive updated learning opportunities on topics from transportation safety to MyEducationBC and from technology to health and wellness. Our educators and students will engage in exciting conversations about learning. We want our students to follow their passions and push the bar higher than we could have ever dreamed.
Throughout the year you are going to hear more about 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
Finally, transformation is a journey. I hope you feel informed about where we are going and know that you are all welcome on this, our learning journey. I wish you all an exciting and positive school year.
Dr. Christine Perkins