Board of Education Meeting Highlights - April 26, 2022

An overview of discussion items and major decisions of the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake). For meeting agendas/minutes and a schedule of upcoming board meetings visit the SD8 website.

Provincial Online Learning Update

Director of Instruction Ben Eaton informed the Board that the Ministry of Education has extended the implementation timeline for designating online learning schools. More updates will be provided at future meetings.

Alternate Schools and Alternative Programs

Director of Instruction Deanna Holitzki provided the Board of Education with an overview of both Type 3 Alternate Education Programs that are district-based and “alternative programs” that are school-based.

District-based alternate programs like Sequoia and Reach focus on educational, social and emotional issues for students whose needs are not being met in a traditional school program. These alternate schools are intended to be temporary and include an exit strategy for the student to transition back into the regular school system, continuing education centre, graduation or to work or post-secondary training and education.

Operations and Finance –Information Technology and Human Resources Reports

Director of IT Nick Howald presented key IT projects in the 2021/2022 school year included a Student Laptop Pilot Project; refreshed computer labs and media arts labs in all the high schools and middle schools including a fully online media arts lab at J.V. Humphries Elementary-Secondary as a pilot project; cloud solutions like implementation of Microsoft 365 and TEAMS that allow for single sign-on; upgrades and updates to phone systems and public address (PA) systems; talking to students about how to take care of their devices; and implementation of a combined IT helpdesk and operations work order system.

Director of HR Chandra Singh presented key HR projects included supporting an employee wellness program, improving recruitment and employee engagement practices, engaging in respectful workplace training as well as constructive and positive relationships and bargaining with union partners, and posting about 300 jobs per year through the district’s online recruitment site, our website, on social media and local print publications to attract talent to SD8.

Appointment of Chief Elections Officer

The Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) appointed SD8 Secretary-Treasurer Johan Glaudemans as Chief Election Officer for the School Trustee Election on October 15, 2022, and granted him authority to appoint poll clerks and/or a Deputy Chief Election Officer, should the need arise.

2022-2023 Draft Preliminary Budget

SD8 is currently projecting a deficit of $1,420,290 in the next year’s budget and is required to submit a balanced budget to the Board for approval on the next Board of Education meeting on May 24, 2022. Staff have consulted with partners and the public about the budget and are working to find necessary savings to balance the budget before the next Board of Education meeting on May 24, 2022.

Annual Five-year Capital Plan Adopted

The Board adopted School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) Capital Bylaw No. 2022/23- CPSD8-01 as approved by the Minister of Education, to include the follow supported capital project(s) that will be completed by March 31, 2023:

  • Trafalgar Middle Schools - School Enhancement Project (SEP) - Plumbing Upgrades
  • Mount Sentinel Secondary – Carbon Neutral Capital Project (CNCP) – HVAC Upgrades

Kootenay River Secondary School (KRSS) Geothermal Project

The KRSS Geothermal Project proposes to use heat from the earth and upgrades to the school’s HVAC system to save 154 tonnes of CO2 and $26,303 in utility costs per year. The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reduction is equivalent to 33 passenger vehicles, or 25,412 trees planted and grown for 10 years. Director of Operations Chris Kerr was excited to report that the district has applied to the federal government’s Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) and the application has been accepted. If the application is then chosen for funding, the federal government will grant $3,997,420 of the estimated $8,158,00 project value. SD8 will also seek financial support from the Ministry of Education and other local levels of government to contribute to this groundbreaking endeavor.

Student Trustee Updates

Student Trustee Zack Lamoureux informed the Board that J. V. Humphries held an open house for elementary students and a student parliament as part of their leadership education class. JVH also promoted leadership by having students conduct high school assemblies. Exciting social events coming up include a Spring Fling dance, and a talent show at JVH open to parents, trustees, SD8 staff and students.

Student Trustee Reese Klassen from Kootenay River Secondary School (KRSS) informed the Board that the school body attended an amazing talent show put on by the KRSS Performance class, and that the Junior Girls soccer team scored second in their first tournament of the year and senior girls did very well in same tournament. Students also attended an anti-hate seminar at KRSS.

These highlights exclude confidential information such as business negotiations, personnel issues and legal matters. For other information or to provide feedback, please contact our Public Engagement Manager at 250-505-7005 or

About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):

The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.