Board Highlights

Board of Education Meeting Highlights - January 10, 2023

January 16th 2023

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 our meetings page.

Strategic Plan Public Engagement

Superintendent Trish Smillie outlined the process for renewing SD8’s strategic plan which will set the mission, vision, goals and priorities for the Board of Education and staff for the next five years from 2024 through 2029. The overview of the new online engagement platform and a video from the strategic plan project page was reviewed. The engagement page outlines SD8’s education mandate and other important information that will help the public provide informed input to the plan. There are three engagement tools available on the site - an ideation tool, a comment and question tool, and a survey. The schedule for the engagement process will continue through February, and a draft strategic plan will be available for public review in March 2023.

Aboriginal Education Continuous Learning Report

District Principal – Aboriginal Education, Gail Higginbottom provided a report on Aboriginal Education in the district. The Aboriginal Education Continuous Learning Report outlines specific actions:

  • Facilitating BCTEA priorities such as funding for student transportation and extracurricular activities
  • Building aboriginal awareness and learning opportunities
  • District academic reviews with all schools dedicated to improving the completion rates and literacy rates of Aboriginal learners
  • Co-lead district Pro-D to support cultural sensitivity
  • Support schools in specific plans fur supplemental support
  • Highlight aboriginal initiatives district-wide
  • Support the new Indigenous Grad Requirement that will be implemented in the 2023-2024 school year

Indigenous Graduation Credit

District Principal – Aboriginal Education, Gail Higginbottom provided details of the provincial Indigenous graduation credit requirement that be implemented in the 2023-2024 school year. Students are required to successfully complete at least 4 credits in Indigenous-focused coursework. In SD8, all secondary schools will provide one or more courses as of next school year.

Kindergarten Registration Open Now

District Principal – Early Years & Elementary Learning Naomi Ross updated the Board about Kindergarten Registration in 2023-2024. SD8 has advertised on its website as well as on all elementary school websites, in local media and on social media. Registration will remain open until March 31, 2023.  Following registration, each kindergarten will provide opportunities for

children and families to visit their classrooms and get excited to begin their K-12 learning journey.

School Completion 2021-2022

Director of Instruction – Innovative Learning Ben Eaton provided information on school completion rates. Both the first-time graduation rates (which describe the percentage of students who graduate out of all students who started in year 12) and the and the 6-year completion rates (which describe the percentage of students who graduate within 6 years of entering Grade 8), showed significant increases for all students as well as for Indigenous students and students with diverse needs.

2023-2024 Budget Process Approved

The Board unanimously approved the 2023-2024 budget development process and schedule.

Secretary-Treasurer Johan Glaudemans outlined the budget development process and schedule that includes a public engagement process that will begin in February 2023 and culminate in a draft budget for Board review in May 2023.

School Fees Report Completed

Secretary-Treasurer Johan Glaudemans presented the School Fees Report to the Board, a report that was requested by the Board in fall 2022. The report determined that all fees charged in SD8 comply with the BC School Act and regulations. The report also found that financial hardship is considered by SD8 such that no student has been denied an opportunity to participate in a course or activity because they did not or could not pay fees. The 2023-2024 school year fees will be presented to the Board in April 2023.

Policy Changes

The Board approved the following policies:

Policy 124: Minute Taking Standards for Board and Committee Minutes

Policy 131: Trustee Indemnity

Policy 150: Professional Learning for Trustees

Policy 160: Policy Development

Policy 190: Temporary Superintendent Succession

The Board Rescinded the following policy:

Policy 251: Cannabis

The Board approved the following policies for field testing:

Policy 620: Budget Development, Monitoring and Reporting

Policy 621: Accumulated Operating Surplus

All policies are available on our board policies page.

Student Trustee Updates

Student-Trustee Patton Gatto-Beebe from Kootenay River Secondary reported that leadership classes and the current student council are working diligently to reinforce school spirit and

through ongoing school activities has improved that spirit to levels the trustee hasn’t seen since his grade 8 year. Student Trustee Gatto-Beebe added that the KRSS Student Council has been disbanded until they have a teacher advisor and a constitution in place.

Student-Trustee Natasha Holland from Mount Sentinel Secondary reported that the Grade 12 students have been busy with Capstone projects that are to be presented in February. The MSS Green Team has started up and held their first meeting the week of January 3. Many younger students are involved as no Green Team existed since before the pandemic in 2020. MSS group From the Heart is working on a project called “From the Heart to the Roots” that includes student participation from Sequoia in SD8 as well as participation from SD20 students at Stanley Humphries Secondary, Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre in Castlegar and Trail and J.L. Crowe Secondary.  

Student Trustee Fisher reported that the L.V. Rogers Secondary Student Council has an ongoing lunch program and 50% of proceeds go the food banks and 50% goes toward a legacy project. Dance and band students presented a term-end show at the Capital Theatre on January 13.

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