Superintendent's Report - February 2022

February is a month where we focus on caring and compassion.  In addition to Valentine’s Day, we will celebrate Pink Shirt Day. It is a perfect time to highlight the promise of transformation of the season as we see more daylight, warmer temperatures and we accelerate toward spring.

Transformation is also happening in our schools.

We are excited to learn that students can safely resume team-based school sports and tournaments which promote physical literacy, camaraderie, teamwork and athletic excellence. Several of our schools, including Winlaw Elementary, now have programs focused on physical literacy. This winter teachers and volunteers have made sure students were able to participate in snow sports as a basis for developing confidence, knowledge and a lifelong love of physical activity.

Other examples of transformative activities and learning include a grade 7-9 class at Wildflower (Nelson) who have combined Art and Science by having students take photos then learn the chemistry behind alternative photographic processes like cyanotype; or a multi-age K-2 class at Wildflower (Creston) whose outdoor experiments have allowed young students to uncover the basic physical principles behind light and sound.

Transformation is evident in our educators and staff as well: a teacher-librarian at Erickson Elementary has helped kids of all ages learn to write computer code; a teacher at L.V. Rogers Secondary has made educational materials more accessible to visually impaired students and shared that knowledge with her peers; Operations and Transportation staff have shown caring and compassion through shoveling snow for others without anyone asking and helping their colleagues.

And, finally, as a district we are all working to transform schools into places for truth and reconciliation. Led by our Aboriginal educators and volunteers, we are incorporating Aboriginal teachings, philosophy and world views into our school communities.

Despite what has been a winter with challenges, I see positive change with every day that passes. Enjoy these stories about SD8. Spring is on the way! 

Trish Smillie, Superintendent of Schools