School Learning Update March 2022

Creston Family of Schools

Kootenay River Secondary

Athletic Endeavours

As we enter March, we wrap up our Basketball season, of which we successfully completed a season for six boys’ and girls’ teams. Congratulations our junior boys who were the East Kootenay Zone Champions. Continuing with Athletics, March also brings the start of our junior and senior girls soccer season. We also have our first play and talent show performance coming up in the spring for the first time in two years! Additionally, we continue to offer an array of Outdoor Education experiences outside of the timetable including zip lining, mountain biking, rafting, hiking, and camping.

Canyon-Lister Elementary

Let’s Play Our Way to Kindergarten!

The new SD8 "Let's Play Our Way to Kindergarten" Story Time series planning was completed in February as we now work towards bringing our schools and our 0–5-year-old children together to enhance the transition to kindergarten and build stronger relationships with families in our community. We have already held a story time in the school library, as well as a little school tour and playtime outside. This is the first of many more activities that will bring our youngest children and caregivers into our schools, and the activities will be held in all the elementary schools in Creston through March.

These events are a result of planning by the SD8 Strengthening Early Years to Kindergarten Transitions Creston team: Simone Stanley (who also facilitates the Strong Start program at Canyon-Lister Elementary), Erickson Elementary teacher Heather Young, Homelinks teacher Laurie Riehl, Wildflower Creston teacher Linda Farynowski, Canyon-Lister Elementary principal Laury Carriere, and SD8 District Principal of Innovative Learning Naomi Ross.

Friendship as a Skill

Our councilor, Nicole Wood, has been working with students on friendship skills with small groups of students.  With the use of crafts and time together, students learn what a good friend looks like and what it takes to be a good friend. 

Relationship skill development is essential for everyone.  Specific skill teaching and training is needed for some of our learners through explicit and direct conversations. 

These discussions work well while the students are actively crafting. Through this time, we hope to see fewer issues on the playground and fewer complaints about others.

Wildflower - Creston

Getting to the Heart of Inquiry

This month each student at Wildflower Creston shared with their classmates their home learning inquiries! I had the opportunity to take part in some of these and was so impressed with where the students took their learning.

Fletcher, a Kindergarten student in the Saplings class, chose to study the heart, as “the whole body became a bit too much”, he giggled.

Recognizing where you really want to take your learning is at the 'heart' of inquiry. Well done, friends.

Adam Robertson Elementary

Pink Shirt Day - Moving Forward with Kindness

On February 23rd, we started our day with a Zoom assembly and Chief Jason Louie and our Aboriginal Education Support Worker, Josie Fullarton, shared the importance of the Sturgeon Nose Canoe within the Ktunaxa culture.  They talked about how the canoe must be paddled with another person to propel forward successfully, which requires both time and patience. They spoke about how we must always work together, which tied in perfectly to the theme of “Moving Forward with Kindness.” 

Following the assembly, classes met with their buddies and created their own sturgeon nose canoe. Together they reflected on the words they heard in the assembly and wrote a sentence about kindness. Finally, they added themselves into the canoe, wearing pink shirts of course, and attached their finished products to our library mural of the Kootenai River.  

This idea and theme were created by the ARES Truth and Reconciliation Committee.


Here Be Dragons – A Minecraft Readathon

Teacher Librarian Tracy Walker created a Minecraft Readathon for students. All 315 students participated, kindergarten to grade seven. 

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Outdoor Snow Day

Grades 8 to 10 students at Homelinks, Creston campus, got together for a fun Outdoor Snow Day.  Students trudged through the snow to set up a base camp for the day, then split into two groups.  One group headed out on a snowshoe trek, while the other group stayed behind at base camp to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and play games in the snow. Throughout the day students engaged in multiple learning activities about winter flora and fauna, ways to spot wildlife, and winter outdoor safety.

Salmo Family of Schools

Salmo Secondary Falcons Compete at BC Provincials

“This is bigger than the school, it’s the whole community,” said Salmo Secondary School Principal Jon Francis.

Francis is referring to the upswell of local support from the entire Village of Salmo and rural areas for the school’s junior boys’ basketball team, the Falcons.

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Salmo Elementary

Pink Shirt Day

For the month of February, we have challenged the students and staff at Salmo Elementary to recognize acts of kindness by their peers, themselves, and spread kindness in the process. Each class was given a different colour of cutout hearts. Students and staff have been filling them out and putting them in the kindness jar in the office. Each day on the announcements, we read a few kindness hearts out to further encourage and appreciate our students. After they are read out to the school, the hearts are put up on the KIND bulletin board outside the office. By the end of the month,  the kindness hearts will fill up the whole bulletin board. So far, it has been great to encourage kindness, community, and gratitude in our school.

Nelson Family of Schools

Blewett Elementary

Pink Shirt Day

Pink shirt day was a great success at Blewett with our Grade 5/6 leading our school in pink.  Kindness should live in our hearts year-round and Mr. Hammerich's class is a great example for us.

South Nelson Elementary

Martian Chronicles

Ms. Wilson/Mr. Marsh’s grade 3/4 class recently finished a science unit exploring space.  When it came time to study Mars, we used the online learning platform we subscribe to, LIVE IT, which is produced by a small Nelson tech company.

The LIVE IT Mars Program sparked conversations and deeper learning in our classroom.  It offered principles of UDL and supported our guided inquiry. Students were highly engaged while exploring the curricular competencies of “applying and innovating”. They researched what humans would need to survive on the planet Mars, then co-designed and built 3-D prototypes of their colonies out of recycled materials. 

In presenting their colonies to the class, students identified solutions to the potential problems on Mars such as: air supply, water supply, food production, waste management, energy sources, living quarters and protection from radiation and asteroids. Students then reflected on how they overcame challenges they faced throughout the project.

Rosemont Elementary

Pink Shirt Day – Stand Up and Be Counted!

Rosemont Elementary School students are 'UPSTANDERS'.  As a school community, we have learned how to help friends in need, by growing from a bystander to an upstander by taking action when we see or hear about unkind or bullying behaviours. 

Hume Elementary

Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day at Hume Elementary school had great participation with students and staff.  Students were engaged in a variety of classroom activities that involved: exploring the concept of being an up standard, sharing words of appreciation for each other, recognizing the way in which our diversity as a community is what gives us strength, and exploring the question “What kind things can you do to make the world a better place?”

Soccer Nets Donated by Malberry Holdings and Nelson Legion Local Branch 51

The Hume Elementary School staff, students and parents would like to thank the Royal Canadian Legion (Local Branch 51) in Nelson and Malberry Holdings for their generous donation of $5700.

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Wildflower - Nelson

Pink Shirt Day

"Wildflowers Seedlings class decorated the school with bucket filling messages. This one they chose to give to me! It is now proudly on display on my office door. This kind and loving crew have stolen my heart. As a new principal, getting kind messages from your school community simply makes one’s day," Principal Misty Terpstra

Learning to Learn

Ms. Barbara Hargraves’ Grade 7-9 class shared their pop-up exhibition of learning with the school community. Each created a series of artworks complete with an artistic statement and other reflections highlighting what they have learned, how best to move forward with that learning, and acknowledging the process - patience and time.

You have made us proud - way to go 'Big Kids'!

Trafalgar Middle School

Sportsmanship and Thunderclaps

Trafalgar Middle School Grade 9 Girls' basketball team went to Provincials in Port Moody from February 22 to February 26, 2022. Not only did the girls and their coaches work hard and show tremendous improvement, they also embodied our school culture and motto: We are here to build each other up! Win or lose, the team stayed to cheer on their rival teams, demonstrating the true spirit of sportsmanship. The tournament organizers recognized this as well, and the team brought home the Sportsmanship Award! Along with the 12 players, coaches Rozee and Jackson, we also need to give a huge Thunderclap to driver Ian Miller! GO THUNDER!

L.V. Rogers Secondary

Bombers Compete in Provincial Basketball Championships

The LV Rogers Secondary Senior Boys Basketball team is at the  B.C. School Sports 3A Boys Basketball Provincial Tournament in Langley, March 8-13. The boys have had a fantastic season so far, led by head coach Ryan MacKinnon. The team held a bottle drive on Saturday March 5 to help fund this amazing trip!

"I consider school sport the 'great equalizer'. It provides opportunities for many of our students who may not be able to afford community/club programs," said Coach MacKinnon.

We are so proud of Mr. Mackinnon and all the boys on the team for this awesome accomplishment and are so excited to have them represent the LVR community in Langley! Go Bombers! You can watch games live on pay-per-view and see tournament results at the Provincial Tournament Site.

Kaslo Family of Schools

J.V. Humphries Elementary Secondary

Many Modes of Learning

February was a busy month at JVH.  In our Grade 1/2/3 class taught by Molly Leathwood, we started the month celebrating Chinese New Year. We learned how to use chopsticks, make some delicious Chinese dishes, celebrated some Chinese traditions, made some Chinese New Year art and ended with our version of a Lantern Festival.

We also had many discussions and stories celebrating Black History Month and the people who have made an impact on our society. We read several books about people who helped others escape slavery and learned about the history of segregation.

February was also “100 Day” where we counted to 100 in so many ways -  had a 100-number scavenger hunt, brought collections of 100 and used an aging app to see what we may look like at 100! Multimodal Learning through deep dives into meaningful topics is how we do things here at JV Humphries.

Crawford Bay Elementary Secondary

Science and Mathematics as Verbs

Crawford Bay continues to do science this quarter. All middle school students took part in our annual science fair and presented some very impressive research projects.

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Slocan Family of Schools

Brian Lye is an internationally renowned filmmaker, artist, and educator who lives and works in Nelson, BC. He came to Brent Kennedy Elementary in February to work with students on video skills.

Students worked on creating a “mindbomb”  - a phrase that originated with environmental activists at Greenpeace, who excelled at using imagery to send a collective shock through the world leading to action.

With Brian’s guidance, teachers first created incomplete sentences related to climate change. Those sentences could have an additional focus on natural resources or the human body or whatever topic best suited the students' learning. Students were then tasked with completing the sentence through brainstorming to arrive at a single message they  wanted to share through video. Each mindbomb was 15 seconds long - ideally a short, punchy, and visually interesting product.  Students used ipads with IMovie to create a stop-motion video.

The following are examples of mindbombs students worked on, each using a different artistic approach and learning outcome:

Session 1 - Mindbomb Style - Drawing with Voice Over
Example Sentence:   Climate Change is happening because ________________
Filmmaking skills gained - Storyboarding, photography, editing, voice recording

Session 2 - Mindbomb Style - Downloaded images and on screen text
Example Sentence:  I will combat Climate Change by __________________
Filmmaking skills gained - Storyboarding, working with images sourced online, editing, adding text

Session 3 - Mindbomb Style - Rick Mercer Rant - for this one they will be on camera
Example Sentence:  Did you know ______________, so _________________.
Filmmaking skills gained - Storyboarding, camera work, editing video, acting/performance for camera

Session 4 - Mindbomb Style - Mash Up (they choose their favourite/or mix them up)
Example Sentence: I am _______ years old and combating Climate Change is important to me because _______________.
Filmmaking skills gained - Storyboarding, camera work, photography, editing, text on screen, voice over.

W.E. Graham Community School

Into the Wild

W.E. Graham has two great outdoors programs that are going strong.

Our Grade 9/10 class is known as the Valhalla Wilderness Program (VWP), which has been running for nearly 30 years. Students who take the VWP come away with leadership skills, self-confidence, and self-awareness that help them with their decision making as they continue their education and move on with their lives.  We are constantly reminded by past students about how positively the program affected them.

Our Grade 7/8 class is part of the Outdoor Environmental Leadership Program which is, in essence, a junior outdoor program. The OELP students, taught by Mr. Porteous and Mrs. Fredrickson, have been out snow caving and cross-country skiing in late February. They are going camping on March 10 and 11 when they will learn a number of skills including what to bring for the changeable weather and season to stay warm, dry, and ready to deal with the elements, how to plan and prepare meals, take care of a camp, and how to leave no footprint.

Winlaw Elementary

Positive Reviews for Winlaw After School Care Program 

January 31st was a very exciting day at Winlaw Elementary as Winlaw Our Place After School Care opened its doors in the new modular learning space! 

Our Place is part of the Seamless Day Kindergarten pilot program. The program was initiated by the Province of B.C. in 2019 and began in four B.C. elementary schools. It has now expanded to 21 schools including Winlaw Elementary.

Participating children no longer need to travel 30-45 minutes to access after school programs at other sites. Instead, Winlaw Elementary Kindergarten children stay in their K/1 class in the modular and the older Grade 1-5 students walk from their classrooms and join care provider Pati McLaughin at the end of the school day. The children were very happy to see Pati on the first day because she had been their StrongStart instructor at the preschool level.

This multi-age group of children participate in a balance of indoor and outdoor after-school play incorporating seasonal themes and student led interests. They play, sing, dance, create beautiful art projects and conduct science experiments.  A big hit has been baking in the new kitchen! 

Our Winlaw Staff and School Community give a huge shout out of thanks to SD8 Superintendent Trish Smillie, Early Learning Lead District Principal Naomi Ross, Learning Innovator Nona Lynn, Director of Inclusion Support Services Deanna Holitzki and Director of Instruction Ben Eaton along with the Director of Operations Chris Kerr, Director of Human Resources Chandra Singh, and Director of Technology Nick Howald and their staffs for their incredible work and support throughout this project.

Pink Shirt Day

We give a huge shout out of appreciation to the Winlaw Music Club for providing the guitar accompaniment during our Intermediate Pink Shirt Assembly. as their classmates sang the song Stand by Me led by our Music Club instructor, Education Assistant Laura Mikol.

This was their first performance, and we couldn’t be more proud of them! The uplifting lyrics were sung beautifully by students encouraging everyone to show kindness and support to one another not just on Pink Shirt Day but every day.

During our Winlaw Primary Pink Shirt Day Assembly, our youngest students learned about how Pink Shirt Day started, listened to a heart-warming story called A Little Dot of Kindness, and sang songs about friendship.

Mount Sentinel Secondary

Pink Shirt Day to Foster Kindness All Year

Mt. Sentinel students and staff engaged in Pink Shirt Day in a slightly different way this year. Our 2022  planning was supported by our counsellor Ms. Hewson and a team of student leaders who volunteered to be a part of this important work and learning. 

To draw renewed attention to Pink Shirt Day so that kindness isn’t just a conversation or a focus for one day, our Mount Sentinel team participated in activities and learning over multiple days.  We celebrated that Mt. Sentinel is welcoming, supportive and that our students feel safe when we are at school together.  We also acknowledged that sometimes not all students feel this way and there is room to do better. Our student leaders organized an online assembly as an interactive opportunity for students to see student responses to questions like “have you seen mean behavior or bullying at our school?” and “have you experienced mean behavior or bullying at our school?”  This affirmed both our strengths and opportunities to grow.

To act on our learning, our pink shirt team organized two other events. The Kindness Challenge inspired students to complete kindness tasks for the opportunity to enter their name in a draw for prizes.  While the prizes were appreciated, the opportunity to brighten someone’s day felt like the bigger reward for our participants. Our group also organized a bake sale to raise funds to donate to the BC Children’s Hospital. We were inspired to support this organization in honor of one of our teachers’ family, who recently needed the support of BC Children’s.

Congratulations to our team and school community – a donation of $500.00 is going to BC Children’s Hospital in Mount Sentinel’s name!

Pink Shirt Day 2022 was our best yet, because it raised awareness in our school of the importance of kindness through our words and actions – everyday. And, we are already looking forward to Pink Shirt Day 2023, when we will seek ways to spread kindness in our community!