New superintendent for new school year

The new superintendent for the Kamloops-Thompson school district said she can’t imagine a better time to lead

Dale Bass – Kamloops This Week

Alison Sidow looked forward to Back to School Day.

The new superintendent for the Kamloops-Thompson school district said she can’t imagine a better time to lead after being promoted in April to succeed Karl DeBruijn, who retired at the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

She cited implementation of a new government-mandated curriculum as one of two of the reasons she is positive about the new school year.

Work has also begun on a new strategic plan for the district.

“I truly am encouraged,” she said.

And, while early estimates forecast a decline in enrolment, Sidow expects that by the time Sept. 30 rolls around — the date school districts must confirm enrolment to the Ministry of Education — the tally will be up.

Last year was the first time in 19 years school enrolment provincially increased, she said, meaning for School District 73, 350 more students than projected arrived in classrooms.

Preliminary indications are the city is drawing families from many areas this year — from the Prairies, northern B.C. and across Western Canada.

Sidow, who joined the district four years ago, has held several senior administration positions since then, giving her an opportunity to see the many strengths she said exist in the school district.

Among them, Sidow said, are a willingness to embrace diversity, to personalize the learning experience and to be sensitive to learning students themselves bring into the classroom.

Education has changed since she was a student, with the focus now on learning that is more relevant to the student’s life and future, helping them learn knowledge and skills they can use outside the classroom.

While there is still work to be done, Sidow said the district has a greater understanding of students with special needs and identifying their unique assets and challenges.

Use of technology has also grown in recent years, with smartphones and tablets becoming educational tools.

Most students have at least one, Sidow said; for those who don’t, the district has a supply from which it can lend out.

She remembers the days when similar devices were banned from classrooms. Now, she said, educators “are changing the way we teach these digital citizens.”

Other highlights Sidow discussed include:

• Growth in the district’s international education program, which has seen enrolment increase by 22.5 per cent from last year;

• Opening a kindergarten to Grade 12 Kamloops School of the Arts, a goal that was set more than a decade ago with creation of what was formerly called the Beattie School of the Arts;

• Upgrades to South Kamloops secondary — although that has also required the placement of additional portables. The district has an outstanding request to the ministry for funds to replace the aging school, which was built in the 1950s, and district administrators and trustees will be talking to the city’s two MLAs about its status;

 

• Moving forward with labour peace, something Sidow’s two predecessors did not always have, as the government and the B.C. Teachers’ Federation reached a deal in September 2014 that continues through to May 2019. Sidow said the district has a positive relationship with the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers Association and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

 

 

Just Posted

“To finish is to win” mantra of Barriere 50 mile endurance ride

‘No Bitch’in Barriere Ride-Just Ride’ came off for both horses and riders without a hitch

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Cottonwood trees pose threat to motorists

Government has program to remove danger trees, but sometimes the responsibility is the landowner’s

Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) closes doors of its Clearwater location

Clients now forced to travel to Kamloops or 100 Mile House for closest alternate location

U14 team fights its way to gold medal match

Clearwater kids play hearts out and bring home silver medal

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read