View from SD73: so far, so good in class

View from SD73: so far, so good in class

Superintendent of Kamloops-Thompson School District observes high levels of student engagement

Kamloops This Week

We have successfully completed our first few weeks of school and are beginning to settle into our fall routines.

In my recent tour of schools, I observed high levels of student engagement in their learning.

Quality teaching and learning is what we do.

School District 73 is entering the second year of our strategic plan, which focuses on connecting students to their interests and passions while ensuring they have a strong foundation in literacy, numeracy and the competencies needed for an ever-changing world.

This includes learning experiences that embed Indigenous understandings as we work together to build a stronger nation.

We will continue to emphasize providing relevant, hands-on learning experiences that use the core competencies of critical thinking, creativity and communication.

As well, an emphasis on early learning and transitioning to school for kindergarten students is a top priority.

A strong start at school is key to long-term student success.

Our strong efforts in literacy are paying dividends and we will now apply a similar strategy in numeracy.

This year the redesigned curriculum in grades K-10 has been implemented and our eyes are now set on preparing for the onset of the new graduation program in 2019-2020.

The BC Policy for Student Success provides greater flexibility for teachers to address the interests of students, preparing them for a successful transition to post-secondary school and the world of work.

Space continues to be a challenge at various schools in our district.

We are working with our Ministry partners to ensure our needs are known and we are optimistic that there will be a capital funding announcement for Valleyview secondary in the near future.

In the meantime, we are addressing space issues across the district through the addition of portables and infrastructure enhancement.

This summer, four additional portables and facility improvements were made at various sites for a total cost of $3.5 million.

We have also prioritized improving communication with parents. Over the summer, we launched a new district website and soon each of the 45 schools in our district will have a refreshed website.

The new websites will work in conjunction with a mobile app, allowing parents to receive news and alerts straight to their device from each child’s school.

Please watch school websites and newsletters for further information on timelines for these upgrades.

We’re in this together

Along with parents and our community partners we will also continue to tackle the social issues that affect young people, such as the impact of social media on relationships and the opioid crisis.

These unprecedented challenges require open dialogue and strong community partnerships and must be a priority for us all.

Parents are a child’s most important teacher and play a vital role in their learning.

I encourage all parents to remain involved and engaged in their child’s classroom and school.

With the help of parents, our community partners and the district’s new strategic plan, we are extremely well positioned to connect our students to a very bright future.

Alison Sidow is the superintendent of the Kamloops-Thompson school district. She can be contacted by email at or by phone at 250-374-0679.

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