Apple Order Pick-Up

Our Davidson Orchard Apples are arriving this week! Orders can be picked up according to the schedule below at the Multi-purpose Room door near the North East corner of our main parking lot.

Please wear a mask and remember social distancing when arriving at the door.

Pick-up Times:

Wednesday Oct 20 – 5:00 to 6:00pm

Thursday Oct 21 – 8:15 to 8:45am

Thursday Oct 21 – 5:00 to 5:30pm

Thank you for your support!

Purdys Chocolate Fundraiser

It’s that time of year again! Our Purdys Chocolate Fundraiser is on now with orders due by Friday November 12.

We get up to 25% back in fundraising profit, and you get chocolates made in Canada with premium quality ingredients, and sustainable cocoa!

In an effort to go green this year, we will not be sending home paper catalogues with all of our students as the products can be viewed online through the website below. If you don’t have access to the internet or would still prefer a paper catalogue we do have a few available in the office.

To view the full catalogue and place your orders online, click on the direct link below to our Hillcrest Fundraising page. Orders will be available for pick-up on Thursday Dec 2 and Friday Dec 3. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!


Online registration for Kindergarten

Want to register your child for Kindergarten but want to do it online? Starting next week you can!

Beginning Tuesday, October 19 an online registration option will be available for parents registering their child for Kindergarten in September 2022.

Parents wishing to access this online tool should call their catchment area school, which will give you a link and information about registering. This will include a phone number for a Help Desk in case you run into any difficulties.

Not sure which catchment area you are in? Click here

New to SD83 and looking for more information? Click here

SD83 plans on expanding this online service to include all grades in January 2022.

Ministry seeking feedback

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback from parents/guardians on its draft K-12 Student Reporting Policy.

Director of Instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff comments SD83 is pleased to share the draft K-12 Reporting Policy, recently released by the Ministry of Education. “This follows four years of work across the province, where schools have worked to align teaching and assessment practices with our renewed curriculum.”

“The SD83 Parent Guide to Communicating Student Learning will help you understand the rationale behind some of the changes, and to clarify what information will be shared during each reporting period.”

Please read through both the Parent Guide and the Draft K-12 Student Reporting Policy, then share your feedback with the Ministry by November 5, 2021.

The SD83 Parent Guide to Communicating Student Learning

Draft K-12 Student Reporting Policy

Read more from the Ministry here:

Go directly to providing feedback by clicking here:

Kindy registration 2022

Do you have a child who will start kindergarten in September 2022? Welcome!

Registration for regular kindergarten and the district’s two programs of choice opens at 9 a.m. today and remains open for the rest of the school year. We are looking forward to welcoming you and your child to North Okanagan School District No. 83!

You will need to register at your child’s catchment school (based on your physical address) or specialty school (Bastion – Early French Immersion or South Canoe – Outdoor Learning). To access our catchment school locator tool or find out more information about our specialty schools, Click Here

All Kindergarten registrations completed on Tuesday, October 12th are treated as “equal”, so there is no need for line-ups on that day. Registrations received after October 12th, will be date/time stamped and treated on a first come, first served basis. This information will be used to determine placement IF catchment area schools or programs are full. Students with siblings already registered in a Program of Choice (French Immersion or Outdoor Learning) will be given priority if there is limited space.

If you have any questions about the Kindergarten registration process, please contact: Jennifer Findlay, District Principal, at 

In case you need it, here is a list of our elementary schools (click on the school name and the email address will pop up) and their telephone numbers.

Armstrong Elementary – (250) 546-8778
Bastion Elementary – includes English kindergarten & Early French Immersion program – (250) 832-3741
Carlin Elementary Middle – (250) 835- 4520
Falkland Elementary – (250) 379-2320
Grindrod Elementary – (250) 838-7579
Highland Park Elementary – (250) 546-8723
Hillcrest Elementary – (250) 832-7195
M.V. Beattie Elementary – (250) 838-6434
North Canoe Elementary – (250) 832-4950
North Shuswap Elementary – (250) 955-2214
Parkview Elementary – (250) 836-2871
Ranchero Elementary – (250) 832-7018
Salmon Arm West Elementary – (250) 832-3862
Silver Creek Elementary – (250) 832-8282
Sorrento Elementary – (250) 675-2311
South Broadview – (250) 832-2167
South Canoe Elementary – Outdoor Learning Program – (250) 832-3122

New Route for Terry Fox Run

This year students in grades 3-5 tried out a new route for our Terry Fox run. They ventured out on the recently upgraded trail from 20th St SE to 10th Ave SE (below the powerlines). K-2 students ran our traditional Field/Harrison Hill loop at the school. As an added treat this year, each student received a delicious apple donated by DeMille’s Farm Market (THANK YOU DEMILLE’s!) when they finished their run. It was a wonderful afternoon with lots of positive energy and excitement in the air as we did our best to continue what Terry Fox started.

Thank you to Mrs. Kehl for all of her work organizing the run for us again this year. I would also like to thank Trustee VanBuskirk, our amazing parent volunteers, and our fantastic staff for making sure all of our students were successful and stayed on course. We will be announcing our fundraising total next week. Way to go Hillcrest!

Fire Prevention Week a BLAST

Each of our 14 divisions had a “blast” this week participating in an interactive “Sounds of Fire” presentation by Hillcrest Parent and Salmon Arm Firefighter, Tyler Stevenson. A huge thank you to Tyler and the Salmon Arm Fire Department for creating such a great opportunity for our students.

If your child is interested, there is still time to participate in the Fire Prevention Poster & Video Costests as part of Fire Prevention Week. The deadline for submissions is October 22.

Message from Superintendent – mask mandate expands

An important update to the Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools and the Provincial COVID-19 Communicable Disease Guidelines for K-12 Settings was announced on October 1, 2021 by Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Superintendent of Schools Donna Kriger would like to inform parents about this change and to update everyone on the notification process for school exposures.

Update to face coverings mandate

The provincial government has announced that beginning Monday, October 4, 2021, all students in B.C. schools will be required to wear a mask when inside a school building, including while at their desks and on buses. This builds on the existing guidelines that currently apply to all students in grades 4-12.

“We recognize that some students in grades K-3 may not be accustomed to wearing masks, as a result, school staff will spend October 4 helping children adjust to this change, with the goal of building mask wearing into student routines by Tuesday, October 5th. We suggest you send your K-3 child to school with a clean mask and a spare mask that they are used to wearing. Schools will have disposable masks available,” she reports.

As a reminder, provincial guidance advises that mask requirements do not apply to staff, students and visitors in the following circumstances:

  • A person cannot tolerate wearing a mask for health or behavioural reasons;
  • A person is unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person;
  • If the mask is removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it;
  • If the mask is removed temporarily to engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask;
  • If a person is eating or drinking;
  • If a person is behind a barrier; or
  • While providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements is important.

Change to notification process for school exposures

The provincial government also made a change to the notification process for school exposures, directing local health authorities to begin posting general school exposure notifications to their websites. Exposure notifications for our school district and the Interior Health region more broadly can be found on the Interior Health school exposures page. For a helpful overview of the contact tracing process visit the BC CDC website.

“Thank you for your continued support.”

Terry Fox Run

It is with great pride that Hillcrest students participate in the Terry Fox – Marathon of Hope every year. This year our Terry Fox Run will take place on Friday Oct 8. Students will be encouraged to bring in cash donations all week starting on Monday Oct 4 to help us “Fill the Jar” in front of the office. Donations can also be made online by using the link below.

Fundraising Link:
Students can even get involved by creating their own fundraising page under our school name!

Thank you for supporting our school in the fight against cancer and continuing Terry’s legacy. This will be the 28th year Hillcrest has participated in the Terry Fox Run!

Orange Shirt Week

You should be very proud of our Hillcrest staff and students for doing a fantastic job this week of learning about and honouring the indigenous children who were taken from their homes and placed in residential school.

As part of our commitment to reconciliation we began our Secwepemc Flag Pole fundraising campaign this week with a coin drive. Our goal was to raise enough coins to stretch the length of the 30′ flag pole we plan to purchase. Together we brought in 46meters or 150′ of coins, which far exceeded our goal. The total raised so far is $434.10, not counting the additional 8m of coins just dropped off by Mrs. Smith’s class. Thank you to everyone who brought in coins and to Mrs. Menzies and her leadership students for doing all of the counting for us!

New Benches

You may have noticed that we have some new benches around our school yard. Thank you to our wonderful PAC for purchasing these for us and to our SD83 Operations department for getting them installed so quickly! They look amazing and are already seeing lots of use.

FSA provides information

Director of Instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff clarifies to parents why SD83 supports use of FSA

From October 4 to November 12, 2021, our students in grade 4 and grade 7 will be participating in the Foundation Skills Assessment Test, also known as the “FSA”. This is a provincially mandated standardized test that uses broad metrics to determine whether students are meeting curricular expectations at grade level in literacy and numeracy.

Though it is a standardized test and subject to the same limitations as other standardized tests, we believe it provides important information on individual student learning. We use the FSA assessment results in conjunction with other forms of district and classroom assessments to provide a comprehensive picture as to how each student is doing, and to provide important feedback to school and district staff in regard to instruction. School District No. 83 has often used information from the FSA and Ministry Graduation Assessments in budget conversations to allocate additional staffing for the purpose of better supporting teachers with their instructional practice in our classrooms. 

The FSA assesses student learning up to and including the previous year’s grade.  Placing the assessment in early October allows our teachers to use each student’s results to inform their instruction over the balance of the school year and make sure student learning needs are being met. 

The time spent on the FSA testing cycle amounts to approximately six hours in grade four, and another six hours in grade seven, not including practice (with the secondary assessments adding just another six hours in total). This amounts to just over one-half of one per cent of their instructional time for that school year, with the two test cycles taking up just a tenth of a per cent of instructional time from kindergarten through grade twelve. We think that these assessments provide a tremendous amount of information given the time spent, and that it is an incredibly efficient way to collect that information. In fact, the need for this insight may be even greater, given the interruptions to learning that we have recently experienced. 

We do agree with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) perspective that the results have been misused by the Fraser Institute, and that it is both wrong and misleading to rank schools in this way. We do, however, believe the test is worthwhile is spite of this, and we would be in favour of using it even if it were not mandatory in our province’s schools. It should be noted that this light assessment regimen is a completely different experience than what student endure in some U.S. jurisdictions, who may issue general skill or even more curriculum-specific tests monthly instead of just a few times from Kindergarten through Grade Twelve as we do in British Columbia. 

If you remain unconvinced of the FSA’s importance and wish your grade four or grade seven student to be exempt from this month’s testing process, please ask your school principal for an FSA testing schedule, then keep your child at home during the testing times. While we are not permitted to excuse a student from the FSA because of a parent request, parents always have the right to keep their child at home, and this right will be respected during FSA testing, in the same way it would be in other circumstances. As a courtesy in this regard, please note that I have asked the principals not to have students make up the tests at a later time if they were kept at home by parents for the purpose of test exemption. Students participating in an online program may make arrangements to join an assessment session at their neighbourhood school in a separate setting, or at an alternate site.