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: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/studentreporting/

Go directly to providing feedback by clicking here: https://feedback.engage.gov.bc.ca/944758

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 jfindlay@sd83.bc.ca 

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

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.”

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. 

CHEQ (Childhood Experiences Questionnaire)

All SD83 Kindergarten families will be receiving an email from our school district today with a unique link to the CHEQ (Childhood Experiences Questionnaire).

The CHEQ is a questionnaire completed by parents and caregivers at the start of the Kindergarten school year. It helps teachers, school administrators, and community partners to provide and improve targeted supports for children and families.

The CHEQ is used to:

  • Develop district and community-wide programs and policies;
  • Better understand the early experiences of children and families; and
  • Improve classroom planning and school programming.

 The CHEQ includes questions about children’s experiences with language and numeracy, nutrition and sleep habits, activities at home and in the community, and access to and use of resources and services. Please reach out to Jennifer Findlay, District Principal – Early Learning, at jfindlay@sd83.bc.ca if you have any questions. 

CHEQ Information Sheet

Hold and Secure ended

To the Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Caregiver(s) of SD83:

On behalf of SD83 I wish to thank you for your understanding regarding the “hold and secure” issued on Friday, September 17, 2021. Given the situation that unfolded at several schools in and around Salmon Arm, it was necessary to ensure the safety of all students and staff. Though the term “lockdown” has been reported by some media sources, this is inaccurate. The “hold and secure” we initiated was a means of preventing unauthorized individuals from entering our schools.

After much consultation, we feel confident that the “hold and secure” can be lifted as of tomorrow, September 21, 2021. We have encouraged schools to limit their number of entry points. Most schools will move toward having the main entries locked after the opening bell, the exception may be our Secondary Schools with open campuses. You may gain access to the school by calling the main office. Where possible, additional supervision will be added to playgrounds during recess and noon hours.

Once again, I’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding. The messaging you received on Friday was an attempt to keep you informed and was done in the spirit of transparency. If you have questions or concerns, I would welcome a thoughtful and respectful conversation.

We look forward to moving ahead and focussing our attention on the wonderful achievements of our students.

Sincerely,

Donna Kriger
Superintendent of Schools

Info for Kindy Families

School District No. 83 would like to extend a huge welcome to our Kindergarten families! During Gradual Entry, the Kindergarten team at each school is busy helping our K students learn about classroom routines and procedures, as well as helping them adjust to the new social and emotional realities of school. 

Here is some information for Kindergarten families about school health services provided by public health staff. Please contact Jennifer Findlay, District Principal – Early Learning, at jfindlay@sd83.bc.ca if you have any questions about school health services or the Kindergarten program, in general.

Letter from Interior Health for families of kindergarten students

Message to the Superintendent

To the Parent(s)/Guardian(s)/Caregiver(s) of SD83 Students: 

I want to extend my thanks to you for the patience and understanding you have demonstrated over the first few days of school start up. The accounts being shared from our schools speak to the excitement and hope which exists among the students and staff.  

As a district we are grateful that many of the restrictions imposed during the last school year have been removed. However, the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Health Officer have mandated masking among all Grade 4-12 students due to the prevalence of the Delta variant. The province has also requested that school districts cooperate with their local health regions to accommodate pop up vaccination clinics at some school sites for families and students who are 12 years of age and older.  

I would ask that you carefully read the documents we are sharing on behalf of Interior Health. As an educational organization we believe parents/guardians/caregivers play an important and necessary role in educating their child(ren). As a result, I ask that you take the time to discuss the topic of vaccination with your child(ren).  

We are grateful for you our stakeholders, as you are much needed partners in ensuring our schools remain open for face-to-face instruction.  We have high confidence in our school staffs along with members of the transportation, facilities and custodial team who continue to work tirelessly to ensure the safety of your children while they are in our care.  

Wishing you and those you love health and wellness. 

Donna L. Kriger,
Superintendent of Schools

Letter from Interior Health

If the links don’t work in the letter please click on the following:

Public Health Communicable Disease Guidance for K-12 Schools

Interior Health Order

Clinic Dates and Times

To learn more about Mature Minor Consent

Updated Safety Plan available

SD83’s Communicable Disease Safety Plan is now available. The purpose of this document is to provide School District No. 83 staff, parents, students, and visitors with important information that is required to help prevent communicable disease.

In meeting the Ministry of Education’s overarching principles for the COVID-19 response, School District No. 83 will be following these principles with respect to health and safety:

• All schools and facilities will adhere to the standards, guidelines, and direction from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and WorkSafeBC.

• In collaboration with education partners, the Ministry may develop additional health and safety requirements for all schools to ensure consistency across the K-12 system. These additions will enhance, not duplicate, PHO and WorkSafeBC requirements.

• Psychological safety measures and trauma-informed practice will be valued and implemented alongside physical health and safety measures.

• Effective communication with all community partners, parents, caregivers, students, unions, and employees is an essential aspect of successfully implementing these guidelines.

Read complete plan here

It’s almost time for school

SD83 staff are eager to welcome our students and their families back for the 2021-22 school year. While much has changed in our province over the past year, SD83 remains committed to ensuring the safety of our students, staff and school communities by providing safe learning and working environments.

“I am personally very excited to join SD83 as Superintendent. I know that as we enter into a new year of learning, our district remains committed to our mission of engaging all students in meaningful and relevant learning experiences that develop their knowledge, skills, attitudes, creativity and the pursuit of personal success,” comments Superintendent of Schools Donna Kriger.

“Though COVID-19 is still posing challenges for all of us, we remain focussed on the possibilities and opportunities that the 2021-22 school year holds. As we have done throughout the pandemic, our schools will continue to adhere to the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) guidance. Our plan will be updated and changed based on regional requirements from Interior Health, the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Education.”

Registration for those brand new to SD83 takes place today (please also ensure you register your child for the school bus if you live in a bus route area at 250-832-9415). The first day of school is Tuesday, September 7. School will be dismissed three hours earlier than usual on this first day.

Here is a brief summary of our return to school plan. The complete plan will be posted on the SD83 website later this week.

Parents/guardians play an essential role in supporting our schools by keeping their children home when sick. Before leaving home, staff, students and visitors should monitor for any symptoms daily using the B.C. Health Check (the health check and app for your smart phone can be found here).

Year draws to a close

Welcome to the final few days! It has been quite a journey this school year.

Assistant Superintendent Ryan Brennan would like to extend his thanks to parents for their graciousness and understanding as the District has navigated its way through the tremendous challenges that the pandemic showered on the school year.

Just a reminder that Thursday, June 24th is the final day of school for our students. Students will be dismissed, and buses will be running, four hours earlier than usual.

“As the year draws to a close I’d like to say another special congratulations to our graduates, the Class of 2021. You have persevered and accomplished a great deal. Best of luck with your future endeavours.”

“I’d also like to say farewell to our retiring staff, and to the three District leaders who are moving on to new challenges. Thank you for your dedication to SD83 and the students we serve.”

“Also, a warm welcome to Donna Kriger, who will be joining our district in August as the new Superintendent/CEO of Schools, and to Mishel Quaal, the new District Principal of Indigenous Education.”

He noted that as planning continues for the 2021-2022 school year, they are optimistic that school will look very much like what we remember pre-pandemic. More information about what things will look like in the fall will be shared via the District website and social media in August.

He added that if you are looking for some summer time games and activities to help your children practice their literacy and math skills over the summer, SD83 staff have put together some activities for children from kindergarten to grade eight. Go to the drop-down menu entitled Parents and Students and look for Summer Learning Opportunities.

Also, there is a new K-3 Indigenous Summer Reading Boost Program, developed in BC and entitled Joyful Literacy, to support teachers and parents who want to help prevent their young learners of Indigenous ancestry from experiencing more reading loss when schools are closed for the summer break. This home-based and research-based program is comprised of 10 videos that teach parents how to teach and practice Foundational Skills (K-3) . Each video is supported with a handout package of over 100 games, activities, and read-aloud strategies. These videos and information can be found on the SD83 Indigenous Education webpage at https://ie.sd83.bc.ca/

Have a wonderful summer!