Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday March 17, 2023

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

I hope that everyone enjoyed a fun-filled St. Patrick’s Day, which is also the last day before a two-week Spring break! Over the break, I hope that you enjoy the longer days and engage in outdoor activities with friends and family as you focus on your own and others’ wellbeing, a cornerstone value in the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan.

Sun Peaks K-9 School

Principal Boyle met me at Mr. Massey’s Grade 8-9 classroom and the students were engaged in a performance task to assess their stride, distance, and speed when running certain distances using micro:bits (coding technology). Students were working collaboratively and considering whether changing stride length would impact pace and time in their hypothetical race. As we continued to the skating rink, I learned that this is a newly finished facility that had been open to students and their families, which has been a location for after school gatherings as well. Today, K-5 were skating, and I met several parents who were helping to tie skates and to supervise along with staff.

We carried on to the next school to meet Ms. Erickson’s Gr. 6-7 class who were writing stories. Ms. Erickson had colour-coded the different types of sentences to show how creating sentence fluency requires varying sentence types. I spoke with a few students who had selected different inspirations for their stories such as women’s empowerment. Mr. Wiebe’s Gr. 3-4 class was studying river forms and he used Google Earth to help students to see where they were and how the North and South Thompson Rivers flow into the Fraser River. Ms. Schmalz’s Gr. 3-4 class had been studying division, and they were about to take a quiz to inform them about their readiness to move into new learning. We stopped to talk about the next aspects of going to school in Sun Peaks. Calvin shared, “I liked the bike park near my last school, and I like to ski and bike at this school.” It was a surprise for Calvin to learn that his stamp had been selected as the winner for their school. He explained, “I chose Terry Fox because he teaches us to face tough challenges and to persevere.” This was very recent news, so the class was proud of Calvin and clapped for him.

Heffley Creek Elementary School

In the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan, students and staff are committed to wellbeing. K-3 students were creating leprechauns for St. Patrick’s Day, and then they took a fitness break. A brand new obstacle course involved students in running, jumping, balancing, doing squats, jumping jacks, and crunches in small groups. After that fitness break, they couldn’t wait to finish their artistic creations. I spoke with the school secretary, Ms. Haney, and she shared that she loves to be at the school every day because the students and families are so invested. We reviewed a mural that showed the long history of Heffley Creek dating back to 1923, with a picture of the original school house in the centre.

Five Schools in SD73 Benefit from the Outride Bike Program

Our District mission is to ensure that every student is supported with environments and learning opportunities that ensure that they thrive academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. To accomplish this mission, some schools became interested in grant opportunities through the Outride Bike program, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth through cycling. Read more.

Anti-racism Contest Winners

SD73 students participated in the second annual HGEC Library Learning Commons Anti-Racism Poster Contest in February. The goal of the poster contest was to encourage students to celebrate and honour diversity and multiculturalism in School District No. 73. Our theme this year encouraged students to reflect on how diversity makes our community stronger. To learn more about the contest winners, Read more.

Knowledge Keeper, Joan Arnouse Celebrates Retirement

Knowledge Keeper Joan Arnouse supported us to shape our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan around the Seven Grandfather teachings and the hearthfire (gathering place). If you would like to learn more about this process, watch the District Strategic Plan videos here. We wish her every success and to stay well on the next phase of her life journey.

TNT Industry Career Fair

Almost 100 students from across SD73 gathered at the Coast Hotel and Conference Centre on March 7th for this School District initiative: A Career Fair connecting trades-minded students with 23 local employers. Read more

Coordinator Café

SD73 is focused on continuing to improve students’ life chances to thrive socially, emotionally, academically, and physically. Hattie (2013) had researched factors correlated to student success and found that professional learning supported collective teacher efficacy, which had a very high effect size rating (1.52). School leaders continually inquire into how best to support teacher efficacy. Read More.

Student and Family Affordability Fund

The Student and Family Affordability Fund continues to be an important way for families to access funds for food, fees, field trips, and other items that will alleviate financial pressure. Please ask your school administrator about the fund or email Marie McGivern:  For more information about the fun. Read more.

Have a wonderful Spring Break!


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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