Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday May 27, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

Thank you for honouring the anniversary of the discovery of Le Estcwicwéy? (the missing) at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Our hearts go out to every person who is impacted.

Marion Schilling Elementary School

Vice Chair Wade, Principal Piggin, Vice Principal Chernoff, and I enjoyed seeing the buddy reading and “roll and read” game in Mrs. Patton’s class. As we walked to the next classroom, a beautiful bulletin board– ”Love Grows”-- reinforced the importance of treating everyone with love and kindness. Students enjoyed learning choice board activities in Ms. McMillan’s class. In the library, one student who was reading in a rocking chair shared that she loved the literature choices, which were displayed by a bulletin board, “Where Reading Makes Your Mind Bloom.” As we continued, Mr. Evans’ class was solving money problems, and Mr. Bell shared how his class applied for and received a trades grant and then built bean bag target boards which are commonly used at break times. Mrs. Piggin emphasized, “Everyone is engaged in learning and we focus on growing acts of kindness every day in our school.”

District Powwow at Tk’emlúps te Secwe? pemc

On May 25, 2022, Vice Chair Wade, Trustee Jules, and Assistant Superintendents Mochikas and Reilly joined together at our first District Powwow. We participated in a procession led by Tk'emlúps te Secwe? pemc Nation representatives, Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir and council members, Mr. Justin Gottfriedson and Ms. Morning-Star Peters, and District Principal Bowden. We took part in the Welcome Song and Eagle Song as an eagle soared above the arbour. We listened to speeches and took part in dancing and singing, and games throughout the morning.

Truth and Reconciliation

Today is the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the unmarked graves on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Mr. Ted Gottfriedson Jr. said, ‘Rather than referring to the unmarked graves as ‘215’ lost lives, we think of these lives lost not as numbers but as Le Estcwicwéy? (the missing).’ Mr. Gottfriedson mentioned that children in residential schools were referred to by their number, and Elders felt that using a number to refer to the lost children would not honour them. Students and staff engaged in various activities throughout this past week to honour the missing, and to move forward in learning together about Aboriginal cultural traditions and making connections with elders and knowledge keepers.

Communicable Disease Prevention Plan

We continue to have high absenteeism amongst our staff and a gradual increase in absenteeism amongst our students this past week. Interior Health has advised us to continue to emphasize the practice of daily health awareness strategies– staying home when sick, practicing good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, and making choices about wearing masks–see our District’s Communicable Disease Prevention Plan  for more information.

Thank you for continuing to focus on learning while also taking time to enjoy field trips, musicals, graduation ceremonies, honours receptions, and other celebratory events.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD

Superintendent

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