Superintendent notes:Please feel free to contact me at Paul.Carriere@sd6.bc.ca. You can also telephone me at my office at 250-342-9243 (ext 4671) and I will get back to you as soon as possible. I will post messages of interest below from time to time, but also want to draw your attention to the Learning Leadership report which is published monthly and found under the "Learning" menu or by clicking on the red button at the top of the page. We also post messages to twitter from time to time and encourage you to follow us. See the left side of the main page for more information.
Welcome to the 2016-17 School Year!
We are very pleased to welcome you to 2016-17! We look forward to another great year of learning in SD6, and on behalf of the Board of Education and the Senior Staff of the District, we thank you for supporting the success of our students.
We extend a special welcome to our new staff, students and parents. In particular we are mindful of a number of families who relocated to our communities as a result of the wildfire impacting the community of Fort McMurray in May and June. Things are returning to normal but for those of you who need to stay on with us a little longer or who have chosen to relocate to our area, we are pleased to have you with us.
On the District website, a click on the “About Us” tile shows important information about our foundations as a learning community. In particular, the Vision of the District speaks to the value we place on our work to help develop inquisitive, productive people who are lifelong learners and who build mutual respect and appreciation in our communities. The District Motto is “Quest for Quality” and that emphasizes our desire to work together and do our very best for students. Our Guiding Principles are summarized by the phrase “we will care deeply, act wisely and find joy in each day!”
Our District continues on the path to greater success for all learners. Increasing levels of literacy are such an important focus for us because we know how much of an influence this can have on future opportunities for our students. We have a steadily improving trend in reading, and our BC resident 6 year graduation rate shows a 5 year improvement trend, now 7 points above the Provincial average. We are focused on increasing the achievement results of our Aboriginal learners, and we see our Enhancement Agreement, signed with our partners in June 2015, as a tool to help us get there. Our first multi-year “District Plan for Student Success” under the new Provincial “Enhancing Learning Framework” will be published this Fall.
New curriculum K-9 is implemented this year, and you are encouraged to access the documents at https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/. There will be an additional non-instructional day in the calendar this year to support teacher learning in this area and also to help us prepare to implement the new Grades 10-12 curriculum in 2017-18 (you can access District calendars on the website on the quick links menu). And speaking of new, this year we have significantly expanded our International Student Program; Rocky Mountain International now involves Revelstoke, Golden, Invermere, Kimberley, Cranbrook and Fernie, and we welcome approximately 200 students from all over the world to learn in this incredible region of the Province. We are so appreciative of all our host families who make this program possible.
We have new staff members in District positions this year. In the District Office we welcome Shayla Richards as our new School Psychologist, replacing Amy Bourbeau who is on Maternity leave. We also welcome Robin Myers as our new Executive Assistant, following the retirement of Donna Waters. We welcome Blaine Broderick, who is the new Principal at Lady Grey Elementary, Scott Sharun, who is a new Vice Principal at Selkirk Secondary, and former Superintendent Bendina Miller who is the new Principal at Windermere Elementary. Jennifer Quigley moves from her position at Selkirk Secondary to Marysville Elementary where she is the new Principal. Bob Wilson moves from Alexander Park to become the new Principal at Nicholson Elementary. We wish these staff members every success in their new positions.
We continue to highlight our “District Directions 2018”. The Learning Leadership Report, published monthly, features many events and activities taking place across our District that bring these Directions to life, every day of the school year. Please find the Learning Leadership Report each month on our website under the “Learning” tile!
In Rocky Mountain School District:
1. Our students and staff feel safe, connected, and valued
2. Our students experience environmental, outdoor, and community-based learning
3. Our learning community is research-based and collaborative
4. Our learning is empowered by technology
5. Our communication results in common understanding
Have a great year!
International Program News
Districts received formal communication from the Minister's office regarding establishing outcomes for students in computer coding (programming) beginning in the 2016-17 school year. The requirement is that students have 15 hours of instruction sometime during grades 6-9 so that all students leave Grade 9 having had the opportunity to write simple code. $6 million is being provided by Government (our District will receive a pro-rata portion of this amount) to support this work, and the components include:
Train the Trainer support
Supplement for rural access issues
Additional learning resources
Secondary Principals in our District are meeting with Senior Education staff on July 5 to discuss the implementation of this requirement in Rocky Mountain.
There was a lot to reflect on as this school year came to a close. Our entire district engaged with our Board Goals, the "District Directions" in new and interesting ways, and the year's archive of this in the Learning Leadership Report (http://www.sd6.bc.ca/index.php?50-learning-leadership-report) tells an incredible story of learning. I was at all three of our Graduation celebrations (GSS, DTSS and SSS) and as I heard about the accomplishments of the students and their plans for the future I was so hopeful - these young people are truly reflecting the values of our communities and are creating the Canada of the future. I want to express gratitude on behalf of all of us in the District and our families, for the generosity of the scholarship and bursary donors. Our students got a huge helping hand and I know will put the resources to good use in their post secondary endeavors.
K-12 Curriculum Change
Curriculum Change is around the corner in BC. Right now, teachers are exploring the new K-9 documents, which can be found here. I was delighted recently to visit Marysville Elementary and see how teachers are integrating some of the new science information; Grade 3 students were very proud to show me their work with the periodic table and their excellent atom models. I could see there was a great utilization of pipe cleaners and colourful beads, making the ideas clear as students approached this hands-on task with enthusiasm. And it was quite a treat to find out about the Linsday Park primary school visit to Selkirk's chem lab. Just another great example of teachers working together to make learning come alive for students, across grade levels and schools.
In the current year the Ministry has reduced the required number of instructional hours for students to accommodate increased time for teachers and administrators to prepare fully to make the new K-9 curriculum the official one in 2016-17. Over the next two years there will be extra time provided to teachers to continue this work and to prepare also for the implementation of the new 10-12 curriculum. Right now, parents should be aware that there will be two additional Non-Instructional (NI) days added, one on February 22 and the other on May 24, 2016. A letter was sent home on December 9, which is available on this website under the `parents` tile, and under `notices`. It is also a great idea for parents to review the FAQ document which will answer a lot of questions you may have. It`s available here.