Superintendent's Update

Posted On Friday September 16, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

In September, I will continue to highlight stories about the importance of developing relationships and connections, a core value in our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan.

Ralph Bell Elementary School Re-opening 

Last night, at Ralph Bell Elementary School, Peter Michel and Amanda and Randy Big Sorrel Horse smudged the school and then sang and drummed the ceremonial welcome song for the Ralph Bell families, staff, and friends. Principal Hawkins invited greetings from Shelly Frost on behalf of MLAs Milobar and Stone, Deputy Mayor Dudy for the City of Kamloops, and Board Chair Grieve for the Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education.

Darcy Martin, KTTA President, Dawn Miller, CUPE President, Chris Ponti, District Parent Advisory Council Chair, Trustees O’Fee and Small, Assistant Superintendents Mochikas, Reilly, Hamblett, and District Principal Bowden supported this wonderful evening. We enjoyed hamburgers, the bouncy castle, and good conversation. Principals Steptoe, Gorman, Sewell, and Linfitt gave out Ralph Bell shirts and backpacks to all of the students. Congratulations on a truly inspiring opening to a new school year!

International Students Come to Kamloops

Carol Chien, CEO, Infinite Education, from Taipei, Taiwan has been working with the SD73 Business Company Global Education Director, Kristin Engleson on the 2+1 program since 2016. On September 9, 2022, we met to review the program. From left to right–Secretary Treasurer Trina Cassidy, Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Nixon, Vice Chair Meghan Wade, Chief Executive Officer Carol Chien, Director Kristin Engleson, and Bill Hamblett, Assistant Superintendent, Secondary Education.

In the 2+1 program, International students study BC courses online taught by BC certified teachers for two years (Gr. 10 & 11) in their home countries. Then they study for one year (Gr. 12) in Kamloops.  From 2016-2022, when combined with 2+1 programs in mainland China, there were 367 graduates with a Dogwood Diploma from School District No.73.

In September, Carol travelled from Taiwan with 25 students who are now attending NorKam (7), Sahali Secondary (7), Westsyde Secondary (9) and Valleyview Secondary (2) for their grade 12 year. She visited students and their homestay families and supported them to settle in.

Director Kristin Engleson commented, “The success of the 2+1 Program are the relationships and connections students develop with their homestay families, staff, peers and the community. It is wonderful to see the continued growth of the 2+1 Program and the relationships students build in the school district.”

Meet Yuki from Westsyde Secondary School

Yuki is joining us from Taiwan, and she is one of approximately 100 International students graduating in June with a Dogwood Diploma.  Yuki acknowledged that participating in the 2+1 program allowed her to understand the BC school system prior to arriving in Kamloops. She explained how helpful and welcoming the teachers and students are, and how she is excited to be in the school choir. Her favourite things about Kamloops are how friendly the people are, how beautiful the scenery is, and her homestay family who is “very nice”.

District Principal of International Education, Kent Brewer, commented, “Yuki is a great example of how welcoming approximately 300 international students from over 20 countries to our district each year strengthens the intercultural connection between the school district and the community.”

District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) Meeting

The first DPAC meeting of the year is on Tuesday, September 20th at 6:30 PM by Zoom. Join the Zoom Meeting Here  Meeting ID: 849 6862 0676 Passcode: 456446 All parents are welcome and encouraged to attend.

DPAC Hosts the All Candidates Forum for Trustee Candidates

Please join us on September 28th 6:30-8:30 pm at the Henry Grube Centre–245 Kitchener Crescent in Kamloops. No registration required.

September 19, 2022- Schools and District Buildings Closed

This is a reminder that schools and school district offices will be closed on Monday, September 19, 2022, in School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's funeral service.

I hope that everyone has a good long weekend, and we look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.

Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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