2019 – A Remarkable Year for SD73

Posted On Tuesday January 07, 2020
Parkcrest Tribute
A tribute to Parkcrest Elementary School following its destruction by fire Sept. 5, 2019


For many of us 2019 will be remembered for the fire that destroyed the Parkcrest Elementary school in early September. We will also remember the many milestones and achievements of students and staff during this remarkable year. Looking back over the nearly 200 stories posted on our website, we know these capture only a small sampling of the amazing things happening in our district every day.  

This year-in-review offers a compilation of the most compelling story of the year, How SD73 Restored the School Year in 11 Days. It also offers highlights from each month that reflect the way our efforts met our priorities during the year. These include ensuring every student acquires strong foundational skills and core competencies, and connecting students to their passions and interests. They also include honouring the Aboriginal worldview and perspectives, fostering an inclusive district culture, strengthening partnerships, and ensuring sustainable use of our resources.  

In particular, we note opportunities for our learners through consultation, expansion and completion rates. The decisions to re-open Westsyde Elementary School and to keep the Westwold school open both included consultation processes with our communities in the early part of the year. The announcement of the expansion of ValleyView Secondary school in April and news from the Ministry of Education that we are seeing the highest completion rates ever among all our students including Aboriginal students, were high points. 



SD73 plans consultation to re-open Westsyde Elementary School this September

School District 73 began the consultation process to re-draw the David Thompson Elementary catchment area and re-open Westsyde Elementary School for September 2019.  

Climate Change Activist’s Optimism Inspires Sa-Hali Students

The world’s most difficult challenges can be solved by the current generation of students, according to Steve Lee. He is a climate change activist, a United Nations policy advisor and the executive director of the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship.


Students’ Voices will Connect us to Ancient Wisdom in Nature

Some Chase Secondary School students in Grades 9 - 12 participated in a provincial pilot program to create a new way of experiencing a B.C. park. 

KSA Students' Performance with Foreigner a Crowd Pleaser

Kamloops School of the Arts students helped Foreigner Rock the crowd at the Sandman Centre Feb. 24. 

MARCH 2019

Vancouver Foundation Grant for $246,000 Awarded to Four Directions Secondary School

The Vancouver Foundation awarded a $246,000 Systems Change Grant to the Four Directions Secondary School.

Steady and Prudent Business Management Means More for SD73 Students

Directors of the School District No. 73 Business Company (SD73BC), presented a $100,000 dividend cheque to the Board of Education at its regular Mar. 11 meeting.

Westsyde Elementary School to Re-Open September 2019

School District No. 73 Board of Education voted unanimously to reorganize the catchment area for David Thompson School and reopen Westsyde Elementary for the 2019-2020 school year.

KSA student wins 2019 Rotary Grade 6/7 Speech Contest

Mandisa Volo, a grade 7 student from Kamloops School of the Arts, won the 2019 Rotary Grade 6/7 Speech Competition in Kamloops. She won by beginning and ending with her own poetry.

Dust-Collectors, Boilers and Buses in Sight for SD73

School District No. 73 will target school safety, transportation and energy efficiency with the $1,781,139 funding announced by the Ministry of Education. 

APRIL 2019

Valleyview Secondary School Expansion Announced

A sea of red greeted Rob Fleming, Minister of Education when he arrived at Valleyview Secondary to announce the Province spending $32.7 million for a significant expansion to the school by September 2022.

Putting Faith into Community Schools

A large heart remains at the centre of Clearwater’s shrinking Sikh community. Part of the proceeds from the sale of their temple, $40,000, were donated to Raft River Elementary ($10,000) and to Clearwater Secondary ($30,000) schools. 

SSS Student Selected to Attend National Youth Summit

Sarah Seymour is going to Ottawa to lend her voice to the development of Canada’s National Youth Policy. 

VSS Student Wins $25,000 Scholarship

Jonah Saemerow tapped into a difficult problem, suggested a solution, and was awarded a $25,000 STEAM Horizon scholarship. 


MAY 2019

BC Architect Firm to Bring Cutting-edge Design to Valleyview Secondary Expansion

A British Columbian firm with over 80 years of collective experience will design Valleyview Secondary’s $34.45 M expansion. 

Arthur Stevenson Students Win Golden Star Award

Arthur Stevenson Elementary School is one of six recipients of the Golden Star Award from the B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association. 

Starfish Backpack Program Wins Award

Sally Zryd and Beth Dye, members of Kamloops-Thompson Principals and Vice-Principals Association, announced the Kamloops Food Bank was awarded the 2019 BC Principals' & Vice-Principals' Association Partnership Award. 


JUNE 2019

Sagebrush Theatre Repairs Underway Immediately

School District 73, the City of Kamloops and Western Canada Theatre announced work begins on the repairs to the Sagebrush Theatre roof.

Recognition for Former Superintendent

Karl deBruijn, an educator and leader who spent 40 years with the school district received an honorary degree from Thompson Rivers University. 

Story Trail with Secwepemctsin Language Students’ Voices

The Tsutswecw Park Story Trail featuring Chase Secondary students and teacher voices opens.

The Long-Awaited Launch for Brock Middle School Students

After months of carving and carting away wood chips, and learning about the Secwepemc culture and tradition that goes into its making, Brock Middle School launched their canoe. 


JULY 2019

SD73 Students Among NYT 2019 Blackout Poetry Winners

Kamloops students Shreya Sharma and Gracie Dempsey are awarded poetry prizes. 

SD73 Finalists for Premier’s Awards are Helping Build Community

School District No. 73 is well represented with four 2019 finalists chosen for the Premiers’ Awards for Excellence in Education.

SD73 and Kamloops Music Collective Announce Formal Agreement

School District No. 73 (SD73) and the Kamloops Music Collective (KMC) announce a formal agreement that will benefit Kamloops youth and SD73 students through music programs.


Westsyde Elementary is Ready for Students

Students attending the re-opened Westsyde Elementary look forward to newly-refurbished surroundings. District crews spent about 9,000 hours renovating the structure this summer. 

SD73 Takes Pride in Our Learners

The SD73 banner carried by district staff during the Kamloops 2019 Pride Parade says it all.


 How SD73 Restored the School Year in 11 Days

 When the Parkcrest Elementary School building was destroyed by fire in September 2019, the Kamloops-Thompson School District No. 73 team moved quickly to restore the school year for displaced students and staff. 

United Way Names SD73 ‘Organization with Most Impact’

School District No. 73 was singled out at the United Way 2019 campaign launch for its contribution to ‘Feeding the Future.’  



Jordan Smith Wins Premier's Excellence in Education Award

Kamloops Teacher Jordan Smith received a Premier's Award for Excellence in Education during a ceremony at Government House in Victoria Oct. 4. 

Sa-Hali Secondary Designated as a UNESCO School

Sa-Hali Secondary has achieved international status as a UNESCO-designated school. It is one of only three schools in BC, and 90 in Canada to achieve this designation. 

Fire Response Phase Two Rests with Maintenance Crews

Getting displaced learners and staff into the Happyvale building by Christmas is going to be a great present for everyone involved – in particular, for the SD73 Maintenance and Building department.

Aberdeen Playground Open

The wait is over for Aberdeen Elementary students, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony opening their new playground.



Valleyview Secondary School Expansion Plans Revealed

Staff and some students at Valleyview Secondary were shown the initial version of the expansion plans for their school Nov. 27.

CUPE 3500 and SD73 Ratify Three-year Contract

The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3500 voted 85 per cent in favour to ratify a collective agreement with School District No. 73 (Kamloops-Thompson) on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019.

Beth Dye Awarded RCGS Camsell Medal

TREC vice-principal Beth Dye was recognized for her outstanding volunteer work with the Royal Canadian Geographic Society at an event in Ottawa.

SD73 Completion Rates Reach All-Time High

Completion rates for students in School District No. 73 have reached an all-time high in the district, according to BC Ministry of Education stats.



SD73 & Kamloops Regional Partners Sign VTRA Interagency Protocol

School District No.73 (Kamloops-Thompson) in conjunction with the Ministry of Education and Safer Schools, has developed a specialized Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) Protocol to address the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to potential threats in schools and communities.

Music Educator Honoured with Owl Award

Robert Hogeveen, a long-standing advocate for music education was recognized with the Owl Award for Excellence in Public Education for his contributions to learning throughout the region.

Students Sharing Good Cheer

‘Tis the season, and in schools across the district, students and staff are going that extra mile to give hope and comfort to those less fortunate.

Sound of Music Experience Resonates

Six district students lent their voices to the spectacular The Sound of Music production by the Western Canada Theatre (WCT), which wrapped up Dec. 10, following its last performance. 










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