Synopsis of June Board meeting

Synopsis of June Board meeting

Minute of Silence

Board Chair Amanda Krebs started the meeting with an emotional minute of silence to pause and reflect on the “devastation and harm every single residential school in Canada inflicted on Indigenous people”.

“It is with heavy hearts that we begin our last board meeting of the school year. We were all saddened with the recent horrific finding of 215 children in an unmarked burial site at a former Kamloops residential school, confirming what we’ve already been told, countless times, by residential school survivors. We offer our sincere condolences to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc nation and every single person affected. We know that there are likely similar gravesites at every residential school throughout this country. It is a shameful past that has to be acknowledged and taught to present and future generations. We cannot change the past, but we are committed to listen, learn, and do anything we can to help move forward, in truth and reconciliation. We will strive to ensure that our policies and procedures are not systemically racist; that they lift barriers, rather than create them. It doesn’t seem enough, but for what it’s worth, I am truly sorry.”

New Superintendent/CEO of Schools

Krebs commented she is pleased to announce the Board has hired a new Superintendent of Schools, Donna Kriger, who currently serves as the Deputy Director of Education in the Good Spirit School Division No. 204 in Saskatchewan. Krebs sent out a warm welcome to SD83 to Kriger. She also thanked Anne Cooper of AZ Consulting for helping with both the superintendent and secretary treasurer search process.


2021-22 Board Budget Bylaw

The Board gave three readings and approval to its annual budget bylaw of $91,784,170.
Secretary Treasurer Alanna Cameron noted that there was only one small change, which originated out of the Board’s Committee of the Whole meeting where it was recommended the $30,000 for a custodial supervisor position at Operations be put into contingency pending a needs review.

“One thing I wanted to stress is that we want to look at the whole organization. We are very much aware we have needs in our district,” Krebs noted.

Trustee Quentin Bruns, echoed by other trustees, thanked Cameron for all her hard work on the budget, and her expertise. “This is the last budget that she’s helping guide us through and I am really going to miss her.”

2021-22 BUDGET

Long Range Facilities Plan

The Board passed a motion to support in principle the E5 option for the Salmon Arm region for the Long Range Facilities Plan. This option would see the schools in the greater Salmon Arm area remain at the K-5, K-8, and 6-8 school configurations, with Jackson and Sullivan converting to Grade 9-12 schools.

“We’ve been going back on forth for a long time. None of these options are perfect or we would have chosen one already. There are lots of pros and lots of cons to both, making this an impossible to win situation,” commented Krebs.

Vice Chair Tennile Lachmuth pointed out she was hearing a lot of common themes in the discussion – eliminating a transition, putting students in schools not at the expense of other schools in the district, and providing equitable educational opportunity for students across the district. However, there were varying opinions around how to move forward. Trustees discussed the possibility of sending both options to a working group to determine the “best one high school and two high school” options. having more consultation after the new superintendent joined the district, or trustees having another committee of the whole meeting to continue discussions and try to come to a decision.

A motion was made to support in principle the E5 option. The decision was made to add “in principle” to the motion to give the working group greater flexibility. The motion passed with trustee Marty Gibbons asking that his vote of being opposed to the motion be recorded in the minutes.



The Board also gave approval to the terms of reference for a School Reconfiguration Working Committee, which will begin its work doing more detailed planning for the reconfiguration of grades in the Armstrong area schools.

PVS Gym Update

Unexpected and significant structural damage which occurred decades ago, discovered during the early stages of a retrofit of Pleasant Valley Secondary School gym, has stopped the project. Director of Operations Travis Elwood explained in March a public tender for an interior renovation and retrofit of the PVSS gym was awarded. During the early stages of the project, the contractor raised concern about evidence of fire (which occurred in the 1970s) and structural damage which wasn’t properly fixed in the ceiling of the gym. Using the engineers and architects involved in the renovation project, structural assessments of the gym were conducted in order to determine the severity of the damage. Both structural reports deem the gymnasium unsafe for use until major repairs are completed. He noted there is strong indication that the cost to repair will outweigh the cost to completely replace the gym. This information has gone to the Regional Director of Capital Planning and the Capital Planning Officers, who are advising district staff on the required steps to remediate the issue.


Electronic Board Meetings
After amending the policy to read that meeting recordings will be available on the district website for five years rather than one month, The Board of Education approved the second and final reading of Policy 138 – Electronic Board Meetings.

Superintendent’s Report

Congrats to Grads – Assistant Superintendent Ryan Brennan started the announcements with a congratulations and best wishes to the SD83 Grad Class of 2021. “With their final two years of school plagued by the pandemic this year’s graduating class is not getting the ceremony and send off which we had all hoped for. However, please know COVID hasn’t hijacked the pride your family, friends, trustees, and staff of SD83 are feeling about the many accomplishments of our students during their educational journey! Our 2021 graduates have lived through some very interesting times and hopefully the skills developed during this pandemic will help them push forward, be resilient and carry on to fill the next chapters of their lives.”

Major Scholarships – He also noted that two more SD83 students have earned major scholarships. “Congratulations to Savannah Lamb, a grade 12 student at Salmon Arm Secondary (Sullivan) who has earned a $40,000 scholarship from the Beedie Luminaries Foundation. Savannah plans to pursue a degree in psychology.  Also, congrats to Grade 11 student Ash Brooks who has earned a two year scholarship, valued at over $61,000 per year, to attend the Pearson College of the Pacific. Ash will be attending the International Baccalaureate Program with students from around the world. “

Raise funds – He added several Salmon Arm Secondary students have planned an online charity auction to help fundraise for a new CT scanner and mammography unit for Shuswap Lake General Hospital. The Auction raised $3,100, helping the Radiothon’s to its $81,670 total! Elias Cox, and Karver Smith – with help from friends Justice Skelhorne and Ashleigh Nadin would like to thank everyone who supported their auction! 

Home Learning Opportunities -He let trustees know about summer home learning opportunities which are posted on the website. “For those parents who are looking for ideas on how to help their children practice their literacy and math skills over the summer, SD83 staff have put together some literacy activities and math games for students from kindergarten to grade eight.” These activities will be on the school district’s website. Also, the Indigenous Education Department is offering home-based activities through Joyful Literacy. This can also be found on the school district’s website. Go to Programs and then Indigenous Education to find the information. 

FSA -Although Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) results are embargoed at the moment, Brennan reported to trustees that there were some very promising improvements in the area of numeracy. He said this information will be shared as soon as it can be.

Farewells – He concluded by taking the opportunity to say farewell and thank you to Secretary Treasurer Alanna Cameron who is leaving SD83 for another district. “It’s been a real pleasure working with you Alanna,” he stated.

Employee Long Service Awards

With Board meetings taking place virtually, the annual long term service awards were announced by Assistant Superintendent Ryan Brennan at the meeting, however, the recipients will be delivered to each person’s own school/location.
Receiving a 30 year service award are: Kelly Cooper (teacher at South Broadview), Michelle Dolinar (teacher at Highland Park) George Kocsis (teacher at PVSS), Michele Lee (teacher at HPE), Kari Mostat (CEA at SMS), Diane Rhodes (CEA at MVB), and Alex Schudlo (CEA at ERS).
Recognized with a 20 year service award are: Sheila Corbett (teacher at Hillcrest), Jennifer Daughtry (teacher at HPE), Susan Doray (teacher at Jackson), Rob Ellis (principal at HPE), Catherine Fitzpatrick (custodian at ERS), Sophie Hamel (teacher at Sullivan), Philip Lepine teacher at PVSS), Heather Montgomery (learning resource teacher at Ranchero), Andrea Ruckle (teacher at Sorrento), Meredith Rusk (Indigenous teacher at DESC), Josefine Terrell (teacher at HPE), Erik von Niessen (teacher at HPE), Amy Witt (learning resource teacher at Sullivan/ DESC), and Emily Zinck (teacher at Sorrento).

French Immersion

Trustee Marty Gibbons raised a concern which he had been hearing from parents about a proposed combined early and late French Immersion grade 7 class at Shuswap Middle School for the upcoming school year and whether the district has met its obligation for notification and consultation requirements about the change at SMS.

Brennan explained the question is what constitutes a significant change. He said this was discussed by the senior leadership team and it was felt it was not a significant change as there are combined classes across the district. He noted schools are staffed based on a formula and in accordance with the collective agreement. Schools then make decisions on how to best allot their staffing. “We recognize that combining early and late is new however the circumstances of the pandemic, the fact that Principal Sydney Griffith is able to work and consult with her staff about which of the students would be the best fit for this class.” He explained that they will be looking at which of the late French Immersion would be up for that challenge and which of the early French Immersion students, many of whom did not get a full year of French Immersion this year due to the pandemic and some choices made to go into EOP, might benefit from a year in a class with a mixed group like we are proposing here. “We do anticipate all of these students will be on track in Grade 8 to join all the late and early students as is normal at SMS.”

He added there are 17 empty seats in French Immersion at SMS any many needs for extra divisions throughout the district, including at SMS.

Gibbons suggested that perhaps this decision could be looked at again. Krebs commented that trustees definitely don’t want to be stepping out of their domain. “The best solutions are the ones that happen at the school level. They know the concerns and needs and I have faith they can work together and come back with the best plan for SMS.”

School Fees

The Board passed a motion approving school fees for the upcoming school year. In his presentation, Brennan noted that the fees proposed are the same as last year. Trustee Marianne VanBuskirk thanked Brennan for the information and noted that she liked seeing the background information and comments and she noted a few things. “One is that our Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) does help pay for a lot of cultural events and that is really appreciated. Thank you, PAC.” She said a principal or two noted lock costs are higher than what the fees bring in, and perhaps a solution can be found for that. She also supported rolling this year’s unused school fees into the 2021-22 school year, and the $5,000 hardship fund for rural schools.


2021-22 Board Committees

Board Chair Amanda Krebs announced that trustee representation on Board Committees for the upcoming year would remain the same as this year.

Early Literacy Framework

District Principal of Early Learning Jen Findlay shared with trustees what the new model for literacy support (LIT) will look like in SD83 elementary schools in the fall. Findlay started the presentation by acknowledging the dedication and hard work of all the amazing literacy teachers SD83 has had and the impactful work they have done over the years.

Starting in the 2021-22 school year, Findlay explained the model for literacy support in SD83 elementary schools will look different. The former LIT model was very successful for the Grade 1 students who qualified for support however the program was only available in nine schools and only a limited number of students were able to receive support.

The revised model will provide targeted literacy support in all 17 elementary schools. The primary focus will be on small group early intervention support for students (K to 2) and emphasis will be placed on in-class versus pull-out support.


Policy Approved
The Board approved second reading of Policy 160 Distribution of Information and Materials

AED plan

The Board passed a motion to purchase the eight remaining automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to complete the three year program to have an AED in each SD83 school and facility. An AED, or automated external defibrillator, is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. It’s a medical device that can analyze the heart’s rhythm and, if necessary, deliver an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm.

FNEC Update

VanBuskirk reported it was a very emotional First Nations Education Council meeting on June 10. She said a lot of district business and updates occurred. The bands thanked outgoing District Principal of Indigenous Education Anne Tenning for what she has accomplished and what she will do at the provincial level in her new position. At the meeting, new SD83 District Principal of Indigenous Education Mishel Quaal was welcomed. “It was a good meeting.”


Bruns gave a huge shout-out to District Music Supervisor Michelle Reed and the A.L. Fortune Drumlines which competed virtually in the 2021 Canadian Drumline Association’s Provincial/National Virtual Competition and did very well.

Concert Class Category:

Grade 9 Drumline (Beg) 5th overall

Grade 10 Drumline (Int) 2nd place overall

Grade 11/12 Drumline (Sr) 1st Place

VanBuskirk reported on how impressed she was with the students she was talking to about their education experience during the pandemic at Salmon Arm Secondary’s grad street painting event. “I was so impressed with them. They were so resilient.” She also reported on attending Hillcrest’s improvement plan meeting.