First reading of the draft 2022-23 Annual Budget Bylaw for $94,248,131 was passed at the Board of Education of School DIstrict No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) meeting on Tuesday at the District Education Support Centre (DESC).
SD83 Secretary Treasurer Dale Culler provided an overview of the budget development process as well as the draft budget to the Board. He noted on the revenue side, the per pupil funding received from the Ministry is the same as last year, there is a predicted softening of student enrolment, and a small increase in funding for rural schools ($318,777). On the expense side there is the increase of costs of teachers moving through the salary grid ($604,600) and increased fuel and utility costs ($383,750). He is expecting the overall budget shortfall to be about $1.57 million. He noted departments have already adjusted requirements by $900,000, which leaves approximately $670,000 to be determined. In the draft budget these funds are coming from the Board’s accumulated surplus. However, this will be robustly discussed at the Committee of the Whole meeting set for May 24 at 4 p.m. at the District Education Support Centre (DESC). The finalized budget will be presented to the Board at its meeting on June 21.
After some discussion the Board also decided to write a letter to the Ministry of Education and Child Care expressing concerns regarding the lack of increase to the per pupil funding, especially in light of increased costs, which they will also send to MLA Greg Kyllo.
Trustee Election Bylaw
General local trustee elections are slated for October 15, 2022. At its meeting on Tuesday, the Board gave three readings and approval to the SD83 Trustee Election Bylaw. The bylaw sets out the various procedures and requirements to be applied in conducting the trustee elections. Trustees are elected for a four year term.
Read Bylaw Here
Trustee Election Officers
The Board appointed Secretary Treasurer Dale Culler as Chief Election Officer and Veronica Deacon as the Deputy Chief Election Officer. The Board will be conducting elections for Trustee Electoral Areas 1, 2, and 3, the City of Salmon Arm will be conducting trustee elections for Area 4.
Election Cost Sharing Agreement
The Board also passed a motion approving the election cost sharing agreements with the District of Sicamous and the Township of Spallumcheen. There are still several more electoral areas for agreements to be worked out.
Superintendent Donna Kriger presented the 2022-23 organizational chart for Board information. She commented she is confident the new organizational structure will be a more efficient use of personnel and be more cost effective.
She added through the reorganization they are removing silos and building capacity across directors.
Superintendent of Schools Donna Kriger congratulated Armstrong Elementary School and the community of Armstrong for organizing an outstanding Centennial celebration that was held May 13-14.
“In addition to the multitude of things our school staffs are managing right now, Principal Corrinne Langston and her staff together with the community of Armstrong, organized something pretty special. It was a celebration that focussed on the rich tradition of quality education for children past and present at AES.”
“It was powerful to see current students enjoying the opportunity to share things like their school song, the May Pole dance, artwork, and much more. The stories shared by community members spoke to the impact this school and past staff had on their lives. Though I can’t possibly articulate how special this celebration was, I can say it was my privilege to participate in the event. As someone new to the district, it afforded me the opportunity to witness first hand the importance of “schools” within our various communities.”
“I won’t be able to thank everyone but I’d like to especially acknowledge the our Indigenous partners and rightsholders who came to bring blessings and greetings, Dodie Jones and the A.L. Fortune drum group, dignitaries from Armstrong and Spallumcheen, Pleasant Valley School Jazz Band, Helen Sidney – a long time teacher and benefactor at AES, of course the staff of AES and trustee Tennille Lachmuth.”
Kriger also mentioned the Little Mountain Stomp. “For those who were able to take in the cross country event at Little Mountain, I’m certain you witnessed the same thing those of us from the senior leadership team saw – 1,100 students enjoying the opportunity to compete, parents/guardians thrilled to see their children returning to pre-covid activities, and SD83 staff beaming as they worked together to create an event that was great for kids and symbolize a return to normal. Thank you to each and every one (past and present SD83 employees) who went above and beyond to ensure that 1,100 students went home feeling as though they were all winners on that day.”
Earlier this year, trustees moved to support a proposal focussing on student leadership in the district. Kriger noted she is happy to report that April 26 saw these students meet and a second leadership summit is scheduled for later in May. “Thank you to Deanna Brennan, Sandra Major, Dallas Mould, and Chris Matheson for organizing this opportunity for students of our district.”
Middle Years Conference for Indigenous Students
On May 5th, a Middle Years Conference was held for Middle School Indigenous students at Okanagan College. Retired NHL player, Jason Simon of the New York Islanders was the keynote speaker for SD83 students with Laura Grizzlypaws providing closing remarks. Students participated in workshops and cultural games throughout the day. “Thanks to Okanagan College for hosting the event and to all of the staff who helped organize it.”
Earth Day and more
“I want to thank all of those who sponsored, organized and helped students with all the Earth Day activities that took place across the district. There were tree plantings, school yard clean-ups, beach clean-ups, community clean-ups, and more! Students in the Wild Schools program also received tree plugs to take home and plant,” commented Kriger. She added some schools also tied this in with reconciliation, as trees were planted in memory of those children who did not return home to their families from Kamloops Residential School.
Kriger added the A.L. Fortune Senior Drumline has once again captured the top spot in the Province for Concert Class Drumline. The Junior Drumline also had an incredible showing and placed third out of seven ensembles in their first-ever competition. Michelle Reed, SD83’s Vice-Principal of Music and the A.L. Fortune band instructor, reported to Kriger it was incredible to be back in person, sharing what they do with other Scholastic Drumlines in BC. The local drumline students don’t often get to see other Drumlines perform, so getting to see 14 in one day was pretty awesome!
Bastion & Sullivan Students (Math Games)
Kriger reports she had the opportunity to visit Sullivan and observe Heather Lawless’ grade 12 students engage in math games with Megan Ollinger’s grade 1 class from Bastion. “It was amazing to watch the high school students mentor young students and I couldn’t tell who was enjoying the games more – the grade 1’s or 12’s. Thank you to our grade 12 student leaders at Sullivan who made that hour so memorable for those young students. I know they will grow up remembering that special day!”
It is always remarkable to hear of the recognition our students get for their leadership and high academic achievement. At the meeting Kriger highlighted three SD83 students who are receiving $40,000 scholarships.
Glitter Esquivias of Salmon Arm Secondary was awarded the Beedie Luminaries Scholarship. The Beedie Luminaries Scholarship is described as a scholarship that gives “more than money” as not only do scholarship winners receive funding, but they also have access to mentors, are part of a peer support group, and have summer paid internship opportunities.
Lynndsay Terpsma of Pleasant Valley Secondary and Garrett Kelley of Salmon Arm Secondary have each been offered a Cmolik Foundation Award. This scholarship was created with the aim of providing opportunities for youth who have experienced adversity in their lives. This Foundation is rooted in the belief in the power of education to transform and empower. Lynndsay has also been awarded a $10,000 UBC Presidential Scholars Award.
55+ Games to be hosted in Salmon Arm (2024)
Kriger wrapped up her announcements saying she and Dale Culler had met with representatives from the City of Salmon Arm and community members who are interested in submitting a bid to host the 55+ games in September of 2024. The bid must be submitted prior to the end of June and so members of this committee are hoping to join the Board at its next regular meeting to discuss the possibility of using district facilities to host this event.
One of the best kept secrets in this area is the amazing technology centre in the Salmon Arm area, said District Principal Reid Findlay, and this is one of the areas that he highlighted when discussing trade and career education opportunities and partnerships the school district’s career department continues to develop for local students.
In his presentation Findlay discussed being part of a local technology business development panel and presenting to the Southern Interior Local Government Association, about sharing career exploration information with parents through online Career Exploration Conversation webinars in cooperation with WorkBC, and about the strong team of career counsellors in SD83 high schools.
“We can’t expect kids to know what they want to do. They have to explore and find what might be a pathway for them.”
Findlay reported on the fifth Tech Meet Up, which started in partnership with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and a desire to ensure local students are aware of the tech opportunities in the Salmon Arm area. A couple of other opportunities highlighted by Findlay were the Gateway to Technology program, and IT User Support micro credentialing, both in partnership with Okanagan College. Findlay noted these opportunities help connect students to local employers.
Findlay said the career department has been promoting the Gateway to Tech program for September and they have the highest number ever express interest. “We have 31 students applying for 20 seats. It’s a good problem to have.” He noted that there is enough interest to warrant Okanagan College bringing in an instructor just for this class.
Another educational opportunity is the IT User Support micro credentialing. The pilot project has four SD83 students and three from other school districts. Findlay explains when the students finish this course they can use the certificate to get work in certain areas of user support or can ladder the certificate into the Information Technology diploma program at Okanagan College.
Findlay added there are many rich dual credit offerings as well. “The beauty of dual credit is that it is a secondary course and a post secondary course with free tuition leading to graduation.”
PowerPoint Presentation Here
Annual Workplan 2022-23
With trustee elections upcoming, Board Chair Amanda Krebs suggested the Board update the annual workplan with pertinent information and deadlines and then let the new Board decide on focus areas. Trustees agreed and it was noted to ensure the workplan was brought forward for review by the new Board in November.
It was also agreed that the Board should not make any changes to its committee structure but instead leave that for the new Board to review and change as appropriate.
2022-23 Administrative Calendar & Board Meeting Schedule
The Board adopted the 2022-23 Internal Administrative Calendar and Board meeting schedule as presented. The Board meetings will continue to be the third Tuesday of the month except for three exceptions. The September meeting will be held on the third Thursday (Sept. 15) due to the timing of the school trustee election campaign period and to allow sufficient time for the 2022 audited financial statements to be completed. In December and March the Board meetings will be moved to the second Tuesday of the month (Dec. 13 & March 14) due to school breaks. The Board meetings will typically be at 6 p.m. at the District Education Support Centre except for January 13, 2023 when it will be at A.L. Fortune, February 21 when it will be at Pleasant Valley, and April 18 when it will be at Eagle River Secondary.
Read Calendar Here
Board Meeting Schedule
Committee Chair Trustee Tennile Lachmuth reported the committee is continuing to work through the student section of the policy manual (Section 300). She said a policy initiation is being brought forward around setting some guidelines around any revenue that may eventually come out of the international student program. “Some has to go back to the program, and the schools that host the students receive some funds but how will we divide any other funds? How is it helping the district?” She added that for transparency she thinks a policy would be a good idea.
Now that the Anti-Racism policy has received first reading it will go out to the public and stakeholder groups for input. This will then be reviewed by the policy committee, necessary changes incorporated, and then it will come back to the Board.
Student Dress Guidelines (formerly Policy 9010 Student Dress Code) and Curriculum and Instruction (formerly Policy 8030) have been revised as part of the Board’s Policy Manual review and update. The updated Student Dress Guidelines policy was reviewed by the principal and vice-principals group, by secondary students, and was sent out for public feedback. The Curriculum and Instruction policy was reviewed by District Learning Team and sent out for public feedback.
With these two new policies in place, the former policies will be brought to the June meeting to be repealed.
Culler also presented the quarterly financials as of March 31, noting that when looking at the percentages you need to be aware that some of the funds are spent over varying lengths of time (10, 11, and 12 months). He also pointed out that the heating ventilation systems in SD83 schools are infusing more fresh air, so as expected, utility costs are over budget.
Committee Chair Trustee Marianne VanBuskirk reported the Education Directions Committee met on May 4. One thing which she noted they are concerned about is that there are not any student representatives on the committee. The previous students on the committee have graduated and new ones have not yet been found. VanBuskirk added she is attending the second summit of SD83 leadership students that is coming up and will try to recruit some students who may be interested in adding their voice to the Education Directions and Budget Committees.
Committee of the Whole
Krebs reported there are two upcoming Committee meetings. The first is on May 24th and will focus on the budget. The next is May 30th and will look at Indigenous Education and Early Learning. Both start at 4 p.m.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
VanBuskirk reported on the recent SOGI (Sexual Orientation Gender Identity) Team Leads meeting on May 3. She noted there was a panel discussion with a former student, a parent and young student, several current students and a teacher sponsor. “It was a very emotional afternoon.”
She reminded trustees that June is Pride Month.
BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA) Update
Trustees VanBuskirk, Krebs, and Gibbons reported on the BCSTA annual general meeting on April 21-24. The theme of the AGM was Walking Alongside or Going Home. Really to honour survivors of residential schools, reported VanBuskirk. “It was really impactful,” commented Gibbons.
First Nations Education Council (FNEC) Update
VanBuskirk reported Darrell Jones, the Education Director at Splatsin, chaired the most recent meeting of FNEC. There was a staffing update, discussions on partner budgets, and an update on the Indigenous student graduation ceremony on May 26. She added FNEC was excited to play a major role in helping choose the new SD83 Director of Indigenous Education.
Bruns reported he attended the Parkview Prowl, a combination cross country run sports day for the elementary students, and it was pretty exciting. “It was really cool to see the number of Eagle River leadership students being the “jackrabbits and shepherds” for the event. It was a great example of a small community working together.”
He also reported he was lucky enough to be part of the A.L. Fortune Prom last Friday. He noted it was a great meal, amazing decorations and a wonderful group of students. “Another example of a small community going that extra mile.”
“I’m really proud of both of these communities.”
In Lachmuth’s report she too noted how great the 100th celebration was at Armstrong Elementary. “It was so nice to finally have parents be able come to see their children and there was a sea of red tee-shirts.” She also noted that the Pleasant Valley Secondary hair salon is now open (until June 15) with students cutting hair. The PVSS Salon is an Industry Training Authority training centre. She also noted that there is high school football, with Highland Park principal Rob Ellis coaching the PVSS’ team, and the PVSS Dance Gala is back!
Lachmuth also noted that six students from SD83 are part of the BC Summer Games on the fast pitch team!
VanBuskirk reported that she attended the Hillcrest Shuffle cross country run on April 27 and the Middle Years Indigenous Student Conference on May 5. “It was great. It was all about wellness with an Indigenous flair.”
She added on May 13 Urban Systems and the Active Transportation Task Force went to Shuswap, Sullivan, and Bastion to hear from students and get ideas from students for active transportation routes. “The students had ideas that no one else had mentioned. It was a really positive experience. A huge shout out to the City of Salmon Arm for doing this.”
Gibbons reported he attended the Sorrento PAC meeting where they were sad to hear their beloved principal Jodi Garries has been transferred to Hillcrest. “It was very touching.” He also noted they were planting some plants indigenous to the area on the school grounds. “They are a very dedicated group.”
He added that he attended the recent District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) meeting by zoom and heard a very good presentation by Ceren Caner, on behalf of the SD83 Environmental Advisory Working Group. Gibbons also noted at the meeting that he will not be running for re-election and hopes that anyone who is interested attend the trustee information session to take place in June.