News from our virtual classrooms

To give people a bit of a break from the overwhelming COVID-19 news, this page is dedicated to sharing some interesting information and good news about what is happening around our school district!

Cleaning up anxiety!

After the strong message of stay at home to stay safe, there was some anxiety in many places around the school district with the “re-start” of in-class learning.
At Salmon Arm West Elementary School this anxiety level was lowered by their custodian, who cleaned up and cleared up much of it!
“Connie Schikowski is our custodian,” explains Principal David Wellingham. “Connie has really lowered the anxiety level of staff, especially these first few days back at school, because she keeps everything so clean and organized.  She is always willing to chip in and immediately follows through on any additional tasks that come up.  Connie has always gone above and beyond in her cleaning.”


Paper Toss Message

Check out this “paper toss” message from Shuswap Middle School staff to their students! It’s great fun!

Author visit – virtually!

Students from Sorrento Elementary were joined by author Marsha Diane Arnold from Alva, Florida in a virtual author reading of her book Galapagos Girl on Tuesday morning. Organized by teacher-librarian Michelle Krumm, students had the opportunity to join into a video-meeting for the reading and to chat with the award-winning children’s author.
Read more here

Not A Box Challenge

Our school staff are doing some very creative things to keep students learning from home! Check out Bastion Elementary’s Not A Box Challenge on April 27th outlined on this video message from Principal Joel Menzies and Vice-Principal Laura Jegues.
The follow up:

Connecting through music!
Staff have been video conferencing, phoning and emailing students. But, they have also been connecting through music! Check out just a few examples of our school staff sending musical messages to their students! Check out a few of the videos:
M.V. Beattie – Build Me Up Buttercup
Silver Creek – Lion Sleeps Tonight
Musical Cheer and Projects
Speaking of music, one of our students has won a national leadership award for music. Congrats to A.L. Fortune students Hannah Hinz.
Check out the story about her by clicking here.

Student builds incubator to hatch chicks

Katie Clark, a student at Silver Creek Elementary, decided her chicken needed friends. Katie previously had 14 hens, which were unfortunately attacked and only one survived. She said her one lone chicken needed friends and she decided she wanted a rooster as well.

She looked on Amazon to find an incubator to buy but they were quite expensive so her and her mom, Kristie, looked up how to build one. They found instructions and a YouTube video and started building!

Katie now has 12 eggs in her incubator. They are all Barred Rock chicken eggs. They will be candling the eggs next weekend to see how many start developing! Super exciting!

Also, did you see the earlier story about Carlin Elementary Middle School’s class project to raise chicks? Check it out here.

Legion Poster Literacy Contest

The Armstrong Legion, represented by Dave Wood and Linda Higgins, presented Armstrong Elementary School’s Evelyn Dyck with second place in the annual Legion Poster Literacy contest. She won $10 too! Happy girl!

Dave insisted on delivering the awards to winning Armstrong students and even dressed up in his Legion attire. “Such kind people,” comments Principal Corrinne Langston.

Students singing The Brick School featured on video from staff

A slide show set to Armstrong Elementary School’s song “Here at the Brick School” (written by retired music teacher Bob Venables) from the staff at the school to their students. Tanya Normandeau put the video together.

Celebrating Earth Day apart … together!

Typically on Earth Day, which is April 22, students might be out planting trees, cleaning up trash, learning about the outdoors, or other activities to commemorate the day. Of course, right now this is not possible.

South Canoe students in Ceren Caner’s class still took part in Earth Day activities, they just did it separately. Check out this collage which Caner put together of his students getting outside, helping and learning! You might also spot retired Principal Kim Fulton (aka Dr. Fish) dressed as the Lorax.

PVSS Chat and Connect

At Pleasant Valley Secondary School Itinerant Youth Family Worker Michelle Howe is connecting with vulnerable and at risk students via technology.

Each morning she does a Good Morning video message with the students which features a daily question for them to answer.

She responds to all the posts and the students chat and reply to each other’s comments as well.

Howe said she is very happy with update the daily connection helps them talk to each other. “These teens are loving, sensitive kiddos who are really missing the connection and their support system.”

Parkview Elementary has a theme for each week!

From visual arts and science experiments to history and construction, each week from April 6 to June 11 Parkview Elementary in Sicamous has a learning theme and a dress up theme day!

Physical literacy week culminating with Jersey Day

Students are sending in pictures to show how they are tackling the learning themes as well as for the fun dress up days.  Staff are also taking part in the fun and posting staff collages for their students. This is not a brand new concept at Parkview, as the school has a lot of pride and holds Parkview Pride dress up days three to four times a year. They also typically have monthly “fun” dress up days.

Principal Carla Schneider sends a letter home each week to let families know about our themes. They are also featured on her on weekly “announcement” video on Facebook and the website.

She said the feedback she has received from parents and staff is they love seeing the pictures, and  it is helping them stay connected. 

From South Canoe teacher and outdoor enthusiast Ceren Caner.

Dear SD83 families,

Spring has sprung! The provincial health officer and School District 83 encourage everyone to get outside! Most trails, pathways, and greenways in municipal and regional communities and parks are currently open to local use. Although all playgrounds, structures, and facilities are closed to limit the risk of contact and exposure to Covid-19.

Everything is being monitored daily, so expect some specific trail closures if there are too many people congregating at one trailhead or on a specific trail.

All our BC Parks are closed (Heralds Park, Margaret Falls trails, Adams River trails at Tsutswecw Provincial Park – are closed.) Most trails outside of BC Parks on Provincial lands are mostly still open; however, all campgrounds and day use areas are closed. There are some provincial recreational trail closures like Larch Hills Nordic trails, which had to close because they include the Upper Violet Provincial Park. So again, check for updates, and be prepared to obey any closure postings you find. To find your nearest trails, visit

Consistent messaging at this time regarding trail use is:
· restrict travel
· stay local
· walk or ride to trails
· stay socially distanced at all times
· watch for and obey closure signs
· and be safe – minimize risk and potential burden on emergency services

Again, people are asked not to drive to other towns to use trails. Please stay home and explore and discover your special trails right where you live. The world is alive and exploding right out of the ground under your feet right where you live right now. And your local trail is one of the best places to go find it!

From M.V. Beattie Elementary

Lego challenge connecting families!

M. V. Beattie Elementary had been working hard to build community connection throughout this difficult time. One of the ways they have engaged families and staff is through a daily LEGO challenge.

Each day brings a new challenge for students and staff. Families email a picture or video of their LEGO creation to be posted on our school’s Facebook page. 

Students from across grade levels have joined in the fun. They proudly pose with their LEGO masterpieces in the photos and videos sent in by parents. One of the Wild Cat mom’s said that the giggles and hard work that went into the tower project became a highlight of her family’s day.

Giggles have also filled the virtual staff room as Vice Principal Michel Quaal and Head Custodian Susan Still bring an extra touch of silliness to each LEGO day. This daring duo makes school Principal Gene Doray a featured guest and star in each of their LEGO creations. This jesting has provided a welcome touch of humour and sense of community.