When that hint of fall is in the air, the school backpacks get pulled out again. This year, school is back in on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
Full day kindergarten
Alice Hucul, district communications, reports that full day kindergarten will be implemented in the 2011-12 school year, throughout the district.
“The curriculum,” said Hucul, “remains play-based and feedback about the full day program last year was very positive.”
For those students beginning full-day kindergarten, there is a gradual-entry process. Parents of kindergartners will be notified by mail and phoned about the phase-in to full day attendance.
More Strong Start centres
For children five and under, along with their parents and caregivers, three more Strong Start centres have opened, said Hucul.
Strong Start centres now exist at Highland Park Elementary in Armstrong, M.V. Beattie in Enderby, at Salmon Arm West Elementary and the Downtown Activity Centre in Salmon Arm, and at Parkview Elementary in Sicamous.
New this year is the Strong Start Outreach program which will be offered on a rotating basis two days a week in North Shuswap, Sorrento and Falkland.
To see which days Strong Start and Strong Start Outreach will be in your area, parents can check the district website.
Students can continue learning about leadership and social responsibility by taking part in the Me to We program and Toonie Tuesday, scheduled this year for Oct. 25.
On Toonie Tuesday, all students and adults in the district are encouraged to donate a toonie to help adopt a village in Kenya, as well as support local community projects.
We Day will take place in Vancouver. Due to the popularity of the program, a limited number of students from the school district can attend this event to learn more about leadership and social responsibility.
Bastion gains classrooms
A new annex at Bastion features three classrooms, individual washrooms and a spacious hallway with lockers.
Alan Harrison, Bastion principal, said the annex will accommodate about 75 students in two Grade Five classes and one Grade Four/Five split class. Because Bastion is a dual-track school, two classes will be French Immersion while the other will be English.
The interlocking modular rooms are more like a mini-school than the old-style individual portables, said Hucul. The new annex replaces older modulars on blocks, adds Harrison.
“There’s no comparison between these and the old portables. These are on their own foundation. They are much more permanent.”
New to the position of School District #83 superintendent is Dave Witt, formerly assistant superintendent.
Witt replaces Doug Pearson, now retired.
He has been with the district for about 13 years and has also been Director of Instruction.
Now is an exciting time to be in education, Witt said.
Over the next two years, his priority for the district is to engage both the education community and the greater community in conversations about what new approaches can be taken in educating students.