Superintendent’s Update

Posted On Friday June 02, 2023

Dear Parents and Caregivers:

In June, we enjoy taking part in student and staff celebrations, recognition and awards events, and graduations. As we plan, prepare, and live these important life moments, we are living our core commitments of relationships/connections, wellbeing, sustainability, and equity in our 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan.  Equity (value) and love (Grandfather Teaching) is a focus in June.

Safer School Streets - Week One is a Big Success

Mike Johnson, Principal of Arthur Hatton Elementary School, is thanking parents, students, and staff for working together to make the first week of this pilot a success. The pilot has been a temporary closure of roads near the school to inspire students and their families to walk, ride, and roll to school from 7:45-8:45 am every morning and from 2:00-3:00 pm every afternoon from May 29- June 9. As of Monday, June 5, 2023, they are making a small change based on feedback. To ease the pressure on families, the time of the road barriers will be from 2:20 pm instead of 2:00 pm every day starting on Monday, June 5, 2023. Thank you for your feedback so quickly to enable us to make this change.

Students have been enjoying walking, biking, and rolling to school, as well playing games. They gather for water and a chance to win a prize at the celebration station. Parents have been coming to school with their children, and friends have been enjoying this time together.

To share how it has been going, Mike Johnson met with Ying, ATS Lane Change Technician, who was controlling the barrier at Holly to Schubert. When he asked him how the parents and drivers who see the barrier are responding to the pilot, Ying said, “I think it is going well because on the weekend before we started, I went door-to-door and told residents about the plan and offered them blueberries and homemade bannock.” Read more.

KSA’s First Annual Student-led Plant Sale

When I heard about the excitement of School Board staff about how the plant sale run by Gr. 4-5 KSA students was an educationally rich experience and “worth stopping to see to be inspired”, I went over at just about 3:15 pm on May 31, 2023. Although I had just missed the sale, I met Mrs. Claire Covington who led this project. She shared her passion for plants and how she had invested in a cross-grade plant growing project with high school leadership classes. Mrs. Covington explained:

Thirteen elementary classes and our high school leadership class grew plants in greenhouses in their classrooms including: tomatoes, peppers, beans, basil, marigolds, kale and more. Some of the plants were grown from seeds we saved in the fall. Students in my class (Mrs. CJ) then ran a two day plant sale, promoting, sharing their knowledge, helping customers and using lots of math skills to sell the plants. The money will be reinvested into the plant program to hopefully gain more success next year.  Read more.

Secondary Battle of the Books Reboot

SD73 secondary “Battle Books” are largely chosen by the students themselves, and represent a diverse range of perspectives, authors, and genres.  This year’s list consisted of more than ten titles. Some students read all of the books, while others only read one or two. Students took part in varied games planned by District Literacy Coordinator, Mike Carson. Throughout the day, students participated in a series of literary challenges designed to test their knowledge, creativity, and teamwork, including a Book Pitch Competition, three grueling rounds of Jeopardy, and an intellectually demanding Loose Parts design contest. Read more.

SD73 Sagebrush Book Awards Reader's Choice/Reading Motivation Program

Literacy is part of the Intellectual Development Priority of the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan. To inspire students to share their love of reading and to have fun together, we have the Sagebrush Book Award Program in which elementary students have taken part in voting for their favorite texts. Andrea Wallin, District Library Coordinator, has written an article with this year’s winners. Read more.

Congratulations SD73 Students Who Took Part in the 2023 Gauss Math Contest and Team Challenge

Numeracy is a key priority in the District Strategic Plan. The District Numeracy team (District Numeracy Coordinator Monica Bergeron and Numeracy Resource Teacher, Cynthia Morrow) was proud to host 46 students from 12 schools in SD73 on May 17, 2023, who took part in the Grade 7 Gauss math contest and Team Challenge Day.  The Gauss math contest is a national math contest developed by the Center for Education in Mathematics and Computing at the University of Waterloo.

The top scoring students were:

1st place              Mohamed Nahle from South Sa-Hali Elementary with a score of 136

2nd place             Finn Morgan from Marion Schilling Elementary with a score of 124

3rd place             Tie between Johan Campsall from Lloyd George Elementary and Lucas Lee from McGowan Park Elementary each with scores of 120. Read more.

Congratulations to SD73 Skills Canada Competitors

In the School District 73 Strategic Plan Priorities, the Career Education team has committed to prepare students to reach their career and occupational objectives, and graduate, knowing who they are, and having plans for who they aim to become through their career pathway.

Two shining examples of this work in Career Education are Nolan Ilic (NorKam Senior Secondary) and Logan Jones (Barriere Secondary). In the week of May 23rd Nolan and Logan were competing at the Skills Canada Nationals in Winnipeg, where Nolan earned a gold medal in Secondary Welding, and Logan earned a silver medal in Secondary Carpentry. Clearwater Secondary graduate Matthew Lavigne (grad 2022) also earned a Silver Medal in Post Secondary Carpentry. Nolan and Logan have worked diligently to develop knowledge and skills in their chosen trade.  Read more.


We have started with a week of wonderful graduation ceremonies at Twin Rivers Education Centre (May 29), Four Directions (May 30), and Continuing Education (May 31) this week. Thank you to Principal Michelle Mattes and Vice Principal Dyan Gunnlaugson and the graduation committees for planning, organizing, and supporting these events, which have been so well received by students, families, staff, trustees, and community members this past week.

Pride Month

In the District Strategic Plan, Cultural and Identity Development is a priority, and the goal is to ensure that every individual is welcomed, feels connected and that they belong and are included in our SD73 community. Diversity is celebrated and acknowledged as a strength and during June, we support students and staff who identify as LGBTQ+ or non-binary and we stand together with you to be treated with dignity, respect, care, and love.

Thank you to everyone who is taking the time to plan, coordinate, and celebrate these important life moments. I hope that you continue into the weekend with time together to enjoy family and friends.


Rhonda Nixon, PhD


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