Thank you

A big thank you to Oliver Buy Low for their donation of all supplies, equipment and space for a hot dog sale to raise funds for The Women in Need Society.

In this day and age it seems terrible that so many women and children need to find shelter, clothing and other basic needs but, the sad fact is that this is a big problem in our society. Women who are abused are sometimes forced to flee their homes to find safe shelter elsewhere. The W.I.N. society fills just a small part of this need and never has enough money to do all that is necessary.

The members of the Order of the Eastern Star held a hot dog sale on Canada Day to raise funds for this very worthy cause. People of Oliver came to enjoy lunch and make their donations. Thank you to ODN for advertising our event and to all who came to support it.

Our next hot dog sale will be held outside of Super Valu on Friday, August 14th the donations from that sale will go to the Children’s Make a Wish Foundation.

Pat Whalley for Order of the Eastern Star.

Season opener – Market & Music in the Park

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Thursday July 2 begins with indie folk-rock trio from the Similkameen, “JEM”: Jodel, Elam and Maggie. Elam and Maggie are also known as “Wild Organic Humans” (named for their organic farm) and join up with Jodel Burk for sweet harmonies that are oh-so-good for you.

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RDOS brochure removed from public view

good neighbour guide

RDOS directors were informed this morning that a recent brochure entitled ” The Good Neighbour’s Guide ”
had been designed and put on the rack for public viewing – BUT now taken down because of certain concernd from several rural directors.

Tom Sidden Area D director told the board the brochure tries to do a selling job on Temporary Use Permits for Vacation Rentals. Siddon says a lot of his citizens are not in favour of such occupancy in residential neighbourhoods.

RDOS CAO Bill Newell said the guide was needed to explain what a TUP was and how to get one and how much fees are – but admitted the contractor who wrote may have gone a bit far in appearing to sell the idea.

A couple of key phrases not appreciated: “The Regional District Okanagan Similkameen supports the entrepreneurial spirit that flourishes among its residents and the development of home-based businesses. That includes vacation rental properties.” and

people have…” opened their homes to visitors weighed against a neighbour’s right to the peaceful enjoyment of property owned down the street.”

The brochure will be edited again, shown to directors before it hits the public.

The brochure is still uploaded on the RDOS website.

RDOS Briefs

1. Directors have given the initial go ahead to drilling for water at Faulder. $130,945 has been approved for “Faulder Water system upgrades that will cost a Million dollars but most of that coming from grants. The reason – too much uranium in the water. Ecora Engineering and Golder Associates will do the work. 215 people are affected as they use this water system. The upgrades ordered by the Public Heath department.


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2. A plot of land north of the Town of Osoyoos (87th Street and 104th Avenue) will be submitted to the ALC for exclusion even thought some directors had concerns about removing quality agricultural land from the reserve. Spokesman for the Demelo Family – Brad Elenko says the 3.4 hectare plot is adjacent to residential development on three sides and the property has been subject to anti-farming vandalism for twenty years. Directors voted to let the Agricultural Land Commission make the final decision.

In support of this proposal, the applicant has stated that there has been a history of conflict with adjacent residential uses which has impaired the ability of the property owner to effectively farm these parcels, specifically:
• theft and vandalism of farm equipment, theft of fruit and trespass of neighbours and neighbour pets onto the farmland
• the farm owners cannot efficiently or practically farm the lands proposed for exclusion due to the added cost of the ongoing vandalism, the cost of compromising required farm practices due to neighbourhood complaints, and the lost opportunity due to theft of fruit
• the cost to farm the lands including repairs and replacement of farm equipment on the land and the compromised farm practices due to neighbourhood complaints, outweighs the revenue generated from the sale of the fruit from the property; and
• the proposed exclusion … will not result in any future land use conflicts with agriculture as 104th Avenue will provide a very defined and distinct division between farm and non-farm uses.sting

3. Funding from reserves approved to allow for the go ahead for a senior’s fitness area at Lion’s Park in Oliver.

4. Funds also approved for a 2nd phase of the OK Falls revitalization project which will build on the result of phase one that stated that the beach area is the draw in OK Falls and that should be the focal point of a civic centre – where upzoned land would allow for more residents to support commercial enterprises.

Executive Director of Hospice Society appointed

tracy22The Board of Directors of Desert Valley Hospice Society is very pleased to announce the appointment of Tracy MacFadden to the position of Executive Director. In assuming this part time position, we believe Tracy has the skills and attributes necessary to provide the senior leadership the society requires in its ongoing development. Tracy has shown a genuine interest and commitment to the work of the society over the past two years. We are confident that in accepting this position Tracy will continue to work with the hospice society to achieve its goal to support excellence in the delivery of hospice palliative care and end of life services to the communities we serve.


Pat Wycherley – Desert Valley  Hospice Society

Senior’s park in Oliver – to get approval today

Lions Park Path (2)Administrative Recommendation:

THAT the Board of Directors (RDOS) support a Five-year Financial Plan Amendment in the amount of$55,000 for Oliver Parks and Recreation Parks to fund an Age-Friendly Outdoor Fitness Park and paving of a pathway in Lion’s Park for the purpose of creating a circuit for the Age-Friendly Outdoor Fitness Park.

History: Amendments to the approved Five-year Financial Plan are brought forward as supporting resolutions with bylaw amendments taking place in aggregation annually.

Analysis: After the 2015 budget was approved, the Oliver Parks and Recreation Society (OPRS) received notification that they were successful in their grant application of $20,000 from UCBM for an Age-Friendly Outdoor Fitness Park. The grant will help cover items such as equipment purchase, community engagement, signage, promotion etc. In addition to the grant, the project has also received donation funds in the amount of $15,000. Community consultation on the project has determined that the older adults in the community want a circuit park rather than a cluster park. To accommodate this, paving a new portion of pathway in Lion’s Park is necessary. A map of the proposed circuit pathway is included for your reference. The additional funding for the pathway paving would require use of OPRS Parks Reserve.
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At the June 15th OPRS Board Meeting, the Board passed the following motion: “to requisition $20,000 from the Parks reserve to fund the paving of a pathway in Lion’s Park for the purpose of creating a circuit for the Age-Friendly Outdoor Fitness Park” Clarke/Knodel CARRIED To note, Lion’s Park is a Town park and the RDOS does not have an agreement regarding the operation of this park. However, the park is within the area defined in the service establishment bylaw for OPRS Parks service and the reserve funding collected within this service is contributed to by both Electoral Area ‘C’ and the Town of Oliver.

“Get out of the way and let them play”

action22The ParticipACTION Report Card (formerly the Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card) provides a comprehensive assessment of the current state of physical activity for children and youth in Canada. For the first time, the Report Card takes a stand on play in nature and the outdoors—with its risks—and includes a Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play developed by the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (HALO-CHEO), ParticipACTION and a group of 12 other organizations. The full report, as well as assorted posters and communications materials, are available on their website. The message is loud and clear and that is that School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen) our kids need to sit less and move more! According to the report we need to “Get out of the way and let them play”. We need to provide our children with opportunities to play outside as they spend twice as much time being active when play is outdoors versus indoors.

June is always a very special time for trustees as we get to celebrate with our students, staff and communities the achievements and milestones of our students at graduation ceremonies, year-end assemblies and years of service and retirement events for district staff. We would like to congratulate all of our grade 12’s and wish them the best of luck for their futures. We also would like to thank all of our teachers, administrators and senior staff for their hard work in ensuring the success of all of our students. A big welcome to Lyle Chapman – he has been hired as vice principal at Osoyoos Secondary School. He will be joining us from Salmon Arm – welcome Lyle.

An update on kindergarten registrations as of June 17th is as follows: CPS – 31, OKF – 10, OES – 35, OSES – 35, TEN – 15 for a total of 126. We are encouraging all parents of kindergarten age students to register at their local school so that schools can plan their class configurations.

We recently received the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) results for the district and for each school. Some highlights include:

Grade 4 Reading – 75% are meeting or exceeding expectations (down from 2013/14)

Grade 4 Writing – 82% are meeting or exceeding expectations (no significant change)

Grade 4 Numeracy – 72% are meeting or exceeding expectations (down from 2013/14)

Grade 7 Reading – 74% are meeting or exceeding expectations (no significant change)

Grade 7 Writing – 83% are meeting or exceeding expectations (up from 2013/14)

Grade 7 Numeracy – 64% are meeting or exceeding expectations (down from 2013/14)

It is important to remember that the FSA’s provide us with just one snapshot piece of information about how our students are doing; we use this along with all of the other classroom assessments to monitor student success.

The District Professional Development Day Committee has organized a district day on Wednesday, September 2nd with break-out sessions facilitated mostly by internal educators. There is no cost for SD 53 employees and a bag lunch is included if you register. Trustees, teachers and administrators and relevant support staff have received the registration information to complete if they are attending. The two outside presenters include: Colleen DeVeyrac, an international speaker, teacher and educational consultant. Colleen will be discussing the skills and strategies to increase resiliency in students as well as specific strategies for staff to decrease their stress levels and reactions to challenging situations. The second presenter from outside the district is Dr. Peter Liljedahl, an associate professor of Mathematics Education at SFU. Peter will be presenting on the goals of learning in mathematics. Both Colleen and Peter will be doing a keynote address and a break-out session.

The Board of Education reviewed the final 2015/16 budget at the June 24 board meeting. The budget highlights are as follow:

  1. Total student enrolment of 2,290 FTE; decrease of 52.375 FTE from 2014/15 with enrolment expected to continue to decline to at least 2019 with a projection of 2,038 FTE.
  2. Total budget bylaw of $28.5 million; increase from 2014/15 of $580,000.
  3. Total operating revenue of $23.9 million; increase from 2014/15 of $500,000.
  4. Total operating expense of $24.1 million; increase from 2014/15 of $454,000.
  5. A 5% reduction in supplies budgets which results in an expense reduction of $53,000.
  6. Projected deficit from 2015/16 operating revenue vs. expense is $228,000. With additional required capital expenditures, the surplus required to fund 2015/16 expenditures is $565,000 (structural deficit).

The budget was given all three readings and passed at the regular board meeting.

After receiving feedback from various stakeholders regarding the relocation of Osoyoos YouLearn to the Osoyoos Secondary School (OSS), the Board voted to move YouLearn to OSS effective September 1, 2015. The Board feels that with a structural deficit of $565,000, the savings of approximately $26,000 will be fiscally responsible, especially in the light of decreasing enrolment in the high school.

After two years of hard work and lots of collaboration with the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen, SD53, the Town of Oliver and the Oliver Community Theatre Society, the Board of School District No. 53is happy to announce that we signed a lease and operating agreement for the Frank Venables Theatre at the June 24th Board Meeting. We are excited at all the possibilities that this agreement and the Frank Venables Theatre will bring to our students and communities.

We wish everyone a wonderful and safe summer and we will see you in September!

Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.

Submitted by Marieze Tarr, Chairperson

School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen