Board of Education Report
The Board would again like to remind parents that Kindergarten registration is open in all schools for parents to register children who will be 5 years old by December 31, 2020. These will be children born in 2015. Parents must bring their child’s birth certificate and medical card.
Staff reported that the Joint Use Agreement between the Oliver Parks & Recreation Society and the Board of Education for SD No. 53 continues to work successfully for student and adult programming. This means our students are getting out into the community more to utilize community recreation facilities as part of the core curriculum. These numbers include usage by OES, TEN, SOSS, OKF, and YL. Thank you to Carol Sheridan, Katie Hadwin and their staff for their leadership and efforts.
The Starfish pack program provides backpacks of food to local school-aged children and their families on the weekend. It exists in many school communities and is run by volunteers. I would like to recognize and thank Sam Marsel for leading and implementing this in Oliver. The program has grown to 2 schools (Oliver Elementary School and Tuc-El-Nuit Elementary School). Donations to the program have been very generous and are greatly appreciated.
Osoyoos Elementary School hosted the Okanagan-Similkameen Day this year on February 28th. Grade 3 students from around the district joined Osoyoos students in learning about and celebrating the Okanagan and Similkameen language and culture. The day was very successful as students were respectful, engaged and appreciative of all the presentations at the various stations that were set up. The different activities that students participated included: Indigenous games, a presentation on fisheries, hunting and gathering protocols, Indigenous food, drumming, pictographs, making Indigenous jewellery, spirit rock painting, history and medicine, and learning the Nsyilxcən language. Once again, we would like to give a huge shout out to our district Indigenous teacher, Helen Gallagher and our Indigenous advocates, who did an outstanding job organizing and running the day. Lim limp’t to our Indigenous advocate, Karlie Clarke, principal Dave Foster and the entire staff of Osoyoos Elementary School for hosting this annual district event supporting the Indigenization of our curriculum and continuing to create a more inclusive environment for all our students. Also, we would like to thank the EPIC students from SOSS for helping out and coming to support the day.
Finally, the topic that is on everyone’s news feed, COVID-19. The situation is rapidly changing. Any decision that may affect school closures will be made by the Ministry of Education in consultation with the Provincial Health Officer. Any updated information or information to the contrary will be posted on the District website and will also most likely be sent out to all students and parents by individual schools. A reminder, however, that good hygiene habits such as hand washing and the now famous “social distancing” will help to flatten the incidence curve. As a district, we will do our part to contribute to these efforts which may include cancelling some events. On behalf of the Board, I wish you all a safe spring break.
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)