Please wear orange on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

Ranchero Families,

In light of the news regarding the mass grave found in Kamloops, in support of all Residential School survivors, and in remembrance of those that didn’t survive, their families, and the greater community during this difficult time, Ranchero will hold an “Orange Shirt Day” on Wednesday, June 2.

If able, we are encouraging all staff and students to wear orange for remembrance and support.  Many are choosing to wear orange all this week.

The Ministry of Education has also announced that to honour those who suffered trauma and harm at the former residential school in Kamloops, and their families and communities who are mourning, all schools in BC are asked to lower the Canadian flag and British Columbia flag to half-mast until further notice, as a sign of respect.

Deputy Minister Scott MacDonald states that they continue to reflect on all those touched by the news from the Tk‘emlups te Secwepemc. “This is a grim reminder of the trauma of the residential school system and the impacts that remain in our province today,” 

SD83 will be working to provide local support to staff and students. Also, you can contact the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.

 Thank you,

Mr. Cumming

Student Survey

All students in Grades 6-12 are being invited to take part in an optional survey to ensure a more safe, respectful, and equitable school-learning experience for all students.

“Your voice is important,” says District Principal Anne Tenning as she encourages all students to take part. She adds that much thought went into the survey and the district is hoping for a high participation rate from students as the information will be used to help set district goals, student improvement plans, and in-service, particularly for the Ministry’s Indigenous Education day. The survey was developed by the SD83 Equity Committee, which includes representatives from the local Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), North Okanagan Shuswap Teachers’ Association (NOSTA), SD83 Principals and Vice-Principals (PVP) and SD83’s senior leadership team (SLT).

CLICK HERE TO GO TO SURVEY

All participant identities will be kept anonymous.

The survey will take about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on answers to a few of the open ended questions. Students are also invited to enter a separate contest at the end of the survey and have a chance to win some great prizes, including seven Samsung Galaxy Tablets. This survey closes on May 28, 2021 and the prize draw will take place on May 31, 2021.

Tenning explains the district received a small grant from the Ministry, and chose to use the funds for prizes for the students.

Ministry of Education expands mask-wearing guidelines

To address rising COVID-19 case counts, protect people and communities, and help break the chain of COVID-19 transmission, the provincial health officer amended the provincial public health orders effective midnight March 30, 2021.

One of these changes directly affects public school. The Public Health guidance for schools has been amended to require students in Grade 4 to Grade 12 to wear masks while indoors at school, this includes when they are with their learning group. Also, students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 are strongly encouraged to wear a mask indoors in schools and on school buses – both within and outside of their learning group – though mask wearing ultimately remains a personal or family/caregiver choice for these students, and their choices must be respected.

“Rising case levels, variants of concern, increased transmission and an increase in more severe cases are huge concerns,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health when announcing the changes. “B.C. public health officials are making the tough choices now to break the chain and protect our communities.”

The Ministry of Education shared these new guidelines last night (March 30th).

SD83 Superintendent of Schools CEO Peter Jory reports that in response to these changes, SD83 is redistributing its existing inventory and has rush-ordered 6,000 of the smaller re-useable masks for our younger students. He added that as soon as schools are adequately resourced the new safety protocols will be put into place.

“Some students may have masks that they are able to bring from home and may be wearing them already. But, some students may not. Principals and teachers will be implementing the changes as soon as there are enough masks for all of their students.”

Exceptions include:
• A person who is unable to wear a mask because they do not tolerate it (for health or behavioural reasons);
• A person unable to put on or remove a mask without the assistance of another person;
• If the mask is removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the person wearing it;
• If the mask is removed temporarily to engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a mask (e.g. actively playing a wind instrument, high-intensity physical activity, etc.);
• If a person is eating or drinking;
• If a person is behind a barrier;
• While providing a service to a person with a disability or diverse ability (including but not limited to a hearing impairment), where visual cues, facial expressions and/or lip reading/movements are important.

If you have any questions about the new safety protocols please contact your school principal.