By Alison Sidow
School District 73
There has been much discussion throughout the community about School District 73’s capital plan.
People are talking about schools that need to be expanded, others that need to be opened and schools that need to be built. But there is a great deal more planning that goes on that is central to the district’s role of improving student achievement.
The District Learning Plan is our road map for improving student achievement. It is designed to extend student opportunities through a focus on critical thinking, creativity and the foundational skills of literacy and numeracy.
We have embraced the calls to action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Report and we are embedding Indigenous understandings across the curriculum to ensure every student gains an appreciation of the past, preparing them to contribute to a brighter future.
Last year, we achieved a resident graduation rate of 88 per cent and we are now setting our sights on a 90 per cent success rate through a focus on equity and excellence.
The District Learning Plan will help us get there. It will keep us focused on our many strengths while pointing our way toward areas of future work, such as numeracy, student engagement and Aboriginal student success rates.
The development of a fulsome plan for improving numeracy includes strategies to ensure students are well supported at school and at home.
Our plan includes the implementation of a district-wide numeracy assessment to help educators identify areas for further work with students, workshops for parents on supporting their child with numeracy in the elementary grades and professional workshops to continue to hone our teaching practice.
Literacy, while a strength in SD73, will always be a priority and that is why the vast majority of our school learning plans are focused on developing reading and writing skills that are used across all learning areas.
Students are motivated by curiosity when learning is relevant.
That is why this year we assessed students’ engagement with their learning.
The data shows we must continue to focus on building student resiliency and designing learning environments that tap into their interests and passions.
We are working to increase opportunities for experiential and relevant learning for our students.
Many of these are learning opportunities that extend beyond the classroom, such as career life education, outdoor education and trades exploration at TRU.
More importantly, a focus on teaching strategies that address youth mental health is key to finding joy at school and in life.
Aboriginal Student Success
We are committed to ensuring Aboriginal students see their culture reflected in our schools and classrooms and that all students learn the history and impact of colonialism on First Nations.
Our goal is to ensure every student appreciates the historical and contemporary contributions of the Secwepemc people and other First Nations, Metis and Inuit, and how cultural identity is shaped by our worldview.
The annual Day of Secwentwecw is held every year by SD73 and marks our acknowledgement of one another.
Our District Learning Plan outlines the way forward to improve students’ achievement.
We have adopted the renewed B.C. curriculum and we are working to ensure each student has the skills and understandings needed to connect to their future.
Working in collaboration with parents and partners, our goal is to see each student cross the stage with dignity, purpose and options for their future.
Alison Sidow is superintendent of School District 73. SD73 columns appear monthly in Kamloops This Week and online at kamloopsthisweek.com. Sidow’s email is email@example.com.