SD83 staff are eager to welcome our students and their families back for the 2021-22 school year. While much has changed in our province over the past year, SD83 remains committed to ensuring the safety of our students, staff and school communities by providing safe learning and working environments.
“I am personally very excited to join SD83 as Superintendent. I know that as we enter into a new year of learning, our district remains committed to our mission of engaging all students in meaningful and relevant learning experiences that develop their knowledge, skills, attitudes, creativity and the pursuit of personal success,” comments Superintendent of Schools Donna Kriger.
“Though COVID-19 is still posing challenges for all of us, we remain focussed on the possibilities and opportunities that the 2021-22 school year holds. As we have done throughout the pandemic, our schools will continue to adhere to the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) guidance. Our plan will be updated and changed based on regional requirements from Interior Health, the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Education.”
Registration for those brand new to SD83 takes place today (please also ensure you register your child for the school bus if you live in a bus route area at 250-832-9415). The first day of school is Tuesday, September 7. School will be dismissed three hours earlier than usual on this first day.
Here is a brief summary of our return to school plan. The complete plan will be posted on the SD83 website later this week.
Joyful Literacy, developed by a BC Team, is a program to support teachers and parents who want to help prevent their young learners of Indigenous ancestry from experiencing more reading loss when schools are closed for the summer break. District Principal of Indigenous Education, Anne Tenning, explains this home-based and research-based program is comprised of 10 videos that teach parents how to teach and practice Foundational Skills (K-3) . Each video is supported with a handout package of over 100 games, activities, and read-aloud strategies.
Click to watch video and please download the handout package for games and activities.
Some examples of what is included in the handout package:
This is an example for explicitly teaching one letter of the alphabet using playful strategies! Starting with the letters in your child’s name can help your child make a connection to the learning, and in the end make learning more enjoyable! When possible, reinforce the letter name AND the sound in makes. Remember to always stop or take a break if your child is not enjoying the process.
Have all supplies ready to go
Introduction to letter (Kk).
1) Open by singing the alphabet song together
2) Teach the letter of the day by drawing an upper case K and lower case k on a whiteboard or paper. Say the letter as you write it.
3) Draw a kite beside the letters. K says /k/ like “kite”. You can say a little song: K says /k/, K says /k/, flying kite, flying kite, /k/, /k/,/k/!
1) Show 3 cut-out letters from magazines or newspapers. Say the letters as you point to each. Then ask your child to point to the letter Kk.
2) Give your child a bright piece of paper with the letter Kk, a glue stick, and a pile of cut-out letters. Have them sort the letters by gluing only the letter Kk’s on the paper. Every time they glue a letter, have them say the name or the sound it makes. Next time, you could have them help cut out letters!!
Nutrition break and optional snacky Kk!
1) Use fishy crackers (bunnies, teddy grahams etc.) to trace an upper case and lower case letter Kk (have a Kk template made up).
2) Enjoy the snack together with some water or milk! Maybe have a little walk or dance break too. This is a great time for one of Jack Hartmann’s alphabet songs!
1) Using a letter Kk template, have your child work their hand muscles by squishing and rolling playdough snakes to make the upper case and lower case letter Kk.
1) Using a letter Kk template and a variety of colourful markers or crayons, have your child “rainbow write” over top of the letter. This means they get to trace with one colour then pick another. They can continue until they have a beautiful, colourful piece!
2) If they would like, they could flip the paper over and draw something that begins with the letter Kk.
Of course, there are letters everywhere and you can continue practicing the letter Kk at the grocery store, on a walk around the block, and even in your backyard! One of my favourite things to do is to make alphabet letters using natural items outside. Your child could make the letter Kk with sticks, rocks, or leaves!
Mrs. Mytko’s Favourite Alphabet Resources
Favourite YouTube Channels and Songs
Jack Hartmann – He does hundreds of learning songs including some great alphabet songs which include sign language!
There are many websites that provide free printables for alphabet games and activities. There are also some sites that have interactive digital games for free. I have listed some of my favourites below.
Has your child ever wanted to be a ninja? Well now is the time!
Here is what you will need: letters taped/tacked low on the wall, optional ninja headband (I like using ties)!
Find a long wall (hallways are best) where you can attach letters to the wall. We want these low so your child has to roll or crawl. Call out a letter and have your child move like a ninja to the letter and slap it.
Then they can tell you the letter again along with the sound it makes eand a word that begins with that letter (Bb, b says /b/, bat).
All you need for this easy game is a few cups that you can’t see through, masking tape, a sharpie or marker, and something special to hide under a cup.
First, write the letters your child has been working on on the top of the cups using a sharpie. Take turns hiding the special item under one of the cups while other players close their eyes. Then, take turns pointing to a cup and saying the letter/letter/sound/word that begins with that letter.
Flip the cup over to see if anything was hiding. Play until you find the item, then hide again!
Simple is sometimes best! For this game, you can use popsicle sticks (or anything you can write on like rocks, cubes, pieces of crumpled paper). Write the letters that your child has been working on on the edge of the popsicle sticks (I like to do upper case on one side and lower case on the other). Have a few of each letter. Then, write the word KABOOM on a few of the popsicle sticks. Place these in a cup (letters facing down). Take turns pulling a stick and saying the letter/letter sound/a word that begins with that letter. If you get KABOOM, all of your sticks have to go back in the cup!!
Bowling for letters is so much fun! We combine some physical activity with learning letters (always a good combination)! For this game you can use plastic bowling pins if you have them or simply some plastic cups.Add letters to the top or sides of the cups with masking tape and a sharpie. Find anything to use for a ball (crumpled paper, toy ball). Take turns rolling or throwing a ball at the targets. When you knock a target over, run and grab the target. Say the letter/letter sound/a word that begins with that letter. Replace the targets for the next player.
This classic game is still a favourite! You can make memory cards using construction paper, felt or foam! Use the letters your child has been learning and write two sets of each letter on the cards. Mix them up, turn them upside down and you are ready! Take turns flipping over 2 cards. Say the letter/letter sound/a word that starts with that letter for at least one of the letters you flip over. If you make a match, you get to keep the cards! Play until all matches have been found.
Shaving Cream Writing Bags
The sensory writing bags are a great alternative to giving children pen and paper while they practice printing their letters. Cookie sheets are ideal for learning letters with shaving cream. It becomes an engaging, playful and multi-sensory experience for your child – and the clean up is not a huge chore!
• A large Ziploc bag or a cookie sheet, shaving cream, food colouring, and Q-tips.
• Use about 2 cups of shaving cream for these 30cm x 20cm bags, just enough to have it completely cover the inside surface. Then add about 2 tablespoons of food colouring to the bag before removing the air and sealing the Ziploc bag completely. Ask your child to start carefully massaging the bag so that the colouring mixes with the shaving cream. You can use more than one colour and have your child experiment with mixing colours – a little science lesson added to the literacy fun!
• Pile shaving cream in the middle of the tray and have your child spread it out evenly. Printing letters with their fingers in the shaving cream will add another rich layer of sensory delight to the activity.
• Use dirt or sand in the tray and use a stick to make the letters.
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).
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.
SD83 is inviting all students and families to participate in P.L.A.Y Shuswap’s Family Day PLAY Challenge February 12-15th, 2021.
SD83 Healthy Schools Co-ordinator Laura Paiement encourages all SD83 families to join in the multi-community activity challenge that promotes, physical literacy, family fun, and being outdoors. This challenge is being sponsored by SD83, Salmon Arm Recreation, Enderby Recreation Services, Sicamous Recreation and P.L.A.Y Shuswap.
“We are encouraging each family/household group to complete as many challenges as they can. After completing each challenge, they are to send in a photo to email@example.com or to the P.L.A.Y Shuswap Facebook page. Each submission earns them an entry into great local/community prizes. Along with the participation prizes, each community will have a grand prize draw for families/households that complete all 10 activities,” explains Paiement.
P.L.A.Y Shuswap is a group of stakeholders from SD83, Sicamous, Salmon Arm and Enderby Recreation Departments, local sport organizations and Interior Health. We have come together to promote Physical Literacy in the Shuswap.
“Physical Literacy is the gateway to both participation and excellence in physical activity and sport. When you have the foundation of skills, motivation, and confidence you will be more likely to be active for life,“ she adds.
This event is made possible thanks to the support of the BC Government BC Family Day grants.
We continue our journey towards truth and reconciliation in School District No. 83 in a multitude of ways, including teaching curriculum related to residential schools and Indigenous history. Orange Shirt Day was designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. Social distancing measures changed how we acknowledged this important day this year, but not the statement.