Thursday, June 25th, 2020
Dear families, staff and community of SD 8 – Kootenay Lake,
Our goal is to have a full start to school on Tuesday, September 8th. This will include Stage 1 with and asterisk* for health and safety protocols. More information will come from the provincial government around August 20th pending a successful summer with COVID-19 numbers remaining low in British Columbia.
We know everyone is tired and ready for a break. And, it is well-deserved. Who knew a global pandemic would occur? This has been an unprecedented year.
Thank you first and foremost, to our students. Without blinking, you engaged in online learning opportunities and many of you returned to school, fully embraced and help lead, the new health and safety protocols. Thank you for being terrific learners. Grads, we are so proud of you. Thank you for completing 13 years of public education with class and style under these circumstances. We wish you all nothing but the best in your future endeavours.
Thank you to our student trustees and, in particular to those who are graduating. I have to say the highlight of my year was the Student Symposium and your presentation of a “mock” board meeting. You were brilliant. Thank you for your ideas through the year and for representing our student voice so well.
Thank you to our teachers (KLTF) and our entire CUPE staff – those who turned to online learning quickly and efficiently, and to those who prepared our schools for the safe return of both adults and children. Custodians, we love you. Thank you to all staff who bravely continued (since March) and those who returned to our sites (in June). You were greatly missed and it was heart-warming to see people back and hear children laughing. Not even a global pandemic can stop School District 8!
Thank you to all our parents, guardians, and community for your incredible strength and perseverance as we upset routines, learned to host meetings and exchange information over Zoom, and helped our children learn in a new way. One year ago, no one would have said “Zoom” was going to be the way we communicated, learned, and celebrated. Thank you for hanging in there with us during this transition. Thank you for sending your children to School District 8 and supporting public education.
I would also like to thank our international host families for taking in children from around the world and being their safe, fun, loving family away from home during a global pandemic. Your hearts are large and we are thankful.
I would like to thank our district senior team, our board office staff, and our Principals and Vice-Principals. You stepped up when called, developed pandemic protocols, ran 12-hour essential service worker sites, delivered food to our vulnerable families, helped our inclusion families who needed assistance, and a myriad of other things, in addition to continuing the learning for our students on all levels.
Thank you to our community partners throughout the district. Thank you all for dealing with the frequent news updates and changes as we moved through this pandemic.
Thank you to Sotropa and Eden Dupont for helping us create our teacher web forms, school websites, and our communications throughout the year.
Thank you to the media for helping us get the message out across our district. We value you and we would not be in a democracy without you. Thank you for challenging us as leaders, when needed, and telling our “good news” stories when we all needed a smile.
Thank you to our Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, for looking after us by telling us to be kind, calm, safe and reminding us to wash our hands.
Thank you to the Ministry of Education and the School District 8 Board of Education for being kind, caring, compassionate employers. An incredible year filled with challenges and huge accomplishments. Thank you for your continued strength and leadership in governance.
We are all grateful and thankful.
Many of our teams keep working during summer months, particularly operations, finance, human resources, and technology. We look forward to seeing the changes when students return to school this fall. To the rest of our staff, have a great summer.
Hoping to see you all on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 8th, with some updated health and safety protocols.
Until then, stay healthy.
Dr. Christine Perkins | Superintendent & Chief Executive Officer
School District 8 Kootenay Lake