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A look at the new school year for Districts 8 and 10

The morning commute will be a little busier next week. Students head back to school on Tuesday which means increased traffic and pedestrians to watch for.

Superintendent for the Kootenay Lake School District (8), Christine Perkins, talks about the upcoming school year. “This year we’ve got a lot of things happening. The K[indergarten] to nine curriculum is new, and it rolls out this year to include grade 10. Last year we tested a numeracy assessment for the province and this year we’ll be doing a literacy assessment.”

Perkins says there’s been a number of new staff hired this year. “Like to welcome Jenn Schmidt as the new principle for Salmo Elementary. Ron Sherman will be the principle at Salmo Secondary.  We have a new principle in Crawford Bay and that is Erin Gibbs and she’s actually coming back to the area.” There’s also a new vice principle at LV Rogers in Nelson – Aubry Pender-Mitchell who comes to the Kootenays from Prince George.

Perkins says enrollment is steady at about 5000 students as per usual and will have more information the specifics coming soon.

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A highlight for the Arrow Lakes School District (10) is a New Denver teacher being nominated for the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education. Katrina Sumrall from Lucerne Elementary Secondary school is one of the finalists for the Community Engagement Award. Superintendent Terry Taylor says Sumerall has had a big impact in her classroom and the community. “She’s just won an environmental education award as well, and I think she won Citizen of the Year a couple of years ago in the community. So somebody who is certainly well acknowledged for having a long standing commitment to kids, to learning and to community.”

Taylor says a film crew will be coming out for an interview next week and then Sumerall will go to Victoria for the awards ceremony on October 5.

Another big change is the re-opening of the Burton School. Taylor says enrollment has been better than expected. “We anticipated 8-10 students potentially beginning this September and it turns out that as word has spread about this school re-opening that new families have moved to the area and we’re now projecting as least 16 students in a new K[indergarten] to three school.”

Taylor says one thing families have been struggling with in a number of communities is finding rental housing. She says it’s prevented students from enrolling, especially in New Denver, after parents couldn’t find a suitable place to live. Taylor says 13 students were unable to register which is about 12 or 13 per cent of Lucerne Elementary Secondary school’s population.

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