Nicola-Canford construction update leads SD58 briefs
Nicola-Canford construction update
The school district is moving ahead on the construction project to upgrade some Nicola-Canford Elementary School classrooms, although provincial funding remains to be officially announced.
SD 58 Superintendent Bob Peacock said the district held an open house with parents and school staff to look at four layout options for the eight new modulars, which will replace 10 classrooms.
Peacock said the project’s tight timeline is pushing the project forward — demolition is scheduled for July and August, the design should be finalized for April or May.
“The architect has basically asked us if they could have the site for a year to do construction,” he said. “We have to have this project out for tender in April in order to hit the ground in the summer.”
The superintendent expects Nicola-Canford students to be bussed to the old Coquihalla Middle School building during construction.
The modular project is a pilot project from the Ministry of Education because of a funding shortfall to replace the school entirely, Peacock said.
The next big thing
Diamond Vale Grade 6 student Nyah Petrovitch opened the School District 58 regular school board meeting in Merritt on March 13 with her rendition of Adele’s Someone Like You — showing the board the talent that secured her title as Diamond Vale Idol for 2013.
“Every year — I think this is our fifth — at Diamond Vale, we have Diamond Vale Idol, and this year we started with about 38 different groups that came and performed,” principal Val Edgell said. “The top five performed in front of the whole school, then every staff member and every student had a vote, and Nyah came out as Diamond Vale Idol for 2013.”
Superintendent Bob Peacock said he was impressed by the performers’ talent when he watched the final round of the competition.
“I just thought she’d done such a wonderful job that if it turns into a tradition, this time of year we’ll have the Diamond Vale winner come and perform for the board,” Peacock said.
Online kindergarten registration
Parents registering their children for kindergarten in the upcoming school year will be able to start the process from home, thanks to a kindergarten website currently being developed by SD58 technology co-ordinator Jason McAllister.
The registration forms will be started by parents at home and completed by the secretary at schools, which the school board expects to speed up the registration process and make it easier for working parents to register their kids.
“Currently, how it works is, parents will arrive at the school and have to fill everything out at the school,” said McAllister. “In some schools, the secretary will do all the work. but a lot of this information could be filled out at home. Around the province, I found a lot of districts that use the same process: you can do some of the work online, and then the secretary will complete that registration process, so there’s still that connection to the school.”
The website will also contain a wealth of information about kindergarten at the district’s schools, from start dates to an introductory video about what to expect in kindergarten, McAllister said.
“It will be a landing spot where parents can find out a little bit about what’s happening in kindergarten,” he said.
Registration for the 2013-14 school year started about two weeks ago, but the website should be ready to use later in the spring or the beginning of the summer, although the bulk of parents typically wait until the fall to enrol their youngsters in their first foray into the school system.
Nicola-Canford Elementary School Principal Burt Bergmann presented to the board on the upcoming district science fair in an effort to secure some judges for the regional competition.
Bergmann said about 200 students typically participate in the regional science fair, held at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops on April 4 and 5, from seven different school districts.
School District 58 sends about 40 students each year to regionals from school-based science fairs. The number of seats each school gets is proportionate to the size of the science fair. From regionals, five students are sent to nationals.
Bergmann said the district typically does well at both levels.
“In the last at least five years, we’ve always had two of those seats from Merritt and Princeton,” he said. “Our small district has always had two of those five seats of the seven districts represented in regionals to go to nationals. It’s an exciting thing to be a part of.”
Energy efficiency funding
SD 58 will be looking at ways to spend almost $10,000 in provincial funding for a project to make its schools more energy efficient.
“If you look at the districts around the province that used these grants, almost all of the money went to new boilers,” Trustee David Laird said.
The Ministry of Education distributed $5 million to districts around the province for environmental projects. The board hasn’t decided how it will spend the money yet.