Kamloops-Thompson School District Ends School Year with New Five-year Strategic Plan

Posted On Monday June 27, 2022

The Kamloops-Thompson Board of Education approved the 2022-2027 District Strategic Plan–a thoughtful, aspirational roadmap for student success.

“This roadmap emerged over the last ten months through extensive consultation," shared Board Chair Grieve. “Beginning in September 2021, strategic plan consultation meetings (face-to-face and online) have taken place repeatedly with the Aboriginal Education Council and 2000+ participants from 32 student, staff, parent, and community partners.” 

“From the beginning, our discussions centered on supporting students to thrive academically, socially, emotionally, personally, and culturally,” said Dr. Rhonda Nixon, Superintendent. “This is how our mission statement emerged–Supporting learning opportunities and environments which inspire our students to thrive."

To achieve our mission, the Aboriginal Education Council, parents, students, staff, community partners agreed on four cornerstone values:

  • Connecting and relationships: Building meaningful relationships that support and strengthen learning and growth.
  • Wellbeing: Fostering opportunities to promote emotional, psychological, physical, and environmental well-being for all students and staff.
  • Sustainability: Embracing our responsibility to contribute to a sustainable.
  • Equity: Removing barriers and creating environments that provide accessible and empowering opportunities for all students and staff to thrive.

As we reflected together on the tragic discovery of Le Estcwicwéy? (the missing) at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, Knowledge Keeper Joan Arnouse emphasized that the four cornerstone values are the basis of healthy communities, and they happen when we each commit to the Seven Grandfather Teachings.

The Seven Grandfather Teachings (courage, love, wisdom, respect, truth, honesty, humility) are represented in the center of our foundational framework which is shown in a circle or Tk'emlups arbour located beside the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The seven teachings are represented by traditional animals and stories shared in this video. Kelsey Jules, the Secwe?pemc artist who developed the animals, recounts the Secwe?pemc teachings shared with her by elders and knowledge keepers.

“These teachings are the stories that were shared with us as we grew up, and they are what grounds us,” explained Trustee Diane Jules and Chair of the Aboriginal Education Council.

The teachings are portrayed around the edge of the arbour circle and at the centre of the circle is a hearthfire. Mrs. Arnouse said, “The hearthfire is the most important part because we were all born with this fire.”

District Principal Bowden added, “The hearthfire is very important because it represents our communities’ gathering place as we share the teachings.”

As we continue to learn together about the Seven Grandfather Teachings, we look forward to achieving our vision–Fostering educated and resilient citizens empowered to contribute to a diverse, inclusive, caring, and sustainable society.

We are proud of how our foundational framework (mission, vision, values, Seven Grandfather Teachings) emerged through collaboration with the Aboriginal Education Council where we started with the words and teachings of knowledge keepers and elders and worked from there to develop our five priorities:

  • Intellectual Development: To develop in students the ability to analyze critically, reason and think independently, and acquire basic learning skills and bodies of knowledge. 
  • Human and Social Development: To develop in students a sense of self-worth, social responsibility, acceptance, and respect for the ideas and beliefs of others. 
  • Cultural and Identity Development: To develop a sense of identity in individuals and cultural safety and humility in communities.
  • Career Development: To prepare students to attain their career and occupational objectives.
  • Systems Development: To engage in operational and reporting structures and practices that enact Ministry and District priorities.

“We are deeply grateful to our community for their support throughout this process and our Board of Education is proud of the roadmap that emerged from extensive consultation,” concluded Board Chair Grieve.

“We are excited to share the new strategic plan with our communities and are looking forward to working with over 16,000 students and their families, over 2,500 staff, the Aboriginal Education Council, and our community partners,” shared Superintendent Rhonda Nixon.

“I am confident that we will see every student, including Aboriginal students, become the best versions of themselves as we continue to walk together into a vibrant, dynamic, and hopeful 2022-2027 in SD73,” concluded Trustee Diane Jules.

For more information on the SD73 Strategic Plan 2022-2027, click here.

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