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Board Highlights - March 12, 2024

An overview of discussion items and major decisions of the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake). For meeting agendas/minutes and a schedule of upcoming board meetings visit

Caring and Inclusive Learning Communities Continuous Learning Report

Assistant Superintendent Deanna Holitzki presented the Caring and Inclusive Learning Communities Continuous Learning Report 2023-2024. The report reflects School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake)'s commitment to the strategic priority of promoting physical and mental well-being through social-emotional learning to foster compassionate learners. The report highlights SD8’s efforts to promote physical and mental well-being through social-emotional learning to foster compassionate learners. The report aligns with SD8’s Strategic Plan 2024-2029 and B.C’s mandate for public education. To illustrate caring and inclusive learning communities, Vice-Principal Tanya Christiansen outlined an upcoming project at Adam Robertson Elementary School called Dig Dirt Day in which kindergarten and pre-kindergarten families will come together on May 24 to engage in activities with children to strengthen the transition from the early years to kindergarten.

Accessibility Across SD8

Assistant Superintendent Holitzki presented information to the Board about implementation of the Accessible British Columbia Act in SD8, providing a national and international context for accessibility rights. Accessibility refers to the degree of ease with which people with disabilities can use and enjoy something such as a device, an activity or a place. Members of SD8 communities have the right to be treated with dignity, given an opportunity to participate, and provided with access to learning and community within our district, as outlined in the Act. SD8 now has a Draft Accessibility Plan, Report a Barrier Form, and information about the Accessibility Advisory Committee available on the district website. The Accessibility Advisory Committee will use information gathered through the Report a Barrier Form to update the draft plan and advise the district about actions to make SD8 fully accessible to everyone.

2024-2025 Enrolment Projections and Project Revenue

Secretary-Treasurer Cathy MacArthur explained to the Board that enrolment in SD8 is projected to decline by about 70 full-time equivalent (FTE) students in the 2024-2025 school year, which is projected to result in $603,000 less in operating grants from the Province of B.C. The Ministry of Education and Child Care will provide all school districts with details about preliminary enrolment-based funding from the Province to school districts on March 15, which will allow SD8 to begin developing a draft budget. Budget pre-planning is now underway with the 2024-2025 Budget public consultation open to staff, students, families, education partners and the broader community who are invited to complete a short survey to identify budget priorities for the 2024-2025 school year. The survey closes March 31. 

2026-2027 School Calendars Approved; Amended Calendars Open for Review

The 2026-2027 school calendars were approved by the Board and are now posted to the SD8 website. School District No. 20 (Kootenay-Columbia) plans to align their calendars to SD8. Three amended calendars for 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 are now open for public review and field testing until April 2, 2024.

Policies Rescinded and Approved

The Board rescinded the following policies that are operational in nature. These rescinded policies have been replaced by administrative procedures:

  • Policy 210: Provision of Menstrual Products to Students
  • Policy 270: Memorials for Deceased Members of the School Community
  • Policy 720: Asbestos
  • Policy 760: Animal on School District Property 

All policies and administrative procedures are available on the SD8 website

Student Trustees' Reports

Student Trustee Popoff – Mount Sentinel Secondary reported that the Basketball season has concluded and the team has grown, thanks to great coaches. The Green Team will coordinate a plastic awareness week and teach students in classroom visits how plastic affects their health. Student council coordinated activities such as “Spirit Week” in which students dressed up and showed their school spirit.

Student Trustee Vander Horst – Mount Sentinel Secondary provided details on multiple MSS students who participated in the Skills BC competition and won gold, silver, and bronze medals. Some students will take the next step and compete at the provincial level in April. 

Student Trustee Parsons - Kootenay River Secondary School reported that scholarship applications are due March 15 and students graduating this year are working hard to meet the deadline. The school is also planning to hold a “spring fling” in April. The KRSS Drama Club is traveling to London in the United Kingdom over spring break. 

These highlights exclude confidential information such as business negotiations, personnel issues and legal matters. For other information or to provide feedback, please contact our Public Engagement Manager at 250-352-6681 or 

About School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake): Our mission is to inspire and support each learner to thrive in a caring learning environment. We are located in the southern Interior of British Columbia and serve numerous diverse communities in the Kootenays including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel, and Yahk. We also serve students across B.C. through our provincial online learning school, Elev8. Our dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 4,700 students and their families.