Did you see our survey?

SD83 recently sent an email and survey to all our parents (with an email listed with their children’s school). By any chance did we miss you?

With the positive news about the decline in COVID-19 comes recent direction from the Ministry of Education to re-open our schools effective June 1, 2020, to provide additional in-class instruction. Parents will still have the option of keeping their children at home, and some home learning opportunities will continue on-line until the end of the school year.

Stage 3 of the Ministry plan allows for students in kindergarten to grade five to attend up to two to three days per week, with students in grades six through twelve attending up to one day per week. Schools will be open five days a week for children of Tier 1 Essential Services Workers and students requiring additional supports. Busing will be available with capacity limits in place.

We are following all Health and Safety Guidelines from the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafe BC and the Ministry of Education in order to ensure that our schools are safe places to learn and to work. These guidelines include having no more than 50% of students in attendance in grades K-5 and no more than 20% of students in grades 6-12 at any given time.

In order to meet all of the Health and Safety Guidelines, including the limits described above, we will need to know which students will be returning to schools in the coming weeks. Additional surveys will follow shortly to gather more specific information as June 1st draws closer.



Thank you!

June 1st Update from SMS

Dear SMS families,

As you are aware, the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Minister of Education, Rob Fleming, announced last week that schools will re-open for students in BC on June 1st.  For grade 6 to 12 students, home-learning will continue to be provided by teachers.  We have been asked to give priority for in-class support to students who are at risk academically or have special needs, with a goal of being at 20% capacity each day in our school.  We are excited to see students again at SMS and relieved to know that this gradual return is possible because of the success we have made as a province fighting Covid-19.  We also know that much work must be done to ensure the safety of our students, staff and everyone we love for our return to in-class instruction.  

We know that many of you are excited to have your child return to classroom learning and many are fearful and unwilling to send them.  No matter how you are feeling about returning to school, we are here to support you.  Covid-19 has impacted families in many different ways and ultimately, the choice to return will be yours to make.  We will do our best to keep you informed of our plans, so that you can feel comfortable and confident with your decision. 

In the coming days, School District #83 will be sending out a survey to parents by email.  Results from this survey will be used to guide our planning process.  We will keep you informed of our plans and, while the details are solidified, we know we will be following the provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC’s recommendations, including:

  • No more than 20% of our student population will be at SMS at any one time
  • Regular cleaning of high-contact surfaces (desks, door knobs…etc) will be done at least twice a day
  • Students and staff will be required to clean their hands before entering school property and additional hand-sanitizing and cleaning stations will be provided for everyone
  • If any student or staff member exhibits even mild symptoms, arrangements will be made for them to return home

Take care everyone.  Be calm, be kind, stay safe.  We will get through this together.

SMS Administration

More information is available at the following link:


Grade 6 Immunization Update


Most Grade 6 children are due for a second HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine.  If you had given consent in the fall, our Interior Health nurses would have immunized your child at school last week. 

You can phone to book your child’s immunization at the Salmon Arm Health Centre.  Be assured we are taking safety measures during this Covid 19 pandemic. Call the Salmon Arm Health Centre 250-833-4101 for an appointment (or go on a short-call waitlist) or talk to a public health nurse.

Immunizations will occur in grade 7 for those children who were unable to attend a spring appointment.

Virtual parent meeting to talk about math!

What is all this math that teachers are sending home? Where are all the worksheets? What is my child supposed to be doing? How do I know if they are on track? What happens if they don’t learn everything this year?

SD83 invites all parents to join us in a virtual meeting on May 12 at 6 p.m. to talk about the kinds of math that SD83 is hoping students can be working on during this home learning time and how that matches with the math we have included on our home learning opportunities pages.

changed math meeting

To join the virtual meeting just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 12th please click here: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_OTZlNzJkYTEtODA0Yy00MTY2LTljMjgtNjY2ZjQxYjAxYzVl%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%2287a1ffa4-963f-450e-8d90-155de78d9be5%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22ae0930ac-c822-4a6b-91ca-ae7bf9cb0ffc%22%7d

We will talk about things to watch for as your child works on the math, and how you can support their learning. The focus will not be on how to actually do the math, although in the Q &A we can certainly help with that, but on questions you can ask your child to help them deepen their understanding of the concepts they are working on.

We will discuss the different types of math activities that you might be seeing sent home, including why these activities were selected and how your child can use them. We will also spend some time talking about ways to help them learn basic facts.

There will also be question and answer opportunities through the virtual meeting. Bring your questions and join us for a rich mathematical discussion. If you would like to email your questions ahead of time, please send them to vedgell@sd83.bc.ca with Parent Math Night question as a subject.

The Strangest May 1st Ever!


Dear SMS students and families,

We hope this update finds you healthy and safe.  I know I have posted this quote previously, however it is even more true as we head into our second month of home learning due to the COVID-19 virus.  At SMS, all of our adults; our CORE teachers, custodians, bus drivers, CEAs, secretaries, counselors, librarians, expo teachers and office staff miss our students and have our fingers crossed for some kind of return to school before the end of the scheduled school year. Thank you for the work you are doing at home.  We appreciate the extra load on parents and know that many of you are also working from home as your students are learning.  We also know this is a stressful time for many families with job layoffs and uncertainty.  Please let any of our admin or counseling team know if we can be of assistance.

Please be sure to check out all of the great videos and activities posted by our PE, library and exploration teachers on our website for more challenges and fun at home.  Take care and we hope we see you back soon.  Please keep reading for lots of news despite our students not being in session.

New Administrators Joining Ms. Major

We have two changes in our admin team at SMS.  Mr. Matheson will be going to AL Fortune Secondary School in Enderby.  We will miss his positive energy and support for our students.  The students, staff and parents at ALF are fortunate to have him heading their way.  We are pleased to announce that Mme Weir will be taking his place as one of our vice-principals.  Mme Weir will continue teaching Social Studies on the yellow team and looks forward to joining Ms. Major in the office as well.

I have taken a position as the principal of Surabaya International School in Indonesia beginning August 1st.  This has been a dream which I put on hold when I was lucky enough to become the principal at SMS.  Working with our incredible staff and fabulous students has been a highlight of my career and I will miss everyone.


We are very fortunate to have Ms. Sydney Griffith coming from Kamloops to take on the role of principal of SMS.  Ms. Griffith is currently the principal of the Kamloops School of Fine Arts.  She has been a principal at all K-12 levels for many years and is looking forward to sharing her expertise with our students, staff and parents.  She will soon learn that she has the best job in the district!

Sport Court Update


Our wonderful PAC has been fundraising for several years to refinish our tennis courts.  Thanks in particular to the work of past treasurer Suzy Beckner and current treasurer Darcy Caulkins who have been relentlessly pursuing grant opportunities, the dream is becoming a reality!  Pictured above is our PAC executive reviewing final budget details and voting to move forward with the new “Sport Court” this spring.  Now we need your help!  Mr. Matheson has put together a few samples and a process for getting student input into the color scheme.  Please click on the link below to see the colour options and get your vote in before May 8th!

Planning for 2020/21

As always at this time of year, our transition team is busy preparing for September.  Thanks to the many staff who made phone calls to ensure students’ exploration selections for next year are ready to timetable.

We are working closely with Jackson to ensure a smooth transition for our grade 8 students.  In “normal” times, this process involves a parent night and student visits to the Jackson campus.  We will update you as we receive information, however, please be assured that Jackson is working hard with our School Based Team to be ready for this fantastic group of soon to be grade 9s.

Our welcome for next year’s grade 6 students is usually in full swing at this time.  Our School Based Team led by Ms. Little and Ms. Mueller is working hard with grade 5 teachers, learning resource teachers, counselors and principals to ensure current grade 5 students receive all the information they need.  If we are not able to meet our grade 5 students in person, we are working on a video introduction.  Mr. Gecse has been flying a drone around the school to show off our fabulous facility and Ms. Mueller is coordinating video introductions which we will share with families soon.

Class Placement Requests

In May, the School-Based Team (SBT) will meet and discuss the class placement of each student. Tentative classes for September 2020 will be created in June, then finalized during the first week of September. The SBT consists of the outgoing and potential receiving classroom teachers, Learning Resource Teacher, Vice-principal and Principal.  For the most part, our students keep their CORE teacher for grade 6 and 7.  Parent requests are considered, but not encouraged.  We work hard to meet the needs of each of our students.  The SBT looks at the strengths and needs of the children and the team will make decisions based on the following:

High Priority Considerations
• Instructional groupings;
• Class composition, including special needs requirements;
• Social/cultural issues (independence, interactions, leadership);
• Behavioural/social concerns;
• Diversity in development (academic, social, emotional).

Middle Priority Considerations
• Groupings in previous years;
• Dominant grade grouping;
• Physical/social maturation;
• Learning style;
• Siblings and relations.

Lower Priority Considerations
• Friendships;
• Teacher-learner compatibility;
• Class size (room to accommodate new students).

If you feel your child has  unique circumstances that we are unaware of and would like to submit a request for September 2020, they are accepted effective now, by email only.  Requests must be submitted by May 15th in order to be considered.  Please submit an email to the school’s principal, Wendy Woodhurst, at wwoodhur@sd83.bc.ca. The email must clearly outline the request as well as provide specific educational reasons for the placement request which match the criteria above.

When creating tentative classes, parent requests will be considered. However, we are unable to guarantee that requests can be fulfilled.