Spring Update!

Lots of Information – please keep reading!

I am sure everyone is enjoying the sunshine – nice to finally have Spring!  PAC has let me know that our parents appreciate the short updates on both our website and Facebook.  We will continue to do that, however, SMS is such a busy place that I need to do a longer blog to let you know all that has happened recently and will happen prior to the end of June.  SMS is always a busy place – it seems to get busier and busier right up until the last day of school!  Please read and read so that you are aware of the fabulous opportunities for our students.


Concert and jazz bands at the Shuswap Music Festival, Secwepemc language lessons with Elder Verna Anthony, our annual Staff vs Grade 8 Hockey Game (it was 7-7 tie) and a trip through the history of rock and roll – all last week at SMS!

Planning for 2018/19

Next year’s grade 8 students…

Current grade 7s will have the opportunity to select from a variety of explorations for grade 8.  Ms. Little and I will be visiting classes in the upcoming weeks to share options.  Students will bring home their selection forms for parent discussion and signatures prior to exploration classes being assigned.

Next year’s grade 9 students…

Counsellors from the SAS Jackson Campus visited our grade 8 students last week.  It was great to see the excellent turnout at Jackson on the parent information night last Wednesday.  Forms are now overdue.  Please check with your grade 8 student that they have completed and returned the forms.  Jackson works hard to ensure a smooth transition for our students.

Welcome to our incoming grade 6s…

Planning is in place to welcome current grade 5 students to their three years at SMS.  Mr. Rosman and I will be visiting elementary schools in our catchment area next week, scouts from each school have toured and are putting together presentations for their peers, and visits for all students are set up for the week of June 11th.  We are looking forward to welcoming our new grade 6s to our fabulous school where so many opportunities are made available by our dedicated staff.

Student placement at SMS

At Shuswap Middle School the majority of our core classes are blended with grade 6 and 7 students.   We have straight grade 8 classes in French and English. Our intent is to have well balanced classes that will maximize student learning.     This process generally continues through the summer as new students enroll and may necessitate a further “tweaking” of class lists.

When we formulate the 2018/19 classes, the following factors (in no particular priority) will be taken into consideration:
1.gender balance
2.behavioural and social dynamics
3.family relationships
4.academic abilities and diverse learning needs
5.teaching / learning styles
7.parent requests
8.available space

Any parents who feel that their child has unique needs which merit consideration are invited to email directly to Mrs. Woodhurst at wwoodhur@sd83.bc.ca or Mr. Rosman at prosman@sd83.bc.ca by May 17th. We may be unable to consider late requests.     Don’t hesitate to call should you have any further questions regarding student placements. Our goal is ensure we place your children in the best place for them taking all factors into consideration.

Dress Code

dress code committeeAs always at SMS, we want to work with and support our students during their time with us. The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District does have a dress code that expects all students to dress in a respectful manner which is appropriate and conducive to a positive as well as safe learning environment.   We are very proud of Krystal Gerbitz, whose persuasive essay written in Mr. Olson’s English class became a letter to Mrs. Woodhurst and initiated a district wide middle school conversation with Director of Instruction Carl Cooper to “modernize” the dress code.  Thanks to Tristan, Katie, Austin, Aurora, Krystal (pictured above) and Chyna for representing SMS on this committee.  We know with warmer weather, especially after a long winter, there will be a desire to dress for the weather. Until the committee meets again and the Board of Trustees approves a new policy, appropriate dress is considered to be that which:

Is safe;

Is free of any reference which promotes alcohol, drugs, gangs, hate, obscenity, profanity, racism/discrimination, sex and/or violence;

Is not disturbing or distracting to others within the school setting;

Is similar to office or retail workplace attire.

We also ask that shorts are mid thigh length or skirts for girls are at a mid thigh length. Also no bra straps or underwear showing.

pacThanks to Our Fantastic PAC (and a meeting tonight at 6:30!)

Our always supportive PAC made possible a number of enriching events this year.  This week, they are sponsoring the BC Mobile Museum.  Tony Hardie will be in our library to share historical artifacts from the Indigenous perspective.  PAC also made it possible for “Halfmoon Woman” (Pat Bruderer to share the ancient art of birch bark biting (one of the oldest art forms in the Americas).  Thanks to our Indigenous Education Workers Tara and Sherelle, for organizing these activities as well as the thought provoking presentation by Laura Grizzly Paws.  Each team has had the opportunity to participate in at least one of the Indigenous presentations.  This year PAC also helped us with the purchase of Barry Dearing Tournament t-shirts, bussing for numerous curricular and extra-curricular events, sponsored our wheelchair basketball experience which begins for students on May 7th, and helped cover cultural performance and agenda fees for families who are unable to pay them for financial reasons.  We are very grateful to have such a wonderful PAC – these are just a few examples of how our students and staff are supported.  Please come out to the PAC meeting tonight to hear more!

Spring Sports

As usual a number of staff and parents are coaching extra-curricular sports for our students.   Mr. Lynka, Ms. MacDonald, Mrs. DeWitt and Mrs. Whitehead are working with our golf team;  Mrs. Limber and Mr. Rodwell with our mountain bikers; Mme Vezina, Mme King and Mrs. Kok with our grade 6/7 cross country runners and Suzy Beckner and Duncan Moore with grade 8 track and field (and also Monday morning volleyball for interested students from 7:00-8:00).  Mr. Smith has Spring basketball in full swing and is recruiting coaches for grade 6/7 track and field who will join Suzy Beckner, Duncan Moore, Mr. Rodwell, Mr. Gecse and Mr. Smith.  Adam is coaching ultimate frisbee and Mr. Gecse is working with our rugby players.  Mrs. Penner and Mr. Smith are also coaching badminton after school.  We have student coaches working with our tennis team.  Wow!  Thanks to all of these adults who give up their free time to work with our students after school and on weekends.

New Lunch Options

caesarWe have added a Chicken Caesar Salad ($5) our lunch options on Tuesdays, and Baked Chicken and Wedges ($5) on Thursdays.  Pizza days continue on Mondays and Fridays ($2) with homemade Mac and Cheese ($3) and Quesadillas ($4) on Wednesdays (as well as Michelle’s delicious monster cookies for $1).  With the warm weather finally here, we have also added ice cream for $1 to Fridays.


Upcoming Events

April 24th        Leadership students at Kelowna Conference with Mrs. Limber

April 27th        Non Instructional Day (Staff working on Safe Talk (Suicide Awareness), new Applied Design Skills $ Technology Curriculum and the Curricular Competencies)

May 1st- 4th     Mr. Rosman and Mrs. Woodhurst visit grade 5 classes at feeder schools

May 9th             Grade 5 Parent Night 5:00-6:30

May 10th           Cross Country Meet

May 18th           Non Instructional Day

June 5th             District Track and Field Meet

June 26th           Grade 8 Dessert and Dance  6:30 pm

June 28th           Last Day for students (10:19 dismissal)

As always, please feel free to contact us at any time with questions, suggestions or concerns.  We are here to support all of our students and families and enjoy the opportunity to work with you all each day.