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Board Highlights - February 13, 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

Connected Learners Continuous Learning Report

Director of Instruction Ben Eaton presented the Connected Learners Continuous Learning Report. The report reflects School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake)'s commitment to enhancing the educational journey of learners and aligns with SD8’s strategic plan for 2024-2029 and B.C’s mandate for public education. It highlights our efforts to inspire learners to become curious, critical and creative stewards of the natural world and the local and global community. The report presents a thorough analysis of student learning data, reflecting on the effectiveness of implemented strategies. 

International Education Annual Report

District Principal – International Education Kent Tamblyn presented the International Education Annual Report 2023-2024. Established in 2000, the Kootenay Lake International Education Program has been a cornerstone in promoting cultural diversity and educational excellence within the district. The program currently includes students primarily from Asia, Europe and South America, and has played a pivotal role in enriching the educational landscape of Kootenay Lake. Currently, 40 full-time equivalent students are enrolled in SD8 and the program aims to increase that number to 65 FTE students by 2026-2027. 

School Graduation and Completion Rates 2022-2023

Superintendent Smillie reported to the Board that SD8 is achieving higher rates of graduation and school completion than in previous years and is outperforming the provincial average in both first-time graduation rates and six-year completion rates. These higher rates are an indication of the successful work happening across the district. While there is still room for improvement to ensure Indigenous learners graduate and complete school at the same rate as non-Indigenous learners, positive trends are occurring across the district, including in first-time graduation rates among indigenous learners as well as learners with diverse abilities, both of which are above the provincial average.

2023-2024 Amended Annual Budget Bylaw Adopted

Secretary-Treasurer Cathy MacArthur presented the 2023-2024 Amended Budget Bylaw to the Board. The Amended Budget Bylaw amount is $85,348,309, an increase of $3,747,906 compared to the 2023-2024 Annual Budget Bylaw amount of $81,600,403 adopted by the Board in May 2023. This amount includes expenses and capital assets purchased. The additional amount is funded by provincial grants. The district will continue to operate within a balanced budget. 

The draft budget for the 2024-2025 school year will be available for public review and feedback on March 13, 2024.

Board Authority Authorized (BAA) Courses Approved

BAA courses provide an opportunity for educators to explore content beyond the boundaries of the core Ministry of Education and Child Care curriculum. BAA Courses help educators respond to the local needs of schools and their communities, and to provide choice and flexibility for students.

The Board approved two BAA Courses:

  • Braille 11 
  • Adventure Tourism Leadership and Safety 12

2026-2027 Draft District and School Calendars Open for Review

Superintendent Trish Smillie presented the draft 2026-2027 District, Online Learning and Wildflower calendars to the Board who approved them for public review and field testing. All three calendars are posted to the SD8 website and engagement site for feedback until March 12, 2024

Sustainability Policy Public Engagement

The Board of Education will undertake a public engagement process to develop a sustainability policy. First steps include striking a Sustainability Policy Development Advisory Council made up of trustees, employee representatives, parent representatives, rights holders, community organizations and students. The Council will evaluate feedback from students, staff, and other education partners in the development of the policy. The public engagement process will begin in spring 2024. 

Policy Approval

The Board approved the following policies:

  • Policy 123: Board Representation and Liaison 
  • Policy 621: Accumulated Operating Surplus 

All policies are available on our policies page. 

Student Trustee Reports

Student Trustee Lucchetta - J.V. Humphries Secondary: The second semester has started with new courses including Outdoor Education, which includes a ski trip. Intramurals are also starting, with students across the school participating in sports at lunch.

Student Trustee Vander Horst – Mount Sentinel Secondary: the school held its International Holocaust Awareness assembly organized by social studies committee led with the support of Mr. Schindel and Principal Malloff. A chess tournament led by Ms. McEwan and supported by PAC grant. About 30 students participated in the tournament over three lunch hours. The grade 7/8 Middle Years program completed its ski program with a final day of skiing at Red Mountain as part of their Physical Education class, and Student ouncil hosted Valentine’s Day activities including handing out carnations, cookies and more.

Student Trustee Parsons - Kootenay River Secondary School: The School’s Social Justice Club is a subcommittee under Student Council and have set up a Black History Month interactive student room where teachers and students can visit and interact with exhibits to learn more about black history. Student Council is developing a scholarship with funds raised from a school dance. The Yearbook Committee is working hard to meet deadlines. The school’s Green Team is working on a legacy project and considering planting a tree or another planting option. Student Leadership is working on Pink Shirt Day with an upcoming assembly and basketball playoffs are taking place.

Student Trustee Fisher – L.V. Rogers Secondary: Senior Girls’ Basketball wrapped up their season with an impressive performance at their final tournament while both Junior and Senior Boys’ teams will play a couple more games this season. The Recreation Leadership class organized a track day, and graduation photos are underway along with fundraisers and yearbook prep. LVR hosted an open house for incoming students and parents for the next school year so they can get more information about course selection. 

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.