We are honoured to be learning on the Traditional Territory of the Secwepemc people.
We serve a number of communities.
In the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District, we serve more than 6400 students in 24 schools through a variety of sites located around Shuswap Lake and the North Okanagan. The area encompasses the communities of Malakwa, Sicamous, Grindrod, Enderby, Ashton Creek, Kingfisher, Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Falkland, Ranchero/Deep Creek, Silver Creek, Salmon Arm, Tappen, Sorrento, Celista, and Seymour Arm. According to census data, this area represents approximately 40,000 people.
Previous household income data from the Ministry of Education used averages for all residents, which showed our district at the provincial average of $93,000. The updated data uses median household data in subgroups that only include families with school age children, and which show us at $77,000, well below the provincial average and more consistent with the Government of Canada census information shown below.
We have a growing student population once again.
Birthrates are back up all across the province, which has led to a general rebound in student enrolment. Additionally, demographics are shifting as increased housing and living costs in urban areas have led more families to consider more reasonably priced rural communities. Salmon Arm was identified as the fastest growing city in British Columbia in 2018 with a population increase of 9.3% (BC Stats). The district was projected at 6517 FTE for the 2020-21 school year, but came in under that number, likely due the impact of COVID-19.
We have a strong educational identity.
We are known for strong academic achievement, a thriving trades and careers program, and a rich culture of school athletics and music. One elementary, one middle, and one secondary school offer French Immersion. The school district enjoys comprehensive Local Education Agreements with each of four First Nations bands. We are proud of the Indigenous culture and presence in our schools.
We created a new Strategic Plan with our community in 2018.
In January of 2017, with support from Pacific Consulting Group, School District No.83 engaged with stakeholders through a range of information gathering processes. A group of approximately forty stakeholder representatives helped organize the data into several themes, which eventually led to the development of the following three goals:
Students First: Success is our top priority every day.
Organizational Efficiency: Decisions and actions are clear, purposeful, and responsible.
Culture of Health and Wellness: Students and staff are healthy and connected to the learning environment.
Further outcomes and strategies were developed in support of these goals. Staff and community stakeholder provided further feedback before the Plan was approved by the Board and published.