Students head back to class this week

The first day of the 2022 school year at Horse Lake Elementary School (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free press).The first day of the 2022 school year at Horse Lake Elementary School (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free press).
Shane Mikkelsen is going into grade three this year at Horse Lake Elementary School (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free Press).Shane Mikkelsen is going into grade three this year at Horse Lake Elementary School (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free Press).

Students went back to class on Wednesday across the South Cariboo.

The first day of school came a day earlier for the 900 employees of School District 27, according to Chris van der Mark, Superintendent of Schools.

Everyone from bus drivers to teachers took part in a conversation on Truth and Reconciliation with Monique Gray Smith.

“It was a powerful day,” said van der Mark.

While final numbers will not be in until the second or third week of September, projections indicate enrolment numbers to be similar to last year.

“Up a bit, maybe,” said van der Mark.

A shortage of teachers in general continues to be a problem across the province. While specialty programs such as French Immersion are having problems, remote and rural areas in B.C. are also experiencing difficulties filling teaching positions, he said.

van der Mark said there were a lot of new faces at today’s Administration Day.

Retirements and the last couple of years with COVID-19 left some vacancies and the school district still has a few spots to fill, but they are making progress.

Instead of making changes, the superintendent said he would like to build and improve on what has already been put in place. He noted the district has provided students with good learning opportunities and programs over the last few years.

van der Mark also said he appreciates how flexible both parents and the community have been over the last few years and is looking forward to seeing kids back in the classroom.



fiona.grisswell@100milefreepress.net

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