Highway 97 just north of Osoyoos Yesterday – Car Vs. Icy Road

Car  ice ditch January 31, 2015_DSC0022

Photo by Roger Richardson

Car  ice ditch rescue January 31, 2015_DSC0027

Photo by Roger Richardson

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Tree fruit replant program applications online

bc logoOnline applications are now available for B.C. government funding to help tree fruit growers replant their orchards with high-value, high-quality fruit varieties enjoyed by consumers locally and around the world.

The funding is part of the B.C. government’s $8.4-million seven-year tree fruit replant program announced by Premier Christy Clark and Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick in November 2014. The program will result in an estimated 1,500 acres of orchards being replanted by 2021, and about 2,600 jobs each year for the Okanagan. Application packages are available at: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=D188877E1CEA411B89E2A62EA9812B05

The new program builds on the recent success of growers who replanted lower-value orchards with high-demand and high-quality varieties like Ambrosia apples and late-season cherries.

B.C. growers produced Canada’s second largest tree fruit crop in 2013, including more than 103,000 tonnes of apples, sweet cherries, peaches, pears, plums/prunes, nectarines and apricots. The total represents about one-fourth of the total Canadian production, and generated almost $103 million in farm cash receipts.

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Photos By Jennifer Brock

caribou pano pano-sidley cabin Osoyoos Daily News

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Board of Education Chair’s Report

It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Barton Tumlinson. Barton passed away suddenly on Friday January 23rd. Barton was a valued member of our administrative team. He joined our district in August 2009 as vice principal of Similkameen Elementary Secondary School. On August 1st, 2013 he was appointed as principal of Oliver Elementary School. Barton was a kind and gentle leader and was respected as a great educator by students, staff and parents alike. He will be sadly missed and our hearts and prayers go out to Barton’s wife, children, family and colleagues.

At our December Board of Education meeting the Board received and approved the Superintendent’s Report on Achievement. Some of the highlights of the report show that our students are still maintaining strong achievement levels in reading and writing at the elementary level – our students are above the provincial average in both of these areas. As well, the gap between all students and Aboriginal students in reading, writing and numeracy is narrowing. Our numeracy skills are also continuing to improve with FSA results showing that we are well above the provincial average. The six year completion rates for students improved from 76% to 79% for all students and the Aboriginal student completion rate went from 67% to 75%. Wave 5 of the Early Development Instrument (EDI) shows that our district is one of seven that shows a significant improvement in the overall vulnerability of our kindergarten students. It also seems that our Social and Emotional Learning programs and strategies are working as we are seeing a reduction in the numbers of students with identified behavior issues, as well as fewer mental health referrals, and fewer students being referred to the District Conduct Review Committee. The focus of the district on the trades seems to also be paying off as we are seeing an increase in students graduating with SSA credits as well as more students participating in the ACE-IT courses.

The challenging areas for our district were identified as:
1. student active engagement of their learning (looking for an upward trend in students receiving a C+ or higher on exams or courses);
2. participation of students in activities outside the classroom; and then of course our graduation rates;
3. Social Emotional Learning – we know that the need for social and emotional development and support continues through the grades and that this has been a barrier from success for many of our students. We are trying to address this through programs such as Roots of Empathy, Friends and MindUp.
The Superintendent’s Report on Student Achievement can be found on our district website at http://www.sd53.bc.ca.
At our Education Committee meeting teams from every school presented their 2014/15 School Plans to the Board of Education. It was refreshing to see that almost all of our elementary schools were bringing forward plans to address Social Emotional Learning issues and how our secondary schools are implementing strategies to address student achievement through a sense of belonging, and strategies to address the engagement of our students. This aligns with the challenging areas identified in the Superintendent’s Report on Student Achievement.

All of our Trustees spent a day in early January doing an evaluation of the Board of Education; looking at what we do well and areas where we still need to focus more of our attention. It seems that communication continues to be an area where we need growth and we will continue to put our efforts there. We also worked on a new policy for trustee conduct and we have come up with some ideas of what we want to see in our new policy. These ideas will now go to the Policy Committee which will then recommend a new policy to the Board of Education.

Superintendent Young has held four consultation meetings with interested staff to get feedback and input into areas of curricular leadership that could comprise the District Learning Team, to take effect in fall 2015. This team will then take a lead role in some of the curricular areas in the district. This restructuring is to address the retirement of Assistant Superintendent Jim Insley who will be leaving us at the end of January 2015.

Meetings were held in Osoyoos, Keremeos, Oliver and Okanagan Falls. Final details are expected to be worked out by February in preparation of applications for Network Team Leaders which we hope to have in place by early April. We are hoping for as smooth a transition as possible with Mr. Insley’s retirement and a number of teachers and administrators have stepped up to assist in carry-through on a few things started in the area of curriculum and assessment, and we will continue discussions to be sure all important areas and initiatives are attended to. We wish Jim the best of health and happiness in his retirement.

Mr. Subra Paliappa joined the staff of SD53 as Assistant Secretary Treasurer. He is a CGA/CPA and his previous responsibilities have included financial reporting, budgeting and payroll. We are looking forward to working with him.

Yes-2-It in the Classroom for our grades 6 and 7 students wrapped up last week in Okanagan Falls. Congratulations to Boyd Turnbull who made the program a great success. This program gives an opportunity to our elementary students to explore the trades. Thank you to all elementary staff for welcoming the program to the schools and to all the guest trades people for their patience and for sharing their skills and knowledge.
The district Sexual Health Committee had its first meeting on January 12 and they came up with a plan for moving ahead. The sexual health curriculum for both elementary and secondary schools is in the process of being revamped. Their goal is to develop a strong program that teachers are comfortable with. To do this, they plan to meet with teachers at staff meetings in April to discuss the goals and field feedback from teaching staff. In addition they are evaluating available resources, including resource people, and planning to pilot them in the next year. Thank you to Shannon Miller for leading this process.
The district is also planning several workshops to support the teaching of French. Working with secondary specialists, elementary lead French teachers developed a scope and sequence to guide teachers in their instructional planning. As elementary Core French is not always taught by a specialist, elementary teachers will meet in March to share resources and strategies. Secondary Core French teachers are also planning a sharing meeting. Thanks to Shendah Benoit for leading this initiative.

At tonight’s Board of Education meeting the superintendent presented the McCreary Report. This report is the result of grades 7 to 12 students that completed the BC Adolescent Health Survey in schools across BC. These students answered 130 questions about their health, and about the risk and protective factors in their lives. This is the fifth time since 1992 that students have been asked to complete the survey. Fifty-six of 59 BC school districts participated. The report that was presented to trustees is for this and other school districts in the Okanagan. Some of the results that were concerning to trustees:
1) Only 61% of females (77% males) felt happy most of the time; also only 43% of our females felt calm and at peace (64% of males).
2) 28% percent of females (8% of males) reported cutting or injuring themselves
3) 21% of females (8% of males) have seriously thought about suicide and 12% of females (4% males) attempted suicide in the last year.
4) Of great concern is that most students miss out on accessing mental health services because they did not want their parents to know.

We want to urge parents to please talk to their children about their mental health so that we as a society can rid ourselves of the stigma of mental illness. As a district we are trying very hard to address the mental health of our students but we need the support of our parents and the community. The report for the Okanagan region can be found on our district website at http://www.sd53.bc.ca

We invite all of our parents and community members to attend our next learning forum on Response to Intervention (RTI) on February 11th at 6:30 pm in the annex of the school board office.

RTI is one of the main initiatives of the BC Ministry of Education. RTI is a philosophical approach to teaching that emphasizes the inclusion of all students. RTI promotes “highly effective” education that ensures that the needs of all learners are met. Allowing for and promoting student differences through the classroom delivery of differentiated instruction is critical to an RTI model. We encourage you to attend!
We wish all of our partners a Happy New Year!

Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.
Submitted by Marieze Tarr, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)

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Condolences; Ray Patt

124-2015-01-28T11-49-11Patt, Ray

Aug 4, 1929 – Jan 22, 2015

On Thursday January 22, 2015, Mr. Raymond Patt of Osoyoos passed away at Mariposa Gardens at the age of 85 years.

He was predeceased by his parents Jacob and Teresa and brothers Frank and Robert.

Ray will be fondly remembered by his son Tommy; daughter Terry; brother Jack (Kathleen); sister Eleanor as well as many extended family and friends.

Ray moved to Osoyoos in the 1940’s from Saskatchewan and spent most of his working career with Joe’s Plumbing and the Osoyoos Home Hardware. He also enjoyed working in his yard and garden.

An urn interment and committal will be held at 1:00 P.M Thursday February 12, 2015 at the Osoyoos Lakeview Cemetery.

Donations are gratefully accepted for the Canadian Cancer Society or a charity of one’s choice.

Condolences and tributes may be directed to the family by visiting http://www.nunes-pottinger.com

Arrangements entrusted to Nunes-Pottinger Funeral Service & Crematorium, Oliver & Osoyoos

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FREE Family Day Skate at Sun Bowl Arena on February 9

Celebrate BC Family Day by coming down to the Sun Bowl Arena for a free Family Day Skate!  There will be games, door prizes and the Osoyoos Coyotes will be there to skate with you!

Free Hot Dog and Pop with admission!
Day:             Monday, February 9, 2015
Time:           12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Location:     Sun Bowl Arena

We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

For more information please contact:
Sarah Dynneson

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Library: The Year of the Wise – Share What You Know!

ORL okanagan regional library logo for osoyoos news okanagan fallsYou might be working on your bucket list, but you haven’t kicked the bucket yet!  We want to hear about those things you have checked off the list.

We are looking for seniors that are interested in sharing their knowledge with others at the library.  Share with other seniors, adults, or children.  Share one to one, in small groups, or do larger presentations.

  • Mentor others with your financial knowledge.
  • Teach someone how to play chess or bridge.
  • Share your talent in painting, sculpting, and knitting.
  • Teach a music class.
  • Share your cultural history with a group
  • Share your knowledge of your local community’s history.
  • Teach other seniors how to use their iPad, kobo reader, or laptop.
  • Share your global travel experiences.

The ORL wants to celebrate your experience, knowledge, and wisdom.  We want to hear from you.  Come to the library and share what you know!

If you are interested in sharing your knowledge with others, please contact your nearest branch of the ORL, or email mgaucher@orl.bc.ca

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