The importance of community involvement is what Similkameen Elementary Secondary School (SESS) principal Naryn Searcy wants to hit home at the beginning of the new school year.
“We want the community to feel welcome in our school and we want to continue to extend partnerships with the community. We are a community school,” she said. “We want parents and families to feel welcome in our school.”
Studies have shown the more parents are involved in their children’s education, the more successful they will be, she said.
“The more comfortable the parents are communicating with the teachers and staff and coming into the school, the better off that relationship is going to be and the greater the chance the kids will do well.”
And it’s not just parents. The school wouldn’t be able to offer what it does without help from local groups, organizations and businesses, she said.
While there are too many to mention off the top of her head, Searcy said SESS has volunteers and community members come in to coach students in sports and other activities. As well, various groups donate to a long list of functions, such as last year’s field trip to Europe. The students also go out in the community and work with organizations.
“I just want to keep acknowledging that so many things at our school are only possible because of the support of our community,” Searcy said.
The school year started with a spirit day on Sept. 6, a leadership class and 2020 grad breakfast.
”Everybody dressed up in school colours and there was lots of representation of school spirit,” she said. “We also had a grad and staff breakfast in the morning just to celebrate our graduates and looking forward to a great year.”
Another positive development this year, Searcy said, is that the construction in front of both the elementary and secondary school entrances is complete.
“It was a positive start to the year,” she said. “That is all finished and just having that new front door that open space. Everyone is really excited to start the year off on a positive note without all the noise outside.”
SESS has several new staff members this fall. Delma Colavecchio is the new Indigenous education advocate at the elementary school and Chris Wilkie is the new Grade 5 and 6 teacher. There are also two new education assistants, Merry Low and Bonnie Dickinson.
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