That time of year that kids dread and parents can’t wait for; the beginning of a new school year. With September fast approaching, some changes have been made to the administrative team in School District 54 (SD54) which covers Silverthorne Elementary, Twain Sullivan Elementary and Houston Secondary School.
According to SD54 Assistant Superintendent Matthew Monkman, Scott Richmond has been hired as the new vice principal of Houston Secondary and Twain Sullivan Elementary, taking the place of Dwayne Anderson.
Richmond has been a Houston community member and volunteer coach since 2006 where he worked in industry prior to obtaining his educational credentials. He has worked as a certified teacher at Houston Secondary since 2014. He has been involved in numerous district initiatives including being a part of the SD54 Tech Ed Team, that supported learning and co-teaching through the use of technology.
Monkman also said that a number of new staff has been hired across the schools, along with a number of staff who have changed school location due to reconfiguration.
Enrollment in each school figures to be similar to last year according to Monkman, though at this point numbers are projected and final counts will be completed on Sept. 30.
Silverthorne Elementary is projected to have 170 students compared to 155 last year. Twain Sullivan projects at 170 students as well, compared to 174 last year. Houston Secondary meanwhile is projected to have 181 students, a slight dip from the 189 in 2020-2021.
Enrollment is one thing, but attendance is another problem. Throughout last year class attendance was an ongoing issue for schools across the district due to COVID-19, specifically after the winter break. According to Superintendent Mike McDiarmid, the schools were seeing 40-50 per cent decrease on any given day back in January 2021.
Now that most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, such problems aren’t expected to arise this school year. The Government of B.C. issued a report in July that said students, families, teachers and staff should plan for a full return to the classroom in September. The report also said that based on guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, students will not be organized into learning groups when classes start in September, but will continue to be required to stay home when feeling sick, wash their hands and complete daily health checks.