Posted by Colin Heggie on Oct 12, 2021
Bev Rundell introduced her second successor as our School District Superintendent.  Dr Christine Perkins’ first Vernon job was some time ago, working for CKAL radio station.  Her teaching & school administration career has seen her in Kelowna, Squamish, Merritt & Nelson, most recently as Superintendent/CEO for SD8.  She started here Aug 1st, contending with the use of one of our high schools as an emergency shelter & meal prep site for Okanagan wildfire evacuees.  Our SD22 now serves 8,900 students in 21 schools, including over 200 international students & a well-established French Immersion program.  District staff are working hand in hand with Interior Health to monitor Covid-19 exposures & cases, & to adjust protocols as needed, based on directives from our Provincial Health Officer & other government officials.  In response to a recent announcement that school boards should develop their own masking policies, Dr Perkins expects a “unified” statement within a few days.  She says both the BCTF & CUPE (teacher & support staff unions) are supportive of masking, & most students, even young ones, are better at following rules than the adult population!  Turning to academics, she explained that many subject area exams are being replaced by literacy & numeracy tests, saying “if a student can read, they will succeed.”  A new “career & life education” course has been introduced, augmenting the former portfolio presentations done by Grade 12 students.  Dr P believes students are more concerned about climate change, First Nations reconciliation & kindness to others than the general population – “they get it!”  She answered questions about scholarships -- they’re critical, & jobs -- many are available.