Re-opening info for StrongStart Program

We are looking forward to welcoming our North Okanagan-Shuswap StrongStart families back to our programs starting on Thursday, October 1st. StrongStart is a free early learning program for preschool children, 0 to 5 years old, and their parent or caregiver. There will be COVID-19 guidelines in place at all programs to ensure the safety of our families, StrongStart educators, and school community. 


  • Registration for all SD83 StrongStart programs will open on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 and will be ongoing 
  • If your child was previously registered in a StrongStart program in our district, please call the school to indicate that you and your child are interested in attending the StrongStart program again this school year 
  • If your child is new to StrongStart, please phone the school to request a time to come in and complete the registration process 
  • Interested families will need to choose one program to attend as we will not be supporting participation at multiple programs due to COVID-19 

Click here for complete information

Principal’s Update

Dear parents and guardians,

By now, you should have received a welcome letter from your child’s teacher with some specifics about class routines and where to meet Thursday morning.  My apologies that it took us longer than hoped to get these out to you! If you have not received a letter we have included them below for you to review.

Thank you to everyone who was able to fill out the survey.  We heard from a lot of you!  If your child will not be at school tomorrow and you have not filled out the survey, please either complete the survey ASAP (link here) or contact us so we know if we need to hold a seat for your child.

Please remember to do the student health with your child each morning (attached) and do not have your child attend if they have any symptoms.

For more information feel free to give us a call or connect by email.  I’ve also included my previous welcome message below and the other important information in the attachments.

Thank you once again for your patience, kindness, and understanding.  

We look forward to seeing our students tomorrow morning!!

Kind Regards,

Glen Overgaard, Principal

Welcome Letters

  • Mrs. Lindsey Stark

Good Morning Grade 4/5 families,

I hope you have all had a wonderful summer and are eager to get back to school after an extended time away. Thank you for your patience as we have been putting together plans for this unusual start up. I am so excited to see your smiling faces and welcome you at school tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will be a full day of school so make sure to bring your lunch and a full water bottle as the water fountains will remain closed.

There are a few changes throughout the day to keep us all healthy.

1. Please arrive at school between 8:20 and 8:30. I will unlock our classroom door starting at 8:20. The playground will be closed before and after school so please do not arrive before 8:20. To avoid any congestion, students can come in as they arrive, hand wash, get their belongings organized and proceed to their desk where they can read a book or complete an activity.

2. To allow for collaborative activities we are in a cohort with Div. 2. Even though we are grouped together, we are still insisting there be no physical contact between anyone. We will keep a 2-metre distance from students who are not in our cohort. Students are welcome to wear a mask but it is not a requirement.

3. Our classroom is nut-aware, so please do not bring food items that contain nuts.

4. I will begin dismissal at 2:20. Students can wait to be picked up or start walking on their own. If you plan to pick up your child, please do so between 2:20 and 2:30.

As many of you already know, Mr. Overgaard and I will be splitting the teaching time this year. Regularly, I will be in the classroom for full days on Monday and Thursday as well as Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Mr. Overgaard will be in the classroom Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon and Friday.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out. My email is

I am eager to see all of you! If you don’t plan on sending your child to school and haven’t already contacted Mr. Overgaard, could you please do so as soon as possible.

  • Mrs. Laura Tomlinson

Welcome back to school!  I am happy to welcome you to Division 2.  This year, we will have Ms. Bateman in our classroom until December as a student teacher.  We are so excited to see everyone on Thursday.  It has been a long time since many of you were at school and there will be a few changes in routines to help keep everyone healthy.   

Drop-Off: 8:20 to 8:30.  Our classroom door will be open.  Students will be invited in to wash their hands and get themselves settled for the day. 

Dismissal: 2:20 to 2:32.  Students will be dismissed to walk home or be picked up.  If you are picking your child up, please maintain physical distancing from others.  

Playground:  The playground will be closed before and after school. 

Cohort:  Our class will be in a cohort with Division 1.  This allows us to collaborate for learning activities throughout the year. 

Water bottles:  Children will need to bring a full water bottle to school each day.  Please label the bottle with your child’s name.  Water fountains are closed at this time.   

Masks:  Children are welcome to wear masks; however, they are not required for students K-5.  We will maintain physical distance where possible within our cohort and all physical contact will be avoided. 

Nuts:  Our classroom is a nut aware classroom.  Please do not send any snacks with nuts of any kind as one of our classmates is allergic.   

Learning Outdoors:  We will be taking our learning outside as often as possible.  Students should be prepared to be outside everyday, rain or shine.   

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email me at  If your family is choosing not to return on to in person learning at this time, please contact the school as soon as possible.   

I am looking forward to a spectacular year!

  • Ms Karen Quinton

Dear Division 3 Families,

Welcome back! I am excited to be your child’s teacher this year! Things will look a bit different as we adjust to new ways of learning and teaching, but I am confident that we will have an AWESOME year if we commit to working TOGETHER. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning or development, please connect with me via email, phone (250-832-4950), or make an appointment for an in person meeting. Here is some information for you about tomorrow and Friday.

Please complete the daily health check each day before school with your child and do not bring your child if any questions are answered “yes”. We want to keep all students and staff safe! Playgrounds are CLOSED before school. Students may be dropped off between 8:20 and 8:30 and are to line up on the south side of the school (opposite side from parking lot). If your child arrives after 8:30, access into the school will be at the front door. Parents are allowed access into the school by appointment only at this time. Parents are to pick-up students between 2:20 and 2:30 at the south side of the school while keeping physical distance. Playgrounds will be CLOSED during this time.

We will be doing LOTS of handwashing and learning about ways to keep our germs to ourselves and not spreading them to others. There will be many activities, lessons and games to teach the children safety procedures and protocols. I have arranged our classroom to minimize contact between students. Each student will have his/her own pencil box of supplies (pencil, scissors, glue stick, crayons, eraser) and math toolkit (counters and various manipulatives). We will have carpet time together, share books and maintain a focus on safe play-based learning including centres. We will be spending more time outdoors so children need to have appropriate clothing.

Please send your child with a fruit/vegetable snack along with a full water bottle and lunch. Indoor shoes and appropriate outdoor clothing will be needed. Agendas, home reading, sight words and spelling lists will be tackled in the upcoming weeks once the children have had time to learn, practice and settle into the new routines of being back at school.

Let’s remember to give ourselves, our children and others the time, patience, reassurance and encouragement to adjust to the restart of school.

  • Ms. Jennifer Lee

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,

Welcome to kindergarten and grade one! My name is Jennifer Lee and I am so excited to be your child’s teacher this year at North Canoe Elementary School. We have a wonderful group of kindergarten and grade one students, and I am confident that this is going to be an amazing year filled with lots of fun and interesting learning activities. There are a number of things I would like to inform you about as we get this school year started. 

Learning Together

We all learn differently! Students are all at a variety of learning levels and all benefit from a mixture of learning strategies. Instruction will be focused on meeting the needs of all students, regardless of their learning level. 

Home Reading

A home reading program will be implemented in late September or the first week of October, where your child will bring home books each night to read independently to you (or with you).  This extra practice is essential to successful reading progress.  Children need to be free to experiment and attempt tasks without fear of failure.  Our role as teachers is to create an environment that is safe, where children feel comfortable enough to take risks with learning. 

Library Book Exchange

Thursdays are our library days. More information will be coming out soon regarding library book exchanges and how that will look with new COVID-19 regulations.


One of the best ways parents and guardians can help their children learn at the beginning of the year is by making sure they are well rested. Learning (and relearning) school routines is very tiring, and the school week seems so long at the beginning of the year. Please check the agenda daily for activities and for homework updates. Reading and practicing weekly words should be done on a nightly basis to help with regular school routines.

For additional ideas on things you can do at home to support your child with their learning, please see the attached sheet called Things to do at Home.


Mr. Overgaard has ordered agendas for our class and they should be here by next week. For now, any important information that needs to be shared with parents from the school will be sent home on paper, or by email. 

Once we have agendas, students will be bringing home their agendas daily to be signed and brought back the next day. Please review what was written in it and take time to sign or initial the entry so I know that you saw what was written. Also, please check the front pocket for notes. It is very important that your child brings it to school daily, as this is an excellent way to keep informed with what is going on in our class.  The agenda is also a way of communication between school and home.


If you are interested in volunteering please just let me know in your child’s agenda or by emailing me! My email is .

Water Bottles

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, students will not have access to water fountains at school. Students must bring a clean and filled water bottle to school each day. Water bottles will also be sent home at the end of each day to be returned home for cleaning.  In the case that your child finishes their water before the end of the school day, there is a water bottle refill station across from the office that students can access.


Our days are quite long, especially for younger students, so nutritious snacks are recommended to be sent to school each day. Each morning before first recess, students will be required to eat one snack that is either a fruit or a vegetable. It is also strongly recommended that your child has a good breakfast and gets to bed early each night to help your child keep alert and ready to learn each day.


Our school does not provide microwave service. Families wishing to provide a hot lunch for their children may send this to school with your child in a thermos. Note: please ensure that the lid on the thermos is not too tight for your child to take off by themselves. 

Allergy Aware

North Canoe Elementary School is a nut aware school, and some of the students at our school have peanut and nut allergies. Please pack alternative snack choices for your child to eat at school that do not contain peanuts or nuts. Thank you.

Extra pants and underwear

Accidents unfortunately happen at school sometimes, and this can include students getting pants wet or dirty outside, or students having an accident. Please ensure that your child has a clean pair of pants and underwear in their backpacks each day in the event that an accident does happen. If an accident does happen, you will be notified that your child had to change pants and underwear in either a note sent home, or in person at the end of the day. Dirty pants and underwear will be sent home in a plastic bag. 

Indoor Shoes

Please ensure that your child has a good pair of supportive indoor running shoes. Sandals and slip-on shoes are not considered supportive or safe, especially for some physical activities we will be doing in the gym. 

Weather Prepared

As we approach the cooler fall and eventually winter season, please ensure that your child comes to school dressed appropriately for the weather each day. For the fall season, this might include a warmer fall jacket, closed-toed shoes, pants, and a sweater. For the winter season, this might include a winter jacket, snow pants, winter boots, mittens, and a toque. 


Please report all absences to the office (250-832-4950). If possible, please send a note in the agenda to inform me as well. 

Child Pick Up

If you need to pick up your child early you can indicate that in the agenda, and we will make sure your child is ready to meet you early. 

Additional Information:

Be sure to visit our school website, and please check it regularly as we will be continuously updating it with reminders and important school information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the school (250-832-4950)  or my email

Thank you for your commitment to your child’s education, and I look forward to meeting you all!


Ms. Jennifer Lee

Kindergarten and Grade One Teacher

Kindergarten Gradual Entry

A big welcome to all our returning parents and guardians and a HUGE welcome to all our new families and all of our new kindergarten students!!  Thank you for your patience as we have been putting together plans for this unusual school start up.

Gradual Entry for Kindergarten this year will be as follows:

Monday September 14:  1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Tuesday September 15:  10:30 am – 11:30 am (with grade 1s)

Wednesday September 16:  1:00 pm – 2:20 pm (with grade 1s)

Thursday September 17: 8:30 am – 11:45 am (with grade 1s)

Friday September 18: Full day kindergarten begins (8:30 am – 2:20 pm)

*Please drop off and pick up your child outside the parking lot entrance.  Your child’s teacher will meet you there and help students line up (with distance).  Please remember to keep physical distance yourselves as well from other families (2m).

Important back to school information and survey link

Dear parents and guardians,

Welcome to what will be a unique start up for us as we begin the 2020/21 school year.  We are looking forward to seeing our students beginning on Thursday, September 10th.  This will be a full day for our grade 1-5 students.  Kindergarten parents will be receiving information about gradual entry for Kindergarten students as soon as possible.

In order to make sure our school will be a safe place for students and staff, we have created extensive health and safety protocols for our school incorporating the School District 83 COVID-19 Stage 2 Safety Plan.

Please read through all of the information in the documents attached and then complete the short survey for each of your children It is very important for the safety of all that these procedures are followed thoroughly and that parents respond to the survey so we can be prepared to accept your child(ren) back.  If this is not possible, please contact Mr. Overgaard.

Please click HERE to complete the survey.

By early next week, you will be receiving an email from your children’s teachers with specific information related to their individual classes and where to meet the first day.  Please be sure to read these carefully also and follow all procedures.

Thank you for your patience, support and trust as we work together to safely return our students to school.

Kind regards,

Glen Overgaard – Principal


Health & Safety Protocols Sept 1 2020  

Stage 2 Safety Plan Rev 5.1 8.5.20 – Draft Aug 24

Student Health Check

New info on school start up

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 8.19.08 PM

In this unusual year, SD83 would like to share what information we currently have, and hopefully answer some questions our parents may have about the new school year.

When will my child begin school?
The Ministry of Education has announced there will be a staggered start to the new school year to give everyone time to become familiar with the new safety protocols.

School District No. 83 staff will report to their schools on Tuesday, September 8 for safety orientations and planning sessions.

Students will report to schools on Thursday, September 10 for their welcoming and safety orientation sessions. Regular learning will commence as soon as appropriate routines are established. School staff will communicate any changes to student schedules. Graduated entry for Kindergarten will still occur in its usual manner.

What is a Learning Group or Cohort?
Through the direction of our Public Health Officer (PHO), the BC Ministry of Education has established learning group limits for regular student interactions that occur inside our buildings. Schools are expected to adhere to this expectation for all learning activities, or establish additional safety protocols, including social distancing. Staff that work with more than one cohort of students will also have to adhere to these safety protocols.
Click here for information on Learning Groups/Cohorts

Will the school buses be running?
School District No. 83 will continue to offer bus services. In late August all bus students will receive a postcard in the mall with a stop location and pick up and drop off times. If you are new to the district and qualify for busing please contact our transportation office at 250-832-9415 to register your child for busing. Please contact the transportation department if you don’t receive yours or if your mailing address has changed.

Please note that additional safety protocols are being finalized for all bus routes. These will likely include seating plans, use of masks for riders in grades four through twelve, as well as PPE for the drivers. Submission of regular health checks may also be required.

Will the school district be staggering school day start and end times?
Changes to school start and end of day times are not being contemplated at this time, as many of our students ride to school on our interlocking bus schedule. However, break and lunch times may be staggered in some schools to reduce hallway, playground, and common area interactions.

What is happening at the high schools?
High schools are currently investigating timetable options to limit the number of contacts. At this time, some secondary schools in School District No. 83 are considering the use of the quarter system, where students would take two courses a day for ten weeks. To meet the cohort requirements determined by the PHO, but still allow students to stay enrolled in their currently selected course options, some of our larger schools may have to divide the student population into groups, having students attend in-person on certain days and work from home the other days. Secondary leadership teams are currently working on this issue and will notify families as plans are nearer to completion.

What health guidelines are being put in place?
The plan and protocols are being updated and will be posted on the district website ( ) by August 26.
Click here to view the COVID-19 Public Health Guidelines for K-12 School Settings

Will there be “health checks” like there were in June
Parents of bus students may be required to submit health checks, but otherwise, health check forms will not be required. However, it is extremely important that parents pay close attention to the health of their children and keep them at home if they are sick or symptomatic. More information is available here.

Our family has an immune compromised member and we don’t think our children should attend school. What are our options?
School District No. 83 is focusing on making our schools as safe as possible for all students. However, if are uncomfortable having your child return to regular learning, you may wish to consider some other options.

School District No. 83 currently has an online option for students in Grades 9-12 known as the Education Outreach Program (EOP). Students in EOP are supplied assignments and resources (such as textbooks and learning activities) as well as some access to a local teacher, but the program is primarily self-directed. The Education Outreach Program currently offers a wide range of online courses to students on a full-time or cross-enrolled basis in Grades 9-12.

School District No. 83 previously offered an Education Outreach Program option to elementary and middle schools student, but it was closed due to lack of demand. We will reopen this program option for the duration of the pandemic if there is sufficient interest. For more information regarding the EOP program, or to express your interest in registering, please contact Education Outreach Principal Rob Macaulay at

Note that the Home Learning Opportunities program that School District No. 83 provided through June will not be available this coming year. Parents who are interested in homeschooling their children may wish to visit this website:

What about music/band/choir/musical theatre?
At this time, all programs will be carrying on as previously planned. However, there music-specific safety protocols and scheduling to allow for sufficient physical distancing for classes outside the set cohort numbers that still need to be worked out. Expect further communication from your school prior to start-up.

Students with special needs?
Students with special needs will be given full access to learning and supports, as they would in a non-pandemic context. For more information about your child’s program or to request an individual meeting or orientation, please contact your school.

What about extra-curricular activities (clubs/sports)
Schools may continue clubs if cohorts or physical distancing can remain intact. The Fall interschool sports schedule has been cancelled. The remaining seasons of play will be re-evaluated throughout the year.

Community use of school facilities?
After hours community use of facilities will be allowed in the fall providing they are in full alignment with health and safety measures.

Further Information
Further information will be provided via the School District No. 83 website over the coming weeks, including the full District Safety Plan. You can also expect a survey confirming your student’s intentions to attend school and/or utilize bus transportation for September.

Additional links from the Ministry of Education and Public Health
Ministry of Education Return To School Information
BC Centre for Disease Control website with the most recent information on school safety and child care safety protocols.
The BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 dashboard
7 Tips for talking to kids about COVID-19 poster on the Fraser Health website
All joint statements from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix are posted here
The Provincial Pandemic Coordination plan

Click here for complete SD83 newsletter