Trafalgar Middle School: Principal's Message

August 28, 2021

Dear Trafalgar Students and Families,

Greetings to all our returning students and families, and a warm welcome to all of our new students and their families! It has been wonderful to see so many new families move to our little area here in the Kootenays.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce (and reintroduce) myself to the Trafalgar community. I am thrilled to be rejoining the Trafalgar team as I have a passion for education, especially working with the middle years. I was born and raised in the Yukon, and the similar community feeling and proximity to nature drew me to the Nelson community three years ago. On my journey to Nelson, I have taught and been an administrator from kindergarten to grade 12, predominantly in the middle years.

I started my career 16 years ago at a little First Nation’s school in northeastern BC where the focus was on building resiliency and lasting relationships for a successful future. I spent five amazing years there before moving halfway around the world to London, England, for almost a decade. While in London, I taught, again in the middle years, and spent time as a Senior Leader (what we would call a vice principal). Although I loved the UK, Canada was calling and I moved back. I worked at a school for students with diverse needs in Victoria for a year before finally finding home here in Nelson and at Trafalgar Middle School first as a Vice Principal at Trafalgar and LVR, and now as the Principal of this brilliant middle school.

Mark Bonikowsky is joining us as the new Vice Principal. Mark has worked as a teacher and as a counselor in the lower mainland and here in School District 8. He is committed to supporting students and their families as we all work together for the benefit of our students. He is a team player, has lots of experience with diverse youth and families, and is well organized.

Together, we will work hard with all members of the Trafalgar community to create a supportive, successful learning experience. 

Communication

Communication is important in supporting our students. At Trafalgar, teachers send home weekly emails to check in. If you have any questions, please reach out to your child’s teacher first. I will be posting monthly newsletters on the website, like this one, highlighting some of the learning and events happening in and around the school. The school website is a great first stop for information https://trafalgar.sd8.bc.ca/ and if you haven’t done so, you can also download School District 8 Kootenay Lake’s mobile app (Schoolkit Hub App) for up to date information. This is a handy app to have that includes information on school closures, bussing and route delays, and upcoming events. Click on the link (https://www.sd8.bc.ca/node/42892 ) or search in the Apple App Store or in Google Play for “Schoolkit Hub App.”

New Student Orientation

The optional orientation for new students will be on Wednesday, September 1. All grade 6 students are invited to attend at 1pm, and all new students in grade 7, 8, and 9 are invited to attend at 2pm. Each session will last approximately 45 minutes and there is no need to pre-register. The goal of orientation for new students is to meet some of the staff and learn where their entrance door is and where their classroom is for the first day of school.  

To avoid crowding and comply with the COVID guidelines, students will need to:

  • sign in upon arriving in the lower field accessibly from the pathway off Josephine street
  • wear a mask
  • follow spacing directions
  • use sanitizer when signing in

Parents who wish to accompany students are asked to:

  • wear a mask
  • give space to staff and students
  • sign in with the school staff at the field
  • not enter the building when groups are brought to their classroom space. Please wait on the field for your child to return.

First Day of School

A reminder that the first day of school is reduced by 3 hours, with end of day busses running 3 hours earlier on Tuesday September 7. Students will need to enter through their assigned door, put on their inside shoes, and proceed directly to their classroom. Class lists and rooms will be posted at each entrance on the morning of the first day. The entrance doors are:

Grade 6: Top catwalk entrance on Hall Street

Grade 7: Bike rack entrance on Josephine Street

Grade 8: Main entrance facing Josephine Street

Grade 9: Lower Hall Street entrance

On the first day of school, students will need their indoor shoes and their basic supplies (pencils, paper, duotang / binder). The comprehensive lists are on the school website and can be confirmed with the class teacher after the first day of class.

K-12 Pandemic Guidelines and Information

We are working on summarizing the protocols for Trafalgar under the new K-12 Ministry and PHO guidelines for COVID safety. Guidelines and procedures remaining in place include masks, spacing, handwashing / sanitizing, and staying home when ill. At this time, cohorts are not a requirement. While we appreciate that there will be a mixed reaction to this, I want to emphasize that students are in one class with one teacher and one group of students most of the time. Spacing will be expected during breaks, and option classes will be mixed groupings. We also ask our fantastic families to continue to book appointments before coming to the school.

Bussing

A reminder that all students intending on taking a school bus to and or from school must be registered and issued a Zonar Pass. Students not registered will not be permitted on the busses. Registration is available on both the school and District sites.

Absences

If your child is going to be absent, please email both the class teacher and trafannounce@sd8.bc.ca. Thank you.

Looking Ahead

We are looking forward to a year full of community and place-based learning, deepening our sense of self and community, and inspires those around us.

Trafalgar is a special place because of the students, their families, and the staff. This is a school that looks to see the uniqueness of the individual and foster growth and success socially, emotionally, and academically. The motto at Trafalgar is ‘We are here to build each other up’ and I think the world could use a little more of this! This year, we will continue to work on building each other up and we hope you will join us.   

 

All the best,

 

Ms. Amy Strachan

Principal, Trafalgar Middle School

We are here to build each other up!