NISS heating system to be hot stuff

School district works with engineers on heating project.

Students and staff at NISS will have to wait a little longer for a planned upgrade to the heating system at the school. But when they do get it, it could be pretty cool for a heating system.

Treasurer John Martin told the board that staff were working with engineers from the Regional District on plans to use waste heat from the arena to heat the school.

To keep the ice solid on the arena floor, huge refrigeration units draw heat from inside the building and shed it outside. The plan would be to funnel that unwanted warmth from the heat exchangers to the nearby high school.

“This is really exciting,” said Martin. “It sounds really positive but it needs some money up-front.”

The upgrade wasn’t included as a line item on a five-year financial plan presented last week. Instead, funds are being saved from this year’s plan to be added to next year’s as funding for the project’s installation.

Once up and running, the project should see significantly lower heating bills for the school as the arena — in operation during the colder months — supplies much of the winter heating.

 

 

 

Publications

School Board members were unanimous in their praise of a district newsletter.

“It’s a way of getting topics and ideas out to the community,” explained Superintendent Scott Benwell. “It’s a first trial; we’ve received some good feedback. It fills a niche of drawing attention to some of the good work done in our schools.”

“We’ve got some wonderful things going on in this district,” concurred Chair Leightan Wishart.

The board also heard that the SD85 would be featured in an upcoming LEARN magazine profile. “They would like to feature our district around the work we’re doing on our Aboriginal Educational programs,” explained Benwell. District Principal of First Nations Programs Kaleb Child is to feature on the cover of the magazine while he and others in the program are highlighted in an article within its pages.

“There’s a real sense of pride (about this),” said Benwell.

 

 

 

Quality Teaching

Assistant Superintendent Katherine Macintosh shared news that the district was selected to participate in a new initiative on teaching excellence.

The district was one of 32 that submitted proposals to the Ministry of Education and one of only six chosen to participate.

“We’re excited by this opportunity,” said McIntosh. “Not only is this funded by the ministry, but we’ll have the opportunity to share our results provincially. I’m very excited to be a part of this.”

“This is not about being the token rural district,” said Benwell, “this was done on merit. We can stack up with anyone they put us against.”

 

 

 

Long-term financial projections

A prudent approach to financial management will keep the district’s books healthy in the long-term and avoid a deficit, treasurer Martin told the board during a long-term financial projection.

“You’ve seen this,” said Martin. “We’ve just gone through a year so we’ve moved from projected to actuality. Due to continued declining enrolment, we’ve added another year of funding protection. We’re looking at $200-300 thousand in reductions year-on-year. With a prudent approach we will not be in a deficit any of those years.”

“We need to build good habits in this district,” agreed Benwell.

 

 

 

Strategic plan

The Board of Education voted to accept a draft of the district’s strategic plan, the fruit of months of collaboration aimed at defining a framework for future direction in the district.

After a brief discussion on some of the exact wording in the document, the board passed a motion to accept the plan as presented.

“The Strategic Plan 2013/14 sets priorities and defines the path of our school district for the next five years,” the document states. ” It serves as a framework to guide the planning and decision-making throughout the district, ensuring that we remain focused on every student becoming a graduate prepared for opportunities beyond graduation.”

The plan outlines some core values to be considered in future discussions and the aspirations that the district holds for its students.

“I want to thank (trustees) Danita (Schmidt) and Werner (Manke) for their collaboration and (Treasurer-Secretary) John (Martin) who gave us some external eyes,” said Benwell.

 

Just Posted

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Blueprints for the seniors housing project in Port Hardy. (North Island Seniors Housing Foundation photo)
BC Housing declines North Island Seniors Housing Foundation’s proposal to build units

BC Housing will be explaining why exactly the project was declined at a June 18 meeting

An aerial view of the marine oil-spill near Bligh Island in Nootka sound that the Canadian Coast Guard posted in a live social media feed in December. ( Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)
Oil from vessel that sank in 1968 off Vancouver Island to be removed

DFO hires Florida firm to carefully remove oil from MV Schiedyk in Nootka Sound starting in mid-June

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read