Central Okanagan school program connects students to jobs – Kelowna Capital News

The WHEELS employment transition program has not been resting on its laurels since its inception in 2013.

The program, supported by Central Okanagan Public Schools and Community Living BC, helps youth and young adults with disabilities and diverse abilities learn skills and gain experience to help them make a successful transition to adulthood and to find a job.

WHEELS has the partnership of 25 employer responders and community partners, but the program continues to seek new participants to integrate into the skills training initiative, central Okanagan administrators said at the board meeting of the WHEELS. education Wednesday 26 January.

Currently, the program has 24 registered participants, 22 of whom are currently employed.

WHEELS caters to Grade 12 students through a Job Club entry program, then after graduation, follows up with a January-June transition into paid employment, followed by segments on-site learning from September to December.

Central Okanagan Public Schools Superintendent/CEO Kevin Kaardal applauded the impact of the program, led by District Director Michelle Kaupp and Program Manager/Teacher Heather Whistle, and for continuing to explore new options to expand participation in the program for students and employers.


Changes to the Okanagan Mission recruiting areas and the Westside French Immersion (FI) recruiting program have been adopted by the school board.

The changes were debated by all administrators at the January 19 Planning and Facilities Committee meeting after weeks of discussion and consultation with affected families.

In the Okanagan Mission, the most significant change is the reopening of Bellevue Creek Elementary School as an English and FI elementary school for K-2, and Dorothea Walker School has become a school from 3rd to 5th grade.

In the Westside, once new funding for Westside High School is approved to repurpose what is now the site of George Pringle Primary School, IF pupils will be relocated to either Hudson Road or Glenrosa Elementary; Shannon Lake students will transfer from Constable Neil Bruce Middle to Glenrosa Middle; FI high school students will remain at Kelowna High School until the new high school is built.

The effective date of these changes depends on the status of the new Westside Secondary. If funding is announced before February 28, the changes come into play in 2022-23, if after February 28 the changes will apply to the 2023-24 school term.

The Ministry of Education said the application for funding for the new school is currently before the provincial treasury board. The new school has received the approval of the director of the Ministry of Education.


Parents are raising questions about how to find answers to concerns about reopening Bellevue Creek Elementary, such as bus transportation.

Once a principal is appointed for the reopened school, parents can contact that person individually or as a group to seek answers to their concerns in the future.

When the school opens, a new parent advisory committee will be formed.

But Bellevue Creek will follow the example set by the opening of HS Grenda Middle School in Lake Country, where parents were involved in resolving issues before that school’s PAC was officially implemented after the school opening.


Fee increases have been approved for several outdoor and sports academy initiatives at Mount Boucherie High School.

The programs affected are the Baseball Academy, increasing fees from $130 to $202.85; soccer academy, fee increase from $200 to $252; and the Outdoor Recreation Academy, increasing fees from $250 to $304.

Fees for these programs have not changed for five years or more and are necessary to meet rising transportation and equipment costs.


Rutland High School offers two additional courses – Football 12 and Wellbeing 10.

The soccer program is open to both soccer players and students interested in the coaching or administrative side of the sport, administrator Wayne Broughton said.

“This program recognizes and brings a sense of diversity to all students interested in participating,” added Assistant Superintendent Terry Beaudry.

“Students can participate and learn the dynamics and business side of football without having to actually engage on the pitch…which brings all the elements of an inclusive nature.”

The Wellness course gives students the opportunity to learn and understand internalized patterns of behavior in school that hinder individual success.

The course will address emotional and social self-awareness, self-defense resilience, and positive coping strategies, using a holistic approach to help students feel more connected to their school.


The Central Okanagan School District’s 17th GaGa ball diamond will be located at Chief Tomat Elementary School in West Kelowna.

The court kit was purchased by Chief Tomat’s Parent Advisory Council and is being assembled by school district operations staff.


Kelowna High School’s thrift store recently donated $1,000 to the Kelowna Gospel Mission.


The 2022-2023 school district budget planning process will begin at the next Central Okanagan Parent Advisory Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

The Zoom link for parents to participate is copac.president@sd23.bc.ca.


Two upcoming Raising Digital Leaders webinars for parents/guardians will be held on February 1 for elementary schools and February 3 for middle/high schools.

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