Parents & Students » Back To School

Back To School

Dear SESS Families,

On behalf of the staff at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to the 2021-2022 school year! We are looking forward to a great year and we can’t wait to see our students again next week. We are also very excited to welcome the new grade 5s and to share our final year with the graduating class of 2022. Here is some key information for parents as we approach the new school year:

Secondary Student Timetables

Student timetables were handed out in June, and students will also receive another timetable on the first day of school. Timetables are also available on the Parent/Student Portal.  If you or your child has any concerns with their schedule, our counsellors, Ms. Tin and Mr. Breneman, will be available on Thursday, September 2nd from 8:30-3:00. Please email a counsellor at [email protected] or [email protected] to book an appointment time on September 2nd.

Elementary Class Lists

Class lists will be posted on the elementary school doors on the morning of September 7th; students will find out who their new teacher is at that time. Elementary supply lists are available on our school website under the “Elementary” tab at the top of the page. Please note that elementary students will not be able to enter the building until 8:25.


Please note the following important dates:

Tuesday Sept. 7th:            First day of school (8:30-11:15) Buses will depart @ 11:25

Wednesday Sept. 8th:       Regular full day schedule (8:30-2:35) (elem) 2:40 (sec.)

Friday Sept. 10th                Grade 8 Trip to Rockridge Canyon


Covid Protocols

What will Continue:

All K-12 staff, visitors, and Grades 4 to 12 students are required to wear masks – indoors and on buses.


Daily health checks required for all staff and students.


A student or staff member who shows symptoms of illness during the day will be isolated and required to go home.


Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette will continue to be a priority.

No sharing of food or drink.


Schools will have procedures to manage traffic flow to minimize congestion.


Daily cleaning and disinfecting including the continuation of day custodians.


Daily attendance management including visitor information.


Ventilation systems outfitted with recommended filters will be regularly maintained.

What is New:

Students will no longer be in learning groups/cohorts. Students will be able to learn, socialize, and play with all their peers.


Students and staff will manage personal space. Physical distancing is not a requirement; however, schools will be mindful of room capacity and plan to reduce congestion.


Buses will not have seating plans (bus students still need to register HERE, if you have not already done so).


Extracurricular activities and field trips can resume.


Visitors are welcome in schools under the health and safety guidelines.


Regional health measures can be implemented by Interior Health as necessary based on local events.

Entering the Building

To reduce congestion, we are going to maintain separate entrances to the building for elementary and secondary students. Secondary students should enter through the front door or the back door by the secondary gym. Elementary students should enter through the elementary doors. (We will have adults stationed outside for the first week to guide students to the correct entrances).


School Fees:

Pay in the office by cash or cheque (please make any cheques payable to Similkameen Elementary Secondary School)


Pay online at Student Quick Pay (Pro tip:  you can also add funds to your child’s lunch account here!)  Instructions to create an account are HERE.

Grades 5-7- $40.00

This includes a $30.00 activity fee which will cover the costs of the elementary swimming program and ice skating.  The remainder covers the cost of the student planners and locker use.

Grade 8 & any secondary students who are new to the school - $50.00

This includes a $30.00 activity fee (which includes the trip to Rockridge Canyon), and $20.00 for a refundable textbook deposit.  

Grade 9-11- $30.00 This is an activity fee.

Grade 12- $110.00

This includes a $30.00 school activity fee as well as an $80.00 commencement fee which includes fees for the graduation ceremony, cap & gown rentals, photos, diplomas, etc.


Bus Registration:

All bus students must register each year they take the bus. To register your child(ren) for the 2021-22 school year please visit the School District 53 Transportation Page.


Food Services

Lunchtime cafeteria services and elementary snack cart will not be available until Monday Sept. 13th. Please ensure your child comes to school with their own lunches and snacks until then.


Student Contact Information:

As always it is essential that the student information we have on file is up to date so that our communication with parents is timely and accurate.  You can see the information we currently have on file by looking at your Parent Portal account, including who are your child’s emergency contacts.  If you have moved homes, or if any of your contact information (phone number, email address) have changed, please notify the office. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. 

We are looking forward to a smooth start-up this year and encourage parents to access our school website for more information. Should you have any questions, please contact the school at 250-499-2727. The office will be open Monday, August 30th to Friday September 3rd, from 8:30-3:30pm.

We are looking forward to a great year!