New Alpine Independent School hosts information nights

The Alpine Independent School held its first information sessions on March 15th & 16th at the College of the Rockies.

The Alpine Independent School held its first information sessions on March 15th & 16th at the College of the Rockies.

The recently established Alpine Independent School hosted its first open house last Tuesday and Wednesday, garnering a large amount of community interest and giving the board of directors the momentum to move forward into the next stages of creating the new school.

Alpine    Independent School was created by a group of Golden parents concerned over the school board’s September decision to eliminate early French immersion in Golden. The new school is funded partially by the provincial government and governed by a not-for-profit society. It will offer K-2 French immersion classes, with the hopes of expanding programming in years to come.

Ian Blanchard, a local parent and board member for the school, said the whole board is really happy with the turnout at the information nights.

“There was a steady stream of interested parents both evenings, which is really exciting for us,” said Blanchard.

All of the directors were present at the information nights, choosing to engage in one on one conversation instead of a more formal presentation —a model that reflects the school’s vision.

A core group of parents got together immediately after the school board’s decision to cut early French immersion last fall. They asked themselves one question: What would our dream school look like?

After much productive discussion and some debating, the vision of “inspiring children to be global citizens by developing their individual potential through creativity, experience, learning and adventure” was solidified. The school’s mission is to provide a safe, engaging, multilingual learning community that fosters every child’s natural curiosity, and supports full development of academic, social, artistic, physical, and life skills.

“We want to look for the spark in every child and then engage them in a practical and respectful manner so they develop a lifelong love of learning,” said Blanchard.

So what will this actually look like?

Blanchard explained that the school will focus on allowing the students to learn at their own pace, and will have a strong focus on arts and outdoor education.

A typical morning will include academic learning, while the afternoon session will focus on creative and outdoor activities.

The school will receive 35 per cent funding from the  provincialgovernment for the upcoming school season, which is the most an independent school (which follows BC curriculum and hired BC certified teachers) can get in its first year. The school is hoping to receive 50 per cent funding next year in order to keep tuition for Golden parents as low as possible.

The board of directors at the Alpine Independent School want to emphasize that they are working hard to ensure the school is as inclusive as it can be. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the school or becoming involved can email info@kheiss.org or call 250-344-3202.

School registration will take place on April 11,12 and 13 at the College of the Rockies, Room 111, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.