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North Shore public schools offer meaningful choice for elementary school students

November 21, 2016


NORTH VANCOUVER/WEST VANCOUVER, November 20, 2016 — Public education on the North Shore is renowned for offering world-class education that fosters a sense of discovery beginning in kindergarten, and continuing throughout graduation and beyond. Students are inspired to succeed through engaging programs that focus on who students are and who they want to become. Providing choice to students in elementary school is essential to supporting each and every child’s individual learning goals.

“The real world does not operate in isolation – the links that public educators have with community partners and academic researchers help us identify student needs and interests, often well before they enter kindergarten,” said Sean Nosek, Director of Instruction. “At each grade level, we work with teachers, parents and students to leverage curiosity, identify personal interests, reinforce social-emotional development and build leadership skills.”

Both the North Vancouver School District and West Vancouver Schools offer sought after French Immersion programs. Elementary school students learn all essential curricular skills, while also learning French.

“French Immersion is an excellent program with dedicated teachers, and its sustained popularity is testament to the passion and expertise of the French Immersion staff. It is also reflective of the growing number of parents on the North Shore who choose to give their children the opportunity to become functionally bilingual,” said Dr. Joanne Robertson, Director of Instruction, North Vancouver School District.

The Primary Years International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes offered by both public school districts are also in very high demand. IB is a world recognized educational approach that focuses on developing the whole child as an inquirer and places learning into an interdisciplinary and global context. Other elementary choice programs offered by both North Vancouver School District and West Vancouver Schools include music and art programs, as well as the StrongStart program for younger children who are preparing for kindergarten.

West Vancouver Schools also offers students the option to study in a Montessori setting. The classroom is prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop his/her learning, interacting with the teacher when support or guidance is needed.

Ignite your Passion (IYP) is another program unique to West Vancouver Schools. Available to children across the district in grades 6 and 7, the program offers students the opportunity to explore an area of interest – such as robotics, fencing or dance – before they enter high school. The program, taught and delivered mainly by high school instructors on secondary school sites after the regular school day, is designed to help students make an easier transition from elementary school to high school.

The North Vancouver School District’s Artists for Kids program provides the highest quality fine arts training for all students. Students from across the entire school district are provided the opportunity to learn in a professional art gallery from professional artists. Afterschool art programs further enhance fine arts instruction offered to students.

The Cheakamus Centre is an incredibly valued component of the North Vancouver School District. The flagstone Outdoor School and Bighouse programs have been serving North Vancouver students for the past 47 years. Students engage in deep and meaningful learning across subject areas by taking their learning outdoors into nature. Extensive teaching trails, forests, salmon spawning channels, ponds, special resource classrooms and break out spaces are utilized to provide hands-on learning tied to the new BC curriculum.


Providing choice for all students is a commitment exemplified by the public school system on the North Shore. Both the North Vancouver School District and West Vancouver Schools are known worldwide for exceptional programs that inspire excellence in all students.

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