Norgate Xwemélch’stn Community Elementary
North Vancouver School District

Why We Chose Norgate Community School



We have lived in the Norgate neighborhood for 15 years.  We have 3 children, ages 15, 11 and 8.  I am a stay at home parent and my husband of 23 years is a tenured university professor.  We enjoy the small size, tight knit community of Norgate.


Our children’s' education started with them entering the local Norgate Parent Participation Preschool.  We liked the preschool because I could participate as my children started socializing with their peers.  We could meet other parents in the neighborhood and know that our children had friends that were close by.


When it became time for our children to enter school we had choices to make.  We are a Catholic family and we could have placed our children in a Catholic school.  We could have requested that our children attend Capilano with larger class sizes.  We chose Norgate because we wanted our children to socialize with their peers in the immediate neighborhood.  We wanted our children to be able to walk to school on their own with confidence, independence and safety.  We wanted them to be proud of their community.  We didn't look at FSA scores or Fraser Institute ratings because these data points were not important to us.  We know that we are an integral partner in our children’s education and fully participate in school activities, and assist our children with reading, writing and math skills.


Norgate school is small, and the opportunities for extra-curricular activities are also few.  Our children do not go on many field trips but the opportunity for after school programs are interesting and top-notch.  Our children pretty much know each and every child and staff member in the school.  The staff and students can greet us and our children by name.  There are no strangers here.  They look out for one another.  Our children have developed compassion and empathy as they learn side by side other children with special needs.  They have opportunites to learn above their grade level, or help out others below their grade level in blended classes, an excellent way to further their own understanding.


It is true that the Norgate neighborhood has a lower mean income compared to other communities in North and West Vancouver.  We have fewer opportunities for fundraising.  The Ministry of Education and the local school board, should be targeting their funding to increase opportunities for enriched learning that struggling schools, and PACs, cannot provide on their own.


What we wanted for our children in elementary school was to learn to read, write, and succeed in math.  We wanted them to learn to question and explore.  We wanted them to learn the golden rule of “do unto others and you would have done unto you”.  We wanted them to learn independence and become confindent.  We wanted them to learn compassion, empathy and interpersonal social skills.  We firmly believe that Norgate has met all our requirements.

Dan and Patty Bizzotto