Education in the Slocan District
New Denver’s K–12 public school (Lucerne Elementary/Secondary School) also houses a preschool, a StrongStart Centre and a Distributed Learning Centre for independent learners.
Slocan has a K–10 school (W. E. Graham Community School) with a focus on outdoor education, and a preschool. The StrongStart Centre is located in Winlaw, 15 minutes south of Slocan. Many Slocan youth attend high school at Mt. Sentinel Secondary in South Slocan, a one-hour bus ride.
Lucerne Elementary/Secondary School
About 100 students from preschool through Grade 12 attend Lucerne School in New Denver, so close friendships are made as children go through their whole academic life together. Life in a small school with a garden and greenhouse, and surrounded by wilderness, means small classes, one-on-one time with teachers, low student-to-teacher ratios, attention to special needs children, a family atmosphere, and an outdoor learning environment right outside the door.
Lucerne School has won awards for its innovative programs, including Spring and Fall into Learning – week-long elective courses for secondary students. Courses have included film animation, photography, web design as well as canoe and hiking trips. The school’s Writers’ Festival brings in authors for a week of writing workshops, culminating in an evening coffeehouse where students and visiting professionals read their work.
Lucerne also has a Distributed Learning Centre for homeschoolers, teens and adults who are following an independent study program.
New Denver Nursery School
The New Denver Nursery School is located at Lucerne School. Under the expert guidance of an Early Childhood Educator, children from 30 months to 5 years learn through play, encouraging healthy development socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically and creatively.
This free drop-in program held in the New Denver Nursery School room at Lucerne School is for children 5 and under with their parents or caregivers.
W.E. Graham Community School
Webpage – www2.sd8.bc.ca/schools/weg/default.htm
W.E. Graham in Slocan has about 60 students from Kindergarten to Grade 10, and an Alternate Education Program for students to Grade 12. The school focuses on outdoor education and environmental awareness. For several years, the school received the platinum CAPHERD (Canadian Association for Physical Health Education) Award for daily physical activity.
The school offers the Valhalla Wilderness Program for Grades 9 and 10 students. This award-winning program is of particular interest to those pursuing a career in wilderness and outdoor recreation. The program follows the curriculum for Grades 9 and 10, combining classroom work with outdoor adventures.
The W.E. Graham Community Service Society
Webpage – http://wegcss.org/
The W.E. Graham Community Service Society is next to the school, and offers a wide variety of programs. Some of these are a youth centre, a food bank and a seniors’ luncheon.
The Valhalla Daycare/Preschool
The Valhalla Daycare/Preschool runs out of the W.E. Graham Community Service building three days a week for children age 2 ½ to 5 years.
StrongStart, for children under 5 and their caregivers, is offered at Winlaw Elementary School, 15 minutes south of Slocan.
Website – http://selkirk.ca
Selkirk College has its main campuses in Castlegar and Nelson, where a wide variety of college programs are offered, and has small campuses in Nakusp, Kaslo, Trail and Grand Forks, where Adult Basic Education and Continuing Education courses are offered. The Rural Development Institute at the college conducts research useful for business planning (See Business Support Organizations section of this website).
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy
Website – www.CBAL.org
CBAL is a non-profit organization that promotes literacy throughout the Columbia Basin.
DESK: Distance Education School of the Kootenays
Website – www.desk.bc.ca
DESK is an innovative centre for online learning. It offers B.C. Ministry of Education K–12 curriculum leading to Grade 12 graduation and unique courses developed locally.