Pender Island is part of school district 64 (Gulf Islands). We have one school on Pender Island - Pender Island Elementary Secondary School. I believe we have approximately 140 students for 2007/2008.
Although our school is Kindergarten to Grade 12, most students continue until grade 8 and then continue grades 9-12 on Salt Spring Island at Gulf Island Secondary School known as GISS. Students take a water taxi from Pender to Salt Spring each day. Some students find a billet family to connect with so that students can participate in extra curricular activities. We do have a school bus program which involves taking Secondary students to the water taxi as well as a regular route for local students.
Our school is currently on a 4 day school week. Most weeks school is Monday to Thursday. When there is a Holiday Monday students will attend on the Friday. In order to have the same amount of instructional hours in a school year as a standard 5 day week the length of each day has been extended and breaks have been shortened. This year Spring Break started on Good Friday (March 21) and students will return to school on April 7th, 2008.
Many if not all of our classes are split classes usually combining two grades. Class structure changes each year based on enrolment and resources available.
The school encourages students to "Be kind. Be respectful." Our current goals focus on Numeracy, Literacy (including media literacy) and School Culture. Students of all ages actively participate in theme days and event planning.
Please check out our school district's website to find out more about each school, class time schedule and bus schedules. http://www.sd64.bc.ca/ or call our school at (250) 629-3711.
There is also a community of Home schooling/Distance Learning families in the Gulf Islands.
Additional resources in the area - Our school is across the street from the medical centre. In addition to that the Dragonfly Child Care Centre is connected to the school. There are programs for toddlers to Preschoolers. Preschoolers have the opportunity to become familiar with coming to school grounds regularly making the transition to Kindergarten natural. We also have a Montessori school for preschoolers (not located on the school grounds). Both preschools are reviewed as reputable in our community.
Other Activities: In a community rich with talent in the Arts it is no wonder we have so many opportunities for children. Most activities are at low/ reasonable cost or sometimes free. Many programs will assist low income families when needed as well. Some of the activities we have for children on Pender are: children's choir, violin lessons, piano lessons, other music lessons, different art classes periodically, H4 (farming and agriculture), kid's club, dance, gymnastics, swim club, karate, baseball, soccer, junior sailing and eco-camps. There are also opportunities for children to attend other activities on Vancouver Island at any of the local recreation centers. In the winter months Pete rents time at the Panorama Rec Centre arena on Fridays so that Pender kids can learn to skate, have fun and play hockey - low cost to those who participate. Fun for all the kids and parents to be together in this way.
Please let me know if this information has been useful for you! I would love to hear from you.