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Aboriginal public school opening in Nanaimo in September

September will see the doors open at a new Aboriginal public school in Nanaimo. It has the support of the Mid Island Metis Nation, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Vancouver Island, the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre and School District 84.

The school will be run out of the Boys and Girls Club facility in Nanaimo on Fifth Street. Chris Beaton, the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre’s Executive Director, says it’ll be the first of its kind in BC, since it won’t be connected to an existing school. Beaton says the curriculum will cater to the cultural backgrounds of the students, whether they’re aboriginal or not.

Beaton says it will be just one classroom, with kindergarten to grade 3 students all learning together like the old one-room schoolhouses of the past. He says it’s just another alternative that may appeal to certain families.

Beaton says the model is based on other innovative education models on the island, like the outdoor curriculum for kindergarten students in the Sooke and Victoria school districts.

They’re still working on a name for the new school. Beaton says they’re going to be accepting between 20 and 22 students this year and registration is already open.

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Contact Joy Bremner at 250-740-0223 or Chris Beaton at 250-753-6911 or email [email protected]a for more details.

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