Hornby Island Community School 2018-19
Our mission is to provide a safe, secure and inclusive environment, which fosters each student's positive self-concept and which creates opportunities for each youngster to grow to his or her potential.
As a community school, our mission is to reflect and support the community of Hornby Island in an inclusive, integrated manner through advocacy, programs, services and activities that respond to expressed needs of individuals and the community .
At Hornby Island Community School we value community and its natural environment.
We embrace attributes of:
· 21st Century Learning
· Project Based Learning
· Place Based Learning
We put children's intellectual, emotional and physical development first.
We envision and support:
· An environment safe for risk taking, responsibility, and being receptive to learning through building of strong relationships in a nurturing, open and honest space
We hold a vision of our school actively supporting community and in turn a community that supports our school. Hornby Island Community School is a reflection of our vibrant community, thriving because it is unique.
School Context – Who are We?
Sadly, we have lost an amazing facility that really felt like a home in a devastating fire on August 26, 2018. Our open library in the heart of our school, and the two classrooms connected to it, made up the hub of our learning space. Our learners spent a lot of time in our library researching for projects, individual/small group activities, and visiting our Makerspace.
Our gym was very large, and provided gymnasium space for the community in the evenings as well. The Hornby Island Preschool (located on our same property), also visited the school for time in the library and gym. Another program, "Toddler Drop-in" took place in our school. Parents came together with a facilitator and their children for some time together one morning per week. The Hornby Island Educational Society (HIES) and Hornby Island Recreation Association (HIRA)offered after school opportunities for our learners such as tennis, second language, arts/crafts, etc. in our school building.
The Natural History Centre was also located in our school, and the stewards that worked there often offered programs for our students to support areas of study e.g. fossils, animal habitats etc.
The school property is located off of Vancouver Island. It takes about an hour and a half to reach the school (if the ferry schedule lines up!) from Courtenay. Our school is both rural and remote. Many families require an element of flexibility for educational needs of their children due to the seasonal "pulse" and economy of the island, family holiday times, housing accommodations, and seasonal employment.
In response to need, Hornby Island Community School became a "Blended Learning" school. What this means, is that we value both learning that happens within the school but also the learning that happens outside of the school. We provide additional supports for learning at home and a student learning plan outlining individual next steps. Teachers at the school carry our SPARK (talents) meetings with families 3 times per year to create learning plans and identify student strengths and next steps.
Our staff also require flexibility in meeting the needs of our 44 learners K-7 across all subject areas. All staff teach/work with all learners at varying points in our week. Learners are organized into "Base Camps" of K-2 and 3-7 with their main teacher and then, from there, are part of "working groups" to give attention to individual next steps. Learners attend Monday –Thursday. There are three teachers, and an arts teacher one day per week. Our support staff consists of an Administrative Assistant, Library Clerk, Custodian, and an Educational Assistant.
The mental, physical, and emotional energy given each day by our staff to work out the logistics to keep our learning environments safe, supportive, engaging, and stable as possible, is a true reflection of their commitment to our learners and their professionalism through an unfathomable experience.
We are so thankful to be together and learning in spaces so loved by the community. We feel so grateful to the community for coordinating their other events and occupancy to be at alternate locations so we can create a learning environment for our kids. We have been fully wrapped in love and support through this event and we commit to looking forward to our "what is next".
Our next step is to move into a modular school arrangement in the new year. This will remove several challenges e.g. putting up and taking down school, multiage/stage/grade working group space being closer, all being on the same side of the road etc. It will be the next phase of a long journey of learning and rebuilding together.
Probably the most important things that has stood out through our experience has been that our school building was not the heart of "The Hornby Island Community School". It was an amazing facilitator of learning with its hallways, rooms, and spaces, but "The Hornby Island Community School" are the people that filled its walls and we can travel and learn anywhere if we are together and our learning goals remain the same. Resourcefulness, resilience, stamina, flexibility etc. are all attributes we strive to build in our days together.