Island Oak school adding Grade 8

Island Oak School staged Romeo and Juliet last year. - Peter W. Rusland
Island Oak School staged Romeo and Juliet last year.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Island Oak is getting the definition of an upgrade.

The North Cowichan Waldorf high school is adding another grade — Grade 8 — to its education arsenal.

Traditionally a Grade 9-12 school, the decision to add Grade 8 this September comes in response to community interest.

"Since the educational structure in the valley changed, we've been urged to add a Grade 8 by parents looking for a more intimate high school experience for their children than they thought would be possible at a large school."  said communications co-ordinator Vivi de Graff,.

"Almost any B.C. student can have this education because we admit students based on an interview; not on ability to pay tuition."

Island Oak specializes in small school education with a personalized educational experience. Its community of 40 students, seven faculty members and additional guest teachers focus on an arts, sciences and outdoor adventure program. It emphasizes hands-on learning and deep immersion into a single subject for several weeks at a time.

"We relocated to this school from a large secondary school farther up the island, so my son could be motivated to learn and be excited about life again." said Lynn Walker, who moved to Duncan last year to enroll her son.

Island Oak is a non-profit organization and registered charity.

The school will be holding an information session for interested parents and students on March 19 at 6 p.m. at the school on 5814 Banks Road, Duncan.

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