International school idea for Parksville on the back burner

District focusing more on the Canadian Ambassador Program

A proposed International school for Parksville is in a “go-slow phase,” while the ambassador program and the first conference of the related foundation go ahead.

School District 69 superintendent Rollie Koop said they are still working on an international academy with the Vancouver-based private investment company Wetegrity for the former Parksville Elementary site, but they are more focused on the “Canadian Ambassador Program.”

He said they hope to have an ambassador website up any day, they have three international recruiting trips in the works and hope to have the program up and running early in the new year. The idea is to bring together 15 local students and 15 international students to visit universities across the country with the hope that international students will choose to study post-secondary in Canada.

Koop has described it as a “classroom moving across the country.” It will cost domestic students $1,500 and international students $35,000 and they will earn graduation credits.

Meanwhile the international investors in Wetegrity have formed the International Sustainability Education Foundation which is hosting a conference at the Beach Club in Parksville tonight and tomorrow (Oct. 2-3).

Local residents are invited to the free event called ‘Sustainability of Small Communities: Why and How’ full of informative panels and talks on small town sustainability and development.

Guests include Parksville mayor Chris Burger, Whistler Blackcomb’s Arthur DeJong, past president of the International Centre for Sustainable Cities Dr. Nola-Kate Seymoar and Dr. Maged Senbel, an associate professor at the UBC School Of Community and Regional Planning.

The conference starts tonight at 7 p.m. and continues through tomorrow.

Register at www.eventbrite.com/e/sustainability-of-small-communities-why-and-how-tickets-12481040127 or RSVP at info@sustainabilityeducation.ca. Visit www.sustainabilityeducation.ca/events–publications.html or e-mail for more information.