Starting the conversation

Potential partners continue to hash out details related to a private international school setting up shop in Parksville

An effort to bring an international school program to Parksville is gaining momentum.

Representatives from the International Sustainability Education Foundation — one of two Vancouver-based private companies leading the project — spent last week in Parksville meeting with School District 69 officials, including superintendent Rollie Koop.

The other private partner is Wetegrity Investment Group, which has provided $100,000 in start-up funding and has earmarked $1.5 million to come. SD 69 will contribute a site lease and staff time.

According to a news release issued by the school district, what has been deemed “The Parksville International Academy” will offer short-duration, English-language programs for school-age students and academic English-language programs for adults. Additionally, partners are looking to start a cross-country program seeing international students travel between Canadian universities in an effort to promote Canadian post-secondary schools.

Koop said the partners want to “establish Parksville Qualicum Beach as a place for international conversation about sustainability and practice.”

He said partners discussed last week creating an outdoor recreation program for international students similar to the existing ROAMS program.

“We’re a sell,” said Koop, of the outdoor activities Parksville Qualicum Beach has to offer. He said there has been dialog about tapping into local golf courses and places like Horne Lake Caves as “economic components that parallel tourism in some respect.”

Koop said while the project is in “preliminary stages” some ideas may come to fruition as early as January 2015, such as the post-secondary program.

Moreover, Koop said partners discussed hosting two community events — one slated for late summer and the other for early winter — where sustainability will be the primary topic of conversation.

“We’re going to bring in some top notch thinkers on sustainability,” he said. “People will be impressed with the quality of the folks we’re bringing into the community (to talk about sustainability and education).”

While the site of the academy is not yet secured, Koop said the idea is to repurpose Parksville Elementary, one of four district elementary schools closing this year, into a residential village made up of cottages to accommodate students while they are here.

Koop said the community response has been good so far.

“Certainly there is a level of excitement of the potential of having more students come into our community,” he said. “We (SD 69) are committed to working together to find options to establish our community as a place of sound education and sustainability and to share that with the world.”

Just Posted

Parksville council members vote themselves a hike in pay

Mayor goes from $40.9K to $52.5K and councillors from $16.9K to $30K

Multi-use village green space proposed for Qualicum Beach

Early development plans see a gathering space at the old bus garage site

UPDATE: City of Parksville buys 222 Corfield site

With the purchase, the city will not facilitate cold-weather shelter on property

Thirty trees destroyed in Parksville’s Cedar Ridge Estates

Damage estimated at $30K; city says vandals intended to permanently ruin the trees

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

So, do you know ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’?

Ontario man searching for fellow he travelled with in Europe 50 years ago

Parksville mom who lost son to brain tumour joins 24th annual walk

Brain Tumour Walk takes place at the University of Victoria on Sunday, May 26

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Most Read