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Apr 3

  Surrey Christian School — with some 1,300 students, pre-K to grade 12 — works hard to link learning with real world issues such as helping refugees. “This isn’t a play world,” says Learning Director Darryl deBoer. “We want kids to participate in work that matters now. Our teachers are doing a lot of work… Read More »

Mar 6

Two independent elementary schools in Richmond—the Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy and the Richmond Jewish Day School— bridge multiple barriers for a joint project every year. First, they bring together Grade 6 and 7 students from the Jewish and Muslim faiths. Second, they take these students to the Downtown Eastside, exposing them to residents in Canada’s poorest… Read More »

Feb 2

The numbers are awe-inspiring. With recent retirements, the FISA board is losing more than 100 years of board experience. But rather than being daunted by this prospect, new president Ed Noot is energized by it. “We’re in a transitory year for sure, but there is no less enthusiasm,” he says. Ed gives full credit for… Read More »

Jan 2

The BC school system is changing in ways that most parents probably haven’t yet noticed. But teachers and administrators — from both public and independent systems — have been getting ready for these changes for several years now. The biggest transformation? A new curriculum. And if you think a curriculum is a dusty binder filled… Read More »

Dec 6

A common stereotype holds that university preparatory schools are academic hothouses designed to get top marks from students and then shoehorn them into the best possible Ivy League colleges. But the executive director of the umbrella organization for such schools — the ISABC — begs to differ. “Really,” says, Elizabeth Moore, “they are value-driven organizations… Read More »

Nov 10

Family values don’t necessarily mean religious values. The founding director of a Montessori school in Richmond, B.C., says that most schools under the Montessori umbrella are non-denominational. “It’s a very humanistic approach to the child uncovering themselves and their place in the world,” says Adina Priel. “When parents are looking for choice, but they don’t… Read More »

Nov 1

The Whistler Waldorf School started 18 years ago, a result of a parent-led initiative. But the real roots of Waldorf go back to 1919, to Stuttgart, Germany. Developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, the educational system was born at the end of the First World War out of a desire for social reform. It emphasizes… Read More »

Oct 17

There are facts. And then there are perceptions. Perceptions about how Independent schools are funded often lead to misunderstandings among BC taxpayers so FISA’s executive director, Peter Froese, is anxious to set the record straight. The first point he wants to emphasize is that no taxpayer money ever goes to capital costs for Independent schools… Read More »

Aug 22

Society demands choice in toothpaste, clothing, cars and restaurants — shouldn’t it allow choice in education as well? “That, in fact, is one of the core principles behind FISA“, says Doug Lauson – a former teacher, principal and Superintendent for the Catholic Independent Schools in the Vancouver Archdiocese. Now an educational consultant, Lauson remembers the… Read More »

Jun 16

Most parents have heard of home-schooling. But not everyone has heard of DL schooling — a hybrid style that joins home-based learning with support from — and accountability to —a traditional school. DL — which stands for “Distributed Learning” — is a growing opportunity in BC where some 40,180 students are enrolled in a combination… Read More »