$2 million boost for Pender school

August i9, 2016

On the Gulf Islands that dot the waters between the British Columbia main coast and Vancouver Island, schools are a major focal point of the communitihees as they are in any rural areas.

But to have the likelihood of a student increase on islands that are increasingly becoming retirement communities is rare.

In 2000, the Pender islands were facing such an increase and were financially rewarded for it:

Gulf Islands Driftwood – Pender Islands Edition

$2 million boost for Pender School

by Tanya Lester

With a recently approved education ministry grant of $2 million, Pender Island School could be double its current size in three years.

The announcement was made at the Gulf Islands School Board meeting held last Wednesday at the school.

Principal Mike Marshall said last week the funds where allotted because it is the only one of the Gulf Islands expected to grow in student numbers.

“It fit the formula for expansion,” explained secretary-treasurer Rod Scotvold at the board meeting.

Marshall said the growth is partly linked to more housing being available for young families on the Penders.

The community has actually outgrown the size of the school and is projected to continue (growing) for a decade,” said Marshall. “I’m glad for the kids. It will give them more opportunities certainly on Pender and even on the other Outer Islands.”

He is thinking about possible student exchanges between, for ehxample, the Gulf Islands Film and Television School on Galiano and a science laboratory expected to be part of the Pender addition.

There will be a new classroom, shop areas with home economic and technology laboratories complete with computers, a larger library, a multi-purpose area and a much-needed increase in office, counselling and storage spaces.

Marshall said that more space will be welcome particularly in the secondary distributed learning program.

“It’s fun going through the process,” said Marshall. “The beneficiaries are the kids and communities.”

He added that the community in general will benefit, for instance, from Internet workshops and more library resources.

A whole series of planning steps will now start, said Marshall, which could be interrupted temporarily at some point by a Ministry of Education funding freeze.

A new principal will sit in the larger office. Interviewing for Marshall’s replacement is scheduled for April 25 and April 26. The Gulf Islands School Board has received 59 applications from BC and Alberta educators, Marshall said.

He said is considering other opportunities on Salt Spring Island where his family lives, and where he was school superintendent before taking the Pender position.


Tanya Lester is a psychic who does tea leaf reading, tarot, psychic channelling and mediumship. For more go to teareading.wordpress.com  or her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Or contact her directly at. tealeaf.56@gmail.com or call 250-538-0086. Her blog is at tealeaf56.wordpress.com and writingsmall.wordpress.com

She is also a housesitter and a reiki master.




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