North Okanagan-Shuswap School District could move ahead with outdoor school as early as next year | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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North Okanagan-Shuswap School District could move ahead with outdoor school as early as next year

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December 20, 2017 - 1:00 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District is thinking outside the box.

The district wants to open an outdoor school, and a big step forward for the proposal was achieved last night, Dec. 19, when official trustee Mike McKay approved it in principle.

“I want to get behind this and make it happen,” McKay says in a release from the school district. 

The school would be Kindergarten to Grade 6, and would open in September 2018 at the former South Canoe School, which is currently not in use. The property is located in a rural setting within walking distance of ponds, a city park and a large trail system.

McKay says a high quality, nature-based program can make a profound difference for students.

"We are wired to be out there,” McKay says.

RELATED STORY: These Kamloops women want a school that moves learning outside the classroom

In order for South Canoe School to re-open, the district requires permission from the Agricultural Land Reserve. That request has gone in and the district is asking that it be expedited.

There appears to be lots of interest already in the program, with more than 500 parents surveyed indicating they would be interested in enrolling their child at the outdoor school. Another 119 have already submitted intent to register forms.

Several Salmon Arm schools are reaching full capacity, and the re-opening of South Canoe could also help with space issues, the district says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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