Patrick Gale, a teacher at EMCS, is taking the lead in a proposed environmental academy at the local high school. (Tim Collins - Black Press Media)

New Sooke education academy focuses on environment, community

Program still requires school board approval

Edward Milne Community School staff has developed a new academy aimed at the environment and community.

The program — the Environmental Studies Academy — combines classroom and science lab work with hands-on outdoor learning opportunities.

“I’m super excited about this program. We already have a strong ecological focus at EMCS and this is a perfect fit,” Laura Fulton, the school’s principal, said.

“This will allow students to get into their learning in a very deep and meaningful way.”

The courses offered within the academy include social studies and science, entrepreneurship and marketing, and foods. There will also be the possibility of integrating other courses like careers, sustainability, outdoor education, community connections and service learning into the academy program.

ALSO READ: T’Souke First Nation hopes to share its environmental wisdom

“We’ll be funnelling the programs together into a full-day program where students will learn through nature and experiential learning,” Patrick Gale, applied skills department head, said.

“There will still be a lot of classroom time, of course, but the program will allow us to explore eco-systems and habitats through activities like kayaking, whale watching, studies at the salmon hatchery, and work in our gardens.”

Pending Sooke School District board approval, the program will begin in the first semester of 2020/2021 and run from September to January.

The program is in line with a growing body of academic research that indicates nature and garden-based education has academic, health, and social benefits as well as contributing to the enhancement of community connections for students in those programs, said school officials.

“There are other cohort based programs like this (in other locations), but our location in Sooke makes it the perfect place to offer this program,” Fulton said.

And while there are intrinsic benefits to the new educational approach, Gale said the academy has the potential of directing some students into emerging careers in environmental studies and entrepreneurship.

“It may have a lasting impact on what these students decide to do in their future, and at the same time will create stronger connections between the students and their community.”

The program should be available for registration by Feb. 3, when it appears on the academy calendar on the EMCS website.

Grade 8 and 9 students will have the opportunity to express their interest in the program, and 28 students will be selected to participate in the academy.

“We don’t anticipate any problems filling all the slots and may have to conduct a selection process if the numbers of students expressing interest exceeds the space available,” Fulton said.

Students from any B.C. school district can apply for entrance in the academy program.

The program will complement the Grade 11 and 12 environmental studies programs at EMCS as well as other environmental studies and activities across the school division.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Environmentsooke school district

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New branch of Royal BC Museum to be built in Colwood

New faclity in the Royal Bay development will house collections, archives and research department

Woman arrested for hit and run that left another vehicle in Colwood front lawn

The woman was issued a 24 hour driving prohibition and a ticket

New urgent, primary care health centre opens in Saanich come November

North Quadra area facility to provide same-day, ongoing care for folks without family doctors

McKenzie interchange project drives towards completion

Motorists asked to continue following construction zone signage as crews will be on site into the fall

B.C. reports 122 new COVID-19 cases as health officials urge smaller social circles

Health officials urge against shaming and blaming patients

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read