Sun Peaks is a wonderful place to live, work, play, and raise a family. We are a small, interconnected community with a great deal of spirit. That spirit is taking us in exciting new directions and we are pleased to be sharing these details with you.
Prior to 2010 this vibrant community had almost everything but a school. Parents and community members young and old, stood up to meet this need, and formed the Sun Peaks Education Society (SPES), a not-for-profit society whose goal is to offer the most stimulating educational experience in B.C. to children in our spectacular community.
With the assistance of Sun Peaks Resort Corporation, and the Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality, a school site for the Discovery Centre for Balanced Education (DCBE) was secured at the top of the Village Platter lift. Arrangements were made with the @KOOL (Kamloops Open Online Learning) to supply a district @KOOL teacher and curriculum, an independent educator was hired by the SPES, volunteers recruited, and students enrolled.
In 2010-2011, its fledgling year, the DCBE passed 18 students, from kindergarten to Grade five, through its doors with exceptional results. In year two the educational staff, building facility and student base was expanded and met the needs of 35 students, a number that exceeded our best expectations.
Year three, 2012-2013, again brought major changes and successes to the Sun Peaks schooling model. The Kamloops-Thompson School District 73 trustees voted in favour of supporting the kindergarten through Grade fives as a “traditional” public school in the district. SD73 now works in partnership with Sun Peaks Municipality, as well as with the SPES and Sun Peaks community, to administer and oversee the schooling of our elementary students. Grade 6 students were subsequently included in the SD73 Sun Peaks Elementary School, while the Grades 7 through 12 students continued to thrive in the DCBE.
Heading into the 2015-16 school year the Discovery Centre for Balanced Education (DCBE) was renamed the Sun Peaks Secondary Academy (SPSA) to better reflect and identify the school and it’s Grade 7-12 programming. In the spring of 2017 SD73 decided to expand Sun Peaks Elementary to include grade 7 for the 2017-18 school year so the SPSA will only offer Grades 8-12 starting in September 2017.
Now, the SPES’s primary mandate is to continue to offer a blended schooling model to our students in Grades 8 through 12. We continue to work in partnership with SD73, the @KOOL program and with our own teacher facilitator to offer the B.C. curriculum in a venue that values educational excellence, global stewardship and healthy outdoor lifestyles.
There are now about 120 students in grades Kindergarten through 12 being educated in their own community, Sun Peaks!