Outdoor learning is a popular way for young people to be educated. Black Press file photo.

Idea for Chase Primary floated

An outdoor learning school would require parent support and commitment.

A retired Chase teacher has an idea for the former Chase Primary School that he would like parents to consider.

Brian David thinks Chase Primary would be the ideal location for a School of Choice – an outdoor learning school for Kamloops-Thompson School District.

David emphasizes that a school of choice can only open if a sufficient number of parents step forward to show serious interest, and if sufficient numbers of parents within the entire district will commit to enroll their children.

He says he doesn’t want the community to get the impression that they can go to the board office and ask a trustee to open the school.

“That’s not how it works for a school of choice. It’s totally parent-driven.”

David notes that the North Okanagan-Shuswap School District has recently approved the opening of an outdoor learning school in Salmon Arm. More than 80 students have committed to enrol in the vacant elementary school, and a district survey indicated 522 families expressed an interest in enrolling.

Related link: Outdoor school to open in Salmon Arm

Related link: Outdoor school to start registration

“Parents in Chase and throughout SD73, please study the North Okanagan – Shuswap SD83 website, an excellent initial resource to learn about and understand the philosophy and vision of outdoor learning schools,” he urges.

David attended three schools in Chase, including Chase Primary. He retired from teaching from the same high school in Chase where he graduated.

“I’m attempting to be a catalyst here to bring this opportunity to the community… I’m not a parent, and not an educator in the system anymore, I just see an opportunity and with my past experience in teaching and in business, and as a past Chase resident, I feel there’s a window of opportunity.”

He presents reasons why he thinks an outdoor learning school could fly in Chase.

One is the former Chase Primary, which is now vacant. Another is the fact that no such school exists in the district, with the McQueen Lake Outdoor Learning Centre structured only for short-stay school visits. An outdoor learning school would also be in close proximity to excellent four-season water and land-based learning opportunities, within Secwepemc lands and the village.

David says if all parents within the school district who are interested in the option gather, and a thorough plan is created – perhaps via a working committee, then parents could ask to make a formal presentation to the school board.

“My thoughts are that there will be a tremendous amount of interest,” he says. “It would be a huge boost for Chase for the community to see that school open… It’s very appealing.”

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