The first modular classroom arrived in Campbell River this week, in preparation for all day-kindergarten which begins this fall.
École Willow Point Elementary, with nearly two-thirds of its students in kindergarten to Grade 3, is the first Campbell River school to receive one of the 140 modular classrooms the province is building to accommodate the 40,000 students expected to enter full-day kindergarten across B.C. in September.
“This new classroom is an exciting addition to École Willow Point and brings us one step closer to establishing all-day kindergarten in school district 72 in the fall,” said Helen Moates, school district 72 board of education trustee and chair. “The district is happy to have the opportunity to expand an already vibrant and important kindergarten program to the youngest members of its community.”
In Campbell River, the provincial government is investing about $1.9 million to construct nine modular classrooms at elementary schools – two at École Willow Point, two at Ocean Grove, two at Penfield, two at Pinecrest and one at Sandowne.
The classrooms, which are moved in two parts and set on either permanent or temporary foundations, have 90 square metres of teaching space, making them larger than conventional classrooms. They are energy efficient, with wood visible in 50 per cent of the structure.
“It has bright colours, high ceilings and natural lighting that will provide young students with a healthy, nurturing learning environment,” said a release from the Ministry of Education.
Unlike the old portables, modular classrooms have high windows to allow for lots of natural light and cross-ventilation and have the same lifespan as a standard classroom. They also have their own washrooms.
In addition to the modular classrooms, the province has spent more than $980,000 for a two-classroom addition at Ripple Rock Elementary and about $30,000 to convert two elementary classrooms for kindergarten use.
The full-day kindergarten program is available for every eligible five-year-old starting school in 2011. It is a play-based learning program aimed to help students build a strong foundation for success in school.