Are you a certified independent school that follows the BC Curriculum?
Yes we are! We received interim certification in April 2020 for our opening in September 2020. We will receive full certification after our inspection in October 2020. Our enriched nature and community based education meets or exceeds all requirements of the BC curriculum.
What is your class size and student to teacher ratio?
We commit to no more than ten students per grade, and no more than a 10:1 student to teaching staff ratio. This is not a random choice to appeal to those looking for small classes. It is fundamental to our effective exploration of nature and our city.
How much is tuition?
Our tuition is $6,000 for September to June. This is paid by an initial $150.00 enrolment fee, and a further $5850.00 most often paid in 10 monthly instalments of $585.00.
what is your admissions policy?
The Balsam School is non-denominational and enrols students from grade K to grade 3 upon completion of enrolment requirements and placement availability. These requirements may include, but are not limited to, readiness, IELTS/TOEFL testing and/or achievement tests, a review of the student’s previous records, confirmation that the student has the emotional and physical regulation skills to participate fully in The Balsam School program, and evidence that the parents/guardians share in the mission and goals of The Balsam School, based upon its philosophy and purpose. The Balsam School is a very unique program and the social, emotional and physical demands of the program result in some students not being offered admission. Unlike a traditional school, The Balsam School has multiple ‘field trips’ each day. Our students leave the very predictable and secure facility of The Balsam School daily and venture into the potentially unpredictable environment of nature and our community. A student who is not able to manage multiple and varied transitions throughout the day, follow and react quickly to direct instructions, or whose behaviour causes disruption to the movement and operation of the group while out of school, presents a potential safety hazard to themselves, their classmates and staff and will not be approved for initial admission, or continued enrolment.
Do you have special education supports?
The Balsam School has limited supports for students with special education needs. Students with diverse abilities may be well suited to join the Balsam School if they are able to meaningfully and safely participate in all aspects of the program, if space permits and if in the Principal ’s judgment, adequate provision and/or special programs can be made. Fees for any special materials, supplies, and/or additional instruction may be required and will be the responsibility of the parent. These fees are in addition to the regular tuition fees.
What safety precautions are taken while in the community and nature?
At Balsam, routines and expectations are set early with the students to ensure safety, and to maximize the learning opportunities and enjoyment of our community and the outdoors. Our Emergency Preparedness Plan includes appropriate training requirements for staff, protocols for both expected and unexpected situations, drills, student education and community and environmental awareness. Our students learn how to react safely to various situations from finding a disposed needle while on a walk to the Art Gallery, to identifying potentially toxic plants while on a walk in the woods.
What is your covid-19 response? May I review your Plan?