A new school year is about to begin, and with it we welcome new faces to the Bella Coola Adventist School. Miss Renee Johnson is here from Richmond to join our staff as the K-4 teacher and is also taking on the big task of Principle. Her experience primarily lies with the Primary grades and for the last couple of years, she has worked as a Special Needs Education Assistant. What brought her from the big city to our little town of Bella Coola? “It’s so pretty here. I love mountains, I love the ocean and here I have both. It’s like I can see the hands of God in all the beauty that surrounds me”. She is looking forward to the character building that living in a small town is supposed to bring, “I hear it’s good for you” she stated with a mischievous smile.
She is joined by two other staff members this year, familiar faces to our valley: Mrs. CJ (Lucinda) Dixon, and Mr. Allan Kaytor. They will be teaming up in the upper grade classroom involving grades 5-9. Both are welcome additions to our team as they both have had a vested interest in our school for many years. CJ Dixon has worked in different capacities in our school since the year 2000, some of those jobs including Education Assistant, Librarian, Special Needs Education Assistant, Secretary, supervising the renovations of the school for the last 14 years as well as many other helpful roles. To say that she has a vested interest in the well-being of our school is an understatement.
Mr. Kaytor, has been involved as well as a male role-model in our school, assisting in the physical education classes and supporting our teachers in an Education Assistant role. Allan has worked as a teacher for 20 years and is looking forward to teaching here in our school.
“It is fantastic to have teachers that are new to this school, yet have such varied backgrounds in education”, says CJ Dixon. “We are all fresh, but have the experience to keep our expectations and goals realistic.” “The entire staff here is friendly and team orientated. You can tell that they all care about the welfare of our students” Principle Renee Johnson noted “We didn’t have to walk on eggshells when we got together to discuss the school year, we just got down and did the work.”
In what our teachers have planned this year, it would seem that both classrooms have a common goal; “service”, for the sake of service within our community. “We are a community school” says a board member. “I think that many people believe that we are only here for the kids that are within our church, when in fact we are non-discriminatory of students that wish to join our school. Though we are Christ centered, we believe and practice the inclusion of all cultures and beliefs and welcome them equally with open arms.”
CJ Dixon explains the benefit of multi-grade classrooms beautifully, “If a child is in grade 7 and still struggles with grade 6 Math, they can listen in when that subject is being taught and have a chance to refresh and relearn what they found difficult. Likewise, a student in grade 6 that finds Math simple and needs a challenge can listen in to the grade 7 lesson and challenge themselves with a higher level.” Our school offers low student to teacher ratio, with each classroom capped at 15 students, making our maximum enrollment 30 students in all. We have two Polyvision Touchboards used in the classrooms, and computers for the students to use when needed for school projects. A full Home Economics program for the grades 5-9, morning exercises and music to start the day in the K-4 classroom allow a very small glimpse of the full programs our teachers are looking forward to providing. “The students will learn”, assures Principle Johnson.
School starts September 2, 2014 and if you are interested remember that there is only a one-time $100.00 registration fee. Tuition is free. If you wish to inquire further please call 250-799-5910 or stop by. Our staff and teachers are willing to meet with you and answer any questions you may have.