Sylvan Lake students were back at the books as of September 1. Buses are back in action and school staff were excited to see the start of a new school year.
Particularily excited for this school year is Trevor Sanche, principal of Sylvan Lake’s newest school – Beacon Hill Elementary School.
Beacon Hill Elementary School was initially scheduled to open on Sept. 1, however due to complications related to weather and materials the facility is instead expected to open on November 15.
The 270 students of the new school are currently being housed at C.P. Blakely School and Steffie Woima School until the facility is complete. Currently six of Beacon Hill’s classes are located at C.P. Blakely and five at Steffie Woima.
Principal Sanche explained the students of Beacon Hill Elementary will start the school year with the same class mates and teachers adding the only change will be in location once Beacon Hill is complete.
“I would absolutely like to thank C.P. Blakely and Steffie Woima. The administration through to the teaching and non teaching staff have been tremendously flexible and accommodating. They have made it a very smooth transition so far.”
“It’s a challenging situation that they have made much better with regard to how smooth things have gone just because of how much they have welcomed us.”
He added the parents of Beacon Hill’s students have also been extremely supportive despite the delay in opening.
Shawn Russell, Associate Superintendent of Corporate Services for Chinook’s Edge School Division said he feels Beacon Hill Elementary will be a facility the community will be very proud of upon completion.
“It is a wonderful facility and I think once we are able to get the students in there and the community is able to see the facility everyone will be very pleased with the opportunities it will provide for Beacon Hill and for the community of Sylvan Lake,” said Russell. “I would like to stress how impressed we have been with the community in working through the construction delay, the boundary changes, as well as the staff of the schools being able to accommodate these delays and continue on business as usual until November 15 when we are able to move the students over.”
Russell added he is excited about the school’s design, adding it is home to unique spaces you wouldn’t traditionally see in a school, which will open up opportunities for different learning environments.
Sache explained much of the school is still very traditional in the aesthetic of the building, however, most unique about Beacon Hill Elementary is the ability for classrooms to open up and combine into larger learning spaces. The school also features a unique open concept learning common and outdoor learning spaces.
The school will be K-5 this year and become Pre K to Grade 6 next year along with all other Chinook’s Edge school’s in Sylvan Lake.
Sache also wished to send a special thank you to the Parent Advisory Committee of Beacon Hill Elementary. In particular he wished to thank the playground fundraising committee who have already raised around $32,000 to go towards the new playground through garage sales, hot dog sales and an online auction. The school hopes to have the playground in place by September 2017.
The playground will cost a total of $281,000 including government grants.
For more information on the playground fundraising effort search, ‘Beacon Hill Elementary – Online Auction Fundraiser’ on Facebook.