Community schools extended to Nanaimo’s north end

NANAIMO – Pleasant Valley and Rock City elementary schools become hubs for area.

The Nanaimo school district is looking to bring the community school model to the north end of Nanaimo.

The current model sees two groups – or families – of community schools in Harewood and Cedar, and a report from Bob Esliger, assistant school superintendent, recommends going to a three-zone model.

The northern zone would consist of Rock City and Pleasant Valley elementary schools. South and central zones would each have two coordinators, while one coordinator would be responsible for the north, he said.

Individualized student programming during and after school, and increased staffing to enhance student safety, not only after school but also on evenings and weekends, would be amongst the things offered.

According to Dale Burgos, school district spokesman, the current model focuses on certain areas in Nanaimo, but there are vulnerable students across the whole district.

“When you have a community schools program like this, it will address the vulnerable students in those schools. Instead of only focusing on certain areas, it’s including all students,” Burgos said. “That’s a big piece behind it.”

Esliger said there has been an evolution to the community school model. When it first started, a school became a community school and there would be a coordinator that would only work at that particular school.

“But as we’ve evolved in our district, our community schools became hubs for the community, so we have fully embraced the hub model and so now in looking at the north end of the district, we have determined that those two neighbourhoods would be good hubs to bring students together,” said Esliger.