“It’s such a different experience from normal school. I think really just connecting with people, and having a class where you can be friends with everyone in it.”
“It regains my faith in humanity a little bit, seeing everyone be so supportive.”
“A lesson that I’ll be taking with me, is that I can learn from everybody who I meet.”
Those were some of the student comments from the Cortes Island Academy website. The 2022/2023 semester is now over and the academy is preparing for a Forest Ecology Semester in 2023/2024.
Continue reading Cortes Island Academy: Looking back to lessons learned and forward to 2023/2024 →
By Isabelle Southcott, originally published on qathet Living
Every weekday morning starting in 2019, Shannon Behan woke up at 4 am to work on her PhD. At 6 am, she’d get ready for her day as Principal of Westview Elementary School. Then, she would spend two hours every evening and all day Saturday and Sunday researching and writing for her degree.
“I took breaks to go running, though,” she smiled.
Continue reading Shannon Behan, Principal, Westview Elementary School: Life-long learning makes leaders →
“The Cortes Island Academy is working on becoming its own nonprofit, but right now it actually functions as a program of the Cortes Island Community Foundation. Part of this was because I have had this interest in trying to figure out if we could create a high school pilot program and I work part-time as the Executive Director of the Cortes Island Community Foundation. So there was an obvious link, but it really goes back to the root of why we need a high school program on Cortes,” explained Manda Aufochs Gillespie.
Continue reading Why the Cortes Island Academy is a program of the Cortes Foundation →
By Mina Kerr-Lazenby, North Shore News, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Pen? Check. Paper? Check. Fishing rod, canoe paddle, and weaving wool? Check, check, check. For the students of land-based learning schools, education facilities that bring culture to the classroom, school supplies extend beyond the classic pencil case, binders and backpack.
Run by educators who believe schools should nurture the innate needs and wants of young people, rather than put them into a cookie cutter student mould, you would be hard pressed to find a youth hunched over their desk, scribbling notes monotonously from a whiteboard.
“Kids need to move. If they move, they are learning,” says Tanya O’Neill, principal of siʔáḿθɘt, a K-12 Tsleil-Waututh Nation school in North Vancouver.
Continue reading Land-based learning: These schools spotlight culturally immersive education →
This whole month, Folk U Radio has been partnering with the Cortes Island Academy to feature student work and the music and ideas and voices of the Cortes Island Academy students. There are 20 of them, coming from homes in Cortes and the surrounding area to nations as distant as Germany and Indonesia.
“We asked the students, what would you write about your experience on Cortes Island? If you were to send an audio postcard home or an audio postcard to someone you know and love, what would it sound like? They were required to record their own voices, they had to record real sound effects, download sound effects, and also get copyright free music. All is part of a project that had to be less than three minutes and would talk to their experiences, and the results have been incredible,” explained Manda Aufochs Gillespie.
Continue reading Folk U: Audio Postcards from the Cortes Island Academy →