Island Parent Magazine

Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre (formerly known as Goosey Gander Kindergarten) has a long history of providing outstanding Early Learning programs to the Victoria community. Our centre is a bright and engaging purpose-built preschool with a large, natural playground surrounded by urban forest. We offer half- and full-day programs for 3- and 4-year-olds and a small after school program for kindergarten children attending Frank Hobbs School. Children’s curiosity, sense of wonder and innate desire to learn is nurtured and supported through exploration, play, discovery and creative expression. Located in the Cadboro Bay-UVIC area. or 250-477-3731

ArtsCalibre Academy. There’s a reason why the first years of a child’s life are considered “formative”—they truly form the person, and profoundly influence the path and quality of the rest of their life. We believe that Fine Arts are the perfect vehicle for this formative process. Through our structured but fun program of music, dance, theatre and visual arts, children not only absorb these and all academic subjects with enthusiasm and ease, but they also develop the creativity, confidence and social skills to successfully apply them throughout their future. It’s this philosophy and comprehensive program that sets us apart from every other preschool. It’s the Art of Preschool. 250-382-3533. 

Emmanuel Preschool is a welcoming and inclusive Christian preschool, where students with special needs have the support of two additional teachers. Our morning classes are offered either two or three days per week. Both programs are for 3 and 4 year olds and include stories, games, singing, arts and crafts, science activities, free play (indoors and outdoors) and some field trips. Each class is licensed for a maximum of 20 children and has two licensed and experienced Early Childhood Educators. Our staff strive to teach and model Christian attitudes and values, and to maintain a warm, caring and safe environment. For more information, visit 250-598-0573 or

Gonzales Co-op Preschool.
Children use imagination in a Learning through Play classroom and natural playground. Reggio- Emilia inspired, focus is on art, nature and music. Nurturing, highly qualified ECE and ECE assistant. Parent participation options. Allergy aware. gonzalescooppreschool. com. 250-727-1003. 

West Shore Parks and Recreation’s Licensed preschool offers a variety of programs including Kinderprep, Nature Preschool, and multi-age classes with both small and larger class sizes. With flexible registration options and a play-based curriculum, our program is designed to help little ones grow and learn in a fun and safe environment. Visit westshorerecreation. ca or call 250-478-8384 for information. Follow us on Facebook: westshorerecreation. 


ArtsCalibre Academy. Imagine a school… where music, dance, theatre and visual arts are infused into all aspects of an outstanding curriculum. The result is a learning process in which students experience, explore, exercise, and express themselves in order to truly understand and remember. Our structured but dynamic program consistently exceeds the B.C. Ministry of Education’s Curricula for Kindergarten to Grade 8. Dedicated, highly qualified educators, excellent facilities and safe Gordon Head location, which is also home to our Junior Kindergarten. We also offer Preschool for 3 and 4 year olds within the Cedar Hill Recreation Centre’s beautiful Fine Arts wing. 250-382-3533. 

Christ Church Cathedral School (CCCS) is Victoria’s Anglican JK, Elementary and Middle School, welcoming students from all backgrounds. CCCS offers before and after school care, a wide range of extra-curricular programs, small class sizes, high calibre learning in math, science and technology, a strong focus on fine arts and progressive athletics programs. Weekly chapel service and seasonal performances are held in beautiful Christ Church Cathedral just a few steps away. Through focused encouragement of personal responsibility, self-discipline, community service and engaging learning opportunities with dedicated teachers, CCCS helps children realize their true potential. cathedralschool. ca. 250-383-5125. 

It is the time of year that parents begin to consider what school they want their child(ren) to attend next year. Consider a Catholic school! Island Catholic Schools (ICS) not only offers an excellent academic education, they do so within a Catholic framework. As BC certified schools, the curriculum established by the Ministry of Education is taught and all other Ministry requirements are met (i.e. Ministry of Education certified teachers). Catholic schools bring the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to all within their walls. Catholic schools in BC are rich in history and tradition; they first came into formal existence in the middle of the 1800’s. Currently, ICS has elementary schools located in Port Alberni, Chemainus, Duncan and Victoria and a Catholic high school located in Victoria. Our schools also offer pre-school, daycare and out of school care programs. Families not of the Catholic faith who support the Catholic mission and philosophy of our schools are accepted. Students of all ability levels are accepted. Check out our website for more information on our schools 

Discovery School. Is your child bright, yet struggling in school? Would your child work best in a classroom of 10 students with a 1:3 staff to student support ratio? Perhaps your child requires an individual program with adaptations/modifications. Are you looking for a quiet, nurturing school with a Christian atmosphere that encourages academic development, perseverance, responsibility, and organizational skills? Look no further. For 40 years, Discovery School has been providing these services for struggling students. Discovery follows B.C. curriculum, is Ministry inspected, and provides this special education from the early grades to graduation. More information found at or call 250-595-7765.

Island Montessori: full and half day preschool. Island Montessori is a non-profit daycare/preschool that has been serving Victoria children for over 40 years. We offer enriched, inclusive preschool programs based on Montessori principles and practices that meet the needs of the individual child, no matter their developmental level. Our flexible full time and morning only preschool programs, and an Out of School Care program are designed to offer convenience to families. From our classroom we can see swans gliding in the wetlands across the road. Deer wander in and out of our front yard and a large fenced nature playground offer many opportunities to connect to nature. Our staff provide a warm, nurturing and supportive atmosphere and each child is seen as an individual with their own unique learning style and needs. Our rural location is at 5575 West Saanich Road and you can reach us at or 250-595-4411. 

Oak and Orca Bioregional School and Oak and Orca PrePrimary School offer BC-certified PrePrimary and K-12 education in a child-directed environment. This ungraded program provides students with structure, opportunities, and choice, allowing them to learn at their own pace and in their own way. As part of a community of learners students are able to practice effective communication, think and act creatively, and develop into responsible ecological citizens. Regular field trips encourage connections with the natural and cultural heritage of the larger community. Blended learning opportunities are available (space-permitting) to students in the Hands-On Home-Learning (DL) program., info@oakandorca. ca, 250-383-6609. 

Pacific Christian School: Educational Excellence to the Glory of God. PCS nurtures students in Christ-like living, critical thinking and joyful service to be faithful citizens in God’s world. PCS is committed to a Christian program of instruction helping children gain a true Biblical perspective of who they are, and prepares them for a life of dedication and service to God. By developing a sense of goal-directedness, coupled with skills of self-discipline and self-evaluation, children will be equipped to develop their talents and gifts to their fullest God-given potential. Quality academics, athletics and more. Accepting registrations for pre-school to grade 12. PacificChristian. ca. 250-479-4532. 

At St. Margaret’s School, we seek to empower each girl to set her own course and shape her own dreams. Tucked away on 22-acres in the Blenkinsop Valley in Victoria, SMS is an all-girls school where your daughter can be herself, build confidence, and experience being a leader. SMS teachers and our unique environment offer rich resources and challenges to support each girl’s development as a student, an individual and a global-minded citizen. Our rigorous academic program emphasizes STEM learning and leadership at all levels from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, and is supported by experiential programs designed to engage students in learning beyond the classroom. Enjoy the benefits of a small school from high participation in athletics, to extensive extracurricular opportunities, to our tight-knit community where each girl is known and driven to achieve. or 250-479-7171. 

Spring Break Programs at St. Michaels University School. A wide range of full and half-day programs for all kids in Victoria ages 5-15, including: Passion Sports Spring Break Elite Camp: Five days of intensive basketball skill development; Fashion Design and Illustration: Develop a seasonal collection of fashion designs to start your collection; Spring time Chefs: Use fresh, local ingredients to make a range of nutritious and delicious recipes. Visit our website for information on these and other programs:, or call the Education Extension office at 250-370-6120. 

Victoria School for Ideal Education. This one-of-a-kind school offers holistic education from Kindergarten to Grade 8 in a nurturing, stress-free environment. Our small class sizes, twice daily children’s meditation, coupled with the study of nature and the laws that keep us in tune with the natural world, have attracted families from all over the Victoria area. Within this framework we cover the BC curriculum and all of our teachers are BC certified. The Oct. 2013 Ministry of Education inspection report states, “The depth of care for each student, the level of personal support provided, and the degree of empathy displayed, all contribute to a family-like atmosphere and encouraging school setting for students.” There are still a few spaces left for the 2018-2019 school year. Visit our website to apply and arrange a tour or Phone 250-383-6654. You can also find us on Facebook. 

Westmont Montessori School is a local community-minded independent school committed to academic excellence in a caring, learning environment. We are delighted to be opening our brand-new classroom building for September 2018 as well as offering classes from Pre-school to Grade 9 with our new high school program. All our classes are purposely designed to engage a student’s natural curiosity within an environment that is specifically prepared to maximize learning opportunities. For details about our programs visit west-mont. ca, or visit our campus in Metchosin for a tour every Thursday from 9-11am. Westmont Montessori School, 4075 Metchosin Rd, Victoria BC. 250-474-2626. 

Distributed Learning 

Under the new BC curriculum, inquiry and personalization are key to 21st century learning. Hands-On Home-Learning (DL) at Oak and Orca (K-12) offers an experience-based, individualized, and child-led approach. Families are supported in providing engaging opportunities so each student can follow their own learning path and build on their strengths and interests. All learning experiences are acknowledged and tied to BC learning standards or high school courses by a certified teacher. Original, multi-age, hands-on learning activities are provided to inspire inquiry. Blended learning opportunities are available (space-permitting) at Oak and Orca Bioregional School and Forest School. Special Education inquiries are welcome.,, 250-383-6619. 1-888-383-6619. 

Is your child homeschooled? Little Steps Therapy Services will be running therapeutic groups to compliment at-home learning programs through the 2018/2019 school year. These groups are designed to give homeschooled children a chance to engage with their peers and their community. They will include opportunities to work on independent living skills, social skills, community awareness, and recreation. All goals for the groups are created by Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists, and Behaviour Consultants. If you are interested in registering your child, please contact Little Steps Therapy Services by phone at 250-386-1171 or by emailing 

Mid-Island Schools/ Education Services 

Aspengrove School is a Junior Kindergarten- Grade 12 independent school in Lantzville, BC at the Northern edge of Nanaimo on a beautiful 40-acre wooded campus. Aspengrove offers the world-renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, recognized for its excellence by post-secondary institutions around the world. Our dedicated teachers help students develop a lifelong love of learning through an education that challenges and inspires. Welcoming students in all grades, Aspengrove offers merit-based entrance scholarships for grades 8-11. Students interested in learning more about the scholarships, as well as needs-based financial aid for all grades, are encouraged to visit the Aspengrove School website today. 

Duncan Christian School partners with families to provide a welcoming educational environment. Here, students experience the support and guidance of caring Christian teachers, dedicated to preparing them for life beyond the school doors. Our classes start at preschool-grade 12. Excellent academic, athletic, and fine arts programs. Serving a diverse student body. We offer trades programs and hands-on apprenticeships, project based learning, international program, Grade 7 Leadership Retreat, Grade 11 West Coast Trail Hike, Grade 12 Missions trip, extensive student support program. We welcome the opportunity to take you on a tour of our school, please contact: office@ 495 Beech Avenue Duncan BC V9L 3J8. 250-746-3654. 

Evergreen. Thirty-three years ago, a small group of parents in Cobble Hill were looking for an alternative learning environment for their children. Ideas were shared, plans were made, and Evergreen Independent School was established. This small community school currently enrolls 96 students. Registrations are being accepted for Junior Kindergarten to Grade 7, as well as for the Evergreen Explorers, a new and tremendously popular Friday morning program for 3 year olds. There are many unique aspects of Evergreen that attract families. Small class sizes, innovative teaching, and multi-grade classrooms enhance individual learning and create positive socialization across the grade levels. The parents and teachers of Evergreen Independent School are committed to a philosophy that develops the full potential of each child. Visit for more info. 

International Christian Montessori Academy (ICMA). Inayat Unissa Bergum was born in Nice, France. After obtaining comprehensive Montessori training in Paris, she started the first Montessori school in 1962 in Southern California named the Sophia Montessori of Santa Monica. In 1964, she opened the first Montessori school in Costa Mesa, California known as the Montessori Centre School. Through the years she has trained numerous teachers using Montessori methodologies and opened many Montessori schools throughout California. In 1989, she launched the International Montessori Academy (ICMA) for the expressed purpose of having children learn to appreciate and understand the importance of tolerance of different religions with an attitude of love, harmony and beauty. Recently, she founded the International Christian Montessori Academy in Duncan, BC, whose primary function is to include pre-school and elementary academic and French immersion programs. 

Kool & Child is your complete resource store for educational toys and games. We carry a wide assortment of educational games, homework helper workbooks, brain teasers, science kits, chewelry, and much more! Teachers love our Kool School House full of everything they need to outfit their classroom in style, including an amazing selection of stickers. For homeschooling families, we carry grade appropriate resources for the elementary level. Preview some of our products online at or come in and explore our store for a much greater selection. We are always happy to answer questions, please call us at 1-888-390-1775. 

Nestled in a wooded landscape, St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School in Chemainus BC offers faith-enriched education to children from preschool through to Grade 7. Skilled educators provide a safe and caring environment and educate the whole child: spiritually, physically, intellectually, culturally, emotionally and socially. St. Joseph’s employs specialist teachers for K-7 Music, Physical Education French and daily Hul’q’umi’num lessons. On-site preschool and before and after school care is available. St. Joseph’s is an inclusive school, welcoming students from all backgrounds and abilities. Bursaries are available. Please call 250-246-3191 for more information or arrange a tour of St. Joseph’s School. 

Sunrise Waldorf School (SWS). Where children learn and grow on our beautiful rural seven acre campus. SWS offers students an education that is imbued with life and joy. Through movement, connection to nature, the practical arts, and an inspired curriculum, Waldorf students develop a strong sense of imagination, creative and critical thinking skills. Enhanced by Handwork, Woodwork, Music, Strings, Movement, French, Plays, Gardening and Seasonal Festivals. SWS is located south of Duncan in the Cowichan Valley and attracts families from all over the globe, who have relocated to enroll their children at our Waldorf school. Founded in 1980, SWS offers programs from early childhood through class eight. SWS is the only full member school of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) on Vancouver Island. 250-743-7253, 

Vancouver Island University Master of Education in Educational Leadership. The M.Ed. in Educational Leadership provides a program of preparation for aspiring formal and informal school leaders. Grounded in the rich educational leadership literature supplemented by extensive faculty expertise and experience, the program provides a balance of research, policy and practice. Graduates of our program will have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and attitudes of successful leaders. All programs are offered as cohorts with strong Faculty support. Graduates are fully qualified to pursue doctoral studies.

Vancouver Island University (VIU) Master of Education in Special Education. VIU’s M.Ed. in Special Education embodies an innovative approach to the field of Special Education. Grounded in current research and evidence–based practices, our program challenges each educator to critically examine historical and contemporary Special Education policies and approaches to formulate a best practice specific to her/ his own context. Faculty bring their expert knowledge and extensive experiences to guide, support and maximize student learning in each part of the program. All programs are offered as cohorts with strong Faculty support. Graduates are fully qualified to pursue doctoral studies. 

Educational Services & Programs 

Canucks Autism Network (CAN) provides year-round sports and recreation programs for individuals and families living with autism, while increasing autism awareness and providing training in communities across BC. Featuring high levels of support from trained staff and dedicated volunteers, our programs on Vancouver Island include weekly sports lessons for children with autism, social programs for youth with autism and free events for the entire family. Become a member for only $25/year to access programs in Victoria, Nanaimo and Cowichan Valley at canucksautism. ca/join. Contact: 604-685-4049. 

Mad Science® Vancouver Island offers exciting science programs for schools, communities and individuals. Our after-school program this year, Spy Academy, explores the science in the work of detectives and spies. In a series of six weekly lessons we immerse children in a hands-on environment of exploration, fun and learning. Children experiment, question, and build a take-home toy to share what they learned with others. Our programs include Birthday Parties and Camps. Check vancouverisland and Book on-line any time. Available in the Victoria area, Duncan, Nanaimo and Comox-Courtenay. Call 1-888-954-6237 for information. 

Math4me, BC’s premiere tutoring and supplemental education program has been operating since 2010 and now has 15+ locations all over BC. Updated BC curriculum is followed and help is offered in all subjects including Math, English, Science, Socials and French. With a vision to make tutoring affordable and effective for all families, tutoring fees are between $8-$15/hr. Thousands of parents have improved their kids’ grades with us and children have entered reputed universities with scholarships. Students build competitive advantage by learning ahead and our research based programs have been customized for individual students. In addition, information about scholarships, volunteer opportunities and career guidance is offered to ensure a successful post secondary career for students. 250-589-9995. 

Mineral World is proud to offer its interactive Earth Science Education Program, suitable for both schools and community groups. We offer three programs; The Rock Cycle (our most popular), Earth Processes (mountain building, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.), and The Geology of Vancouver Island. We use interesting specimens and the opportunity for participants to choose their own minerals (which they take home) to create a true hands-on educational experience. Please visit our website at for more information (there is an older website that we don’t control so please use the website listed here for current information) or call 250-656-0791. 

Oak and Orca Bioregional Forest School is an outdoor, nature-based program at PKOLS and Mount Douglas Park. The program fosters an inclusive, caring community in which students learn by doing. Through an emergent curriculum, we offer students the opportunity to connect with plants and animals in the temperate rainforest and on the beach. Outdoor experiences include stories and drama, wood carving and sculptures, beach art, shelter-building, learning about wild edibles, hiking, and active games. This unique program is available to all students, including those in our Hands-On Home-Learning (DL) program. Tours are available by request. oakandorca. ca,, 250-383-6619. 1-888-383-6619. 

Founded in 1984, Oxford Learning uses innovative approaches to learning that have helped over one million students reach their educational goals. Customized programs based on the science of cognitive development help children to develop the skills that they need to succeed in school while they develop the confidence that they need to succeed in life. It’s never too late to get started! For more information or contact Oxford Learning Victoria at 250.477.5550 or 

Sylvan Learning’s personal and engaging approach to learning has helped millions of children see success in school over the past 40 years. Our tutoring programs are individualized and tailored specifically to the needs of each child. The use of technology, and our specific approach to motivation helps keep students focused and makes learning fun. When your child just isn’t getting enough out of the classroom you need someone knowledgeable whom you can trust to help guide and engage your child. Someone with insight and experience. You can count on Sylvan. With four locations on Vancouver Island. Call us at 1-800-Educate. 

Thriving Roots Wilderness School is an organization committed to cultivating regenerative, nature-based culture on Vancouver Island. We offer youth and adult yearlong and summer programs in Victoria and the Cowichan Valley, ages 5+ that focus on connection to nature, community and self. Each program day is a new adventure on the land: playing games, building fire, carving primitive tools, weaving baskets, foraging for food and medicine, learning bird language, expanding our senses, tracking wild animals and more. Students develop greater self-confidence, gain a deep sense of environmental care taking and become their brightest selves. Program Director: Alaina Hallett. Contact: info@ 778-554-4741. 

Total Learning Services (TLS) is a unique tutoring service in Victoria. TLS is dedicated to improving quality of life through effective clinical reading programs for children, teens and adults (age of clients- five to fifty). The reading process can be a frustrating struggle for my clients; most times it is affecting their daily lives. As a reading specialist, I use strategies that make the reading process fun and easy. Achievement testing is done to determine the areas of the reading process which are of the greatest concern. My programs have changed the lives of many. Pediatrician recommendation. For your free consultation, contact Brenda Osadchy, B.Ed. M.SpEd. 778-440-0997 or• 






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