Squamish is a great community to raise kids and is currently experiencing a baby-boom like no where else in Canada! In the Public school system there are currently six Elementary Schools, one Middle School and one High-school. Additional to these there are two private elementary schools and one private high-school, plus a state of the art not-for-profit liberal arts University. If your kids are not yet school age you will find Squamish has a multitude of licensed day-cares to choose from ranging from family day-cares, group centres and pre-school programs.
Brackendale Elementary is K-6 and has an enrolment of 299 students (2015). The school is located centrally in Brackendale and is next-door to Don Ross Middle School.
Garibaldi Highlands Elementary (GHE) is K-6 and has an enrolment of 394 students (2015). The school offers an early French immersion program for children K-3. The school’s mission statement is to, “provide a nurturing environment, enabling individual students to realize their full potential and acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to become valued members of society.”
Mamquam Elementary is K-7 and has an enrolment of 295 students (2015). The elementary school is located in Central Squamish, across the highway from the London Drugs shopping precinct. Mamquam is an Art Infusion school teaching an arts enhanced curriculum. At Mamquam Elementary the focus is “to engage students in meaningful activities which will allow them to find their strengths and interest while at the same time, building good work habits like perseverance, thoroughness, enthusiasm, independence and responsibility.”
Squamish Elementary is K-7 with 410 students (2015) and serves downtown Squamish, Northyards/Dentville and Britannia Beach areas. The school offers an early K-3 and late 4-7 French Immersion program which students from around the district can attend. Squamish Elementary is “committed to providing a welcoming, inclusive learning environment, one that nurtures all learners and promotes excellence in learning and social responsibility.”
ValleyCliffe Elementary is K-6 with 178 students (2015). The school offers a Breakfast Club in the morning for children and prides itself on offering a Respectful, Responsible and Caring Learning Environment.
Ecole Les Aiglons is a public French school for children K-7. The school is suitable for children from Francophone families as the entire curriculum is taught in French.
Don Ross Middle School (grade 7-9) is the only middle school in Squamish. Offering a French immersion program or Squamish Nation’s Language and Cultural Studies Program- Don Ross also has an exciting Fine Arts Program. The middle school aims to, “provide a school setting that takes into consideration the period from childhood to adolescence. In looking at the characteristics of younger teenaged students, we realize that they are undergoing many intellectual, physical, social and emotional changes at this time. Don Ross Secondary offers a program of instruction designed to build and upgrade communication skills, as well as provide a range of exploratory opportunities in a variety of subject areas.”
Howe Sounds Secondary (HSS) has an enrolment of 650 (2015) and facilitates students grade 10-12. Howe Sound has an extensive sport and outdoor leadership program as well as a great trades and drama program. The school’s mission statement is to, “foster a strong sense of community that provides opportunities for students to become motivated learners capable of achieving their potential.”
Private/ Non-Profit Schools
Squamish Montessori offers a licensed daycare for children 2.5-6 as well as an Elementary Program for grades 1-6. The enrolment as of Sept 2014 was 111 students. The school is a non-profit provincially funded school committed to meeting the social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of the child. The Montessori approach is characterized by, “an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological development, as well as technological advancements in society.”
Cedar Valley Waldorf School offers a licensed pre-school program as well as early years elementary school grades 1-5. The academic curriculum covers all subject matter required by the BC Ministry of Education but the timing and emphasis depends on the individual student. The Waldorf vision is, “to provide a holistic education that addresses spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual aspects of the child. The school develops confident, independent thinkers who have a strong social and environmental conscience and who respond to the world with compassion and creativity.”
Coast Mountain Academy is a University preparatory school for students grade 7-12. The Academy prides itself on 21st Century Learning, with the latest technology and a rich art, sport and cultural program. The Academy’s vision is to, “graduate inspired leaders with the exceptional academic, social, and emotional preparedness common to conscientious and successful global citizens.”
Quest University is Canada’s first non-profit, secular and independent University. The University offers only one degree, a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences (4 years) in which students choose their area of focus. The school has a state of the art campus in Garibaldi Highlands overlooking Howe Sound and the Tantalus Ranges. The current enrolment is 700 students from over 40 countries. Quest University’s aim is to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century. The academic program is designed to educate students for a lifetime of learning, to develop their intellectual capacities, to encourage social and civic engagement and to prepare them to be employable.
Squamish has over 30 licensed daycare and pre-school programs to choose from. Sea to Sky Children First have a full up-to-date list of licensed family daycares, group daycares and pre-school programs.
For more information on Squamish for families read our Blog post Moving to Squamish: A Guide for Families