In 1922, South Kelowna Elementary School was held in a survey camp building in the North West corner of Centennial park. The first teacher was Mr. Alfred Hooper. Mr. Hooper taught nine students all together.
In 1924, a new school opened. I ttwas built on the east side of Spiers Road across from the present building today. Fifteen students attended, in one room.
In 1950, the new school opened on the present site. The first principal was Mr. Don Foster. Mr. Foster was succeeded in 1953 by Ms Ruth Stirling. There were 32 students in five grades. In the school there were two classrooms, two washrooms and one office.
Between 1967 and 1976 there were new additions of kindergarten, classrooms, a library and small gymnasium.
In 1997, the present addition and renovations were made. It was a joint development project between School District 23 and the City of Kelowna. There were 390 students from kindergarten to grade 7.
Our Learning Story
South Kelowna Elementary School (SKE) has a population of 242 students who come from diverse backgrounds and stories. SKE is situated approximately ten kilometers south of downtown Kelowna, amid a semi-rural orchard area. Two school busses and one city bus service our school. Our present facility opened in 1997, after extensive renovations and additions, and now features thirteen classrooms, a full-size gymnasium, multi-purpose room, library, computer laboratory, community-size kitchen and eighteen acres of grounds that are shared with the City of Kelowna. Our site is often described as "beautiful" and we feel fortunate to be part of a modern, attractive school in such a lovely setting. South Kelowna Elementary is a very inviting place to learn and work. It is the school in the heart of the community where many of our teachers, staff and parents also attended elementary school here!
South Kelowna Community Recreation began with a part-time facilitator and offered approximately 50 programs throughout the year. This group has grown substantially over the past seven years and presently provides 100 programs for children, youth and adults, along with several special community events per year.
South Kelowna Elementary initiated a joint-use agreement with the City of Kelowna in 1998. Our facility is now the "hub" for community activities and is one of "Kelowna's best kept secrets". We are nestled on 18 acres of pristine beauty and savor the uniqueness that we are blessed with. What makes us so special is our programs focus on recreation, culture and education leading to stronger families and healthier communities. The school has become the center of the community and is open to everyone beyond the school day 2:30-9:00 pm, Monday-Friday. We also have successful after school recreation programs ages 5-12 and a youth activity program, ages 10-12 on Friday evenings.
Community programs in schools bring together many partners to offer a range of supports and opportunities. They are fortunate to partner with local community businesses such as; Harvest Golf Course for affordable and exceptional golf lessons for children, Okanagan Lavender Farm and Meadow Vista for art based programs for Adults. Regardless of a family's economic, ethnic or family circumstances, they feel everyone deserves access to recreational opportunities. Canadian Tire Jumpstart funding is one of their primary partnerships that have graciously bestowed these opportunities by providing funding to various chapter groups in Kelowna to distribute to our community families so they can have equal access to sports and recreation programs.
Our school growth plans have reflected a strong focus on 21st Century Attributes of a Learner (Learner, Thinker, Collaborator, Innovator and Contributor), inquiry based approaches alongside technology in all areas of the curriculum, as well developed to focus on enhancing writing as a critical area of a child's educational experience and infusing a healthy school goal based on components established by BC's network of Healthy Schools. We have in the past focused a considerable amount of attention to quantitative data, observation, and feedback that we gathered as educators from our students. Our basic beliefs have been that in order to strive towards academic excellence we must meet the basic needs of each student which may encompass, nutrition, exercise, a sense of belonging, safety and feeling valued in our community. To that end SKE has, over the years, developed a number of strategies and supports to create the foundation for effective learning and the child's educational experience.
We have worked diligently over the past several years to create a collaborative culture to view what we believe has been working successfully for our students and what we need to focus on to continue allowing our students to grow and thrive. During the 2015/16 school year, the district adopted a new model for communicating individual school growth to the community at large. Rather than setting goals and working to meet targets as in the past, the newly adopted model is more responsive to student needs as it begins with inquiring about what is happening for the learners and in turn, informs directions for the staff of the school. Specifically, the guiding question is asked, " What's going on for our learners?" As such, this year has proven to be a process of both learning about the inquiry model while simultaneously engaging in the process.