South Park Family School is a school of choice within the Greater Victoria School District, based on a philosophy of cooperative parent participation. Learning through play, hands-on experiences and a focus on process over product are part of this philosophy. Staff, parents and students work together to support a community where the arts and the environment are integral to all aspects of learning. Music, choir, dance, theatre and authentic two and three dimensional art, as well as regular outdoor experiences are part of every classroom. Fostering creative and critical thinking and a strong connection to nature are emphasized. Social responsibility is developed through a multitude of collaborative experiences including multi-age classes, multi-class activities, community service, whole school projects, performances and whole school themes. It is a long time practise for students to remain with the same teacher for two years, or with a group of known peers if the classroom teacher changes.
Student progress is documented without letter grades in a three way reporting process that uses specific, meaningful feedback from teachers and parents combined with student self-reflection, in order to create a community focused on supporting students’ successes and challenges.
As part of their commitment to the family school community and philosophy, parents are expected to be directly and meaningfully involved in their child’s classroom and in the greater school community; supporting both their own child and their peers. Parents participate in three class meetings each year and two student-led conferences annually for each of their enrolled children. Families also initiate and lead projects and learning opportunities around the school and volunteer their time to support class enrichment activities, field trips, fundraising initiatives and school community events throughout the year. All staff and parents are addressed by their first names, thus enhancing and supporting the family feeling of the school. South Park Family School’s focus on cooperation and collaboration supports self-awareness and empathy amongst all it members.
As a parent participation school, we work collectively to create a vibrant and innovative community of learners.