Salt Spring Island offers many education options for children, ranging from public to private schools, a French immersion program, an experiential, ecological learning centre, as well as a thriving homeschooling community. Please visit the websites of the schools listed below to learn more, and to download registration and application forms.
Salt Spring Island is part of the SD64 school district, which serves five island communities. SD64 runs three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school on Salt Spring Island. In general, schools are in session from Monday to Thursday, allowing children to explore extracurricular activities on Fridays.
Fernwood Elementary is located on the north end of Salt Spring Island and serves grades K-5. They have 208 students, and offer many great opportunities for exploration, including a beautiful garden and greenhouse program, a student leadership program, sports teams, plus the use of technology including drones and coding robots.
Fulford Elementary serves grades K-5 in five multi-age classes. The school is located at the south end of the island near Fulford Harbour, nestled in acres of woods and within easy walking distance of the ocean, lakes and streams. It has a history of strong parental and community involvement, resulting in local artists and community members regularly sharing their expertise and passion with the students.
Salt Spring Elementary is the largest of the local elementary schools and serves grades K-5 in nine multi-age classes. It features two school gardens, an adventure playground, and an outdoor classroom, and is within easy walking distance of trails, the pool, the public library, beaches and parks. The school also offers ecological programs, and a strong music program, including a choir.
Phoenix Elementary serves homeschoolers throughout the district, as well as children who prefer a smaller, more intimate classroom setting for grades K-8. They are located mid-island on 15 acres of natural forest, across from Mouat Park. This beautiful location enables their students to utilize the natural world in their everyday learning experiences and explorations.
Saltspring Island Middle School serves all of Salt Spring Island for grades 6-8. In addition to its regular classroom program, it offers late entry French Immersion, as well as an innovative, experiential, ecological program called MYSEEC — Middle Years Shared Ecological Education Centre. Children on Salt Spring can study French Immersion from grades 6-12.
Gulf Islands Secondary School enrolls students in grades 9-12 for all the southern Gulf Islands, and has a school population of 600 students, including 70 international students. They offer many exceptional programs, including an outstanding visual and performing arts program, culinary, careers and transitions programs, as well as award-winning sports teams.
Within the public school system, students can also register at NIDES – North Island Distance Education School to join the Heartwood Learning Program. This is a publicly funded, part-time classroom or full time homeschooling program for grades K-7. The school is located on the south end of the island.
Salt Spring Centre School is a non-denominational, independent school, which offers small, multi-age classes for grades K-6. They pride themselves on providing individualized education, tapping into each child’s innate desire to learn, and enriched learning experiences including the performing arts, French, music, visual art, and gardening.
At the south end of the island, the Wisdom of the Earth Centre runs the private WOLF program for children aged 8-14 from Monday to Wednesday. This is a mentorship based, nature program where children learn outdoors skills based on aboriginal teachings from around the world. Children will need to register at a home learning program, such as Phoenix Elementary or the Heartwood Learning Program, to fulfill the BC Ministry of Education curriculum requirements.