Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the school located?
The Schoolhouse is the building shown on the website on the page “Our Location”. It is opposite the government dock in Fanny Bay and is currently an unused building. It has wonderful panoramic views of Denman Island and Baynes Sound. In the past it has been used as an office building for a water bottling plant. We will be doing substantial renovations on the building. Renovations are expected to be complete in April 2011. Our interim location is the Fanny Bay Hall.
Will healthy building practices be observed with the school renovations?
Absolutely. We are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students. We will limit toxic building products by using zero-VOC paint, limiting toxic adhesives, and by installing eco or low-VOC flooring. One of the advantages of an older building is the absence of many of the chemicals found in modern building materials. A ventilation system will also be installed, which will further improve indoor air quality.
What renovations will be done?
Renovations will be carried out to enable us to operate 4 classrooms on a single level. A fence will be installed around the perimeter of the school property to ensure students are safe at all times. A wheelchair access will be built and new drywall and flooring will be installed. Additional structural work will also be done to the building including a new foundation. The work will be approved by the Comox Valley Regional District Building Department and will meet required standards for a school under the BC Building Code.
How do the sibling discounts work?
Discounts are on the tuition only. The second child will receive a 12% discount on the tuition fee; and the third child will receive an 18% discount on the tuition fee. All other fees remain the same.
How is Beachcombers funded?
Beachcombers is funded in part by the Ministry of Education and in part by tuition. As of year two Beachcombers will receive 50% of the `per student` funding that the public schools receive; parents make up the other 50%. However, in our first year of operation, the Ministry only gives us 35%. This short fall is essentially being absorbed by staff through wage cuts in the first year. Thank you to dedicated staff! Beachcombers Community School is operated by Beachcombers Education Society which is a non-profit society; we hope eventually to attain charity status.
Can we pay monthly?
Beachcombers will not receive monies from the Ministry of Education until January 2011. Additionally as we only receive 35% in our first year of operation, and because of extensive start-up costs, we are not able to offer monthly payments in our first year. We recommend approaching your credit union or bank for a loan. Typically this is what schools do, to finance monthly payments, and pass the loan fees onto parents in the form of higher tuition costs. If you are unable to secure a loan from your financial institution and this causes you to be unable to send your child to Beachcombers, please contact us and we will look at each case individually. The remainder of fees will be due between August 1st and August 12th, 2010.
What is the fundraising fee?
Many schools require countless hours of fundraising in the form of bake-sales, selling junk food or calendars, or bottle drives. These kinds of nickel-and-dime fundraisers are labour intensive, and typically much of the monies raised come from parents’ pockets in the form of purchases or donations. Over the course of a year, these efforts typically will cost parents about $100 per child. Carrying out these fundraising activities throughout the year, can also be extremely time consuming for families and difficult for some parents to fit into their busy lives. Collecting and keeping track of monies is also time-consuming for staff, whose time could be better spent on our children.
We believe that as a school community, parents and teachers should be educating our children, not fundraising. We welcome parent involvement!
The fundraising fee will be used for seed money for professional fundraising activities, or applied directly to support school projects.
How can parents and community members get involved with Beachcombers?
We encourage parents and community members to become involved in the school by sharing their skills and expertise with students and the school. This can be done by offering workshops for students. Or you can assist with improvements to our educational environment such as helping with building a play structure, or set up of our organic garden. Parent participation is optional. Please contact us if you would like to offer a workshop to students or have skills to offer!
For further questions, please contact us!