About the School

hornbyHornby Island Community School 2019-20

Framework for Enhanced Student Learning (FESL)


Introduction:  Our school suffered a devastating fire on August 26, 2018. Our 36 students and staff are currently operating out of a modular school comprised of 2 multiage classrooms, 1 multi use space, Library, and Administration building. We are celebrating the announcement of our school reconstruction projected to completed in 2022. Regardless of our facility situation, the Framework for Enhanced Student Learning (FESL) continues to provide a vehicle for discussion of school goals and focus areas with students, parents and staff.

The process is meant to be ongoing as we travel through the year.   Ongoing communication relating to our goals and focus areas will be provided to our school community. Feedback given will help to inform our planning for the following school year.

Development Process:  We are now settling into a more regular routine, our new normal, and plan to have time at one of our staff meetings each month set aside to revisit our framework though I imagine a lot of time will be needed to work on our school redesign. Our PAC Annual General Meeting took place in October and we have a new PAC Chair. Our next steps will be to work together to review and monitor our goals and to support them with resources as needed.

School Mission: 

Our mission is to provide a safe, secure and inclusive environment, which fosters each student’s positive self-concept and which creates opportunities for each youngster to grow to his or her potential.
As a community school, our mission is to reflect and support the community of Hornby Island in an inclusive, integrated manner through advocacy, programs, services and activities that respond to expressed needs of individuals and the community . 

Values Statement: 

At Hornby Island Community School we value community and its natural environment. school sign

We embrace attributes of:


  •       21st Century Learning


  •       Project Based Learning


  •       Place Based Learning


We put children’s intellectual, emotional and physical development first. 

We envision and support:

  • An environment safe for risk taking, responsibility, and being receptive to learning  through building of strong relationships in a nurturing, open and honest space


We hold a vision of our school actively supporting community and in turn a community that supports our school. Hornby Island Community School is a reflection of our vibrant community, thriving because it is unique.



 former school

School Context – Who are We?


Sadly, we have lost an amazing facility that really felt like a home in a devastating fire on August 26, 2018. Our open library in the heart of our school, and the two classrooms connected to it, made up the hub of our learning space. Our learners spent a lot of time in our library researching for projects, individual/small group activities, and visiting our Makerspace.

Our gym was very large, and provided gymnasium space for the community in the evenings as well. The Hornby Island Preschool (located on our same property), also visited the school for time in the library and gym. Another program, “Toddler Drop-in” took place in our school. Parents came together with a facilitator and their children for some time together one morning per week. The Hornby Island Educational Society (HIES) and Hornby Island Recreation Association (HIRA)offered after school opportunities for our learners such as tennis, second language, arts/crafts, etc. in our school building.

school fire

The Natural History Centre was also located in our school, and the stewards that worked there often offered programs for our students to support areas of study e.g. fossils, animal habitats etc.

The school property is located off of Vancouver Island. It takes about an hour and a half to reach the school (if the ferry schedule lines up!) from Courtenay. Our school is both rural and remote. Many families require an element of flexibility for educational needs of their children due to the seasonal “pulse” and economy of the island, family holiday times, housing accommodations, and seasonal employment.

In response to need, Hornby Island Community School became a "Blended Learning" school. What this means, is that we value both learning that happens within the school but also the learning that happens outside of the school. We provide additional supports for learning at home and a student learning plan outlining individual next steps. Teachers at the school carry our SPARK (talents) meetings with families 3 times per year to create learning plans and identify student strengths and next steps.

weather windowOur staff also require flexibility in meeting the needs of our 36 learners K-7 across all subject areas. All staff teach/work with all learners at varying points in our week. Learners are organized into “Base Camps” of K-2 and 3-7 with their main teacher and then, from there, are part of “working groups” to give attention to individual next steps. Learners attend Monday –Thursday. There is one full time teacher, a Blended Learning Teacher one day per week, a teaching Vice Principal, Teacher Librarian one day every two weeks, and an arts teacher one day per week. Our support staff consists of an Administrative Assistant, Library Clerk, Custodian, and an Educational Assistant. We also have itinerant staff from Student Services supporting our school; School counsellor one morning every two weeks, Learning Support Teacher once per month, Speech and Language Pathologist once per month, and other specialists as needed/requested (e.g. Occupational Therapist).

Our current reality is that we are operating out of a modular school without a gymnasium or hallways. It can often feel very isolating without a common gathering space though we try to meet up in the Library daily for partner/buddy activities.

We have a “Blended Learning Teacher” to help us pinpoint next steps for our learners and to design at home learning materials. The mental, physical, and emotional energy given each day by our staff to work out the logistics to keep our learning environments safe, supportive,  engaging, and stable as possible, is a true reflection of their commitment to our learners and their professionalism oyster heartthrough an unfathomable experience. 

Our next step is to work with the community to design our new Hornby Island Community School. Our school goals will help greatly in guiding what is most important to us as we work on creating new learning spaces.  

Looking too far backward brings sadness, looking too far forward feels overwhelming. Staying present in the moment and reflecting a bit backward and projecting a bit forward is taking us through each day together.