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Community school aims to close gap in graduation rates in Nanaimo – Nanaimo News

Feb 18, 2014

Closing the gap on Nanaimo’s aboriginal graduation rate means supporting children beyond the classroom.

That’s the idea behind a new school proposed by the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, where the responsibility and care of students would go beyond six-hour classroom instruction.

According to Chris Beaton, executive director of the centre, 85 per cent of children’s lives are spent outside the classroom.

Without understanding the dynamics of what’s happening at home and the needs of families, school instruction can be ineffective, he said, adding a child isn’t going to focus on learning if he’s hungry or worried about finding a place to live.

The new school, called the Nanaimo Learning Centre, would follow the B.C. curriculum, offering early childhood education up to Grade 3 for close to 160 public school students. It would also focus on culture, understanding educational needs of students and providing “wrap around” services like childcare to support families, Beaton said.

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