This spring I had the opportunity to visit the iCount School in Moricetown, BC. Launched in 2012, the iCount school was created to attract students (primarily First Nation youth from Moricetown and Smithers) who were unsuccessful or not attending the public school system. While it follows the public school curriculum, it specializes in incorporating traditional knowledge and practices into the curriculum and personalizing educational outcomes to suit individual circumstances and learning disadvantages. There is a huge emphasis on belonging, acceptance and healthy life choices. The community of Moricetown benefits from many initiatives the school has helped to implement including an out outdoor gym, a ice climbing wall, vegetable towers, a rope course and a snowboard park. Since the launch of the school, local police have reported a considerable decrease in youth crime and a significant increase in community involvement and volunteerism. This experience showed me how beneficial it is for schools to make community connections; our efforts as educators can reach well beyond the school walls.
iCount School. (2015). iCount Facebook page. Retrieved from www.facebook.com/icounthighschool