About Our School

We are creating a new public independent school in the Vernon, BC area!

What makes our school different from other schools?

We will be: 

Teaching respect, honesty, accountability, kindness, responsibility and empathy by demonstrating through example, pointing out those who do well in these areas, doing community service, and by having expectations and consequences for behaviour. This value-based education will encourage the development of stand-up citizens who respect one another and have solid morals. We will take them out of the ‘me-first’ and competitive mind frame and foster kindness and caring for others. We will teach them social responsibility and how to use their energy to make a difference. We want children to feel they have a purpose and to appreciate all that they have.

Without cell phones, children won’t be distracted, they will learn how to socialize face-to-face rather than online and there will be less opportunity to be unkind and a greater chance for deeper connections. Children’s creativity will also have an opportunity to be stimulated and the exposure to electromagnetic frequencies will be limited. We are not against technology, it will be taught in the appropriate setting. 

We will have:

Our programs will prepare children for life and a new world that is less dependent on systems. We will offer learning opportunities and experiences that may not be possible at home. Children will learn valuable information that will improve their physical and mental health and that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. They will also learn basic skills that will help them to thrive in our current system such as how to do finances and how businesses function on the inside.

Instead of focusing on how we are different, we will focus on how we are the same. The fact that we all look different and are unique is obvious. Children can clearly see that. By pointing out and focusing on these differences, we put value on it, as if it is important when in fact it is not. What is important are the things that make us human. The things we share and have in common; the things that make us one. We all share the same emotions and want the same things in life. We all want to be loved, accepted and respected. We all have these same basic needs. In order to thrive, these needs need to be met. We will teach children what helps you will help me.
There will also be consequences for bullying. The first time: the child will be talked to. The second time: the child will be talked to and asked to apologize and in writing explain how their behaviour has negatively affected the other person. The third time: the child will be asked to make a positive contribution by doing community service.

Every school hour will be used effectively and efficiently. We will ensure that students will have a solid understanding and learn the importance of the core subjects of math, science and english by providing practical applications and hands-on learning in real-life scenarios. Whether bringing in guest speakers from various occupations or visiting and volunteering at work places. Children will learn the basics before relying on technology, from multiplication tables to cursive writing.

We will foster:
We want to merge family and school. We want parents to come to the classroom and teachers to visit the children at home. We want children to have a clear understanding of their role at school and at home and feel proud that their help makes a positive contribution in each setting.

School fees are covered by tax-payer funding, community sponsors, and funds generated from an associated preschool (The Kinderhouse).

Our goal is to create a thriving school community that is open to every child. From after school and year-round care for children of working parents, our aim is to integrate the two most important influencers in a child’s life: parents and school.

At Vernon Oak Elementary, we are not just preparing children for the next grade; we are preparing them for life!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find what you are looking for, don't hesitate to reach out.
What is an independent school?

Unlike private for-profit schools, independent schools are not-for-profit and receive Ministry funding. They are also accountable to the Ministry for the delivery of the BC Curriculum. However, they have the freedom to approach the curriculum from their own perspective and employ teachers who reflect these perspectives. (Example of private school: Aberdeen Hall. Examples of independent schools: Vernon Christian School and Okanagan Waldorf School.)

Why are you not starting a private school instead?

There is an annual tuition fee that many cannot afford. Our school is for children of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

What does the BC Curriculum entail?

It is a ‘concept-based approach to learning and a focus on the development of competencies to foster deeper, more transferable learning.’

Is this school run by the community or by the government?

All decisions are made by the board of directors who are community members and they do not receive payment from the government or any other organization.

Are you a religious school?

Although our school is non-sectarian, we will be teaching children about various religions from an educational perspective as well as exposing children to the concept of the existence of a greater power.

Where will the school be located?

The school will be in the Vernon, BC area. We have not selected a specific site yet, as we first need to gauge public support and obtain Ministry approval to open this independent school.

How much money do you need to raise?

We anticipate needing millions of dollars. All funds remaining after start-up costs will be used for future operational costs, student fees, and school repairs. Demonstrating financial longevity and community support will increase our chances of Ministry approval.

What happens if you do not raise enough money or the school does not get approved?

If we do not raise enough funds or the school is not approved, all donations will be returned minus the crowdfunding service fees.

Where will the money be kept?

Funds will be kept in a secure bank account belonging to our incorporated non-profit society, the Vernon Oak Learning Society.

What grades will you be teaching initially?

Our educational consultant has advised us to start small. We plan to begin with Kindergarten to Grade 2 and add one grade each year up to Grade 7.

Will you also have a preschool?

Yes, we plan to open a preschool on the same premises at the same time. Although overseen by the same Ministry, it must be set up as a separate entity.

Will the preschool be free?

No, the preschool fees will be similar to those at other daycares in the area. These fees will help fund the education of school-aged children at the independent school.

What type of government funding are you hoping to receive?

We are applying as a ‘Group 2’ school, which means we can receive 35% of the funding that a public school receives per student. After the first year, we can apply as a ‘Group 1’ school, increasing the funding to 50%.

How will you handle bullying in your school?

We will have a proactive program that covers all forms of bullying. Appearance, socioeconomic status, race, religion, culture, gender, and sexual orientation will all be covered. Incidentally, ‘as of Dec. 31, 2016, all BC school districts and independent schools are required to include specific references to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in their anti-bullying policies’. Contrary to popular belief, SOGI is not its own curriculum and SOGI 123 is not a mandatory but an available teaching resource. At this school, teachers will not be using the SOGI 123 teaching tool, however, we will ensure all students are accepted and will thrive.

What kind of after-school care are you planning to offer?

We have a vision of providing care until 5:00pm every school day mainly provided by grade 6 & 7 students who will get paid a small fee from parents 

What do you mean by year-round care?

We understand how difficult it is to run a household when both parents work during the summer months. We would like our school to continue to be open for children of working parents, but activities would be more summer-camp oriented. 

How will you ensure your school will not deviate from your vision and mission?

At least two directors and two school educators will be involved in hiring anyone working on school grounds. In addition, both parents and school staff will be asked to review school policies and sign their agreement prior to their involvement. 

In what grade will children be taught about sexuality?

Children will learn about the biology of the human body as well as relationships and how they change throughout our lives starting in grade 4, but sexuality will not be taught until grade 7. Any additional topics required by the BC Curriculum that are not covered, will be offered using the Alternative Delivery method (at home).

Will special-needs children be able to go to this school?

Initially we will not have the resources required for special-needs children. Our goal is to add those resources in the next few years as our school grows.

How will you choose suitable teachers?

We will select passionate and enthusiastic individuals from a pool of qualified applicants whose values align with ours. At least two directors and two school educators will be involved in hiring anyone working on school grounds.

Where can I receive updates?

Check Updates

How many students will be in each class?

A maximum of 24 students per class.

As space is limited, how will student acceptance work?

The directors want to make sure the school has a diverse group of students that reflects the community. Acceptance will be decided on many factors, but the goal is to create a balanced school environment.

Are you hoping to expand in the future?

Absolutely! The greater the demand, the more we will expand!

Are you interested in working at the school or have your child attend the school (or Kinderhouse)

please fill in the survey so that we can better understand where to put our energy. Thank you!

Survey link:

Do you believe everyone will be excited about this new school?

No. Like other schools, this school will not appeal to everyone. However, it will provide all parents with an additional choice of education for their child. Our school will satisfy the requirements set out by the Ministry, however, we will only be accountable to the parents and the children who attend our school and share our values. We will have an open-door policy for those parents! For people who have a different opinion about what makes a great school, please continue with your search or support the schools we already have.


We are looking for support from our local and global community!

This amazing school can only become a reality if we all come together to make it happen. Unlike public schools, there is no money available for the capital costs of an independent school. This means 100% of the funds will need to come from those who share our vision and our deep desire to create a better world for our children. No amount is too small. Every penny of your gift will go towards the school.

If you would like to give a child the gift of attending this school, please consider becoming a sponsor. Send us an email and we will make it happen!

If you have land to donate, kindly contact us.

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