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Our Dream of Education

In March 2009, a team of visionary teachers and artists formed the Avenir School Society, realizing a dream that we had been chasing independently for many years. We all believe that public education is crucially important in society, and that excellent education should be available for all people.

However, there are some groups of students that are not well served by our current public education system, nor even by the private schools that exist. Some of these students are experiencing frustrations in school that our team has experienced ourselves or observed in many of our students. We decided it was time to help.

Constitution and Registration
On April 22, 2009, we became a British Columbia Registered Charitable Society after designing our own constitution, from scratch. Most private schools are charitable societies, and we could have used slightly-modified copies of their constitutions to save time…but we don’t mind reinventing something if we can make it better.

By November 2009, we had achieved charitable registration with Revenue Canada. By then we had also built this website, started the composition of two books, developed our business plan and budget, sent two of the team for advanced business training, and created innovative curriculum and projects for our intended students.

Under the wing of the Raven
In Spring 2010, we identified aboriginal students as a distinct group that is particularly under-served by most existing schools. We realized that these students might benefit from our program and educational philosophy. With this realization we began partnering with leaders in the aboriginal community, and the NGOs who serve them, to develop curriculum and programs such as Raven’s Wing specifically to meet the needs of these youth.

Programs Begin
From May to June 2010 we offered our first annual Becoming the Future series of activities and talks. We plan to continue providing these free informational and fun sessions for parents and teachers and neighbours annually.

During the 2010 – 2011 school year we offered our first three Summer Adventures. In December we provided Games Galore and Mind over Math, and in Spring Break of 2011 we offered the very popular Creative Thinking camps.

Full B.C. Curriculum Classes begin
In September 2011 we opened the doors of our East Vancouver campus to students entering grades 5 to 9 for Fall Classes.
By September 2012 we had already expanded to include grades 10 and 11. Grade 4 and 12 started in fall of 2013.

Avenir School is indeed moving continually towards a better future for our students and for our greater society.

The Vision Grows
During the 2011-2012 school year we hosted Haida artist Marilyn McKee in residence who taught us, and the neighbouring kids from the Aboriginal Friendship Centre, about Haida-style design. We drew, painted, and carved our way to closer knowledge of the North-coast style of Form-line art. For a while you could see the display at the Vancouver Library (Mount Pleasant) to see what we came up with.

2013 brought increased programming, more students and guest instructors Selena Lohan (Sign Language and Drama), Georgina Lohan (Pottery), Julia Common (Bee Keeping). Our unique summer programs and Focus weeks continue to draw more students. Meanwhile our student-made beeswax candles and honey sales have started funding our own beehives and other community projects.

Fun Days, Focus Weeks, Music-A-La-Tea, Celebrations of Learning, Creativity Club, Gaming Club, and more great holiday programs were added to our regular offerings throughout the 2011-2012 year

Summer of 2015 saw our first 3 graduates finish their high-school and move on to various post-secondary programs.

Avante School
The year 2015-2016 was a challenge. After 18 months waiting for city planning, and securing more reliable investors, we are now pleased to have reopened in September 2016 with a new name, a new Society, and the same vision of quality education for all. Our new Grandview campus which is both bigger and nicer than ever, has more of the same amazing programs, and many of the same staff and students.

Our visionary approach to curriculum design has anticipated the new British Columbia mandated curriculum by attempting to do many of the same things eight years earlier. Now in 2018, we are still providing integrated programs, active learning, custom tailored programs, individualized content, and criterion referenced assessment, but we’ve had nearly a decade more practice doing this compared to most schools in British Columbia.

We are currently a group 2 independent school, offering grades 2 to 12 to a wide variety of local and international students.