Cortes Island high school pilot program sees successful start

A brown haired woman with glasses speaks into a microphone.
Cortes Island Academy administrator and Folk-U host Manda Aufochs-Gillespie. Photo by Greg Osoba.
Greg Osoba - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 26-09-2022
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Editor's Note: Manda Aufochs-Gillespie is the host of Folk-U, one of the programs on Cortes community radio CKTZ.

The Cortes Island Academy has launched its debut semester for high school students and administrators say the school year is off to a good start.

Prior to the 2022/2023 school year, students had to either be home schooled or leave Cortes Island after Grade 9 in order to complete their high school education.

Administrator Manda Aufochs-Gillespie says the program is a dream come true with courses fully accredited through local BC School District 72. She and some other parents came up with the idea for the academy's program a couple of years ago. She says it's been tough slogging, but feedback from parents, students and instructors is very positive so far.

Currently, 20 students are enrolled. Many are from Cortes Island, with others coming from other parts of School District 72, and there is an international student from Germany.

The program is based on a semester system, divided into four blocks, running from four to five weeks long: Outdoor Exploration & Leadership; Marine Ecology; Tools for Truth Telling; and Film Making. Instructors include a certified teacher from the district as well as local scientists and experts in various fields of study.

Hear the details in the CKTZ interview with Manda Aufochs-Gillespie below: