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  • Writer's pictureWhole School

Longest Running Independent School in BC


The Whole School is the longest running Independent School in BC. First called the “Free School”, parents opened the Vallican Whole School in 1973 and moved to Winlaw in 2009.


The structure and values of the classroom have spread to Nelson via the Wildflower program and some components have become integrated in surrounding public school classrooms as past teachers bring with them elements of the program they acquired and valued at the Whole School.


The Office of Independent Schools Inspectors have described the program as “cutting edge” and “a vision for what they want to see happening in schools throughout the province.”


Here is what a Whole School parent shared:


Jessie Coonen explains, “The most common question I get from parents who hear that I have had my four kids in the Whole School for the last 12 years is: ‘How did they do when they moved on to other schools?’ My kids are very much their own individuals who passionately pursue their interests and are leaders amongst their peers. They courageously stand for what they believe in, and at the same time, show a deep compassion and caring for those around them. Their acts of generosity are a pleasure to witness.” Jessica Coonen is a parent and Whole School board member and is happy to meet with anyone who has questions about the school.


Get in touch to learn more about the Whole School!

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