What are the unique, positive characteristics that we celebrate in our school/community?

Welcome to syuw̓én̓ct Elementary, where we acknowledge and honour that we are learning, growing, and playing on the traditional and unceded territory of the Snuynewmuxw people. While our school has a rich history over the last 25 years of celebrating student success, the 2022/23 school year marks our first year as syuw̓én̓ct. The name, syuw̓én̓ct, was gifted to our community from Snuneymuxw First Nations, and it means “our history, our traditions”. A two-year process focusing on Truth and Reconciliation concluded with the official renaming of the school in early October. With our new name comes a new logo and mascot, as we are officially the syuw̓én̓ct Spirits!

Situated in the fast-growing Diver’s Lake area of Nanaimo, our community is well supported by a dedicated group of volunteers through our Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). We continue to work directly with NALT (Nanaimo Area Land Trust) around our shared goal of stewardship of the Northfield Marsh and surrounding areas. Through grants and donations, we are now equipped with all tools needed for planting, evasive species removal, and monitoring of the various indigenous species. Our “English Garden”continues to be a key learning space for all classes, and we are blessed to have community volunteers keep this space thriving throughout the year.

We are a school focused on caring and inclusive practices, and we celebrate both our students’ strengths as well as their stretches. You will hear students say, “at syuw̓én̓ct we …” as we work on developing a shared sense of how we show up with each other on a daily basis.

What are the important demographics of our school and community?

syuw̓én̓ct has a population of 355 students, with approximately 20% of our learners identifying as indigenous. We have a growing number of families from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including many whose first language is not English. We are a K-7 school, with 16 divisions including 2 portable classrooms. Families either walk or drive to bring their children to school. Several before and after school care providers support families, both onsite and via bus transportation to their own facilities. We take pride in meeting our students where they are at and helping them grow to be the best they can be.