It was double-happiness at Mar Jok Elementary school today, as students and staff, along with representatives from the Central Okanagan board of education and the District of West Kelowna, celebrated the official opening of their school on the first day of the Chinese New Year.
The ceremony commenced with a traditional greeting by the West Bank First Nation and was followed by a choir performance and a dragon dance by students. The family of Mr. Jok Mar, whom the school is named after, also attended this special occasion.
The new $14-million Mar Jok Elementary can accommodate up to 460 kindergarten to grade six students. This school features lots of open spaces and B.C. wood, and it is built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards. It is also part of a joint-development with the District of West Kelowna, which created a community park including a full-sized sports field in West Kelowna. The Rosewood Sports Field, adjacent to the school, is available to students during school hours; the field is open to the public outside of school hours and it hosts various sports events.
Mar Jok Elementary is also home to a Neighbourhood Learning Centre (NLC), which consists of a 500-metre space expansion to the school gymnasium. The NLC offers a wide range of programs to children and families through the District of West Kelowna, including dance and sports activities for children and various fitness and recreational programs for residents.
In addition to Mar Jok Elementary, the Province also committed $15 million for additions to Okanagan Mission Secondary. The additions will be completed this spring and will consist of 300 additional spaces for students as well as space for a Neighbourhood Learning Centre.
Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education -
“We have a great education system in B.C., but we are always looking for improvements to the way we teach and assess students, where and how students learn. This is why we launched the BC Education Plan for a more learner-centered system.
“Mar Jok Elementary is an excellent example of our vision for schools in B.C. Not only does it support 21st century learning, collaboration and flexibility for students, it also offers various programs to the whole community. Congratulations to students, parents, the Central Okanagan board of education and the District of West Kelowna on the opening of this beautiful school.”
Moyra Baxter, chair, Central Okanagan board of education -
“Mar Jok Elementary is a great facility created with the support of the Ministry of Education, our board of education, the District of West Kelowna, and with input from our community stakeholders.
“The school is designed to support the ever changing delivery of education in our school district. This modern facility, with its open classrooms and Neighbourhood Learning Centre will serve the community of West Kelowna for decades to come.”
- Mar Jok Elementary is named after Mr. Jok Mar, a Chinese-Canadian who had made important contribution to the community of West Kelowna as a businessman and a long-time volunteer.
- Since 2001, the Province has invested $99.3 million in the Central Okanagan school district to complete 14 construction projects, including the replacement of Rutland Elementary, additions to Rutland Senior Secondary, Mount Boucherie Senior Secondary, Chute Lake Elementary school and the addition to Okanagan Mission Secondary.
- In addition, during this period, the Province invested more than $9.5 million for additional space for full-day kindergarten.
BC's Education Plan: http://www.bcedplan.ca/
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education