Bells rang across Kettle Valley on September 7th, 2009 as Chute Lake Elementary opened its doors to welcome 444 students! As a state of the art institution modeling sustainable values, Chute Lake marked the dawn of a ‘whole new world’ of teaching.
When Chute Lake Elementary’s doors opened, it was the very height of cutting edge and the first school in the Central Okanagan to be fully equipped with innovative SmartBoards in every classroom. The SmartBoards were connected to teacher’s laptops and a document camera, replacing the old overhead projectors and allowing teachers to engage students in a whole new way.
With their new technology, teachers are able to project videos and images from the internet while writing notes and drawing diagrams. To help with vocal fatigue and ensure that every student can hear clearly, teachers were also equipped with a tiny microphone, worn like a pendant around their neck. School certainly wasn’t, and isn’t, boring at Chute Lake Elementary!
“This is just a whole new world of teaching,” said principal Bruce McKay to The Daily Courier on September 6th, 2009. “Teachers can use this as an extremely powerful tool. They are finding that, just as they begin to scratch the surface, more ideas come which are used to enhance the learning experience for kids.”
Not only was Chute Lake Elementary the most technologically advanced school in the district when it opened, it was also the most environmentally friendly. The entire school was outfitted with a geothermal heating and cooling system, and solar panels located on the roof help to power the lighting, which also turns on and off automatically to further conserve energy. To conserve water, every sink and toilet is water-saving and drought-resistant vegetation decorates the landscape.
Since opening, Chute Lake has left its legacy on the Kettle Valley community. In September 2011, two modular classrooms were added in addition to more washroom facilities.
Earlier this year, Principal Bruce McKay was named one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals by the Learning Partnership, a non-profit organisation that promoted public education. Through this honour, Principal McKay was inducted into the National Academy of Principals, in recognition of his commitment to innovation and his entrepreneurial spirit.