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At Halifax Independent, education is focused on the whole child: intellectual, emotional, physical and social. We understand that a happy child learns best and that each child learns and develops in many different ways. Our small, multi-age classes allow teachers to challenge and support each child in ways that recognize the uniqueness of individuals while emphasizing co-operation and respect for others. Learning and loving it happens hand-in-hand with a sense of discovery and enjoyment.
Our curriculum is thorough in all areas, solid and time-tested, allowing each child to fulfil the desire to know, see and do more – and to consistently reach their potential along the way. The theme-based learning that we pioneered forty years ago, and which is now a major international approach in education, is the core of our academic programmes. It emphasizes active, experiential learning as a means to ingrain the basics and explore the world.
We know that an integrated approach and a love of learning are the best ways to address the needs of the whole child. A Halifax Independent School foundation bears fruit as our students become confident, socially adept and motivated learners – a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Theme learning is the in-depth study of various topics, under the umbrella of a larger “theme topic” and in which all the traditional core subjects are integrated. The themes are of broad interest, appropriate for any age group and are chosen to reflect a balance of science and social studies sub-topics. Language arts and math skills are built into all topics as students report and explore.
Using the theme approach, children see no barriers to their learning or interests; one interest and one subject discipline can naturally flow into the next. Each theme study involves an extensive investigation of concrete situations and materials, including use of community resources. An essential goal of our theme studies is to foster an appreciation of the community and environment in which the children live.
In working through theme, the children learn how to question, analyze, classify and communicate their discoveries. The sense of ownership and pride that naturally flows from these learning experiences benefits our students for life.
The school day at Halifax Independent runs from 9:00am to 3:15pm (3:25pm for Middle School). Children are supervised from 8:30am to 3:15pm (3:25 for Middle School), lunchtime included. All children in the Pre-Primary and Elementary school have a half hour "snack" time in the mornings and a one hour lunch time. On both breaks children have an opportunity to play outside. Middle School students have a 15 minute break in the morning and a one hour lunch period. Optional hot lunches are served several days per week at a small additional cost.
In addition, the following programmes are offered to Elementary students:
• Early Morning Care: 8:00am - 8:30am, Monday through Friday (except on school holidays)
• After School Care: 3:15pm - 5:30pm, Monday through Friday (except on school holidays)
• Parent Teacher Conference Childcare: 8:30am - 3:15pm on every Parent Teacher Conference Day
• Inservice Day Childcare: 8:30am - 3:15pm on every Inservice Day
The aim of these childcare programmes is to provide an environment consistent with the goals of the school. The focus is on developing social skills, independence, cooperation and respect for oneself and others. The programmes are recreation-based and often involve the adventure of an off-site activity. Childcare staff are selected for their training, skills, experience and love of children. Parental input and participation is encouraged.
B.A. (Nottingham), Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK), M. Ed. (Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK), 2 years Doctoral Studies (University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, UK)
After being inspired to have fun and enjoy school by one particularly wonderful teacher, Cate has spent the last few decades working to make that experience happen for others. Originally from the UK and at HIS since 1991, she is now the school’s Headteacher. Both of her daughters attended the school and since graduation, have worked as school monitors. Cate delights in the emphasis on relationship-building at HIS and the respect for children as people, first. She enjoys watching children have the opportunity to relax into who they are and witnessing, daily, the incredible enthusiasm for learning that both teachers and students display.
Deputy Headteacher, Middle School Teacher
B.A. (Mount Allison University, Sackville, N.B. ), Certificate in Environmental Education (Algonquin College, Ottawa), B. Ed. (Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax), M.Ed. (Acadia University, Wolfville)
One of Heather’s first days at HIS was substitute teaching on “9-11”. In the days following, she witnessed how thoughtfully teachers responded to students—some with parents working in New York—and how naturally and intuitively the members of the school community interacted with each other. It is this community’s respect for the broader world, including the environment, that Heather most enjoys. And it is the learning that she has garnered from the natural world and animals that has prompted her to share her farm, where she raises sheep and grows vegetables, with the children of HIS. For Heather, who also directs the senior students in their theatrical productions, some of her best moments come when HIS Alumni drop by for a hug, share their continued achievements, and let her know how fondly they remember their time at the school.
Middle School Teacher and Department Head for Middle School
B.Sc. Chemistry (University of New Brunswick), B.Ed. (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax)
Leigh-Ann was born into a family of teachers, and as such, knew what she wanted to be from a young age. She loves the maturity and respectfulness of the HIS Middle School students, and their daily “aha” moments, as they learn. Originally from Truro, Nova Scotia, Leigh-Ann has a deep appreciation for learning and understands the importance of a teacher engaging with students and showing genuine interest and enthusiasm. As a former member of the Nova Scotia Institute of Science, Leigh Ann continues to value interdisciplinary connections and cultivates opportunities for Halifax Independent students to meet role models, exemplars and mentors within the science community. As someone who is physically active herself, she enjoys offering leadership to the school’s Hiking, Ski & Snowboard Clubs. Leigh Ann holds her certification to coach tennis, loves travelling and photography, and is a “mean” cake decorator!
Elementary Teacher and Department Head for Lower Elementary
B. A. A., Child and Youth Studies (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax), B. Ed. (University of Calgary)
From the minute Jill began part-time work at HIS back in 2004, she knew that it was the school for her. Both her own personal learning philosophy and her teacher training at the inquiry-based University of Calgary, made the school a perfect fit. As someone who has always adored children, Jill considers her job a privilege. Some of the highlights include hearing their full-belly laughter, sharing their eagerness to learn, and reflecting on the many inspiring (and funny) moments that happen each and every day. Jill creates a respectful and caring environment where children are nurtured to become who they fully are and where they feel safe sharing ideas and expressing themselves.
Elementary Teacher and Department Head for Upper Elementary
B.Sc.K. (Dalhousie University, Halifax), M.Sc. (Oregon State University), B.Ed. (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax)
HIS is such a second home to Christy that she often pulls out her house key to get in the front door of the school! Originally from Dartmouth, Christy also spent some time in Connecticut, working at a therapeutic boarding school for children with special needs. It was there that she realized that teaching was her calling and, since 2008, has been teaching elementary school at HIS. Christy also heads up the school’s Running Clubs and when her busy schedule allows, volunteers with the Girl Guides of Canada.
B. F. A. (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax), Certificate in Accounting (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax)
Born and raised in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, May’s interest in accountancy grew as she was exposed to the field through summer jobs. May discovered that she truly enjoyed that aspect of her work and set out to achieve formal certification. She first encountered HIS as a parent and appreciated the rich experience that the school was offering to her two sons. May is a perfect fit for the front desk of HIS, with her warm smile, calm demeanour, and love of children. She very much enjoys the strong sense of community, the fact that the school draws so many wonderful people (both staff and parents) together, and the opportunity to contribute to an organization she values.
B.Sc. (York University, Toronto), B.Ed. (University of Colorado)
Heather always knew she wanted to work with children and has spent time on both the east and west coasts of Canada and in Colorado doing just that! She taught preschool, ran a day care from her home, and worked at a treatment centre for emotionally challenged children before arriving at HIS in 1990. For Heather, who loves Nordic walking, cross-country skiing, and yoga, it’s the caring and empowering environment of HIS that she believes is most unique. Her own kids, now grown, benefitted from the multi-age activities, the connections to the broader community, and the integration of subject areas into theme that are some of Heather’s favourite aspects of the school.
Lead Teacher, Preschool Director- on leave
B. A. (St. Mary's University); Early Childhood Education Two-Year Diploma (Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education, Halifax)
It was the experience of having a child, herself, that led Shawna to the realization that she wanted to teach children. She went on to study at the Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education and was hired in one of their lab schools as a lead pre-school teacher. Since landing at HIS in 2012, Shawna has been most impressed by the sense of community on which the school is built, with parents and teachers working together to create beautiful opportunities for fun, growth, and education. Shawna loves watching children apply what they are learning to their work and play and when she is not teaching, spends cherished time with her partner and their children at their family cottage.
B.A., B.Ed. (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax)
Watching her students write their first sentences without assistance is akin to watching them take their first step for Lee-Anne. Helping students achieve this kind of success, in the creative and dynamic environment of HIS, fuels her love of teaching. Many early experiences led Lee-Anne to this career, including a three-year stint as an ESL teacher overseas, a position as a recreation program leader for the YMCA, and time spent as an instructor with SpellRead, helping struggling readers. She loves the way that HIS helps students to develop confidence and realize their potential, all the while being mindful of their differences and strengths. She is happy to share in presenting new and exciting experiences that enable her students to construct their own knowledge of the world around them.
Pre-Primary Associate Teacher
B. A. A., Child and Youth Studies (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax) ECE III
Sharon grew up in a family of teachers, has always loved children, and dreamed of becoming an Early Childhood Educator from a very young age. While pursuing her Bachelor of Child and Youth Study Degree (CHYS) at Mount Saint Vincent University, Sharon completed a four-week practicum placement at HIS. She had such a positive experience that when a position opened up in the preschool classroom, she jumped at the chance. It’s the sense of community that she most loves about the school, and the encouragement to make the classroom a fun and engaging environment. Sharon treasures the opportunity to share in the children’s sense of wonder on a daily basis. She delights in their eagerness to learn and ask questions and loves seeing their faces light up when they learn something new.
B. Mus., B. Mus. Ed. (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Nelle comes to teaching and to music naturally. Her mother—Maggie Duinker—has been the music teacher at HIS for the last 14 years. Nelle ably filled her mom’s shoes during a one-year absence and and on Maggie's return, the school had grown such that we needed two Music teachers. When she was a first year teacher, Nelle experienced a warm and supportive welcome, and she feels honoured to be a permanent part of the HIS staff team. She participates in all areas of school life and enjoys collaborating with Maggie and the classroom teachers. Nelle most enjoys children’s enthusiasm and passion for music, their fearless sense of wonder in the world, and their ability to overcome challenges in many different and amazing ways. When not at school, Nelle sings in various choirs and plays her ukulele.
B. A. Hons. (University of King's College, Halifax), B. Ed. (St. Mary's University, Halifax)
Tania comes by her profession naturally, as most of her family members are teachers! She has taught French in both Halifax and Fredericton, and English in Lithuania. Since 2004, she has been enjoying the sense of community and collaboration at HIS and is grateful for the way her own teaching philosophy melds with the school’s. Tania loves the opportunities for creativity that permeate the classrooms of HIS. She feels most rewarded when she witnesses students pushing themselves to express thoughts in French, even when they are not confident. In her own life, she continually sets new goals and reaches for more growth, recently adding a half-marathon to her list of accomplishments, which also include playing the French Horn, portraiture, and stained glass work.
B. A. (University of King's College, Halifax), B. Ed. (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax)
Laura’s favourite moment at HIS happened on a field trip to the new Halifax Farmers’ Market. After time spent talking to farmers and tasting delicious food, the class of 6 and 7-year-olds happened upon an accordion player and began dancing their hearts out. It’s this sense of joy that Laura finds most inspiring in children. This native Nova Scotian brings diverse experiences to the school including time as a deckhand on the Schooner Bluenose II, many art and design courses, ukulele playing, and Flamenco dancing! When she teaches, Laura encourages laughter, kindness and the children’s natural inquisitiveness. Her goal is to foster a caring community and instill a lifelong love of learning within her students.
B. A. Music (University of Western Ontario, London ON), Diploma in Kodály Music Education (Kodály Institute, Hungary), B. Ed. (Dalhousie University, Halifax), Early Childhood Education Diploma (Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood Education, Halifax)
Maggie wanted to teach music to children for as long as she can remember and has managed to achieve this dream for most of her adult life. Originally from Sudbury, Maggie and her family chose Halifax as home in 1998, the same year she joined HIS. As a mother of four children, now grown, she truly enjoys the hope and daring of young people; how they approach new challenges and their displays of delight and wonder. Teaching at HIS has also enabled Maggie to learn much about herself, life, and others, and she considers it an honour to work in such a caring and respectful environment.
Middle School French Teacher
B.A., B. Ed. (St. Thomas University, Fredericton)
As a young volunteer at YMCA summer day camps in Fredericton, Marc saw solid leadership in action. He had a mentor whose kind and fair manner gave Marc a vision for what he would like to offer. His gifts grew alongside his experiences as a camp counselor, a camp director and sports coach. Pursuing a career in teaching was a natural and obvious progression for Marc. He loves the challenge and opportunities of teaching, and of working with others. He has seen first-hand how investment in the vibrancy of a staff group supports a healthy learning community for students and their families. A year of teaching French Immersion at a local elementary school proved to be a rich and rewarding experience which broadened his aspirations for teaching at all grade levels and affirmed his appreciation for strength and enthusiasm within a staff group.
B. A., B. Ed. (Saint Thomas University, Fredericton)
Inspired by the kindness and steadfastness of his Grade Three teacher who faithfully delivered assignments and get-well cards to his house when he was absent and ill for half the school-year, Liam decided he wanted to be that kind of teacher. After training in New Brunswick, he taught Kindergarten for two years before coming to HIS in 2011, where he was touched to receive such a warm welcome from teachers and parents alike. Liam is constantly astonished and rewarded by watching children push themselves to their limits in order to accomplish goals. He looks forward to more of these wonderful moments and more teaching, and learning, at HIS.
B. A., B. Ed. (Acadia University, Wolfville)
Lori has had many memorable moments as a teacher! Her teaching experience has been rich, from climbing mountains and sitting in a bear cave to travelling by dog sled and sleeping in an igloo, made by her students. After years spent in Canada’s north and in British Columbia, Lori returned to her roots in Nova Scotia and discovered HIS. Lori's own thoughts about education and development are closely aligned with the school's philosophy of creating an environment where children can thrive emotionally, intellectually, physically, and socially. In fact, she was so taken by HIS’s secure, caring, and academically stimulating atmosphere that she immediately brought her own son to the school. Lori is a Nova Scotia Designer Craft Council member and also nurtures her creative side outside the classroom by working as a wood artisan.
Carol Anne May
Acting Lead Teacher, Pre-Primary Director
Early Childhood Education Diploma (Holland College, Charlottetown)
After 18 years working as a resource teacher in Bridgewater, Carol Anne took a leap, landed at HIS, and couldn’t be happier. Born in Montreal and raised in PEI, the Early Childhood Education graduate has worked with children for her entire career. From a very young age, she knew that this was her life’s work and passion. Over time, and by working with children of all ages, Carol Anne has developed a teaching philosophy based on her experience. She has seen that the building blocks of educational success are strong, positive social interaction where children learn how to play, interact, and gain confidence in themselves. The Halifax Independent School’s focus on the whole child—intellectual, emotional, physical and social—is a wonderful fit.
B. Sc. (Acadia University, Wolfville), B. Ed. (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax)
The Primary teacher who told her she was drawing grass the “wrong” way is the one Mandai inwardly thanks for her desire to become an art teacher. This experience inspired her to create a positive classroom atmosphere that encourages children to try new things, be proud of their unique ideas, and think “outside of the box”. Some of her favourite HIS moments involve witnessing a child’s joy sketching in the natural environment; watching her students stand up in front of hundreds at a community consultation session to speak, persuasively, about why we should protect wilderness areas; and helping an HIS student enter an innovative bike rack contest and win, beating out several professional designers. Best of all, though, is the excitement that she hears in the children’s voices when they declare “I love art!”.
B. A. (Memorial University of Newfoundland), B. Ed. (University of Maine), M. Ed. (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax)
As a child growing up in Newfoundland, it was not unusual for Tina to come home and find other children, students of her parents, hanging out at her house. For her mother, a Grade Three teacher, and her father, a guidance counsellor, teaching was definitely not a 9-5 job. It was no surprise to anyone when Tina decided to become a teacher, specializing in the area of Resource. Her first stint as a Resource teacher, in 2007, convinced her that helping and supporting children in literacy was her passion. At HIS, she loves that students are encouraged to learn at their own pace and in the ways that best fit them. And she deeply values the commitment of fellow teachers and HIS parents who continually give, helping the school thrive.
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Kitchen Manager, School Cook and Nutrition Mentor
Diploma in Pastry Arts (George Brown College, Toronto)
Neyah comes to HIS from Vienna, Austria, where she managed a restaurant for six years. Originally from Colorado, Neyah is grateful for the opportunity to bring both of her true joys together—the art of cooking and working with children. As well as making some of her favourite meals for the children, she is enjoying the opportunity to teach cooking classes to HIS students. Neyah has found the strong sense of community and the holistic approach to education at HIS to be inspiring and uplifting. She enjoys witnessing children’s natural inquisitiveness, their creativity, and their ease with being in the moment.
B. A. (St. Mary's University, Halifax), B. Ed. (University of Calgary)
Sandy flew all the way from Calgary for her HIS interview and, promptly fell in love with the school. Luckily for all, she was offered a teaching position! Sandy brings her love of children’s energy, honesty, imaginations, and creativity to her work and is grateful for the value HIS places on collaboration, supported by a strong sense of community. She loves that teachers, students, and parents all work together to make the education of the students engaging and meaningful. Working with children on a daily basis continually reminds her of what is important in life: friendships, family, learning about ourselves, and learning about the world around us. On Thursday nights, you’ll find Sandy spending time with her own family - bowling, with three generations!
Middle School Teacher
B. Sc., Environmental Science (McGill University, Montreal ), B. Ed. (Mount St. Vincent University, Halifax)
Positive experiences with teachers in her high school years led Kaitlin to want to study education and contribute to the lives of young people. Since graduating from Mount Saint Vincent University, she has developed a teaching philosophy that encourages students to make their own discoveries through inquiry-based learning methods. Originally from New Brunswick, Kaitlin has also worked in Nairobi, Kenya in literacy education and in Suzhou, China as a high school science teacher. She especially enjoys our school’s values of respect, community, and creativity and the dedication shared by all staff as they create a nurturing environment for the whole school community. Fuelled by a love of children and youth, Kaitlin is daily inspired by the dedication that her students show toward their own learning.
B. A. (Dalhousie University, Halifax)
For many, Valerie is the “face” of HIS, working at the front desk, and, daily welcoming adults and children to the school with her warm smile and big heart. She home-schooled her three boys before enroling her eldest child at HIS and quickly fell in love with the school. A job opened up at just the right time and soon, all three boys were enroled. Each one flourished at Halifax Independent and the last graduated in 2011. She loves witnessing a child tackle a personal challenge and feels joyful along with them when they celebrate a triumph. Valerie has two second “homes”: her All Nations Church family and Halifax Independent School, both treasured sources of care and encouragement. In her off-time, Valerie enjoys cycling, writing, making music and spending time with family and friends.
Designed by local architectural firm, Lydon Lynch, Halifax Independent School is a welcoming, bright, two-story structure set on almost two acres of landscaped grounds featuring two playgrounds, a playing field, and picnic area. It sits comfortably in Halifax's residential west end, and is easily accessible from all areas of HRM.
The building is a teaching model of environmental efficiency, and fulfils the goal of "educating our children through example, by taking responsibility for the environment we share". It is heated with geothermal heat pumps eliminating the need for fossil fuels, and is "super insulated." Large, energy-efficient windows capture an abundance of natural light, contributing passive solar energy.
As well as ten classrooms and six co-operative workrooms, the special features of this 16,300 square foot building include a double height music room, a library, a lunchroom with a mini-performance stage, and a teaching kitchen. Every room is fully wired for technology, and the common areas are decorated with student artwork.
In the summer of 2014, with the expansion of our Middle School, a beautiful new stand-alone classroom was added to the campus.
Halifax Independent School is part of an exciting community, locally and beyond. The school values interactions within the community and encourages involvement in a wide range of social, cultural, professional, and ecological activities. Halifax Independent students interact with students from local schools through clubs and other projects.
Being a member of the Atlantic Conference of Independent Schools (ACIS) enables our students to take part in cultural, recreational and sporting events. ACIS also offers our staff professional development opportunities.
Participation in the Duke of Edinburgh programme allows our Middle School students to volunteer in the community in an area of particular interest. HIS is a member of Peaceful Schools International and has supported our students in their participation in Me to We. The students' involvement in a We Act group has led them to support the Solterre Library Build in Ghana, and to contribute to Feed Nova Scotia through the We Scare Hunger campaign.
Opportunities to help close to home often develop naturally, because of community connections. Our students have brought song to a local seniors' residence and a nearby community centre, and participated in Clean Nova Scotia's Great Nova Scotia "Pick-Me-Up" , among other things. Throughout the school's history, students have researched local environmental issues and contributed to local discussions around habitat protection and stewardship of natural resources.
Halifax Independent also encourages children at all grade levels to feel part of the wider global community. Activities such as penpal programmes, supporting community development projects in other areas of the world, hosting exchange students or sponsoring an endangered mammal all help bring the world into our classrooms. A portion of all money raised by the children, for example, through bake sales is designated for a charity to be determined by them.
Halifax Independent School has enjoyed productive relationships with universities in the region. Originally Dalhousie University's laboratory school, we were an important part of its teacher education programme for many years offering a rich learning environment for elementary students and a more intensive practicum experience than could be found in a conventional practicum teaching block. After Dalhousie moved away from teacher education, our school formed a relationship with Mount Saint Vincent University, and there have been few years in which there was not at least one student teacher in our classrooms.
Our school has also been involved in numerous research projects with regional universities and we are proud of our record as a partner in research and to be a member of the International Association of Laboratory Schools. Our students benefit from the extra learning opportunities involved, as well as from the expertise of university personnel.
As part of our enriched curriculum we are also affiliated with or partner with many exceptional organizations.
At the Canada Games Centre, our elementary students receive weekly swimming classes in the Royal Lifesaving Society programme. Our senior students experience challenge and adventure in The Duke of Edinburgh programme as well as the Experiences Canada (formerly SEVEC) programme. Brigadoon Village (Camp) is the perfect setting for our Middle School’s annual team-building trip, and our staff were so impressed with the beauty of the site and the quality of the programming that they have identified it as an optimal site for multi-day staff development events. As part of our school’s global and local community-mindedness our senior students plan We Act initiatives and have supported, among other worthy causes, the Solterre Ghana Library Build.
We love local businesses and resources, and are delighted to bring our student productions to the stages at Alderney Landing Theatre and the Scotiabank Studio Theatre. Our north-end neighbourhood is a great place to grow, and allows us to be “regulars” at St. Andrew’s Community Centre. We have an especially soft spot for Ironwood Farm where our students see farming up close, and enjoy the natural wonderland of their delightful wooded acreage.
The close-knit nature of Halifax Independent School means that we keep in touch with our former students long after they have left the school. We are very proud of our graduates; the first class to graduate from grade six graduated from high school in 2004. Of the seven students, 6 graduated with honours or with distinction. All continued on to enrol in university programmes, several with scholarships.
An Alumni Association has held several reunions over the years and was instrumental in fundraising for the new school building. Newsletters keep members up-to-date with the activities of the school and with news of one another.
If you are an alumnus who would like to receive our newsletter, or would like to share news about yourself, please email us at: email@example.com
We love to hear from our former students and their families! They enjoy a standing invitation to our “End of Year Celebration Picnic”, held each year, in June. We lean on recent graduates to visit our Grade 9 class and give them a firsthand reflection on life as a new high school student. We gladly share news of our former students via the school newsletter and have had the pleasure of receiving them back into our immediate school community as B.Ed practicum students, as after school staff, as guest speakers and parents!
If you are a graduate or a former student, your child will qualify for a tuition reduction from Primary through Grade 9. Please contact us for details.
In 2012, Halifax Independent School celebrated 40 years of excellence in education - 40 years of fostering a lifelong love of learning!
HIS started in the early 70s as a tiny laboratory school housed in Dalhousie University's Department of Education. Called the Dalhousie Experimental School, many future teachers received part of their training there. During the 1980s the school was expanded, the word "Experimental" was dropped, and the theme approach to teaching was developed. The school's team of teachers pioneered their own version of theme studies and established four of the five themes we still use today. Many of the activities fundamental to our life today originated then: Mini-Society, the Plays, Fair, and the whole school Meeting. The book "Learning and Loving It: Theme Studies in the Classroom" was written by these same teachers, (Gamberg et al.), and it is widely read in the education field. The school was also designated a Centre for Excellence by the National Council of Teachers of English (USA).
By 1990, there were about 35 students from Youngs (Primary) to Olds (grade 4). It was still operating under Dalhousie's School of Education with one full-time teacher and two part-time teachers. When Dalhousie closed its School of Education as part of the Nova Scotia government’s “rationalization” plan to restructure the province’s universities, teachers and parents began to look for ways to preserve the school and its unique philosophy.
The school was incorporated as a cooperative in 1992 (Dalhousie Co-operative School) and soon moved to rented accommodation on South Street where it expanded to include a Littles class (pre-primary) and an Elders class (grades 5 and 6). During the next decade, it grew to over 100 students, prompting plans for a Middle School. As the school continued to expand, a portable classroom was added, the name was changed again, and staff and parents came together, to plan a permanent home. After several years of intense fundraising and planning, Halifax Independent School obtained land on Connaught Avenue for its present purpose-built structure. Since its September 2004 opening, the school has reached its planned enrolment of 150 students and proudly graduated its first Grade 9 class in June 2006.
Halifax Independent School is enriched by volunteers, both members of the community and parents. From parents who invite classes into their labs or studios, and members of the Board of Directors, to helpers with pizza lunches on Fridays, parents are a valuable resource for the school. We actively encourage them to share their skills and expertise with the students.
Those interested in a career in education hone skills and gain valuable experience through volunteer work at the school. In addition there are opportunities for paid employment in our lunch monitor and after school programmes.
If you are interested in pursuing a volunteer opportunity at the school please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
From time to time Halifax Independent School looks for teachers to join its enthusiastic and dedicated teaching staff. With competitive salaries, a generous benefits package, stimulating curricula and small class sizes, the school is a wonderful teaching environment for creative, hard-working individuals. Eligible teachers must have a minimum of a B.Ed (or equivalent) and be eligible to be licensed in the province of Nova Scotia. Teachers in the Pre-primary (Littles) must have a Level 2 Early Childhood Education (ECE) Classification.
We welcome enquiries from qualified teachers interested in substitute teaching opportunities. These experiences occasionally extend into long-term contracts. To express your interest and initiate this process, please submit a resumé, and then plan to spend a morning observing in the school and meeting with teachers before having your name added to our substitute list.
We can't be a community without you!
Halifax Independent School is a registered charitable society in which parents and staff govern the school. Almost from its inception, the school has operated on a cooperative model with the gifts and skills of parents influencing every aspect of school life. Our Board is comprised of elected parents and staff members who meet monthly to oversee the direction of the school. Parents and staff, all of whom are members of the Society, gather together for three general meetings during each school year. These meetings provide an opportunity for parents to be well-informed and to have a voice in important discussions. Policies and practices are set and modified as needed with the input of the membership.
Committees deal with many different aspects of school life and consist of parents and teachers working together. An active Landscape Committee has designed and planted gardens and trees to beautify the expansive grounds. Other committees such as Family Support, Finance, Policy, Governance, Facilities, Public Relations, Information Technology and Library provide volunteer opportunities for parents. All committees report to the Board of Directors. With such a varied selection of committees, every interested parent can find a way and a place to contribute to the life of the school.
Our Strategic Plan sets our direction for the next five years to ensure that we continue to be successful in fulfilling our mission.