Black Mountain Learning Story
Black Mountain is a rural and urban K-5 elementary school in the Rutland family of schools within the Central Okanagan Public Schools. We have 455 students between 20 divisions and are situated on spacious school grounds that offer wonderful outdoor play areas and learning spaces. We also have a vibrant parent community that is very supportive of our school; our PAC collaborates with our school to offer rich experiences for our students through its tireless fundraising efforts and constant support of our school goals.
We are honoured to teach and learn on the traditional unceded territory of the Okanagan people, and we infuse the First Peoples Principles of Learning within our learning environments because we understand that authentic ways of knowing both the world and ourselves are extremely important. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be the neighbourhood school of the new Margaret’s Landing housing development that is right beside our school, a vision brought to reality by the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society and Housing BC.
We also work very hard to instill strong character education principles; most notably, we focus on the district’s Attributes of a Learner, as well as growth mindset for learning and an overall ethic of care.
We believe that foundational literacy and numeracy skills are the cornerstone of a school environment in which students flourish. To that end, we take a great deal of pride in how we go about instructing for literacy and numeracy, providing our students with many entry points into their learning, as well as a strong second helping of instruction from our non-enrolling team (our Learning Assistance Teacher, our English Language Learner Teacher). Beyond that, our non-enrolling team consists of our school counselor, our Resource teacher, our teacher-librarian, our Indigenous advocate, and our itinerant staff (our speech-language pathologist and our school psychologist). As well, we are incredibly fortunate to have such great support from our team of CEA's (Certified Education Assistants); they provide invaluable support not only to our priority students but also to so many others throughout our school.
We also align our school with the district’s annual theme. From joy two years ago, gratitude last year, and courage this year, we weave these important concepts into our teaching and learning, as they are wonderful learning opportunities for our students and staff.
We place great importance on safety at our school, and we teach our students the importance of advocating not only for themselves but also for others. This is an important skill in terms of the core competency of personal and social responsibility, as outlined in the Ministry of Education’s curriculum.
We are a school with a diverse group of learners, and we embrace that. From Joe Rich to Rutland, we serve a community of learners -- including a growing number of English Language Learning families -- and with a committed staff, we work hard to meet the needs of everyone. We extend our net beyond our school, partnering with UBC Okanagan through its teacher training program, and we take great pride in the excellence in both teaching and learning that exists at our school.