Kaleden Elementary School
Kaleden Elementary School (KES) provides education to approximately 100 students from kindergarten to grade 5. The school is part of British Columbia School District 67.
As a school community, KES values and prides themselves on an inclusive approach to education, where all students are welcomed and appreciated for their various strengths and talents.
Kaleden is a close-knit community and the school, in many ways, serves as a community hub. Parents at KES are very supportive and involved with school activities and events.
Kaleden School Community is committed to developing life-long learners with a positive self-image who will contribute to society as responsible, caring citizens.
The following history is taken from a publication of the same name, created by Mr. Jan Ehlers' grade 5/6 class during the 1993–94 years of construction. A copy of the publication may be accessed through the Kaleden Museum.
The History of Kaleden School
The years 1910–1993
Kaleden’s first school was opened in the upstairs of the Lapsley General Store in January 1910. When the weather was warm enough in the spring, classes were moved up the hill to where the telephone exchange stood and were housed temporarily in a tent.
In the fall, the school was once more moved into a building which was later used as a house. Miss OIga Watson of Summerland was the first teacher. At the beginning of 1911, Ms Anna Purdie succeeded Miss Watson. During the summer, a two-room frame was built on the bench. Ms Purdie continued as teacher in the new school with about twelve pupils.
The attendance varied during those early years and was at one time so small that a teacher with a family was hired in order to keep the school open. The attendance remained very small until about the year 1923. After that, it steadily increased until in 1932, the attendance reaching 40, it was found necessary to hire another teacher and open up the second room. Mr. Laird was engaged as principal. In 1933 that school became a superior school and high school work was undertaken with a class of eight in Grade 9.
In 1934, Grade 10 was added. With the addition of the high school, new features were added to the school including an efficient chemistry laboratory, school library, swings, softball equipment and a ping-pong set.
As new families moved into the district, the need to additional space became apparent. A new school, in the present location, was built and ready for use on January 3, 1936. Situated on the upper bench, commanding a splendid view of the two lakes and with spacious playgrounds at the back, the school was one of the most modern of its day in rural British Columbia. The building was “comfortable and convenient, well lighted and heated, and with modern plumbing.”
This two-room school was adequate for the community until 1960, when the stage in the community hall had to be used to house Mrs. Pat Philcox’s primary class. This continued until 1962, when new classrooms were completed. Since a gymnasium/auditorium was still necessary, the orchard south of the school was purchased and Cypress Street re-routed. By 1966, the new gym and a library were complete, eliminating the use of the community hall as a gym.
As time went on, subdivision of the orchard caused rapid growth in Kaleden. More classrooms were needed by 1976. At this time a major renovation was undertaken as well as the addition of two classrooms.
By 1993, the population had once again outgrown the available space. Another renovation and expansion was undertaken. During the 1993–94 school years, one class again had to use the community hall stage as a classroom and the physical education classes were once again held in the hall as work progressed around the students and staff. The new school was officially opened on November 7, 1994 and Principal Gerry Anderson and staff happily moved into facilities that once again can be considered among the most modern in rural British Columbia.
Farewell to the old school
B.K from the Zephyr (1936)
No more the sound of childish feet
A-mounting up the stair,
The hall is deserted and cold,
No caps or pails are there.
The rooms are empty too, and still
No childish voice is heard.
No welcome shout or merry laugh,
That once the echoes stirred.
The play-ground too is quite forlorn
No sound of romping games.
They’ve even felled the old pines
Where children carved their names.
You dear old school! You’ve had your day,
And though you’re left behind,
You’ll live forever in our hearts,
In memories sweet and kind.
The years 1993–1994
During the 1993–94 school years, Kaleden School was bursting at the seams. Three classes made their homes in portables; one class had to move three times to facilitate construction and the office, which was also in a portable, was moved twice. Large sections of the playground were out of bounds because construction materials needed to be stored there. The community hall was once again pressed into service both as a classroom for Mr. Wiblen’s class and as a gym for the whole school. Library classes made the trek to the regional library every second week as all school library books were packed in boxes. That Christmas, the students were very grateful that the Christmas pageant could be presented at the Community Hall. Kaleden School obviously needed the current expansion.
As construction neared completion, staff and students began to anticipate the new space. Mr. Wiblen’s class was the first to move into the new wing. Initially, they moved into the old library so that they did not have to use the stage at the community hall any longer. Later in the year, they were moved into a classroom at the northwest end of the building. This took place in February. They were delighted by the fresh new furniture and automatic lights. In return they had to tolerate the noise of workmen all around them as the rest of the classrooms were being completed. Many forecasted completion dates went by, but construction had not been completed.
Finally, move-in day came. On 10th May 1994, kids picked up books and materials and made the great trek into the new wing. There were lines of students carrying boxes, bookshelves and paper. Of course, there were many finishing touches yet to be completed, but the most important features of the classrooms were in place. The new classrooms were bright and cheerful. The walls were clean and the furniture new. All the students were grateful for having such as modern space for learning. Other parts of the school yet to be completed were the gymnasium and the library. The gym was completed just in time for the year-end ceremonies and the library and computer lab became fully functional by September.
The academic year 1993–94 was difficult for all the students and teachers, but the end result of the ordeal was worth it. The school now has a capacity of over 200 students – eight classrooms, library, computer lab, full-size gymnasium and a special education area.