I Say…Squamish Schools, Go Digital

lind-mainBy Lindsay Nevison
Published: Sept 9, 2015


MOVING a new place isn’t a new thing for our family as I grew up with a parent in the RCMP, which took us all around the country. I knew what it was like to have to start a new school, make new friends and adjust to a new way of life. My son has had a very similar experience and when we moved to Squamish, it was expected that he would face some challenges he would need to overcome. Now, when I think about it, calling it a challenge would be a huge understatement.
For most part of his childhood, my son has taken part in several sports such as soccer, basketball and track and field. As he grew older, he turned out to be the typical left-handed type: Very artistic and someone who took a great interest in and started to get passionately involved with digital art, digital music, building computers and anything involving technology. I and my husband tried several times to encourage him to join a new sport but we soon realised he wasn’t really interested in sports. His interests lay in technology.  We were happy because we know that technology is the way of the present and the future. We encouraged him to embrace it in healthy moderation.
And this is where our move to Squamish proved difficult. For a teenager who is not a sports enthusiast, it was hard to find his place in a town that is extremely sports oriented. As a parent it was heart-breaking to watch that he was having a difficult time relating to other students because he seemed to be the one more interested in digital technology and not sports. For the first few months, our nights were long with our son crying himself to sleep, upset that he felt he did not belong here and wished we had never moved. I had to adjust my lunch schedule at work so that I could go spend time with him so that he would not sit alone at school. It was truly difficult on us all.
I tried my best to source out resources for a teenager in Squamish who had an interest in technology only to find that there is not much out there. Even in school here it was hard to find courses that interested him. He made digital music but band was not an option as they do not recognize digital music as an instrument and seem to have no knowledge on how to incorporate it into the program. Many times the courses that would be somewhat up his alley turned into him knowing more than his peers and teachers. He would very quickly lose interest and become bored. Feeling like an outsider, he started to hang out with other people who felt like outsiders, and let’s just say that it made life a tad difficult in our family.
After acknowledging that there was nowhere and nothing for him to do in town to keep him interested, my husband and I decided to send him to live with a family member in another town. This would allow him to live in a town that offered digital courses that interested him, programs and shops that gave him access to the tools he needed to advance his passion. He spent one year there and really seemed to enjoy it.
Now back for his last year of high school we are faced with the same challenges but feel that we have a better game plan on how to keep him engaged. We have realized that he will most likely struggle to find a class that truly develops his potential future career, to find a local store to supply him with the necessary tools to allow him to have unlimited creative development with his hobbies but we have remain focused and know that one day Vancouver will be the right place for him


  1. Sarah Smith says:

    How about Learning Expeditions at Stawamus? Our local school district is offering innovative options for ALL students. http://seatoskylearningconnections.com/