Edward Milne Community School (EMCS)

School Overview

Our Learners

Focus and Planning

What focus(es) emerge as goals to pursue?

Educational Technology
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Intellectual Development
Social Emotional Learning

School Goal 1

To foster an inclusive educational environment defined within our Na’Tsa’Maht Education Agreement, “One Mind” and “One Spirit”. Within the strategic plan, we have, and will continue to create a culture of belonging with inclusive and collaborative practices and community engagement. Regardless of cultural, linguistic or other diverse backgrounds, staff, students, and guests should feel welcome, respected, and all have a sense of belonging.

We will continue to develop and expand a culture of wellness through strengthening connections with Beecher Bay, Scia'new Nation, T’Sou-ke Nation, and Nuu-chah-nulth Pacheedaht Nation to the west. Together with the Nations, we will work towards understanding and simplifying the complexities that affect student engagement and achievement.  Through open communication, we will continue to work collaboratively with our local T'Sou-ke Nation to enrich student learning and appreciation for our local history, cultures and peoples. 

Strategic Plan Goal
Strategic Plan Engagement Objectives
Further the goals of the Na'tsa'maht agreement following the objectives of 'One Mind' and 'One Spirit'.

School Goal 2

Focus on socio-emotional development & mental health support:

We acknowledge that, primarily due to the pandemic disruption in schooling over the last 3 years, many of our students returned during the 2022-2023 school year with challenges in learning, waning socio-emotional skills, a lost sense of belonging, and mental health challenges (including anxiety and technology addiction).


Our students, since the 2019-2020 school year, have had to navigate 4 different learning models, with no previous experience in three of them, and all of which with almost extreme social issues accompanying them.

Semester/Fully Online:

The student started off the 2019 school years in a semester system, moving to fully on-line after the 2020 Spring Break. Our students were unable to see peers, to play sports, to take music lessons, or even see extended family.

"Octa" System:

The 2020-2021 school year had them working in an Octa system, during which they were unable to socialize across cohorts, still couldn’t socialize normally outside of school, and were limited to only coming to school in the morning or in the afternoon.

Quarter System:

The system shifted to the Quarter system for the 2021-2022 school year. Even though this system had a degree of normalcy, during that time period, there was even more disruption with absences taken due to pandemic/health issues.

The Results:

As a result of the flux in educational systems, our students were unable to build routines, get into a "flow," and get comfortable with “the way that it’s going to be.” Anxiety levels spiked because of all of these educational/intellectual, social, and emotional factors that were brought about by change and uncertainty.

When our students were limited to on-line schooling in 2020 and the Octa system in 2020-2021, they were left with a lot of time that they needed to fill on their own, with very little in terms of healthy outlets. They were forced into a reliance on technology for their education. This use of educational technology exacerbated a pre-existing issue with technology addiction. Technology also became an even-stronger means of socializing, without the in-person, face-to-face possibilities. Students who were unable to regulate became even more addicted. When we moved back to an all-day, Quarter system, we found that many of our students had lost the skills for interpersonal connection, and were still heavily focused on/addicted to technology.

At the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, EMCS staff decided to implement the "No Phones in Class" philosophy, in order to both help combat the technology addition (and the accompanying mental health issues) and increase student engagement within the classroom.  Unless otherwise communicated and approved by the teacher, who may decide to use devices for educational purposes, devices were kept in bag/backpacks/jackets.  With very clear, school-wide expectations stated at the beginning of the school year, and refresh throughout the year, classroom engagement increased, as did the level of discussions and interactions with the class.  Students were involved with their education to a greater extent, and there were less behaviour issues that were associated with technology over-usage.

Strategic Plan Goal
Strategic Plan Learning Objectives
Provide opportunites for learners to develop critical and creative thinking skills.

How can the district support your goals?

Reflect, Adjust, Celebrate