School District 79 Cowichan Valley

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School District 79 Cowichan Valley
Sd79 small logo.png
RegionSouthern Vancouver Island
Board office locationDuncan
Communities servedChemainus, Duncan, Lake Cowichan, Mill Bay
Number of schools20

CAD$ (millions)

Student population:

full-time equivalent

Superintendent:Joe Rhodes

School District 79, is located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. It consists of numerous elementary (Kindergarten-Grade 6 or 7), middle (Grade 6-9), Secondary (Grade 8-12) schools, and alternative schools for programs like adult education.

The current Superintendent of SD 79 is Joe Rhodes.


The current school district can trace its heritage to the Colony of Vancouver Island. Two school districts were established in the area prior to the colony joining mainland British Columbia.

South Cowichan School District was established on June 16, 1869. North Cowichan School District was established a year later on June 16, 1870.

The current School District 79 was formed in 1996 when School District 65 (Cowichan) was combined with School District 66 (Lake Cowichan).

A French Immersion program was established in October 1997, for the 1998-1999 school year. It has grown strong roots and continues to get bigger each year

On July 1, 2012, after refusing to send a balanced budget to the Ministry of Education in British Columbia by June 30, the elected Board of Trustees was dismissed. Current Official Trustee Michael McKay was instated and balanced the budget.

Reconfiguration of the Cowichan Valley school district has been set to commence in the 2013-2014 school year. This marks the change from a middle school model (kindergarten-grade 6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12) to an elementary school system from kindergarten-grade 7 and a secondary school system from grades 8-12. Much deliberation and community input was utilized to implement this new school system.


Elementary Schools
Ecole Mount Prevost ElementaryDuncanK-7
Alex Aitken SchoolDuncanK-7
Alexander Elementary SchoolDuncanK-7
Bench Elementary SchoolCowichan BayK-6
Chemainus Community SchoolChemainusK-7
Ecole Cobble Hill ElementaryCobble HillK-7
Crofton Elementary SchoolCroftonK-7
Discovery Elementary SchoolShawnigan LakeK-6
Drinkwater Elementary SchoolDuncanK-7
Khowhemun Elementary SchoolDuncanK-6
George Bonner Elementary SchoolDuncanK-7
Maple Bay Elementary SchoolDuncanK-6
Palsson Elementary SchoolLake CowichanK-5
Tansor Elementary SchoolDuncanK-7
Thetis Island Elementary SchoolChemainusK-6

Secondary Schools

SchoolLocation and Grades
Chemainus Secondary SchoolChemainus8-12
Cowichan Secondary SchoolDuncan8-12
Cowichan Valley Open Learning Co-op (alternative)Duncan6-12
Frances Kelsey Secondary SchoolMill Bay8-12
Lake Cowichan Secondary SchoolLake Cowichan4-12

See also[edit]

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