South Carvolth

South Carvolth Elementary School located at 982-200 Street was built on 5 acres of land, and opened in 1962. The school was named after Jack L. B. Carvolth, a farmer in the area. Carvolth Road was one of the names for 200 Street south of Fraser Highway in the days before the numeric system was introduced. 

The school's site created some problems during the first year. Built on a very swampy piece of land alongside Campbell Valley Park, the property is still referred to as the "rice paddy" by long-time residents. 

In the early days, there used to be a bridge over a sea of mud between the school and the road. School flooding and closures were not uncommon. 

Very much a country school, South Carvolth started with a population of about 60 students, enrolled in two divisions. Another division was added the following year, with a fourth added in 1970. Further additions were made in 1976, when it was enlarged to include five classrooms and an attached gymnasium and office area. South Carvolth's school population peaked at 140 students in 1980. 

There has been a population decline since then, reducing the enrolment to 89 students in 2002. Because of the school's rural setting, many pupils in its catchment area live outside the maximum walking distance and are bussed to school. The school's population in 2004 is 90. 

The first principal of South Carvolth was Orville Cassidy. 

There is much active community support for the school, and the South Carvolth Parent/Teacher Group sponsors an annual family barbecue in the Spring, which brings together friends and neighbours - a real community celebration for the arrival of Spring. 

An annual Christmas concert, followed by a visit between staff and community over coffee, is another school tradition. 

The school has several specialty areas, but perhaps its most outstanding program is the one that belies the school's rural setting. A typing course introducing the students to the keyboard has enabled students to prepare for computer instruction in secondary school. 

After the threat of closure in 2003, the school has introduced an environmental concept to attract new students. The school is now called the South Carvolth Environmental School. 

The parents of the area felt that the school should be incorporating more environmental studies into the program, while utilizing the huge outdoor classroom and the 1400 acres of parkland that is the school's backyard. Integrated, interdisciplinary instruction will be combined with core curriculum. Strong local community involvement and support are crucial in the promotion of stewardship and environmental responsibility. 

Some of the school's partners are the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the Township of Langley, the Evergreen Foundation, the Tree Canada Foundation, Alstom, and School District #35. Some programs presented last Spring include a mosquito presentation, a Rec N' Reading summer program, an Environmental School Open House, a Campbell Valley Plant Walk, a Burns Bog field trip, and many other events. 

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