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An Opportunity Analysis. * The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry opened its doors for business in September 2013, its mission is simple: to change.

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Presentation on theme: "An Opportunity Analysis. * The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry opened its doors for business in September 2013, its mission is simple: to change."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Opportunity Analysis


3 * The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry opened its doors for business in September 2013, its mission is simple: to change the vision of public education in British Columbia. * This venture is a risky one for all those involved, from the teachers to the students to Jeff Hopkins, the man who quit as Superintendent of the Gulf Islands to start his own school. * This presentation will provide an Educational Venture Analysis.

4 Use the menu to select the subcategory of your choice References

5 * CEO/Founder Jeff Hopkins was the Superintendent of Schools for the Gulf Islands (School District 64) for over 7 years. * That followed a 20 year career as a teacher, counsellor, and administrator. * Has a Master’s Degree in Counselling from UNBC with a focus on the locus of control and overt aggression in adolescents. * Hopkins was also BC’s first Safe School Coordinator * Embraced alternative education while Superintendent, such as the Saturna Island Ecological Education Centre. * Hopkins has often been applauded for his ‘enlightened’ view of education and the problems therein.

6 Corrine Michel – Teacher, B.Ed and M.A from Uvic. 18+ years in public school education. Jake West - 8+ years of experience teaching ESL, Circus, BC High School Academics,and Interdisciplinary Curriculum Jessica Asp – B.Sc. In Biochemistry from McGill and B.Ed from UVic. Rachel Mason - B.Sc in Science Studies from Brown University, and M. Ed. from Vermont College. 10 + years teaching experience Sophia Malczewska - French degree from UBC a teaching certificate from Cambridge currently working toward M.Ed from UVIC

7 One of the primary areas of an EVA is the credibility of the management team, which in this case, is the Principal and the staff of the school. Quite frankly, one of the best elements of the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry is the leader at the helm. Jeff Hopkins possesses the necessary experience to front a venture like this one. His work as a Superintendent (which is considered the CEO of a district) provides him the base to run a school of this nature. In addition, during his time in education he has worked at other ‘alternative style’ educational facilities, such as Saturna Ecological Education Centre in the Gulf Islands or the Windsor House School in North Vancouver. Hopkins has always expressed interest in revolutionizing education and with this venture, will receive that opportunity. In addition, the staff compiled at the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry (PSII) were chosen from over 600 applicants. The teachers come from a wide range of backgrounds and education providing a balanced learning system.

8 * In summation, if a venture is to be judged by its management team, the PSII is in great shape. A strong CEO, coupled with an eager, multi-faceted staff, provides a strong base for this venture. Back to Menu

9 * The PSII prescribes to the idea that learning is a amalgamation of emergent curriculum (learning which emerges and is unique) and common curriculum (learning which is universal). From the PSII website:

10 * Hopkins believes learning should be learner centred and rather than subjects organizing learning, human attributes shape the learning. * This is displayed in the PSII’s pentagon:

11 * After attributes, comes competencies, which, according to PSII, is more important than individual subjects. Competencies cover the basic skills needed for students. This is also the basis for individualized cross – curricular learning. Competencies allow student to focus on thinking, leadership, reading, writing, etc. without being bogged down by oppressive subjects

12 * After competencies, come goals, which include prescribed learning outcomes (PLO) from the Ministry of Education. * PLOs must be met before course completion can be granted for Dogwood credit.

13 * PSII has a more centralized view on education which is addressed in the following video.

14 What are the differences in PSII and regular high school? Or in other words, what is the pain point of the venture?


16 In concept, PSII ties right into what the Ministry of Education seems to be pushing for with its BC Education Plan: Project-based learning Individual learning Inquiry learning None of these concepts are original, but in today’s educational construct they appear to be.

17 *T*T herefore, the pain point is those tired of traditional education and all of its deficiencies. *I*I ronically, the things driving parents away from public schools are things caused by chronic underfunding, not necessarily a difference of opinion in the way public schools are run or the theology of them.

18 But PSII concept’s are not necessarily without fault. Upon examination, some need to be examined closer: Interdisciplinary – great concept, hopefully a shift by regular education. Individualized plans – only would work if class size is small enough, given the average of 27-28 per class in BC, that would be impossible. Age/grade groupings – PSII believes in grouping by interest or activity. The problem with it is a lack of potential social interaction, as part of the reason for elementary promotion is social growth. Classrooms – PSII has only open space, no classrooms. This could lead to great distraction.

19 * School start times – PSII starts at 9:30 am as research shows teens learn better starting at this time. This shift could be beneficial, but it must lead to some issues given parental schedules. * Mentorship – PSII organizes mentorships for students regardless of age. The problem with this is that small communities could not access this in the same way, making it fair to assume PSII is only for the wealthy in spite of the rhetoric that the province should adopt these ideas. However, the concept which would require the biggest shift is the idea of work at your own pace. This element of education has been debated for years, with both sides claiming victory. It takes an extremely motivated student to ensure that work at your own pace works. It doesn’t work for the average student.

20 * The concepts in their current delineation appear revolutionary and original. * However, the problems that could potentially exist due to the changes have not been adequately answered, especially considering the top-notch staff. Return to menu

21 * The irony of the marketability of the PSII is that Hopkins actually wants to be put out of business. His goal is to be so successful that every school in BC adopts his principles and his school is no longer needed. * Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on perspective, Hopkins’ school will not be out of work anytime soon.

22 * The opportunity space in education is ever growing. * PSII is in a unique position. Given its actual physical size, it must limit itself to the number of student it accepts. The first year will run with 50 students, so PSII can run a waitlist, or turn people away, provided it keeps itself at its optimal size. * In addition, due to its physical size, PSII only needs to seek out a small niche market, unless it wants to grow. This is not something Hopkins has discussed.

23 *P*P SII, although it only has to attract 50 students is both blessed and cursed by its geographic location. *I*I t resides in Victoria, BC, a city of 80,000 which increases to 350,000 when including surrounding area. So it has a large population to draw from. *H*H owever, due to its geographic location, it also alienates a large majority of the people of British Columbia. Unless PSII plans to create satellite campuses, only residents of Victoria will be able to partake in the school.

24 * One problem of PSII’s marketability is its exclusion of lower socio-economic classes, thus eliminating a huge market. * It charges tuition, alienating the poor. Its hours would eliminate bussing except in the cities, eliminating the rural and the poor. Moreover, the idea of apprenticeships and market placement would eliminate any rural district. * In addition, work at your own pace will eliminate all but the most motivated students, which are usually those who seek secondary education, the wealthier. * Everything about the school, although well intended, highlights the chasm between wealthy and poor.

25 *T*T he PSII is revolutionary enough to attract attention. *W*W hen first announced, there were many articles in the Tyee, the Times Colonist, the Sun, and the Province discussing the school. *I*I t is different enough, and in line with the BC Education Plan’s idea of 21 st Century Learning to create a market edge. *I*I n addition, the number of students who applied for entrance, combined with the 600 teachers who applied for 5 jobs demonstrates the market edge possessed.

26 * The PSII is in a suitable geographic location to attract enough students to maintain its market. * Moreover the area is wealthy enough to attract the clientele needed to maintain a school like this one. (median income - $78,000,9 th in Can.) * It should be successful due to its proximity to the ideals and goals within the BC Education Plan. Return to menu

27 * At over $7,000 a student and $10,500 for international students, there exists potential for a great investment. * In BC, most private schools are still partially funded by the government. Most private schools still receive 50% of the per pupil ratio as public schools. Over $5,000 per student from government * Therefore, the potential exists to make a lot of money on tuition.

28 * Market Readiness: The school opened September 2013. This was after a little less than a year of planning. * Hopkins was previously approached by an Albertan Oilsands company and Pearson Education to fund his school. * Aside from tuition, education is a tremendous, untapped resource. Books, technology, systems, etc. are all available avenues for companies.

29 * What is Success? – If success is running a full school, Hopkins should be fine. If his ultimate goal is for his program to be adopted province- wide he will not be successful. * PSII is looking for private investors. To donate go here: DonationsDonations Ideally, the first year of the school will determine a lot of its success. Return to menu

30 * When the four elements of an Educational Venture Analysis (Team, Concept, Marketability, and Plan) are considered, a decision about the feasibility of the venture can be extrapolated. * The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry will be a very successful venture provided it meets a select number of criteria.

31 * 1. Keep school small. 50 from a population of 350,000 is very conceivable. * 2. Keep goals tied to Ministry of Education objectives. * 3. Ensure students meet requirements for graduation and post- secondary. Nothing will derail this faster than no successful transitions. * 4. Beware too much private investment. It may lead to a push for change. * 5. Ensure government funding for students. * 6. Keep costs low for international students. With most districts charging $28,000 for international students, the potential exists to draw the students in and create a niche within a niche. * 7. To not look to satellite schools in anywhere except urban areas. * 8. Look to outside area for help in difficult to fill areas, such as home economics, shop, woodwork, art, etc. like they are doing with physical education. Return to menu

32 * References: * Dedyna, K. (May 11, 2013). New high school will cater to teens’ interests, lifestyles. Times Colonists. Retrieved from lifestyles-1.176361 lifestyles-1.176361 * Hyslop, K (Oct 15, 2012). Gulf Islands superintendent plans to open his own private school. The Tyee. Retrieved from * Mason, R. (May 9, 2013). New School in BC Aims to Impact the Education System. Retrieved from: ducation_system/ ducation_system/ * Mason, R. (Sept. 12, 2013). Opening Week at Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry. Retrieved from: ation_and_inquiry/ ation_and_inquiry/ * The Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry. Retrieved from: http://learningstorm.org * PSII Trailer. (Aug. 13, 2013). Retrieved from:

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