The Saturna Ecological Education Center (SEEC) is an experiential place-based ecological learning center on beautiful Saturna Island, British Columbia. Our program is based out of the Saturna Island Elementary and Secondary School.
The program is designed for a year-long period. While SEEC is an alternative program within the SD64 Gulf Island School District, it follows the BC curriculum and students earn full credit for provincially approved course work in grade 10 and grade 11 credits. Occasionally we also provide other schools and community groups with Eco- adventures and environmental workshops as day or overnight trips.
SEEC is a residential based program where high school students stay overnight three nights a week. Accommodation at SEEC is free. The site has three cabins, a cookhouse and separate washrooms for boys and girls. The night supervisor remains on site assisting with meals, night transportation, emergency sickness and getting everyone up each morning.
All our students are expected to perform weekly maintenance tasks and help to improve Haggis Hallow. Learning how to take care of ourselves and our Saturna home environment is a key part of our ecological citizenship curriculum.
Weekly Schedule/ Transportation
Currently, students attend SEEC three days per week -Monday to Wednesday. We do not have a set daily timetable but work, play, and learn together from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm each day and sometimes into the evening. Students are then dismissed to the off grid cabins to cook and engage in night time leisure activities.
Our students usually arrive on Sunday evening via BC ferries (at a reduced student rate) or early Monday morning via the free SD 64 water-taxi. They are returned to their home ports on Wednesday afternoon arriving in Ganges, Swartz Bay or back to Tsawwassen (Vancouver) between 6-7pm that evening.
They then plan to use the remaining four days of the week to best meet their own academic and personal needs. Some students attend their home schools for a single course on the Thursday and Friday or register for distributed learning -DL – in course that are not offered at SEEC (ie. calculus, chemistry, languages etc.)
There are some personal costs for each student attending SEEC. Our educational program is offered free of charge to any BC high school student who registers with our school as part of School District 64 (Gulf Islands). Costs for food, special equipment and personal outdoor gear are the responsibilities of each student. Basic transportation to and from Saturna Island is covered. Students pay for their own food and meals, though we provide guidance to help reduce costs, share menus and learn to eat in a more healthy way. Major field trip charges are rare, but in some cases occur because of special fees that must be covered. (ie. the canoe and kayak certification course has a small fee).