About Our District
Residing on the traditional territories of the Nuxalmc, Heiltsuk, and Wuikinuxv peoples, the Central Coast School District (SD #49) lies on the Central Coast of British Columbia, 452 km west of Williams Lake at the end of Highway 20. Geographically, one of the largest school districts with schools in Wuikinuvx in Rivers Inlet, Denny Island, Hagensborg and Bella Coola, the Central Coast School District educates approximately 200 students in areas abundant in scenery, steeped in natural history and an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.
The majority of the students served within the Central Coast School District reside in Bella Coola and Hagensborg with the two communities 16 km apart. Bella Coola Elementary is a Kindergarten to Grade 4 school serving approximately 90 students. It is also the location of our Early Learning Centre for 4 year olds. Nusatsum Elementary hosts grades 5-7, Strong Start program and operates the Hagensborg Early Learning and Daycare Centre on the same campus. Sir Alexander Mackenzie School is a grade 8-12 school offering education to approximately 100 students. Shearwater Elementary on Denny Island educates approximately 10 students in K-7 and is a short 20 minute water taxi ride from the community of Bella Bella. Meanwhile, Wuikinuxv Elementary in Wuikinuvx territory has approximately 8 students in K-7 and is an hour flight from Bella Coola.
Travel to and from Bella Coola/Hagensborg is possible via Highway 20 from Williams Lake. Bella Coola/Hagensborg is serviced daily by Pacific Coastal Airlines and in the summer months by BC Ferries out of Port Hardy. Travel to and from Wuikinuxv and Shearwater Elementary is possible via plane and boat year-round.
Bella Coola, with a valley population of approximately 2100, usually refers to the entire valley encompassing the communities/areas of Hagensborg, Saloompt, 4 Mile Reserve, Stuie and Firvale. The usual small town amenities can be found in Bella Coola: Williams Lake and District Credit Union, RCMP station, Co-op Grocery Store, Ace Hardware, Government Agent, Liquor Store, Canada Post, Federal Fisheries office, several motels/bed and breakfasts, 2 restaurants and various other stores and businesses. Meanwhile, Hagensborg is home to a Shop-Easy grocery store, Canada Post, a government fish hatchery, the airport, several other motels/lodges/bed and breakfasts, and several small galleries/bistros.
The Bella Coola Wharf offers pleasure craft users and boaters a secure, staffed boat launch and mooring site year-round.
Bella Coola/Hagensborg feature a strong interest in the Arts both traditional and non-traditional. Two small galleries exhibit the amazing work of the First Nations artists within the community. The “Art House Gallery” on the campus of Sir Alexander Mackenzie School and several other small galleries/small bistros display the incredible talent of the many other painters, crafters, pottery workers, etc. within the community.
A vibrant music/theatrical spirit resides within the community. Annually, in July, Bella Coola hosts the Bella Coola Valley Music Festival which brings in an eclectic mix of music talent that in the past has included Barney Bentall, 54-40, Jim Byrnes & the Sojourners, Wide Mouth Mason not to mention showcasing the many local talents. Local musicians find plenty of opportunities to share their love of music at various community events. Throughout the year, the community choir practices and performs at various events during the year. With its local acting talent, the Little Valley Theatre Guild organizes and performs at least one major production annually for the community to enjoy.
For the outdoor adventurer, Bella Coola is fast becoming a mountain biker’s dream with a major push for trail development beginning in the community. If desired, one can rock climb the many mountains in the morning and kayak the river or inlet in the afternoon. It’s easy to find oneself involved in the many local recreational leagues for basketball, soccer, volleyball, badminton and slo-pitch. The July 1st holiday is rodeo season in Bella Coola with the local Bella Coola Rodeo/Gymkhana. In total, it is a four day event with rodeo participants and enthusiasts coming from all over British Columbia and Alberta.
Finally, there is also an ever growing number of folks interested in sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and organic farming.
The District boasts a thriving StrongStart Program, a strong First Nations Culture and Language program, a creative Band and Fine Arts program, senior Math and Science opportunities and an excellent Outdoor Education program in a place where wilderness abounds.
For parents and students, we can offer small class sizes with strong teacher support and a large number of extra-curricular opportunities for students to participate in. For potential employees, we can offer a wonderful opportunity to both work and play in a small rural setting with an excellent compensation package.