Bowser Elementary School is a small, rural school situated at the northwesterly end of School District #69 (Qualicum). The catchment area is a relatively long, narrow strip along both sides of the Island Highways and borders the Strait of Georgia. It is made up of small farms and rural properties, the Qualicum First Nations Reserve, as well as the unincorporated “communities” of Baylis Road, Horne Lake, Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay and the village of Bowser.
|The Bowser catchment area is experiencing modest growth and change. The traditional resource based industries of logging and fishing have declined dramatically. In their place, tourism and the service sector have become main sources of employment. Building lots that have become available in the past few years have attracted both families with school age children and retired families. Approximately one third of the area residents are retired, while the remaining two thirds are divided evenly between those residents who work at home or in the community, and those who work away from the community.
Bowser Elementary School has an enrollment of 137 students, from Kindergarten through to Grade 5. Students come from a mix of traditional families, blended families and single parent families. English is the predominant language spoken. Almost all students are bussed to school. This limits activities that in other schools may take place before or after school hours. For this reason, and the fact that Bowser is removed from many larger community services, such as arenas, libraries, pools, and theaters, parents need to drive their children in order to partake in clubs, sports and lessons. For many children, the school is the primary social and recreational meeting place. The Lighthouse Community Center also acts as a meeting place for social events for our students.
Bowser Elementary has an active group of parents who are very supportive of their children’s education and of all school activities and events. This group is represented by a PAC, which has a core of 12-18 regular members who meet monthly.