Shawnigan Lake School is committed—in its pursuit of Project Future (academic excellence, co-curricular distinction, student life unparalleled)—to equality of opportunity and to a proactive and inclusive approach to equality, which supports and encourages all under-represented groups, promotes an inclusive culture, and values diversity.
Shawnigan is a school with students of varied backgrounds. This deliberate diversity of languages, customs, and cultures brings opportunities to:
open lines of communication
break down barriers and prejudices
learn from and better understand one another
create a welcoming home for our diverse student and staff community
Our commitment at Shawnigan is to develop and embed cultural competency, equity and social justice with a long-term strategic approach. The Diversity Inclusion Belonging Steering Group was established in September 2020 and led to the formation of BE A JEDI – a committee that brings together representatives from the Board of Governors, Senior Leadership Team, staff, students, and alumni.
BE A JEDI
At Shawnigan Lake School we value Belonging, Equity, Acceptance, and Justice – Embracing Diversity and Intersectionality. We are committed to championing and acting upon these values in a way that calls upon everyone to BE A JEDI.
The BE A JEDI Student Subcommittee strives to build upon our community’s foundation of connectedness to ensure belonging for all students. We seek to educate our student body on social issues and to spark conversations; to hold ourselves and others accountable for each other's words and actions; to build a student body that respects and draws strength from our diverse backgrounds and experiences; to promote student initiatives and elevate minority voices; to ensure everyone feels comfortable sharing their whole selves; and to empower student JEDIs to advocate for change and lead by example.
Staff Subcommittee Mission
The BE A JEDI Staff Subcommittee strives to build upon our community's foundation of connectedness to ensure belonging for all staff: Education, Operations, and Administration. We seek to create an environment that meets the unique needs of each individual; to ensure our practices reflect diverse perspectives; to educate and enhance diversity training and education for all members of staff; and to create a culture that truly values and celebrates our differences.
Alumni Subcommittee Mission
The BE A JEDI Alumni Subcommittee strives to build upon our community's foundation of connectedness to ensure belonging for both alumni past and those yet to come. We seek to create opportunities for alumni to tell their stories; to facilitate reconciliation for those alumni who seek it; to educate the alumni community of the School's progress; and above all make our community one to which alumni either remain connected or feel drawn to reconnect with.
Shawnigan Lake School embraces diversity, inclusion and belonging and endeavours to guide students to explore diverse texts by a variety of authors in order to better understand themselves and to develop empathy for others through the exploration of culture, history and identity. Students are encouraged to be critical thinkers and engaged citizens who explore a variety of worldviews and perspectives and who understand their responsibilities in relation to Reconciliation, privilege and inclusion.
For all international students, our innovative academic curriculum is designed to build confidence in self, language, character and personality. Opportunities exist in classes, 360, athletics and the House for students to share their own cultural experiences in order to help all students develop a respect for individuals from diverse backgrounds. Shawnigan is a better place thanks to the international diversity of our students and the experiences they share.
To support students from all over the world, Shawnigan offers enriching English language opportunities through our English Language Centre (ELC) and English Grammar and Composition (EGC) courses. In addition to individualized academic language acquisition, students receive personalized student success through Canadian cultural experiences in a warm, supportive, diverse environment. Through a combination of classes, social activities, and cultural sharing, these programs help students learn, live, and thrive in English, preparing them for a wealth of post-secondary possibilities.
“One of the greatest things about coming to Shawnigan was that I made my first black friends. I was very excited because I found I immediately had a special connection with them, because we shared some similar experiences in our lives..." Read More
“Coming from a different country, not knowing anyone, not really knowing the language, and not knowing anything about the Canadian culture, meant that Prep House was the perfect place to begin my journey. From the start, it felt like a family.” Read More
“Here at Shawnigan, the teachers are so good. In Nepal, my school was always based on memorizing the content, but here we are really exploring the content. I really like it. I also feel empowered as a girl here at Shawnigan.” Read More
Quote from the Head of School
“Diversity, inclusion and belonging are things that the Chair of our Board of Governors Jacqueline Flett and I care deeply about, both professionally and personally. We will ensure they are built into Shawnigan’s future, from our everyday interactions to our strategic planning. We want Shawnigan to develop a reputation for being a welcoming and supportive school for students and staff of all backgrounds and to be a respected leader in developing diversity and fostering inclusion and a sense of belonging.
Our students currently on campus are best positioned to tell us what they believe we can do better as a school in developing a sense of belonging for each individual. Their voice and initiatives are vital in our progress as a school. We will continue to work hard to develop belonging on campus, to listen to our students, to encourage their initiatives and to take pride in the rich tapestry of our community.”
--Head of School Richard 'Larry' Lamont
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent co-educational boarding school for ages 13 –18 on Canada’s beautiful West Coast. Our diverse, interdisciplinary and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.