Nanaimo Innovation Academy acknowledges and thanks the Snuneymuxw First Nation, on whose unceded, traditional territories we live, play, and learn. We teach children to uphold principles of reconciliation and respect Indigenous peoples, knowledge, and culture. We welcome you to learn with us.
Nanaimo Innovation Academy first opened as a daycare in February 2018, with the premise of establishing a care program that utilized the best practices from various educational philosophies-- Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio, Whole Child Education, Play-based Learning-- without being limited by the rigidity of ascribing to just one philosophy. By being flexible and in constant evaluation of what is best for child development, we innovate and create a program designed for our student's current needs, interests, and growth.
In January 2021, we expanded to include a Forest Program for children ages four and five. May 2022, we were approved by the Ministry of Education to start our elementary school program in September 2022, which aligns with our pedagogical values and love for outdoor exploration. While we did our absolute best to enrol students, the NIA Board of Directors voted to defer opening the school due to budgetary costs. We continue our programming with our daycare kids to value the natural environment and encourage sensitivity and understanding for all forms of life. We encourage our kids to explore their natural environment and foster their curiosity.
We teach the value of community. There are communal potlucks, guest speakers for the whole family, and events at various times throughout the year. Relationship-building with our teachers is a key aspect to supporting your child’s development. Teachers use constructive guidance and positive reinforcement to guide the children in feeling successful and included while interacting with their peers and others around them.
We put children before profits. Nanaimo Innovation Academy is a non-profit, overseen by the Nanaimo Innovation Academy Foundation Board of Directors. Any revenue generated goes back into ensuring that our facilities and play equipment are top-notch, our staff are adequately compensated and provided with professional development opportunities, and families needing financial support are provided opportunities to attend.
As of 2020, Nanaimo Innovation Academy is a certified Living Wage Employer and staff are paid livable wages. This helps mitigate high staff turnover, so that teachers and children can develop long-lasting, meaningful relationships of curiosity and collaborative learning.