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Education in the Slocan Valley


Lucerne Elementary/Secondary School



About 100 students from preschool through Grade 12 attend Lucerne School in New Denver.  Students benefit from the many advantages of a small and creative school in a wilderness setting – small classes, individual attention, a family atmosphere, and unique educational experiences including a vegetable garden, a greenhouse, and extensive outdoor recreation opportunities. ​

​Lucerne School has won awards for its innovative programs, such as week-long elective courses for secondary students that have included film animation, photography, writing, web design as well as canoe and hiking trips. ​

Lucerne also has a Distributed Learning Centre for homeschoolers, teens, and adults who are following an independent study program.


New Denver Nursery School

The New Denver Nursery School is located at Lucerne School. Under the expert guidance of an Early Childhood Educator, children from 30 months to 5 years learn through play, encouraging healthy development socially, emotionally, cognitively, physically and creatively.


Goat Mountain Child Care Centre

A 40-space non-profit child care centre for children from age 0 – 12, which is on schedule to open September 2020 in New Denver at Lucerne School, will include two classrooms, adjacent hallways and entrance way, as well as an accessible entrance and outside play area.  There will be 16 full-time 0-5 year old spaces available at the new child care centre and 24 additional spaces for the Before and After-School program.  Staffing will include Early Childhood Educators.



This free drop-in program held in the New Denver Nursery School at Lucerne School is for children 5 and under with their parents or caregivers. StrongStart is also offered at Winlaw Elementary School, 15 minutes south of Slocan.

W.E. Graham Community School

W.E. Graham in Slocan has about 60 students from Kindergarten to Grade 10, and an Alternative Education Program for students to Grade 12. The school focuses on outdoor education and environmental awareness. For several years, the school received the platinum CAPHERD (Canadian Association for Physical Health Education) Award for daily physical activity.

The school offers the Valhalla Wilderness Program for Grades 9 and 10 students. This award-winning program is of particular interest to those pursuing a career in wilderness and outdoor recreation. The program follows the curriculum for Grades 9 and 10, combining classroom work with outdoor adventures.



Selkirk College

Selkirk College has its main campuses in Castlegar and Nelson, where a wide variety of college programs are offered, and has small campuses in Nakusp, Kaslo, Trail and Grand Forks, where Adult Basic Education and Continuing Education courses are offered. The Rural Development Institute at the college conducts research useful for business planning (See Business Support Organizations section of this website).


The W.E. Graham Community Service Society

The W.E. Graham Community Service Society is next to W.E. Graham School and offers a wide variety of programs. Some of these are a youth centre, a food bank, and a seniors’ luncheon.

The Valhalla Daycare/Preschool

The Valhalla Daycare/Preschool operates out of W.E. Graham Community Service building three days a week for children age 2 ½ to 5 years.

Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy

CBAL is a non-profit organization that promotes literacy throughout the Columbia Basin.


DESK: Distance Education School of the Kootenays

DESK is an innovative centre for online learning. It offers the B.C. Ministry of Education K–12 curriculum leading to Grade 12 graduation and unique courses developed locally.

Other education
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