A lot has changed in the last five decades, and Lochside elementary is embracing that change in their 50th anniversary.
The Broadmead school is opening its doors to former students, staff and parents, as part of its June 1 celebration of 50 years in the community. Alumni are invited to participate in an after school social, where they can tour the school and learn about its history from current Lochside students.
“The kids in a lot of the classes have been writing about either the past 50 years or what the school is going to look like in the future,” said principal Joe Grewal. “We want to look at the theme of change and we want them to really think about that.”
Lochside elementary opened in the 1960s with 100 kids and four classrooms. Now the school serves nearly 400 students and has expanded to about 25 classrooms, with a gymnasium, library and administrative area added over the years.
Grewal said he and teacher librarian Cindy Heppell have been working with a group of Grade 4 and 5 students, teaching them about the school’s history, as well as the local area’s shift from rural to suburban and the social climate at the time.
“We’ve had them looking at the music, the sports, the culture from the ’60s and it’s been fascinating,” said Grewal.
Additionally, students have interviewed former staff – including Lochside’s first principal Russell Donaldson – to learn more about the school from well before they were born.
“Russell took some of the kids for a tour and told them, ‘This cubby hole here was the office, this was a classroom, this is where I taught,’ and that was really neat to see the interaction,” said Grewal. “That was pretty powerful. They were just mesmerized by the whole thing.”
The open house social for former students, staff and parents will feature a historical timeline for Lochside elementary, displays of student work, media presentations, an antiques road show and performances by the school choir. Cake, tea and coffee will be on hand and students will be available to lead attendees on tours of the school.
“We want people to stay connected with our school because it’s such an important part of their lives,” said Grewal. “You always remember the schools that you’ve been to, especially your elementary school.”
The social runs Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, visit lochside.sd63.bc.ca.