March 19, 2018

Vancouver ‘s Open Air School was operated by the Rotary Club.   The first “Open Air” schools appeared in Germany and Britain in the early 1900s. They were seen as playing a key role in eradicating tuberculosis, an often fatal lung disease. Proponents of Open Air schools believed (wrongly, as later research showed) that [...]

Class 8J-9J at Britannia Secondary

March 2, 2018

A history written by Mary Jo Campbell, founder of the 8J-9J program.    The Twins, Dani and Lizzy Nelson, Class of 2003, present Mary-Jo with the plaque they created.   This program was originally part of the Vancouver Free University, and operated from a church, on the East Side of Vancouver. That church became the ‘Vancouver East [...]

The Rise of Alternative Education in the Vancouver School District

March 2, 2018

Students pose on the fire escape outside the Total Ed Alternative School.     Author:  Mary Jo Campbell, Founder of the 8J9J Alternative Program at Britannia Secondary School In the volatile 1960s and the early 1970s, when Alternative Education was born in Vancouver, ideas about education and public education were changing rapidly. It [...]

The Early History of Britannia High School: 1908 – 1939

February 24, 2018

      This history Of Britannia High School was published in the school newspaper in four installments during October 1938 – May 1939. It is a remarkable story of challenges met, disappointments overcome, traditions celebrated. The contributions of beloved teachers and student heroes are described in detail. The tone is, by [...]

Chapter Five: The Fifties

February 1, 2018

  Introduction During the 1950s, Vancouver experienced an economic boom, rapid growth, a dramatic rise in the school population, an increase in ethnic and cultural diversity, and the threat of annihilation in a global nuclear war. The children who entered school during this decade were part of an enormous post war ‘baby boom’.  The rapid [...]
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