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Old 10-27-2008, 05:37 PM
 
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My husband and I currently own two construction-based businesses in the states. A job opportunity has arisen near Kelowna, B.C. and we are seriously considering it. One of our main concerns is our 4 1/2-year-old son, who will begin kindergarten in the fall. I know nothing about the education system in B.C. Can anyone help us out? I think we'll move forward if it's going to be positive for our son.
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:00 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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Oh wow, I don't know if you realize it, but a "Canada VS USA what is better?" is always a means to opening up a can of words...

In order to compare pros and cons, since both the USA and Canada are so vast, diverse, and regional, you truly have to specify which part of what country you're referring to.

So it's Kelowna, BC, Canada vs. where in the USA?

Fortunately, I know of the Kelowna area based on multiple summer visits, but I can't give you the perspective of somebody that lives there. It's located in the Okanagan Valley, which is a long and narrow semi-arid valley with lakes all down the middle. At the very southern end of the Okanagan Valley is Osoyoos (both the name of a small town and a lake) which is technically a desert. Needless to say, this part of BC gets very little rain. Geographically, it's comparable to California, South Australia, or South Africa.

If you like 4 seasons, you'll love Kelowna. If you love wine, you'll love Kelowna.

As for education, in general the BC Education system is quite good. Education is a provincial jurisdiction, but school boards are municipal. Generally children from K-12 will go to their local school based on a certain catchment area. In Kelowna there will be several elementary schools, but your son will go to the one that's in your neighbourhood (or closest to whereever you live). The quality of education does not really vary between schools as they all must follow the exact same curriculum as provided by the BC Ministry of Education. What may differ, however, is the infrastructure of the school. Some schools are newer, older, larger, smaller, etc. Some schools might have their very own swimming pools, ice rinks, etc - others might use the local community center's facilities. Some might have a reputable arts program, others might have a reputable soccer team, etc. That's what varies. As well, because students go to their local school, the neighbourhood - though it doesn't necessarily contribute to the quality of the education - it will certainly influence the demographics of the school. But I can't tell you how this varies in Kelowna.

There are some special programs which are available at certain public schools, such as Montessori or French Immersion. Usually there is only one school in an entire city that might offer such a program. If you wish to enroll your son in such a program and the local neighbourhood school does not offer the program, then (assuming there is no long waiting list - which there often is), you are able to register your son to a school in a different catchment area.

Students in BC are generally offered a very well-rounded education, and I would not worry about sending your son to school in Kelowna, if that what you're worried about.

One thing you might notice is that your son, if educated in Canada, will learn a lot more about Canada... (geography, history, etc) and if he were to be educated in the USA, he'll learn a lot more about the USA.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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We would be moving from western Montana. And yes, four seasons/long winters are completely fine with us!
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
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You'll find the winters far more mild in Kelowna that you would in the Whitefish/Kalispell area.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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Kelowna is milder than most places in western Montana
not alot milder but definitely milder
Here's a comparison ....

Kelowna, British Columbia

M JA FE MR AP MA JU JL AU SE OC NO DE
Hi 34 40 51 59 69 75 81 80 71 58 44 36
Lo 23 26 30 38 45 52 56 56 47 39 32 26


Kalispell, Montana

M JA FE MR AP MA JU JL AU SE OC NO DE
HI 29 37 44 56 67 74 82 81 70 56 40 32
LO 15 20 25 32 40 47 51 50 41 33 26 19

Kelowna is in the Okanagan area of BC which is mild enough
for growing grapes and alot of other tender fruit
probably a zone 6b to 7a gardening zone
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Calgary, AB
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Between Kelowna and Whitefish, there will be no significant change in raising your son. If anything, living in Canada will most likely be a reduced style of life due to expense unless the BC opportunity far outweighs the COL change.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, BC
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If you have the opportunity, you can always give it a try to see how it does differ. Not a lot of people get that opportunity.
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Old 11-01-2008, 01:00 AM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
7,216 posts, read 6,570,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legendary View Post
My husband and I currently own two construction-based businesses in the states. A job opportunity has arisen near Kelowna, B.C. and we are seriously considering it. One of our main concerns is our 4 1/2-year-old son, who will begin kindergarten in the fall. I know nothing about the education system in B.C. Can anyone help us out? I think we'll move forward if it's going to be positive for our son.
Hi legendary.

With regard to education for your son in Kelowna, just from my own educational experience in BC, and that of my children, my nieces & nephews, and now their own teenaged youngsters - I think you would be happy with it. The kids here in BC all get a good education, it's a good curriculum and pretty much all of them go to public schools, you won't see any need for homeschooling (except for in places in the province that are geographically isolated from society). I think perhaps because we are such a very multicultural province the kids in BC also learn more about global affairs and the histories and traditions of other nations/cultures then what children in the USA are taught. You can rest assured that your son would learn plenty about the history of USA as well as other nations, and not only about Canada.

I don't live in Kelowna but I've family there and visited it many times and I know it is a nice town. It's a bit of a retirement town for some of the province's wealthier citizens but the town is growing, turning into a small city with many young people and good educational facilities for people of all ages.

I think you may find the climate more temperate than in Montana. Although it gets a lot of sunshine it's not really as dry and arid as most people think and there are a lot of orchards, vinyards and other agricultures happening there as well as other industries. Also lots of opportunities for outdoor recreation and social activities, festivals, etc. - it's a tourist attraction in that regard.

Winters are about 3 months long, give or take a couple of weeks, and they're not severe.

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Old 11-03-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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Default What about smaller towns surrounding Kelowna?

We prefer a little bit of a smaller town. Anyone have comments about Vernon, Salmon Arm or surrounding areas?
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Old 11-04-2008, 02:00 AM
 
Location: British Columbia ♥ 🍁 ♥
7,216 posts, read 6,570,009 times
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I've driven through those towns plenty of times in all seasons, both towns are very beautiful. If you haven't already seen this website then take a look at this, although it's aimed mostly at tourists it may give you some of the information you're looking for about all the towns in that region. You can also click on the map link then click on the individual towns to get to information about them.

BC Tourism Travel Guide: Regions & Towns of British Columbia, Canada

Map of the Thompson Okanagan, British Columbia
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