Purcell Collegiate takes flight with Club Navigator - Purcell Collegiate School

Purcell Collegiate takes flight with Club Navigator

January 10, 2024
January 10, 2024 Duncan MacLeod

Purcell Collegiate takes flight with Club Navigator

Aviation Dynamics at PCS

Purcell Collegiate School (PCS) is excited to announce the launch of its much-anticipated extra-curricular club program. It’s called Club Navigator and it has been a core tenant of the pioneering engagement model PCS has been pursing since the school was first announced in 2018.

According to PCS Head of School, Duncan MacLeod, “This is something we have been talking about and working toward since we conceived the model for PCS. It’s a concrete example of what it means to be a paradigm-shifting independent school. This is one of the ways we intend to change the way education is offered and engaged in British Columbia.”

In the case of Club Navigator, PCS is doing just that by offering clubs that would normally not be available in a rural area: for example, Aviation Dynamics, a club that PCS is currently running in its classroom at St. Eugene Mission and on-site at Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC). The club is being led by retired Air Canada Captain, Rob McInnis, an experienced airline pilot, flight instructor, glider instructor, medivac pilot, charter pilot, and global aviation expert in air safety and pilot leadership roles.

Rob had this to say about the opportunity to lead his own club at PCS: “I am thrilled to be able to share my aviation experience and open young minds to the exciting, and multi-faceted world of aviation through the PCS Aviation Dynamics Club.”

For MacLeod, it comes down to leveraging synergies to create opportunities. The Kimberley-ʔaq̓am-Cranbrook area is home to countless individuals like Rob with education, experience, and expertise to share. PCS fosters a nexus point to connect them with students to create club experiences that would normally only be available in larger centres like Vancouver and Toronto. And they’re available to all students in the local area, not just those attending PCS.

“That’s the strategic vision behind Club Navigator,” MacLeod continues. “We’re creating previously unavailable opportunities for local students while adding to the value proposition attending PCS affords to its fee-paying students.

How does PCS do that?

“We compensate club leaders who are subject-matter experts and provide them with a club budget. A portion of the spaces available in a given club are therefore reserved for PCS students. But the remainder of the spaces are offered for free to local public-school and homeschool students.”

As MacLeod goes on to explain, “This is what it looks like when you have a social purpose as part of your business plan. It’s a win-win approach to delivering education and creating opportunity.”

“Here’s how it works: the clubs are free to local students who complete an application process to ensure they will be motivated, constructive members of the club—and therefore that they will benefit from them.”

“In turn, their participation creates value for our fee-paying students. The local students extend and enhance the cohort of learners in each club. They are interested in and passionate about the same club content. They become new classmates to learn with and new friendships to cultivate for PCS students. It’s paradigm-shifting and third-space creating. We are moving beyond categorizing education as public or private because we are creating ways to make it both public and private.”

And when MacLeod says “ways” in the plural, he means it. Club Navigator is just one of many programs PCS is cultivating to leverage synergies and create opportunities—for its students and for local pubic-school and homeschool students.
“Club Navigator is a flagship program for PCS, but it’s not the only one we have. There’s also the Sparx Speaker Series, Carbon Clawback, and the rest of the Uprep@PCS suite of extracurricular programs.”

For the purpose of this interview, however, the focus is Club Navigator and the next trimester at PCS.

“Aviation Dynamics is a trimester-1 club. It’s ending this month. Trimester-2 clubs start on February 6 and include Applied Science and Engineering with Doug Vanhooren and Visual Arts with Lori Joe.”

Interested in learning more about PCS including how to register for a trimester-2 club? Visit www.purcellcollegiate.ca or call 250-432-1349.