Welcome to the 2023/2024 School Year!


Information on registration and opening day for the 2023-2024 school year.

Welcome to the 2023/2024 School Year!

All schools on Tuesday September 5th will finish 2 hours earlier than their normal dismissal time.


Tuesday, September 5, 2023

All elementary schools in the Cowichan Valley (including Grades 4-7 at Lake Cowichan School) will be open for a partial day on Tuesday September 5th.

Most schools will post information regarding the first day on their website or social media pages, we encourage you to check for any changes to your school’s normal dismissal time for this year.


Tuesday and Wednesday September 5 & 6, 2023

To help support with student orientation, attendance on the first two days are limited to the following:

  • Frances Kelsey Secondary – Sept 5th – Grade 8s and students who are new to FKSS only (9:00 AM – 1:15 PM). Sept 6th – ALL Students – regular school day (9:00 AM – 3:15 PM).
  • Cowichan Secondary – Sept 5th – Grade 10s and new to CSS students only (8:55 AM – 1:15 PM). Sept 6th – ALL students (8:55 AM – 3:15 PM).
  • Chemainus Secondary – Sept 5th – Grade 7s and NEW to CHSS students only. Sept 6th – ALL Students.
  • Lake Cowichan School – Sept 5th – ALL GRADES (4-12) ALL Students.
  • Quamichan School – Sept 5th – Grade 8s only. Sept 6th – ALL Students.

All secondary schools will send information regarding the first two days via email or post on their website or social media pages, we encourage you to check in with your principal should you have any questions.

Detailed program and course information is available at each school. Counselors are available prior to the start of school, please phone your school to make an appointment.


Cowichan Valley Open Learning Co-op (CVOLC) and satellite open learning centre students start school on the following days:

  • Staff will be contacting families to set up individual Student Learning Plan meetings with families for Sept 6th – 8th. Regular class attendance will begin on Sept 11th.


K-9 students who were registered with The Grove last school year will be contacted by a teacher on Sept 6th or 7th to set-up a meeting to go over their annual Student Learning Plan.

For those students who registered over the summer (after June 30th) staff will be in contact to confirm registration details during the week of September 5th. Teachers will follow up shortly after to book a meeting for a Student Learning Plan Meeting.

Students who were in Grove Grade 10-12 doing Distributed Learning last school year will be contacted by their online teachers on Sept 7th or 8th to confirm active status in courses. Students in Grade 10-12 who registered over the Summer will be contacted by September 8th to confirm new courses at The Grove. Grade 10-12 students who are registered only at The Grove (not at another district school) will complete an online Student Learning Plan. This will be followed up by a meeting to discuss a Grad Plan.


The Cowichan Valley School District is growing, and with the restored class size and composition requirements, there is limited availability in our schools for out-of-catchment requests. If you have submitted a request and have not yet received approval, please go to your neighbourhood school for the first day and check in with your principal. Every effort will be made to inform families of availability by the end of the second week of school. This information will come from the school principal.


Welcome to the Cowichan Valley School District! Please use the school locator tool to find your neighbourhood school (www.sd79.bc.ca – under Student Registration). This is the school you will register your child at. If your child will be registered at Thetis Island School, your registration is done at Chemainus Elementary School.

Registration requirements are set by the Ministry of Education. We require the child’s Canadian birth certificate or passport, as well as the parent’s identification and proof of residency (such as a BC Services Card). Students without Canadian documentation and/or proof of B.C. residency will be redirected to the Principal of International Education located at Cowichan Secondary School. Parents should accompany the student. Please bring the student’s most recent report showing final marks to help facilitate proper placement. Schools are open for registration beginning Aug 28th. Please call your school to set up an appointment.


Kindergarten students start with a gradual entry to better support their transition into school. Schools will be informing parents about the gradual entry process via email. If you have not heard from your child’s school, please call them.

If you have not registered, please register by contacting your neighbourhood school. Children entering Kindergarten in September must be five-years-old by Dec. 31, 2023. We require the student’s birth certificate or passport, as well as the parent’s identification and proof of residency (such as a BC Services Card).


If you are new to the Cowichan Valley, and you feel your child may require specialized support or resources for diverse learning needs, please register for your neighbourhood school and provide any medical documentation or assessments with your registration package. Families are also encouraged to speak directly with the school principal during the week of August 29th. The principal of the school will collaborate with families and school/district teams to ensure that necessary supports are in place for a smooth transition. Families may choose to begin a gradual transition to school in September so that extra resources, equipment or training can occur with staff.  From August 2-29th, families may also email our Director of Inclusive Learning at dereynolds@sd79.bc.ca.


All students requiring bus service for the 2023-24 school year must register for busing. Registration information is available on the school district website (www.sd79.bc.ca – under Transportation). There are no transportation fees. An email will be sent to all registered riders mid-August with routing and bus pass distribution information.

Routes are registration driven, so times change as registrations are received. For the most up-to-date information, please check the schedule as close to the first day of school as possible. Please have your child at the bus stop ten minutes prior to the scheduled time for the month of September. You can also follow us on Twitter (@TransportSD79) for updates.

The transportation office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout the summer. If you have any questions about busing, please call 250-748-1066 ext. 276.