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What is the difference between Cumberland Community School and the Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS)? 

Cumberland Community School is the Strongstart to Grade 9 public school, funded and operated by Comox Valley Schools (SD71). 

Incorporated in 2000, Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS) is the registered charity that operates out of the school to offer a lunch program, after-school programming, a drop-in Youth Centre, adult education and food share. The Society is currently run by a 9 member volunteer Board of Directors and staffed with an Executive Director, a team of  support staff and dedicated program instructors. CCSS staff are not employed by the Comox Valley School District 71 (SD71).

What is a Community School?  

Community Schools are based on the philosophy of Community Education, an educational process which serves ALL age groups in the community. It utilizes the total resources of the community to provide programs and services for local residents.  A Community School extends the availability of programs and services beyond the traditional school boundaries.

Goals of community schools include:

  • use of schools as lifelong learning centres,
  • promote equitable and inclusive educational opportunities for children, youth and adults,
  • use school, district and community resources to enrich services to children, youth and adults,
  • improve community relations and community development,
  • strengthen inter-agency cooperation and coordination of supports, and
  • recognize and respond to identified community needs. 

Designation of a Community School requires that a Community School SOCIETY (that’s us, CCSS) enter into a Community School Agreement with the Board of Education. This allows the Society to operate within the school to offer programs and support services. 

Cumberland Elementary School received designation as a Community School in 2001. When the Elementary and Junior Schools amalgamated in 2014, the designation was extended to include the entire K-9 school. The school was renamed “Cumberland Community School” to reflect this.

In Cumberland, CCSS works closely with the school administration to further the goals of the school and to respond to the needs of the community. CCSS is in constant communication with school administration and SD71 regarding the use of school facilities for CCSS programming. The needs of students during instructional time is always the first and foremost priority. 

How does our Society fund its programs?

As part of our Community School Agreement, the SD71 Board of Education allocates funding to CCSS. By leveraging this funding (currently 8% of our budget), CCSS secures additional revenue through grants, donations, fundraising events and programming income. 

Is CCSS different from the PAC?

Yes. While both organizations work to support students, the Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS) and the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) are two separate organizations with different mandates.

CCSS focuses on providing programs that support not only students, but the entire community, many of which take place outside of the traditional school day. The CCSS Board of Directors includes both parents and individuals from the broader community. 

The PAC is a parent-led organization that is dedicated to enriching students’ experiences at our school. This is accomplished through advocacy and fundraising for additional resources.