Glarea Elevated Learning school co-founder Rita Rai (left) with Traci Baillie, head of school, in a classroom located above one of the rinks at Surrey’s Excellent Ice. (Photo: Tom Zillich)

PHOTOS: Inside Surrey’s new in-rink private school, which isn’t all about hockey

Glarea Elevated Learning school has opened at Excellent Ice

Students at Surrey’s newest private school have a rink-side view hockey fans would love.

Glarea Elevated Learning classes began Sept. 14 in renovated space at the Excellent Ice facility, in the Panorama area.

It’s billed as the Lower Mainland’s only school with multiple in-house hockey rinks.

“It’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of this, a different kind of education in Surrey,” said Traci Baillie, head of school, as she and Glarea co-founder Rita Rai gave the Now-Leader a tour.

“It’s safer, it’s cleaner, it’s a smaller number of students, we’ve got arts and sports and so much more,” Baillie said. “Every school has had challenges to open this fall, but it’s certainly a great feat to start a new school like this in a pandemic, and we’re on target.”

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE MORE PHOTOS

The school’s four classrooms and “flex” space occupy the second-floor former restaurant/bar and viewing areas at the three-sheet arena, opened in 1999 by Surrey-based Lark Group. The cafeteria/restaurant will remain open to Excellent Ice patrons after school hours, which are from 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Building expansion plans were revealed in a report to Surrey city council in February 2019, with hockey originally a lone focus of the planned “academy,” and other sports and arts programs since added.

• READ MORE: Private school plans at expanded Surrey ice arena emphasize student ‘grit’

“We’re not a hockey school just because our classrooms are located above a rink,” Baillie emphasized. “That’s just part of what we do. We do a skating program, a martial arts program, our Arts Umbrella and other programs. It’s an appreciation of all sports.”

The school name means “grit” in Latin.

“Glarea Elevated Learning has re-imagined the modern school system by utilizing Challenge Based Learning within an all-inclusive Arts and Sport environment focused on connection and development,” explains a post at glareaschool.com.

To start, students from Kindergarten to Grade 5 are enrolled in the school, with expansion to higher grades to follow in phases, as the redeveloped facility grows in size.

“Right now we have students in every grade, up to Grade 5, with a max 10 students per class,” Rai said. “This year we still have spots available in each class, with our maximum number of students being 60, and that number will grow every year.”

(Story continues below video, from July 2020)

Rai said word is spreading about the school’s “different way of doing things.

“One of our families moved here from Vancouver,” she noted. “They left a private school there, sold their house and moved to South Surrey just to attend this school. It’s because we have a low number of students per class and also because of our air-filtration system. This is where they feel safe.”

Added Baillie: “We’ve had teachers who want to come here because of everything provided here. It’s an exciting time to be part of something new like this.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Education

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

A surveillance camera in a photo posted to the Project Iris page on surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
Quality surveillance video helps catch crooks, Surrey Mounties say

Charges laid in connection to break-and-enter in Guildford area

(Photo: Twitter@SurreyRCMP)
Surrey Mounties, pet owners, bracing for Halloween

Last year the Surrey RCMP received 147 fireworks complaints on Diwali and 121 on Halloween

Signage outside of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in South Surrey advises of the drive-thru schedule. (Contributed photo)
Cold-weather clothing donations sought at South Surrey drive-thru effort

Weekly collection continues in Mount Olive Lutheran Church parking lot

This year’s annual Lighted Boat Parade has been cancelled. (File photo)
White Rock’s annual Lighted Boat Parade cancelled

COVID-19 cited as main reason for cancellation of popular winter tradition

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police investigating after another teen girl approached in Tsawwassen

Police say a man in a burgundy car approached teen girls on at least two, possibly three occasions

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Commissioner Austin Cullen looks at documents before opening statements at the Cullen Commission of Inquiry into Money Laundering in British Columbia, in Vancouver on February 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
RCMP lacked dedicated team to investigate illegal activities at casino, inquiry hears

Hearings for the inquiry are set to continue into next week and the inquiry is expected to wrap up next year

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Court approves money for B.C. foster children alleging harm from Kelowna social worker

The maximum combined total award for basic payments and elevated damages for an individual is $250,000

Most Read