A Brief History Of Langley Education Centre

Langley Education Centre (LEC) began in January 1986, in leased facilities at Sundel Square. It was established by Jim Sydor, the Director of Continuing Education in the Langley School District. Initially, the program was small, offering Levels 2 and 3 of the Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program and accommodating a few GED (Graduation Equivalency Diploma) students. The ESL program, previously held at the Civic Centre in Langley, also relocated to Sundel Square.

At the same time, Jim Sydor managed night school programs at Fort Langley, Langley Secondary, Aldergrove Secondary, and Brookswood Secondary. These programs were incorporated into LEC in 1987. After expanding the ABE program in September 1986 and opening a site in Aldergrove, the school began offering graduation courses through the Correspondence Branch of the Ministry of Education in Victoria. In September 1987, LEC officially formed, amalgamating the ABE and graduation programs at Sundel Square. Night school sites and summer school were also integrated into the program.

Jim Kettlewell was appointed as the first principal, succeeded by Wendy MacKinlay in 1993, and Jim Kettlewell again from 1998 until his retirement in 2002. Aileen Lew was the principal in 2004.

In the 1990s, several institutions operated under LEC’s umbrella, including Langley College, Stenberg College, the ICCR (Intensive Child Care Resource) program, LYRC (Langley Youth Resource Centre) by the Salvation Army, and the CVTC (Campbell Valley Treatment Centre). LEC also ran a literacy program for many years.

By 2002, LEC had a staff of 39, including 22 teachers and 17 support staff. In June 2001, the school had 1250 students.  In 2004, the student body included 632 regular part-time students, 216 PASS students, and 21 U-Connect students.

LEC operated three storefront campuses in 2002: Sundel Square in Langley, Aldergrove (above the police building on Fraser Highway), and the ICCR. The Aldergrove Education Centre offered PASS sessions, ABE, GED, and graduation programs. ICCR, or the Langley Community & Youth Resource Centre, operated separately on 208 Street in Langley.

LEC provided a self-paced tutorial instruction program using the Pathfinder Learning system for part-time students, with teacher support as needed. It offered semestered classes at the grade 11 and 12 levels, allowing students to achieve graduation status through LEC or complete necessary courses. LEC also organized the Summer School Program, offering catch-up and enrichment courses on a rotational basis at secondary school sites, and the Summer International Students’ Program (ISP), with various activities for international students.

Four specialized programs at LEC included PASS, U-Connect, online programs, and the Child-minding program.

The PASS program, started in September 1996, served 15-17-year-olds who had found it difficult to succeed at their neighbourhood school, offering grade 8, 9, and 10 courses. This program was highly sought after, with positive feedback from parent evaluations. Students studied at the center four and a half days a week with staggered start and break times to manage parking lot congestion.

The U-Connect program supported parents homeschooling their secondary-level children, offering guidance on learning outcomes and evaluation. Students communicated with LEC via email and participated in in-service activities for subjects like electricity labs. The program included 20-30 students, mostly in grades 7 and 8, with many transitioning to alternative programs or regular schools by grade 9 and 10.

LEC also had 65 students enrolled in online courses, working from home and communicating with teachers via email. This program started in 2001.

In 2001, LEC initiated a Child-minding Program, financially supported by Aldergrove Neighbourhood Services, which paid for the staff. Initially serving 5 babies, the program expanded to 26 children, allowing parents to attend classes while their infants to 3-year-olds were cared for by trained staff.

LEC’s unique structure and continuous intake policy provided valuable educational opportunities for students who could not attend daily. Its flexible schedule and evening classes enabled those 16 and older to pursue an education otherwise unavailable to them.