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Purpose Profile

Purpose Secondary School is an independent school, which exists to serve those students who, for a variety of reasons, find it difficult to succeed in the traditional school system.  Students benefit from the fact that we are a small independent school. Read more…

Student Code of Conduct

In conjunction with the Ministry of Education’s Provincial Code of Conduct, Purpose Secondary has developed a Code of Conduct to ensure a Safe and Caring School. Read more…


Purpose Secondary School faculty work to fit students needs where possible and appropriate, not necessarily bend students to fit the school.


Students succeed at Purpose Secondary School because they learn in small classes, benefit from a structured environment, work to achieve high academic standards and receive one-on-one instruction when they need it. Successful students will receive the BC Dogwood Diploma.

What is special about Purpose School?

. Some students need more than they can get in the public school system.  Students who have attended Purpose School have told us that they need to make a connection to their teachers, receive additional support, be cared about, listened to, and at the same time be challenged to achieve their potential.  They also appreciated the opportunities to belong to a school community which understands their uniqueness.

A parent (2020) wrote:

This is for parents who might have a child who is a square peg in a round hole or a round peg in a square hole… or whatever the mismatch might be. I have one of those. Throughout his years in school, it became quite obvious that despite the amazing school and great teachers he attended, he just didn’t fit in socially and was suffering deeply for it. We tried everything we could think of. The teachers tried everything they could think of. Nothing seemed to work for our kid. And then the secretary of his school suggested that we might give Purpose a try. She had heard of other kids like ours who struggled fitting in, then went to Purpose and turned things completely around. So we (skeptically) decided to give it a go. It’s now the end of his first school year and I am amazed to say that school is no longer is a bad word in our house. He loves going… looks forward to going in fact. He loves to participate in his unique way and to be valued for that uniqueness. It’s a tribute to the school that he will finish his high school years and look back with positive memories instead of just negative ones. We highly recommend Purpose to any other parent who might be facing similar struggles with their child.

In order to provide a rounded education, there are many field trips and extra-curricular activities.  Students attend events like the Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver Aquarium, The  Museum of Anthropology. Also, there are walks and hiking, community gardening, Fine Art performances, camping to name a few. Every student can attend the events regardless of their financial status.

Message from our Principal

At Purpose Secondary School we strive to educate not only the mind but the heart. The staff is dedicated to meeting the needs of students who for a variety of reasons have chosen to pursue their education in an independent school setting. The students who attend Purpose Secondary School benefit from smaller class sizes in a relationship-based learning environment where students feel both emotionally and physically safe to learn.


Caring, skilled teachers and ancillary staff help each student address their challenges related to learning and their social and emotional well-being or mental health. Students are encouraged to achieve their potential, take responsibility for their lives and develop a strong set of learning and life skills. Purpose Secondary School is part of a larger social service agency offering a continuum of programs to children, youth and family in the areas of health, education, childcare, counselling and skill development. It takes a village to raise a child and at Purpose School we are committed to each youth who joins our school community – a community with heart and purpose.



Merrilyn Cook-Nordheimer

Purpose Secondary School

502 Columbia St,

New Westminster, BC V3L 1B1

778 727 3410

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Insuring youth have access to an education is a gift that will resonate for generations to come. Please consider donating to Purpose Secondary School.

"Purpose Secondary School recognizes and acknowledges the Qayqayt First Nation, as well as all Coast Salish peoples, on whose traditional and unceded territories we live, we learn, we play and we do our work."

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