This small B.C. school is tripping over twins

For a school the size of Parkview Elementary in Sicamous, B.C., having two or three sets of twins is not uncommon. However, teachers at the school of 205 students are tripping over twins this year with six sets to begin the 2021-22 school year — a figure that caught principal Carla Schneider by surprise when she looked at the class lists.

“It seems like an anomaly,” Schneider said.

“If my math is correct that’s one in 17 students in the school that is a twin.”

The global rate of twinning has increased by a third since the 1980s — from 9.1 sets per 1,000 deliveries to 12, according to a study released earlier this year.

Researchers cite the rise in medically assisted reproduction and delayed childbearing as factors. 

That works out to a rate of one child in every 42 being born a twin, which means Parkview Elementary is bucking the twin trend.

One in 17 children at Parkview are twins. Left to right Cody and Levi Clark, Maycie and Max Lane, Dustin and Dillon Hilder, Kate Osmundson (sister Reece Kate not pictured), Nathan and Emily Presley and Logan and Aurora Dawson. (Submitted by Carla Schneider)

“In my 25 years of education, I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Schneider.

The six sets of twins are spread fairly evenly among the grades in the school, Schneider said, with only Grade 2 and kindergarten not having a set. Two sets are identical twins.

Logan and Aurora Dawson are the youngest of the six sets and share a Grade 1 class.

“Logan and Aurora are very much attached to each other. They are each other’s best friends,” Schneider said. 

“They absolutely play with other kids but they love each other and they are a joy to be around.”

According to Logan, it’s not all fun and games being a twin.

Identical twins Levi and Cody have a bit of a love-hate relationship and wish they didn’t look like one another. (Andrew Lee/CBC)

“The bad thing is that we fight a lot,” he said, while hugging Aurora.

“Not a lot,” Aurora asserted, adding the best thing about having a twin brother is that she’s never alone.

Many of the Parkview 12 say having a twin has more positives than drawbacks.

Emily Presley in Grade 3 is always on her brother Nathan’s side, even though she says they too fight sometimes.

“What I like about being twins is that I always have someone to look out for,” she said. 

‘She always has my back’

Identical twins Cody and Levi Clark wish they weren’t in the same class together — the Grade 6 students admit they have a bit of a love-hate relationship going on. 

“[The worst thing is] having to look as ugly as him,” Cody said, gesturing to his twin.

On this point, Levi agrees. “I don’t like looking like him either,” he said.

Despite some sibling rivalry, Schneider says for the most part all the twin sets get along.

The twin factor at her school is the news of the town, she said, adding it’s an uplifting story line across the school district in a time when many schools are challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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