The District is committed to providing quality Online Learning opportunities to students in the District.
Online Learning provides an opportunity for students and families to exercise choice with respect to the environment, methods and structures through which students are able to achieve their educational goals. Online Learning improves the equity of access to education, providing an option to students who may be unable to work entirely within a conventional classroom setting.
The District, in accordance with the commitment made by the BC Ministry of Education, believes that it is important to provide options to adult learners who are in pursuit of their adult graduation requirements, and acknowledges the importance of Online Learning as one such option.
A quality Online Learning program requires a commitment on the part of teachers and administrators to remain current in their knowledge of policy and procedural rules unique to Online Learning in British Columbia. Additionally, teachers and administrators responsible for a Distributed Learning program must commit to expanding their curricular and pedagogical knowledge base to include unique ways of engaging and supporting students in learning in an Online Learning environment.
The District commits to offering an Online Learning program that supports both fully-registered students and students registered in neighbourhood schools who choose individual courses to augment their learning through Online Education. This program will serve school-aged and adult students both within District and beyond District borders, contingent on continued Ministry of Education support for students who are over the age of 19 and/or are cross-enrolled in multiple Districts. Further, the District commits to support continued course and program development within the Online Learning program so that students have the best possible Online Learning experience.
- All or part of a student’s educational program may be provided by means of Online Learning.
- Online Learning provides flexibility for students who, while attending neighbourhood schools, wish to pursue a course or multiple courses through Online Learning in order to overcome timetable challenges, to access unique course opportunities, or to gain valuable learning skills through working in an online environment.
- Courses and programs offered through Online Learning must comply with best practice and current pedagogical methods in order to ensure that students who study through Online Learning are given the best possible educational experience.
- Program Structure
- The Online Learning program will be offered primarily through the South Island Distance Education School (SIDES).
- Some Online Learning courses offered by the District may be taught from within neighbourhood schools, either as stand alone courses or in partnership with SIDES.
- SIDES will offer curriculum via Online Learning methods (online/web-based courses) and will adhere to requirements for content and delivery outlined by Ministry of Education policy.
- Online Learning courses and programs will be created and taught based upon current best practice standards in Online Learning (at time of writing, the Standards for K-12 Distributed Learning in BC).
- In order to ensure compliance with best practice standards, courses and programs will be revised within the guidelines of the course development procedures at SIDES.
- Access to Online Learning
- Students and their families will be informed of opportunities to access Online Learning options within the District through the annual course selection process.
- School-aged students who are ordinarily resident in BC may register for Online Learning courses/programs at SIDES at no charge.
- Adult non-graduate students who are ordinarily resident in British Columbia may register for Online Learning courses that lead to graduation at SIDES at no charge.
- Adult students who have already graduated from secondary school may register for Online Learning courses at SIDES.Courses which are authorized by the BC Education Guarantee will be offered to such students at no charge to the student; courses which are not authorized by the BC Education Guarantee may be offered to such students for a tuition fee to be established by the school.
- Registration and Enrolment
- Registration and enrolment in the Online Learning program (at SIDES) will occur at the school level.
- Students will be informed of the attributes that are suited to success in the Online Learning model of instruction.
- Students will be accepted on the basis of capacity in Online Learning.
- Students may register for individual Online Learning courses or for complete Online Learning programs, as allowed by Ministry of Education.
- Students requiring learning support services will be screened and accommodated according to Ministry of Education Online Learning Policy.
- Cross-enrolment and Partnerships with neighbourhood schools
- Students who are enrolled at a neighbourhood school (either within the District or outside of the District) may enrol in the Online Learning program (at SIDES) for courses (as per rules set by the Ministry of Education).
- Where a student whose School of Record is a neighbourhood school, SIDES will communicate course progress and results with the School of Record in addition to reporting to parents as per the School Act.
- SIDES and neighbourhood schools will work together to formalize partnership structures, where resources (i.e., staffing, timetable availability, physical space) are available, to support students in their pursuit of Online Learning opportunities.