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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Online Learning?

Alternate Delivery Models

Kootenay Discovery School (KDS) provides educational opportunities that may not be possible for students attending a traditional "brick and mortar" school. We offer alternative, self paced educational programs to students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 + ​Adult. All programs are supported by BC certified teachers and follow the BC Ministry of Education Curriculum. Students can enroll at KDS full time, or they can cross enroll from their brick and mortar school. 

Different from the Brick and Mortar Environment

KDS does not follow traditional school timetables. Our programs work in much smaller cohorts, and our classrooms can be anywhere and everywhere. We prioritize individualized learning plans and self pacing where needed. 

Ownership of Learning

KDS allows students to be in charge of their learning. They can decide the pace at which to move through the material, when they are ready to be assessed, and in some cases, make decisions on how to be assessed. We believe that this responsibility empowers students with the confidence to develop competencies that will serve them effectively after graduation and into adulthood.  


Home Learning Programs

KDS offers over 60 online courses that all meet the BC Ministry of Education mandated curriculum guidelines and learning outcomes. We offer full time home learning programs for students grades K-12 (please note: primarily servicing School District 5 students). Our programs are delivered in a blended model of class time and home learning time. This is different from homeschooling, where a BC teacher is not involved in the learning process and any curriculum can be used. Kootenay Discovery School is not a homeschooling program.

We also offer a selection of courses for graduated adults wishing to upgrade their courses for entrance into post secondary institutions.

How does KDS differ from Homeschooling?

Comparison of Registered Homeschooler with Online or Blended Learning  Student - Visit Ministry Website 

Traditional Homeschooling: 

  • Must meet the learning standards of the BC Curriculum :  NO

  • Learning must be supervised by a BC Teacher: NO

  • Student progress must be evaluated by a teacher and report cards

  • are prepared by a teacher 3x per year: NO

  • Must participate in provincial testing (provincial exams, FSAs) : NO

  • Religious text/resources may be used: YES

  • Status of student with school:  Registered

Public School Online/Blended Learning: 

  • Must meet the learning standards of the BC Curriculum : YES

  • Learning must be supervised by a BC Teacher: YES

  • Student progress must be evaluated by a teacher and report cards

  • are prepared by a teacher 3x per year: YES

  • Must participate in provincial testing (provincial exams, FSAs) : YES

  • Religious text/resources may be used: NO

  • Status of student with school:  Enrolled

What is Cross Enrollment?

With cross enrollment, a student simply enrolls in two schools at the same time, completing in-class studies in their current BC secondary school, and enrolling with KDS or KLC for the courses they are completing online. 


What are the benefits of cross enrollment?

Here's an example: A student has been looking forward to taking a metalwork elective, however when they meet to plan their semester with their school counselor, they learn that it's only offered at their secondary school at the same time as Social Studies 10, a course they are required to take. Cross enrollment allows the student to enroll with KDS to complete Social Studies 10 as an online learning course, freeing up the time on their schedule to then take the metalwork elective at their current school. The student is credited for both completed courses.

Cross enrollment provides helpful tools to school counselors throughout BC to find creative solutions that motivate students. Families can choose a learning environment that supports their child's needs and provides a positive peer experience. It's our experience at KDS/ KLC that providing this flexibility motivates learners to take a keener interest in their education.

Students who utilize a cross enrollment option can also meet their goals faster by having the option of continuing their studies throughout the year, or by taking academic courses consecutively. For example, some students find that understanding the concepts in Math 11 course is easier when it's taken in the semester immediately following completion of Math 10, rather than waiting until the next school year.

How do I know if online/blended  learning is right for my child?

Online/blended learning works for students and families who are:

  • Engaged in and supportive of the learning process with their child

  • Looking for alternatives to the regular school schedule

  • Independent learners

  • Have access to technology at home

  • Click on the "Parent Guide to Online Learning"  at the bottom of this page for more information about this. 

Is there a cost to enroll in  KDS?

All of our programs are free to residents of British Columbia. We are a fully funded and accredited BC school operating in the East Kootenays within School District 5 (Southeast Kootenay).

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