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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Online Learning?

Alternate Delivery Models

Online learning is a classroom alternative that allows students to take a program or course online at their own pace and to work with their teacher(s) to reach individualized goals in their learning plan. Kootenay Discovery School (KDS) provides flexible and self-paced learning 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 in individual courses from their home school.

Different from the In-Person Learning Environment

KDS does not follow traditional school timetables and our classrooms can be anywhere and everywhere. We support individualized learning plans and self-pacing. Online learning allows you to prioritize your needs and to work at a pace and on a schedule that works for you.

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.  

 

Distance 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 distance learning programs for School District 5 students in grades K-12. Our K-9 learners may also enroll in our blended program which combines some class time with home learning time. We also offer 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 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 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 me?

Online/blended learning is great option for students (and families) who are:

  • Independently engaged in the learning process (or active in facilitating learning with their child)

  • Looking for alternatives to the regular school schedule

  • Self-motivated, organized, and proactive with communication

  • Comfortable with technology and have access to a computer or tablet and reliable internet

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).

Please note: Students must reside within School District 5

(Southeast Kootenay) to enroll with Kootenay Discovery School 

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