5-9 Online Program

What you need to know about Grade 5-9 online courses.

Accessing Tech Support

If you're experiencing technical difficulties and your Support or Online Teacher is not able to provide the tech answers you need, please contact our Tech Support department using this email address: tickets@onlineschool.ca. Our Tech department aims to respond to your requests within 24 hours. 


Additional Expenses for Grade 5-9 Courses

Synchronous and Asynchronous Online Courses

These are the amounts deducted from student curriculum accounts for the following synchronous and asynchronous courses. The true costs for these online courses are subsidized by HCOS in order that student curriculum accounts are minimally impacted.

Course Amount Deducted from PO Funds

Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies 05-09

  • Design Thinking Through Minecraft
  • Food Studies
  • Leveled Coding in Tynker
  • Skills for Online Success
English 05-09 $75
Languages 05-09 $75
Mathematics 05-09 $75
Science 05-09 $75
Social Studies 05-09 $75
TechLAB 07-09 $225 (3 courses @ $75 each)

Community Connections and Community Connections Plus

Additional costs for Community Connections and Community Connections Plus courses are posted on the application link on the Learning Groups website. For further information, please contact Dawn Denham, Learning Groups Administrative Assistant.

Costs for Additional Online Courses

Taking additional courses beyond a regular course load will incur a cost of $215 per course (e.g., French 07 and Spanish 07 in the same school year).

This is a significantly discounted rate from the regular full course cost of $650 for non-funded students. 

Homeschool Registered Students Taking Online Courses

Homeschooled registered students have a cost of $250 per online course. For registration information, please contact Karen Roeck, Director of Middle School Instruction.

Course Extension or Retention Process


It is our intent to:

  • Meet students where they are at and provide adaptations to promote academic success.
  • Increase transparency and accuracy in the recording and reporting of a student’s ability level.
  • Celebrate progress and make space for students to develop at their own pace.
  • Encourage families to view slowed course pacing as a way to support unique learning needs.

When a student works behind in a subject or when progress in a course is insufficient to warrant a passing grade, the student can be given additional time and support to reach academic success.

Subject Specific Retention Process: Individualized K-9 Students
  1. When a student falls behind, the Support Teacher needs to initiate processes laid out on the Incomplete Grades and Assigning Fs - K-12 page.
  2. If the student is unsuccessful in meeting minimal standards, Learning Services (LS) should get involved to discuss student support strategies.
  3. As the school year draws to a close, a conversation between the parent, teacher, Learning Services Consultant (LSC), and student needs to take place. Various options would be discussed, including:
    1. Moving the subject forward on pace with the other courses
    2. A subject specific grade retention
    3. Remediation options
    4. Having the student receive a failing grade and close the course
  4. The student, parent, teacher, LSC agree on the best course of action.
  5. The teacher will inform their K-9 Regional Administrator (RA) and the LS RA of their recommendation.
  6. The RA and LS RA come to agreement and request an exemption from their Divisional Director who consults the Academic Head of School for final approval.
  7. A pinned log entry will be added to the student’s file if subject retention is the final decision.
  8. The course is closed and reopened the following year.
Subject Specific Retention Process: Online Courses Grades 5-12

Grade 5-12 online course students are provided with 12 months to complete a course. Most students complete a course during a semester term or over the September-June school year. If the student does not meet grade level expectations, they are required to either repeat the course or resubmit assignments until their level of understanding is at the minimally meeting standard.  

Cross-enrolled Grade 8 and 9 online courses should have the 12-month timeline noted in their course introductions so that students are aware that they have a full calendar year to complete their course work.

  1. When a student falls behind, the Online Course Teacher needs to initiate processes to get the student caught up during that school year. This includes contacting the student and parent, communicating with the Individualized Support Teacher and Director of Middle School Instruction (Grades 5-9) or Grad Advisor (GA) (Grades 10-12).
  2. If the student is unsuccessful in meeting minimal standards, Learning Services (LS) should get involved to discuss student support strategies.
  3. As the term draws to a close, a conversation between the parent, teacher, Learning Services Consultant (LSC), and student needs to take place. Various options would be discussed including:
    1. Assigning a passing grade and moving the subject forward on pace with the other courses
    2. Extending the time for the student to complete that subject
    3. Other remediation and completion options
    4. Assigning a failing grade and closing the course
    5. Requiring the student to repeat the course
  4. The student, parent, teacher, and LSC agree on the course of action. The teacher will inform their Support Teacher or GA and the LS RA of their recommendation.
  5. The RA or GA and LS RA come to agreement and request an exemption from their Director who consults the Academic Head of School for final approval.
  6. A pinned log entry will be added to the student’s file if subject retention is the decision.
  7. The course is closed and the student can apply again following two reporting periods.

Grade 5-9 Synchronous Courses


Synchronous courses offer the same program of study as an online course, with the added benefit of weekly meetings with a teacher and working alongside a cohort of your peers. Synchronous courses provide overall structure for students, with the expectation that they will work to keep up with the schedule set by the teacher for assignments and assessments. The accountability of the weekly meeting is designed to support learning of challenging concepts and content, encourage student interaction and community building, and provide a natural place for students to ask questions and develop deeper understanding. 


Synchronous courses provide regular touchpoints where students meet with their teacher and classmates on a weekly basis. Regularly scheduled times set by the instructor allow students to connect with teachers to receive instruction, clarify assignments, and ask questions in a group setting. Synchronous course options allow students the opportunity to connect with their teachers and other students in a more typical classroom style, providing the chance for students to be known and feel more accountable for completing their work. Teachers may use weekly meetings to answer common questions, clarify assignments, discuss complex topics, and build community through interactive discussions and review activities.

How Synchronous Courses Function

Take a look at the Synchronous Cohorts - 2022/2023 schedule for specific days and times.

Student Responsibilities and Expectations

Teacher Responsibilities and Expectations

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does it cost any more to enroll in a synchronous course compared to an asynchronous course? 
    • No, the cost to the student is the same for a synchronous course as it is for any other online course enrollment.
  2. What if I have to miss a meeting for an appointment or other unforeseen conflict? 
    • This should be communicated to your teacher. Students should arrange activities such as regular piano lessons or sports practices at a time that does not conflict with scheduled class meetings. It is understood that conflicts come up, but please communicate with your teacher well in advance.
  3. Can my student take just one synchronized cohort for an online course or do they have to take all across their grade level?
    • Absolutely - they can take just one or multiple synchronous options! Figure out what works best for your child’s learning style, level of independence and degree of desired flexibility.
  4. How does the course schedule work?
    • The meeting times for each synchronous cohort will be posted in SOPHIE. Your K-9 support teacher can also let you know when specific classes are meeting. When planning the schedule, our team takes care to avoid overlap between class time for the different subjects across the same grade level. This allows students to take all synchronous offerings if they so choose.
  5. How long are the synchronous classes?
    • At the Grade 5-9 level, Zoom classes are 30 minutes in length.
  6. What happens if my student falls behind?
    • Just like in any classroom environment, things happen. Students are encouraged to keep attending the class and to work with their teacher to catch up. Teachers are prepared to support students when things don’t go as planned. 
  7. Are teachers available outside of the posted class times?  
    • Absolutely. Teachers will have office hours times posted in their Moodle course.  
  8. Are students required to have cameras and audio on?  
    • Yes, this is a basic expectation of a synchronous class. One of the goals of these classes is building community and students are expected to participate in this way.
  9. Are the courses semester or linear pacing?
    • Courses are held over the school year in a linear fashion. Classes start in the third week of September and run until mid-June.
  10. Do I have to attend the live meetings?
    • Yes! This is the main part of a synchronous class. Of course, there are absences that you cannot avoid, like sickness or appointments. Please communicate with your teacher.
  11. Is there a minimum enrollment necessary in order to have a synchronous course happen?  Also, is there a maximum number?
    • Building community is important to synchronous classes so we will require that a minimal number of students enroll.  If we do not get the minimum number of students, the ones that are enrolled will automatically be moved to asynchronous. As far as a maximum number, we realize that an online Zoom class can reach a maximum practical size, so if this happens, we will open up a second weekly meeting time to accommodate more students.

                      How to Order a Resource for an Online Course


                      Moodle & Interactive PDF Information

                      If this is the first time your student is experiencing an online course, or if you are new to taking a course with HCOS, we think that you will find the following information a good starting point. 

                      How to use the interactive PDF assignments

                      Your course uses interactive PDF documents for all assignments. This ensures that students and teachers can open and complete the assignments, regardless of what computer hardware and software they may have.

                      Here are a few tips to help you use the assignment PDFs effectively: 
                      When you click on the word “here” it will automatically download the assignment. You will need to open it using Adobe Reader. See instructions in the next paragraph on how to open the assignment in Adobe Reader.

                      Open the PDF

                      It is important to download the PDF before working on it.  The downloaded assignment will usually appear either at the bottom left hand corner of your screen as a little folder or page, or at the top right hand corner as a little arrow pointing down. The image you see will depend on what type of computer you are on. You can open this by right-clicking and select “Open with…” then select Adobe Reader. You can also choose to open automatically with Adobe Reader, and this will save one step in the process in future.

                      Completing Assignments

                      As you work through the assignments, be sure to save the PDF on your computer each time you make changes. Each lesson is designed to cover approximately 3-4 activities, 45-60 minutes long each, so make sure that you scroll through and complete all of the assignments gradually over a period of several days. You will hand in the completed PDF once you have filled in ALL of the assignments.


                      You will notice a field on the bottom of each rubric for “Student Comments.” Your teacher may ask you to write something specific here, but if not, feel free to use it if you want to point-out something in particular on the assignment or you may leave it blank.

                      Tips for Middle School Online Success

                      Navigating online courses can be challenging for first time students. Here are a few tips to help your child find success in their online courses.

                      No one ever sets out to fail! 

                      We know students want to succeed in their online course.  

                      1. Role of Online Teachers

                      We are here to provide a great course and a positive learning experience with a teacher who is ready to support your student and give feedback to their work. Online teachers care about each student. We can only respond to students who show up, submit work, and communicate with their teachers. If your student is struggling, please contact the teacher involved. 

                      2. Role of Students

                      Students are responsible for showing up, consistently, throughout the school year. That means being active in their course and being “present” with their teacher through assignment responses, Skype, email. Teachers are teachers because they love working WITH students. They are there to answer questions, to get to know your student as a person and to support your learning, but you must initiate the conversation. Smart kids ask questions, get help when they need it, and recognize that teachers are people too. Greet your teacher by name in emails and Skype, encourage your teacher by responding to emails, and say “thank you!”. 

                      3. Role of Parents

                      Parents are an essential part of the learning process. The course and the Online Teacher are there to provide a great learning experience, but you must be involved throughout the school year. Your student needs your encouragement and interest. Plan to sit down together at the computer every week, click on the "GRADES" button and review progress. You will see when the latest assignment was handed in and what the teacher’s response was. Just asking, “Are you done?’  is not enough. It’s easy for a student to say “Yes, Mom” when they are not done at all. It happens all the time.

                      You are your student’s supervisor and advocate, don't be afraid to ask questions of your student or their teacher. 

                      4. Getting Started: The Course Home Page

                      The course home page is your GPS. 

                      There you will find:

                      5. Communication: It’s all About Communication

                      HCOS cares about your family's online experience. If you are thrilled with your experience, We would love to hear from you. Likewise, if you feel you are not being well served, please contact Karen Roeck, Director of Middle School Instruction.

                      Citing Digital Images

                      As students build research skills, they learn how to reference work done by other people. In an increasingly digital world, it is important to learn how to give proper attribution for both written and visual artifacts, including digital images. Though it is relatively simple to take a screenshot or save an image from the internet, students need to follow the appropriate steps to ensure credit is given to the original author. There are a few options for finding and sourcing images correctly.

                      Option 1: Google Images Search

                      You can search for any image using Google Images.

                      Step 1: Navigate to the Google Search homepage and type a word or description of what you are looking for into the text box. If you use Chrome as your browser, simply type into the omnibox and press enter. From here, click "Images" to see the results of your search.

                      Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 10.44.30 AM.png

                      Step 2: Next, click "Tools" to open the toolbar. Find "Usage Rights" and select "Creative Commons licenses." This will filter your results to only display images licensable under Creative Commons (CC) licenses.

                      Screen Shot 2022-02-01 at 10.45.16 AM.png

                      Step 3: When you find the image you would like to use, click on it. The image will pop up into a larger window and you will be able to locate the license details underneath the image. Click on the "License details" hyperlink to find out the specific details of how to properly attribute your chosen image.