Information for Families
This is a public book with valuable information for families and students.
- 5-9 Online Program
- Accessing Tech Support
- Course Extension or Retention Process
- How to Order a Resource for an Online Course
- Moodle & Interactive PDF Information
- Synchronous Courses 5-9
- Tips for Middle School Online Success
- HCOS: Phase 2 Health and Safety Plan
- Foundation Skills Assessment - FSA
- Interim Grade Reports
- Parent Sign-off for Student Learning Plans (SLPs)
- Understanding Your Student Learning Plan (SLP)
- Understanding Your Report Card
- Calendars & Schedules
- Core Competencies
- Curriculum Budget
- How does funding work for students in Grade 10, 11 & 12?
- What can I spend my funding on?
- Where to find the Curriculum and Recreational Program Order Forms and how to fill them out?
- Where to start when making a curriculum purchase?
- Where to start when making a lesson or activity purchase?
- What types of purchases are considered family expenses?
- Adding a Course in Encom
- Encom Access & Icon Explanation
- Logging Into Encom
- Viewing a Student Report Card
- Enrolled vs. Registered
- Enrolled Program Overview
- How to Re-Enroll at HCOS
- Instructions for Enrolled DL Patrons
- Purchase Order Numbers or PO#s
- Grad Program
- Advanced Placement Courses
- Career Life Education & Career Life Connections Courses
- Comparative Civilizations Program (with Overseas Travel)
- Course Options
- Course Selection Instructions
- English Language Arts Options in Grades 10-12
- Getting Ready for the Grad Program
- Grad Program Course Planning Worksheet
- Grad Program Funding
- Grad Program Overview
- HCOS Graduation Certificate
- Learning a Second Language
- Math Course Options and Streams
- Monitoring Progress & Official Reporting
- Moodle Account
- Ordering Curriculum
- Setting up Your Examity Profile (Students)
- Synchronous Courses 10-12
- Transitioning from Grade 9
- Viewing Graduation Assessment Results and Your Transcript
- Scheduling Your Exam in Examity
- Advanced Placement FAQs
- General Information
- 10 FAQs for Back to School
- Additional Resources & Learning Supports
- Administration and Staff Contacts
- Contact Us
- Online Course Preview - Guest Pass
- Safety for at Home Learners
- Student Support Centre (Grade 7-12)
- Understanding Anxiety Amidst COVID-19 Webinar
- Unintended Consequences - Presentation from Phil Hills at RenewED 2019
- Vaccination Reporting Regulation
- Wired for Connection Webinar
- School ID
- Online Session Recording Policy
- Online Session Recordings
- StudyForge Subscriptions
- Homeschool Registered
- K-9 Program
- Courses Required for Grades K-9
- K-9 Program Overview
- New Families: Eight Steps for Getting Started in K-9
- Learning Commons (Library)
- Learning Commons
- Learning Commons Website Links
- Search Portal Video Tutorials
- Shipping Information
- Booking for Gr. 10-12 Textbooks
- Unit Study Kits
- Used Curriculum Bookstore
- Process for Booking Multiple Items
- Learning Commons COVID Policy
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Grad Newsletter - October 2020
- Moodle: Forums
- Moodle: Logging In
- Moodle: Messaging
- Moodle: The Dashboard
- Moodle: The Course Homepage
- Moodle: Self-Pacing Guide
- Student Moodle Access
- Viewing Student Moodle Progress
- Read for Change
- Special Education Program
- Education Assistants (EAs)
- EA Support COVID-19 Safety Protocols
- Installing and Using Read&Write
- Special Education
- Special Education Experiential Design - SEED
- What is Read&Write?
- Using Read&Write with Provincial Assessments
- Tuition & Resources
5-9 Online Program
What you need to know about K-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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Tech department aims to respond to your requests within 24 hours.
Course Extension or Retention Process
It is our intent to:
- Meet students where they are and provide an adaptation that can help a student succeed.
- Increase transparency and accuracy in the recording and reporting of a student’s ability level.
- Celebrate progress, whether fast or slow, and allow children to develop at their own rate.
- Families see the option to accelerate or alternately lengthen courses as a way to acknowledge that children work at different paces in different subjects areas.
When a student is two months to two years behind in a subject, or when a student’s progress in a course is insufficient to warrant a passing grade, then that student can be allowed more time in a specific subject area in order to complete that subject. Strategies and interventions need to be employed mid-year so that that they can take effect before the year end. Evidence of interventions employed to bring the student up to grade level needs to be recorded. The option of an intentional exception to allow a subject specific retention applies to courses where a student has completed insufficient work (e.g: a student who only completes 27% of the course). It also applies in particular to subjects where skills build on foundational concepts, and missing those concepts could have impact the future success of the student.
Subject Specific Retention Process Individualized K-9 Students
- When it is recognized that a student is beginning to fall behind, the Support Teacher needs to refer to and initiate processes laid out in the Incomplete Grades and Assigning F's - K-12 page in SOPHIE, in order to get the student caught up and on track during that school year.
- If the student continues to lag behind, then Learning Services (LS) should be made aware and discussions and strategies put in place to help the student to catch up.
- 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:
- Moving the subject forward on pace with the other courses
- A subject specific grade retention
- Remediation options
- Having the student receive a failing grade and close the course
- The student, parent, teacher, LSC agree on the best course of action.
- The teacher will inform their Regional Administrator (RA) and the LS RA of their recommendation.
- 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.
- A pinned log entry will be added to the student’s file if subject retention is the final decision.
- 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 officially 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 eight and nine 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.
- When it is recognized that a student is beginning to fall 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, updating the scheduler, communicating with the Individualized Support Teacher (5-9) or Grad Advisor (GA) (10-12), and adjusting assignments as appropriate.
- If the student continues to lag behind, then Learning Services (LS) needs to be made aware and further discussions and strategies put in place to help the student to catch up. 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:
- Assigning a passing grade and moving the subject forward on pace with the other courses
- Extending the time for the student to complete that subject
- Other remediation and completion options
- Assigning a failing grade and closing the course
- Requiring the student to repeat the course
- The student, parent, teacher, LSC agree on the course of action. The teacher will inform their Support Teacher or GA, and the LS RA of their recommendation.
- 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.
- A pinned log entry will be added to the student’s file if subject retention is the decision.
- The course is closed and the student can apply again following two reporting periods.
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.
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.
Synchronous Courses 5-9
This page provides information around Synchronous courses that are offered from grades 5-9
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 on the same topics. 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 tests. The accountability of the weekly meeting is designed to help elaborate on challenging topics or concepts, encourage student interaction, and provide a natural place for students to ask questions and develop deeper understanding. This option is the one that is most similar to a face-to-face classroom experience in an online environment.
Synchronous Courses provide regular, required touchpoints where students would meet with their teacher(s) and fellow students. Regularly scheduled times set by the instructor early in September allow students to connect with teachers to receive instruction, clarify assignments, and ask questions on a weekly basis. Synchronous course options allow students the opportunity to connect with their teachers and other students in a more typical classroom style. Synchronous Cohorts provide the chance for students to be known and also increase the level of accountability. Teachers may use the weekly meetings to pre-teach lessons, answer common questions, clarify assignments, or discuss complex topics or issues.
How Synchronous Courses Function
- Students work through the standard online course together with the teacher, according to a weekly schedule set by the teacher.
- The teacher and students meet via Zoom at a regularly scheduled time every week.
- Weekly meetings create a rhythm and maintain a high level of contact.
- Zoom classes are typically 20-30 minutes in length, and begin about the 3rd week of September.
Student Responsibilities and Expectations
- Students commit to attend weekly meeting with teacher and other students in their synchronous cohort
- Students commit to working independently on weekly lessons and assignments, according to the schedule set by the teacher
- Students commit to staying on pace with the cohort, completing lesson activities and submitting assignments in a timely manner (to the best of their ability)
- Students have access to the teacher outside of the weekly meetings, during scheduled office hours, or via email to ask questions, clarify assignments, etc.
- Students commit to respectful and appropriate behaviour during weekly meetings (this includes both appropriate language and appropriate attire).
- Students are expected to have their video cameras on during class, to use the chat function to interact, and use their microphone to respond to others, to help with student engagement and interaction.
- Students who feel uncomfortable using their camera/microphone during Zoom classes might be better suited to an Asynchronous class.
- Students are expected to participate in class discussions, breakout rooms, games etc. They do not have the option to simply “listen in” with their cameras off as this makes it very difficult to foster a sense of class community.
- Students who fall significantly behind schedule may be reassigned to an asynchronous course.
Teacher Responsibilities and Expectations
- The teacher will decide on a set class meeting day and time in the spring each year to allow students to view synchronous course schedules as they enrol
- this should be done in consideration of other, similar grade level courses to prevent overlap of meeting times
- online meetings will begin in the third week of September and finish early to mid-June
- The teacher will create a year schedule that outlines the pace for lesson completion, assignment submissions and test dates where appropriate.
- The teacher will prepare for and host weekly meetings (up to 30 minutes in length) with content and activities that are relevant to the course and/or lesson being addressed.
- The teacher will host with both audio and video functions on, so students can see their teacher.
- The teacher will mark assignments and tests in a timely manner, providing relevant formative and summative assessment for students.
- The teacher will initiate contact with any students who have fallen behind or become inactive, to determine the best course of action going forward.
- Weekly meetings are generally not recorded.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it cost any more to enrol 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.
What if I have to miss a meeting for a dentist 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 but it’s understood that life happens sometimes.
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?
How does the course schedule work?
- The meeting times for each synchronous cohort will be posted in SOPHIE. You can see the schedule live here! Your K-9 support teacher or Grad Advisor can also let you know when specific classes are meeting. In addition, there will not be 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.
How long are the synchronous classes?
- 20-30 minutes long. Note: Depending on the topics and assignments some meetings may be longer or shorter than scheduled.
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.
Are teachers available outside of the posted class times?
- Absolutely. Teachers will have availability times posted in their course.
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 community and students are expected to participate in this way.
Are the courses semester or linear pacing?
- Courses are held over the school year in a linear fashion. Classes start in the 3rd or 4th week of September and are held until the beginning of June.
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 can’t avoid, like sickness or appointments - but your teacher will miss you!
Is there a minimum enrollment necessary in order to have a synchronous course happen? Also, is there a maximum number?
- Yes! The idea of 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.
Tips for Middle School Online Success
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:
- Your teacher’s name and contact information
- An overview of the course
- Grades - Both parents and students are expected to check grades weekly
- The lessons and assignments. Different courses are set up in different ways. If you are taking more than one course, both parents and students need to understand how each course is designed
- Middle School courses are intended to be completed in the regular school year September till June. Please look over your course and set goals for yourself.
Complete the Manage Your Schedule file found on the course home page (REQUIRED!).For example, English five has 30 weeks. Plan to be finished the first week of June. Where should you be by Christmas break? Spring Break? Be accountable for showing up! Consider creating a calendar with the due dates clearly labelled, post that by your computer, then have a weekly meeting to make sure the student is on track.
- Daily “class time”: Develop a good work ethic. Students who attend brick and mortar schools are in their desks from 9 – 3. The freedom we enjoy in home school is a privilege to honour. You don’t have to show up at 9, you don’t have to be dressed, but you do have to put in an hour of work on a subject. If you read slowly, if you get distracted by younger siblings, if you start playing a game, that’s not part of your learning hour. Parents and students need to design an effective learning environment. Headphones with music (no lyrics!!) help to block distractions. Ten minute cardio break before you start a new subject helps the brain to focus. Set a timer and be accountable for what you accomplish in that time.
5. Communication: It’s all About Communication
- Most teachers prefer Zoom for all communication. You will get an answer much faster in Zoom than in an email.
- Use good manners. If you were in a classroom face-to-face, you would address your teacher by names. Please start all communication with a polite greeting.
- Teachers are committed to answering promptly. Please respect the fact that I may be unable to answer right away.
- Parents are encouraged to respond to grading comments, to report card comments and to communicate with the course teacher if the student is experiencing problems. The teacher only knows what you tell them.
- If you find you or your child is becoming overwhelmed by work load, or struggling due to a learning need, remember every course can be adapted to suit your child’s learning needs – a conversation is all it takes to develop a plan for your student. Let’s work together to provide the best possible learning experience.
- Teachers are human. Mistakes are possible. If your student has an assignment that has not been marked within a few days and the student cannot do the next assignment because of that, students are encouraged to contact the teacher and ask if they could check on that assignment. Occasionally, Moodle skips sending an email notification. The teacher may not even know the assignment is sitting there. A polite request is always welcome and shows initiative.
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, Grant Wardle, the Middle School Online Coordinator.
HCOS: Phase 2 Health and Safety Plan
Parent Initiated Activities
- If a parent engages a third party to provide a learning activity for their child it is the parents' responsibility to ensure reasonable health and safety measures are in place for those programs or services. The plan below may be used as an exemplar for what health and safety measures would be considered reasonable.
Learning Groups School Run Events
It is important to act responsibly with care for the community as a whole.
- Our overarching Mission, Vision, Values, HCOS Protocols, Code of Conduct, etc. continue to apply.
All school run events must comply with HCOS' Phase 2 Health and Safety Plan as well as complying with the rental facility's WorkSafe Covid plan.
- Learning Groups come in a variety of shapes and sizes so specific practice will vary by the event as we work together with venues, facilities, and coordinators to help ensure health and safety measures are met. Specifics will be communicated by the coordinator of each event.
- If you are wondering whether a site is under the school's health and safety plan please reach out to the Director of Learning Groups email@example.com
Our goal is to make any precautionary measures as routine and natural as possible with the increased use of outdoor spaces, designated cohort groupings, and implementation of guidelines outlined by the Ministry K-12 Protocols for schools.
- Childcare & Schools FAQ
Back to School Stages: The Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Ministry of Education have determined that K-12 schools in the province can re-open safely for in-class instruction as per Stage 2 guidelines.
- In elementary, students can socialize with peers in different cohorts if they are outdoors and can minimize physical contact.
- In any grade, students may socialize with peers in different cohorts if they consistently maintain a physical distance of 2 m or more.
Summary of School-Based Control Measures
In Preparation to Attend an Event
In accordance with the K-12 Educational Protocols, parents and/ or caregivers are responsible to assess their child(ren) daily, the morning of that date's attendance to a face to face learning opportunity, such as HCOS Learning Camps, Co-ops, and Community Connections using the Daily Health Check.
If a Student or Adult at the event develops symptoms
- They must stay at home.
- If symptoms occur on-site the individual will be separated from the group and the Parent/Guardian will be contacted for pickup.
- If you have questions regarding your child(ren)'s health, please contact your local health practitioner. To aid in your assessment, refer to the COVID-19 Assessment Tool (https://bc.thrive.health/) for further guidance.
Please review protocols with your child(ren), as appropriate, to help prepare for their attendance to face-to-face activities.
- We appreciate that students will be excited to see friends and teachers and request that parents discuss with their child(ren) alternatives to hugs or handshakes, and that students should keep their hands to themselves when possible.
- Each child should be provided with snacks, lunch, and a full water bottle as appropriate to the LG opportunity. A water bottle may be refilled; mouths should not touch fountains.
HCOS Personnel or any other adult participant who has any symptoms of a cold, influenza, COVID-19, or any other infectious respiratory disease, must not participate in face-to-face activities such as HCOS Learning Group events.
- Families should consider the inherent risk of the activity prior to application.
- If students plan to attend more than one LG event families should carefully consider the number of children they will be exposed to and take appropriate precautionary measures like physical distancing or choosing to wear a mask.
- HCOS LG will implement the K-12 Protocols for Schools applicable to the learning activity, as outlined by the Ministry of Health and Education.
- Most events will be composed of a single cohort.
- Single events with more than one cohort will consider additional timetabling measures at peak periods.
- All Coordinators will be trained on the K-12 Protocols, submit their proposals for approval, and practice precautionary measures applicable to the learning event.
- In Stage 2, Learning Camps will be limited to the mass gathering guidelines i.e. 50 participants with a greater number of outdoor and virtual opportunities. Overnight and International trips are not permissible at this time.
- If students are attending a field trip only private vehicles will be used for transportation. If carpooling occurs then the use of masks is encouraged. The host site's covid policy will be reviewed prior to booking to help ensure student safety.
- Visitors will be admitted on a limited basis as needed and will be required to complete the health questionnaire and share contact information.
- Parents are requested to drop off and pick-up their child(ren) outside the premises in assigned areas as directed by the Coordinator, remaining physically distant from other family units.
- Teachers will attempt to provide maximum ventilation to rooms by opening doors and windows when possible.
- Where numbers warrant, students may gather outside in designated spaces with their cohort supervised by HCOS Personnel, with staggered entry and exit times.
- If there are questions or concerns to discuss with the Coordinator or Teacher, rather than entering the facility please arrange to meet via Zoom or email outside of class time unless urgent.
School assemblies may occur if within the single cohort size. Otherwise, at this time, assemblies, information evenings, open houses, and term celebrations will occur in a virtual context.
Physical Contact, Cleaning, and Sanitization
All members of the learning community are reminded to provide verbal, not physical, greetings to one another.
Learning Groups will work with Coordinators to ensure there are appropriate hand washing routines incorporated for the specifics of their event including: