General FAQs

How do I obtain resources for the start of the school year?

Families should contact their support teacher or Grad Program course teacher to discuss resources. Once resources have been agreed upon, you can make a curriculum purchase using your HCOS Purchase Order (PO) Number or through our Purchasing Department. For more information please see the following:

Can I join HCOS during the school year? 

Yes, if departments are not at capacity, we accept students year round. Once at capacity we will waitlist new applicants for priority acceptance.

When does my K-9 support teacher contact me?

Generally, support teachers will reach out to families toward the end of August. They will start by making sure they have your correct email address and then move to ensuring you have resources in place for the upcoming school year as they work with you to build the Student Learning Plan (SLP).

Support teachers may reach out prior to the end of the previous school year, but the majority of communication starts at the end of August. 

What does a school year look like at HCOS?

HCOS follows a typical calendar school year, starting in September and goes until June.  

Our K-9 program encourages students to complete Individualized and Online Courses within this ten month time period, although there are times when short extensions are a viable option for both types of courses. 

Students in our Grad Program have up to 1 year to finish their courses. Typically students will complete their courses from September to mid-June. Anything submitted by mid June will be reported during June report cards, however if students have yet to complete their courses they are welcome to continue working during the summer term. 

To see important dates for our 2021/2022 school year, please visit our School Calendar for Families.  

How many hours per weekday should we be doing school at home?

This answer will largely depend upon the grade your student is in, as well as the individualized learning plan developed to specifically meet your child’s needs. 

As a general guideline, students in grades K-9 can allocate their time for core academic subjects as follows: 30 minutes multiplied by the grade of a student. For example, a grade 5 student should spend 3 hours a day working on Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and a Second Language. In addition to the core academic subjects, students should also spend time working on the remaining four subjects, Christian Studies, PE and Health, Career Education and ADST. These subjects should be completed largely through activity based learning. 

For students in our Grad Program, the amount of time will be based upon the student's course load. Each student course load varies in number and often varies depending on the courses chosen in any given year. As a general guideline, a student in our grad program can expect to work approximately 4-6 hours a week per course if they spread their course work over 10 months.

If the need arises, can my child integrate back into a campus school?

Yes, students that attend HCOS can integrate back into a campus school. 

For students in grades K-9, it is recommended that this transition takes place between school years whenever possible. 

Students in the grad program can also make this transition back into a campus school. The credits earned for completing courses through HCOS are reported to the Ministry of Education, their transcript will reflect these credits and will follow the student to another educational institution of their choosing. 

Please feel free to connect with your support teacher, regional admin, or grad advisor as they can provide insight regarding this decision and can help with this transition. 

Do you have face to face opportunities for students? 

Yes, face to face opportunities are available to our families through Learning Groups. Learning Groups (LG) is a program that is committed to offering innovative, Christ-centered educational opportunities for home learners virtually and face to face, through a variety of activities offered in communities around the province. 

For more information about these programs, please visit our LG Website

How are curriculum, lessons and other school-related costs provided for?

Please view our admissions page on our school website to find out more information regarding tuition and resources. 

What is the difference between homeschool registration and distributed learning enrollment?

For more information regarding the difference between Enrolled and Registered, please view our School website

Learning Commons resources available for Registered and Enrolled students vary, please visit our Overview of Access to Resources to find out more information.

What is my role as a homeschool parent?

We recognize parents as integral to the education of their children. In the Individualized approach your role is to collaborate with your child and teacher to design a unique Student Learning Plan (SLP). A SLP is designed according to the interests and learning needs of the student. Each SLP will be unique and will reflect your family's preferred method of learning. As a parent, you are in charge of supporting your child's learning by providing a suitable environment, offering educational resources to support the SLP, and communicating regularly with your teacher to provide information for assessment. Collaboratively the parent and teacher will work together as a team to ensure that each student experiences success throughout the year by achieving the goals set in the SLP. 

If your child is enrolled in online courses it is your role to ensure that they are actively engaged in their studies, that they have access to the course via a computer and internet, and that they are communicating regularly with their teacher. You may also review all communication, via email, between your child and their teacher.

View our Understanding Your Students SLP for more information.
View our Accessing Moodle for Parents page.
View our Viewing Student Moodle Progress page

What is the Role of our teacher?

Our teachers are in charge of overseeing your child's education, supporting your child as they work towards the goals in the SLP and assessing your child's progress. 

In the Individualized approach the teacher's primary role is to guide, support and account for learning. Our teachers work with each family to help students achieve their goals as set out in the Student Learning Plan (SLP). They work hard to establish relationships with each home learning family. Our teachers oversee the assessment process and work together with the parent to ensure that the BC curriculum competencies are covered.

In online courses our teachers communicate regularly with the student, offer synchronous instruction at scheduled times and will assess the assignments and work submitted to their online teacher. The teacher will administer tests, often with your supervision. You will receive abundant communication via email regarding your child's progress in each course.

View our Assessment Chapter for more information. 

Can I choose my own curriculum?

Yes! You are free to choose from all curriculum in consultation with your support teacher. Our Learning Commons has been designed to provide families with great selection when it comes to curriculum resources, textbooks, subscriptions and even unit study kits. We also have a curriculum consultant who is available and would be happy to assist and advise you in choosing resources that best suit your needs. 

Are you an accredited K-12 school in BC?

Yes! We offer support from kindergarten right through to graduation. Our students who fulfill graduation requirements receive the BC Dogwood High School Diploma.

Can you enroll students from anywhere in BC?

Yes! We accept students from all regions in BC and aim to pair them with local teachers.

What kind of computer do I need for online programs?

Our online courses are designed to work on most popular operating systems and in most browsers. 

Operating Systems:

  • Windows
  • macOS
  • Chrome OS
  • Linux

Web Browsers:

  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Apple Safari
  • Microsoft Edge

Office Suites:

  • Microsoft Office
  • LibreOffice
  • Google Docs
  • Apple iWork Apps

Notes

  • Due to the nature of most courses, an iPad or other tablet will not be sufficient.
  • Some courses may require a printer, and a digital camera or scanner.
  • Our tech support is experienced with all technologies mentioned above, and can offer support via tickets@onlineschool.ca.
  • Due to compatibility issues with iWorks (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers) students are advised to export as a Microsoft file prior to submitting.
Do I need an Email address?

Yes, an email address is required for the guardian of the student and this email will be used during the enrollment process and to correspond with your teacher(s).  Students taking online courses will need an email address to receive notifications of marking and important dates. Students may use the same email address as the parent.  If you need an email address, you can create a free one either through Gmail, or Outlook.com.

Is internet access required, and if so, what type of Internet connection do I need?

Yes, if you participate in our online school program then you will be required to have internet access. We recommend a minimum of 25Mbps per second to ensure smooth delivery of online content.

What type of information is recorded when viewing this website? 

Like most online services, we gather information that web browsers and servers typically make available, such as the browser type, language preference, referring page, and the date and time of each visitor request. We collect this information to better understand how visitors interact with our sites and services so we can further improve them. The information resides solely on our servers (in Kelowna, British Columbia) and will not be made available to external parties.