Grad FAQs

For more detailed information on the Grad program at HCOS, requirements for graduation, course selection and planning, please see our series of Orientation Week videos here. 

Do you have face-to-face opportunities for kids? 

Yes, we offer face-to-face opportunities in two different ways: CC+ and Online Synchronous courses. In a CC+ students will meet in a location and take courses together with a certified teacher; oftentimes a CC+ will include taking multiple courses together (such as English, Social Studies, and PE). We only offer CC+ in certain areas though such as Abbotsford and Chilliwack. In an Online Synchronous course students will meet virtually over Zoom once a week with a certified teacher and the rest of the students taking the same Online Synchronous course. These classes will occur from September to June for 1 hour Zoom sessions.

What formats are courses provided in at the Grad Program?

We have four different formats for many of our courses in the Grad program. It's important to note that not all courses are available in all formats... so it's good to check with your Grad Advisor as you are planning. 

1) Online Synchronous - this option uses the online courses that HCOS has written, and also has the added benefit of weekly zoom meetings with your course teacher. The student cohort in these classes work together at about the same pace, beginning in September and finishing in June. 

2) Online Asynchronous - this option also uses the same online course as the synchronous course, but students have the flexibility to work at their own pace, as well as start and end on dates that may fit their unique schedule. 

3) Hybrid - this course option is designed for students who need some guidance and structure in a course but are also looking for a bit more flexibility. This course format may provide resources, suggest assignments, give project ideas, etc. and allow for more freedom and student choice. By design, they also benefit from more parent oversight and support as students don't have daily lessons to complete. Instead, students learn material independently and then submit samples that demonstrate the culmination of their learning.

4) Individualized - this course option is designed for students who have a plan that doesn't 'fit' one of the above options. This could be because you have a particular curriculum you want to use, you are involved in a unique learning opportunity, or you just have a really great idea that is a bit out-of-the-box. This option requires the student to work with the course specialist teacher to outline the course expectations, select resources to use, identify what work samples will be submitted, and how assessment will be done. 

Can I use a combination of online courses and individualized courses?

Yes! One of our core values as a school is flexibility. Students enrolled in grades 10-12 have the freedom to blend their course planning to include online, hybrid and individualized courses to meet their specific needs and strengths. Most of our core course options can be taken in any format, and many of our electives are available in multiple formats as well, so students have lots of choice. 

Who do I go to if I have questions about the grad program or need help planning my grade 10-12 years?

In the grad program at HCOS, each student is assigned a grad advisor (GA) to provide guidance throughout their time in the grad program. This GA is your 'go-to' person for general questions, help with course planning, advice on post secondary preparations, accessing learning service supports, and any other type of support you may need as you work towards your graduation goals. If you have questions relating to a specific course, an assignments or teacher feedback then you need to connect with that course teacher for help or more information.

In the grad program, how do I know my Individualized course teachers’ email?

All of our HCOS teacher emails follow the same format:

If you aren't sure what your teachers name is (or how to spell it), there are a couple of ways to find your course teacher's email address.

    1. On your Encom home page, find the box called 'List of Courses'. This should list all the courses you are enrolled in and from there you can can click on your teacher's name to see their email address,  OR
    2. On your Encom home page click on the report card box. At the top all the courses you are enrolled should appear along with the teacher's name beside them. Click on the teacher's name to email them. 
How do I see teacher comments for my child’s assignments in Online Grad courses?

Parents have their own Moodle login capabilities (using their own Encom account information). Once a parent logs in to Moodle they can look over their children’s pacing guide to see if they’re on-pace or behind, they can see their current course grade, and can also check the marks on individual assignments which will include feedback and comments from teachers.

(Moodle is still there for the next year 2023 for students who are finishing old courses; otherwise, we have transitioned to Brightspace). 

My child is working on Math 11 but I don’t see this on the transcript; why not?

Unofficial transcripts (and official transcripts) only show completed courses. Any courses that are still in progress, or that your student is still working on will not appear on the transcript. Once a teacher enters a final grade for a course indicating a student has completed the course, our data department reports that final grade and it will appear on a student's transcript. Courses that a student withdraws from also do not appear on the transcript. 

Do I have to complete the grade 10 and 12 provincial assessments?

Yes, the ministry expectation is that all students in grade 10 will write the numeracy and literacy 10 assessments. this gives students the opportunity to re-write the assessments if they want to improve their scores before grade 12. These assessments are required to receive a Dogwood Diploma in BC. The literacy 12 assessment is also required for graduation and so must be completed by students in grade 12. 

It's important to note that officially, all students are working towards the Dogwood Diploma. Once a student turns 18, they may then declare their intent and move to the Adult Dogwood program. The Adult Dogwood program does not require assessments to be written at this time. However, some post-secondary institutions have indicated that they prefer to see those assessments have been completed when looking at adult student applications. 

Where do I go to complete Provincial Assessments? 

There are a few options for students when it comes to writing provincial assessments.

1) The simplest option is to sign up for an HCOS assessment site. We typically host an assessment location in Kelowna and the lower mainland in each assessment session, but often we have additional locations (based on student numbers) such as Nanaimo or Victoria.

2) The other option is to write your assessment at a local school. This option is totally dependent on each individual local school's plans and it's important to note that not all schools run assessment sessions in all 4 assessment windows. If a school is willing to host one of our students, we are happy to make those arrangements, but this option isn't always possible and is dependent on a number of factors outside of HCOS.

3) IE students who are eligible for a private location can write at a location set up by their case manager, with a private invigilator and other accommodations in place. This can only be arranged through a student's Case Manager. 

How many classes do I need to complete to graduate?

There's no easy answer for this as there isn't a set number of 'classes' a student needs to complete. Instead, graduation is based on the number of credits a student earns, and in specific content/course areas. Your Grad Advisor can give you more guidance on this, but in order to graduate in BC, you need a total of 80 credits, and some of those credits must be completed in certain courses or subject areas. 

The majority of courses that HCOS offers are 4-credit courses. Some exceptions to this are:

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

Yes, the credits students earn for completing courses through HCOS are reported to the Ministry. Students can continue to build their transcript at another educational institution of their choosing.

I re-enrolled into the Grad program yet I don’t see any curriculum funds. In K-9 I had $600 Where are the funds?

In the grad program, funds are allocated differently than they are for K-9 students. In the grad program you will be given access to $50 of curriculum funds for each individualized or hybrid non-core (elective) course. This would include courses such as a fine arts course, ADST, and active living 11/12.

Online and Core subjects courses do not receive any curriculum funds. Online courses have all the resources needed supplied through the online course shell, and our learning commons has textbooks available for students to borrow for a full school year when enrolled in hybrid or individualized core courses. 

That means if a student does not enroll in any elective Individualized or hybrid courses, there is no funding allocated to the student’s resource budget.

How much communication should I expect with my teachers?

Teachers will often communicate with parents when students enroll in their course. From there, teachers will send email communication throughout the school year for important info and dates such as report cards, etc. Additionally, teachers will connect with parents if they notice that students are behind or doing poorly, but may also send communication to parents when students do something spectacular. Feedback provided in Moodle is also a common method of communication and interaction with students. 

(Moodle is still there for the next year 2023 for students who are finishing old courses; otherwise, we have transitioned to Brightspace). 

Do you offer summer school?

Yes! Online courses are open through the summer session. 

I attend another school. Can I take one or two courses with you?

Yes, you can sign up for courses through our cross enrolled division,

When is the last day of school?

Students have up to 1 year to complete their grad program 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. 

Will I get to choose my teacher? 

We do our best to provide different options for courses and teachers across the grad program. Teachers are assigned their courses in the Spring for the following school year. For example, Teacher A will be teaching Online English 11, and Teacher B will be teaching Individualized English 11. 

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

Because student course loads vary in number, this will vary depending on the courses chosen in any given year.  A student can expect to work approximately 4-6 hours a week per course if they spread their course work over 10 months.

Revision #15
Created 3 June 2021 22:16:14 by Caitlin Village
Updated 24 July 2023 17:54:36 by Nita Rahn