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Learning Commons

What is a Learning Commons?

"A learning commons is a common, or shared, learning ‘space’ that is both physical and virtual. It is more a perspective than a ‘place’. A learning commons perspective supports a student-centred approach that emphasizes active and collaborative engagement and encourages the co-creation of knowledge by all learners".

“A learning commons provides individual, small and large group space, either physical and/or virtual, for instruction, social/collaborative learning, and production and presentation. It also promotes global and cultural understanding as students collaborate with their local and broader community to investigate and create solutions to complex problems".

“Finally, the virtual aspect of a learning commons (a VLC) promotes more efficient use of technology for creation and sharing of knowledge as well as enabling 24/7 access to resources and shared collaborative space for all students".

“Research shows that students who have access to quality school library services, which a learning commons perspective enables, are more likely to exhibit advanced student achievement and literacy development".  --This quote was taken from LearnNowAB

Our Learning Commons resides in the virtual space at and in the physical commons at Heritage Christian School. This landing page is our current interface for all Learning Commons pages, including the Search Portal and OverDrive catalogue.


The mission of HCS District Learning Commons is to provide Christian community, Discipleship, Innovation and Literacy to all our patrons and staff.  As the staff purchases their collection of digital and non- digital resources, they try to discern what meets the needs of all the HCS schools from a Christian and a curriculum perspective.  Their goal is to provide easy information retrieval, and quality resources for all the school's educational needs.  If at any time a patron would like to request something, they may contact Pippa, Cynthia or Shandra for their curriculum or media needs.  

If family live in the Kelowna area, they are welcome to drop in and check out the resources.  If they live out-of-town, resources are shipped by courier to their home.  It is an honour to serve our families!  The Learning Commons families hopes that HCOS staff enjoy using these resources!


Our Learning Commons team is made up of Pippa Davies, Cynthia Duncalfe, Shandra Wiebe, Margaret Basaraba, Kelly Wiebe, Justine Dehod, Rachael Rennie and Erin Duncan. 

Virtual Commons

Pippa Davies, Cynthia Duncalfe, Margaret Basaraba, Rachael Rennie and Erin Duncan.

  • Mon        08:30 AM   -  4:30 PM
  • Tue         08:30 AM   -  4.30 PM 
  • Wed        08:30 AM   -  4:30 PM 
  • Thu         08:30 AM   -  4:30 PM 
  • Fri           08:30 AM   -  4:30 PM 
  • Sat  Closed     
  • Sun  Closed  

Our Learning Commons Director, Pippa Davies, provides library/inquiry training for students, staff, and parents. She teaches in Book Clubs and oversees the STEAM Mentors and Book Clubs in conjunction with Learning Groups. She may be contacted for queries relating to the eBook Virtual Library on OverDrive, purchasing materials for OverDrive, or Search Portal, and any concerns in regards to the materials in the Learning Commons.

Pippa is available from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. Ph. 604.538.4144  To sign up for a collaborative teaching time with her, email her at Pippa Davies or call her on Zoom.  

Our Curriculum Consultant, Cynthia Duncalfe, consults with home educating parents and HCOS teachers in regards to a wide variety of curriculum resources. She is involved in curriculum correlating, the development of the HCOS Unit Study Kits, website development, OverDrive Virtual Library digital resource lists and theme pages, blogging, monthly Learning Commons newsletters, and various training webinars.

 Cynthia is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30 am - 4:30 pm.  Ph. 1.877.397.7735 or email Cynthia Duncalfe.


Our Subscriptions Facilitator, Margaret Basaraba,  is responsible for our subscriptions accounts and helping maintain the information on our website. For questions about how subscriptions work, accessing the Search Portal or general questions, please phone or send her an email, and she’ll be happy to assist you.

Margaret works Monday through Thursday. 8:00 to 4:00 and can be contacted at (250) 402-8476 or email at


Our Unit Study Developer, Rachael Rennie,  creates unit study kits for families to use at home. That means she spends her day reading great books, looking through terrific resources, and finding interesting learning activities for families to do together!

Rachael works two and a half days a week teaching homeschoolers, writing kits and researching curriculum.  She can be contacted at Ph. or by email at Rachael Rennie.

Our Library Assistant and Contests Moderator, Erin Duncan, oversees our student contests, advises students of upcoming events, answers Live Chat and enjoys archiving material in our weblinking library.

Erin works Monday to Friday, varying hours.  She can be contacted by email at Erin Duncan, as her phone connection is questionable.

Physical Commons

Shandra Wiebe, Kelly Wiebe and Raine Oddy.

Mon 09:00 AM   -  5:00 PM
Tue   09:00 AM   -  5:00 PM
Wed  09:00 AM   -  5:00 PM
Thu   09:00 AM   -  5:00 PM
Fri    10:00 AM   -  3:00 PM

The physical learning commons has both a physical and an online library.  The campus library is available Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Our Library Resource Administrator, Shandra Wiebe, manages our Search Portal, library resources, online family accounts, and library education. She is involved in creating webinars and blogging. If you have a question about how to access your online library account or need information about resources available, please contact Shandra.

Shandra is available Monday through Thursday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. at Ph. 250.862.2377 ext. 311 or by email Shandra Wiebe.

Our Physical Learning Commons Assistant, Raine Oddy, works in shipping and supports the used curriculum website. 

Raine is available Monday and Tuesday 9:00 to 4:00 and Thursday 9:00 to 3:00 Ph. 250.862.2377 ext. 312 or email Raine Oddy.



Our Shipping Specialist, Kelly Wiebe, is responsible for Loomis and Canada Post queries, shipping and receiving materials to and from our online families all over BC. Kelly also assists with reserves and renewals of materials.

Kelly is available Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm  Ph. 250.862.2377 ext. 311 or email Kelly Wiebe

How do I Join the Learning Commons?

If you are an enrolled patron or teacher at HCOS watch this video.

If you are a registered patron, EA or someone without an Encom account watch this video.

Here is the "Letter for New Enrolled Patrons", which will give you helpful information about Learning Commons. 

Physical Commons Search Portal

To learn how to access the physical catalogue, which houses all of our physical materials, kits, subscriptions and web links go to this landing page and find your unique URL to log in. Here is a tutorial on using the search portal and here is an excellent, thorough video to explain it (1 hour long).

Virtual Commons  (SORA and OverDrive eBook Library)

OverDrive is a digital eBook and Audiobook holdings library with over 7000 fiction and nonfiction materials, including curriculum. To learn how to access eBooks and Audiobooks on OverDrive, please go to this page.  You can also watch this introductory video (4 minutes) specifically for teachers or the longer explanation to be found at this OverDrive Training Webinar (42 minutes).  

OverDrive is gradually being phased out and Sora, is coming in.  To find out more about Sora, our new OverDrive digital student app, check out this video.

BC DL Curriculum

The Learning Commons has information correlated to the BC curriculum. Teachers will appreciate the wide variety of resources and correlations to the new BC curriculum.  To find this selection go to the Resources tab and click on a specific grade.  Within each grade you will find a breakdown of topics and information about all resources available in the Learning Commons for that grade. 

The Learning Commons has an open access curriculum available via our Unit study kits. These digital and physical kits, written by Rachael Rennie, provide our families with wonderful resources to complete the new standards in Science, Bible and Social Studies for Gr. K-9.  Please encourage your families to review the introduction to the kits to understand how to use them well.


For students in grades 4-9 we have a research document which will help your students plan out their research with discernment.  Resources and further teaching for students in Gr. K-5 can be found here.  For students in Gr. 6-9 go here.

Webinar Wednesday Events

Webinar Wednesday events are live webinars which are hosted on Zoom virtual classroom.  Presenters are Learning Commons staff, teachers and vendors. For a list of events please go to the Learning Commons Events List. For recordings of these events, or further training on technology in the Learning Commons, access this page here. Teachers are welcome to join in these sessions and recommend them to new families.

Book Clubs

To discover more about what book clubs are offered at our school click on this page here.