Hybrid Education FAQ
This page contains frequently asked questions & answers regarding Hybrid Education. We will continually update this FAQ page with new questions and answers as we receive them.
What is HCOS?
Heritage Christian Online School is our sister school. They are a separate arm of Kelowna Christian Center Society, the same Society that oversees HCS. HCOS is the largest K-12 school in Western Canada and has been providing online learning for students in BC for the past 18 years. They have some offices here at our Badke site and also have staff that work at locations throughout the province. In addition to providing online courses for students, they also run over 20 face-to-face campuses which provide one day per week classroom instruction for online students. With over 7000 students and 200 teachers in Kindergarten to Grade 12, HCOS is a vibrant school that has proven its ability to uphold its mission: To develop innovative Christ-centered educational opportunities for learners to explore and embrace God’s unique purpose.
What is Hybrid Education?
A Hybrid school combines online instruction with onsite, face-to-face interaction in a way that supports personalized, inquiry-based learning for students. In a Hybrid School, students are still learning from certified teachers in a school setting with online education acting as a resource to support and expand student learning opportunities.
A hybrid school:
- Frees students and teachers from constraints of time and space,
- Allows teachers to focus on relationships with students, and
- Encourages students to envision and pursue their interests, linking academics to careers, jobs, internships, sports, arts - or whatever captivates each student:
Is Hybrid like “HCS at Home” - the at-home learning that my child did in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic?
No - this Hybrid school model would be completely different from the emergency program that our school implemented at the onset of the pandemic. “HCS at Home” was a rapid response to a pandemic that caught all of us by surprise. It was our best effort given the difficult circumstances.
This chart outlines some of the ways that this Hybrid school would be different from “HCS at Home” and also the ways that it would be different from online learning.
How would this look for the early years of a child’s education?
In the early years, students would attend school 5 days a week. They would experience a predominantly teacher-led, learner focused program under the umbrella of HCOS. Classroom learning would be facilitated by teachers who would have close relationships with their students. Personalized learning further bolstered by EAs would allow students to focus on passion areas and be supported in foundational academics while growing their independence as learners. This level of classroom and teacher support would be provided through robust ProD and education for staff and adequate student to teacher ratios to ensure student success.
How would this look in the middle years of a student’s education?
Beginning in the middle years, students would experience an increasingly personalized blended program. Students would still be on site 3-4 days per week depending on their age and support needs. Students would work together with other students and their teachers and support staff in a campus setting. They would have the opportunity to take part in exploratory days, independent programming, and have opportunities to pursue and explore their own learning goals. Depending on the student’s goals and learning path, this education could happen on site or off site. All of this would be facilitated by face-to-face instruction and relational connection with their teachers. Where appropriate and conducive to the student’s educational program, students would take online courses or courses that are a mix of online and in-person.
How would this look in high school?
In high school, students would attend a campus program 2-3 days a week depending on their programming and individualized learning plan. The focus in this age group is on developing students' independent learning skills, personal interests, and building bridges into their post-secondary plans. A flexible schedule would allow students to pursue aspirations in apprenticeship programs, gaining career experience, and preparing for post secondary studies. Again, all of this learning and planning would be guided and facilitated by face-to-face time with teachers who would support students and provide guidance, accountability, and care.
How often would my child be on-site having a campus learning experience?
Depending on a student’s age, first and foremost, and their academic program, as they get older, students would be on site from 2-5 days per week. However, as students grow and their learning and educational pursuits take them beyond the classroom, this could also mean that their schedule is more flexible, allowing for shorter school days, more out-of-school learning opportunities, and other experiences.
I’m concerned that online school means lots of screen time?
During “HCS at Home” and through the course of the pandemic, “hybrid” meant a lot of “Room and Zoom” - teachers engaging with some students while others watched from home. This, by and large, has not been successful for students or for teachers. In this model, Google Classroom course packages and use of software like Zoom were tools that enabled us to do what we could given the challenging circumstances. In a hybrid model built with intention and students at the center, the best tools are used to accomplish the purpose; technology is not the “only” tool. Relationship remains the primary concern of teachers in a hybrid school and the intentional and measured use of technology actually frees up teacher time to focus on student care. Student needs and progress are carefully monitored, digital skills and effective use of technology are taught, and well-being is a priority.
What if my child is in Middle School and they can’t be at home alone on the days where they don’t have any on site programming?
While our team is still at the beginning of planning for how Hybrid can best support families, a variety of options are possible. For example, students could take part in learning groups that gather at one student’s home where a parent is present to support them. Alternatively, the student could be on site and be supervised by an EA who could provide care and structure. For another family, the student could have freedom to take part in elective programs such as drama, sports, travel, outdoor experiences, or additional out-of-school programs and hobbies.
What would I need to do from home to support my child in a Hybrid model?
Family support depends on the child - their age, their learning goals, and their educational program. In the foundational years, the majority of educational experiences and learning progression would be overseen by and facilitated by the teacher. However, as students enter the middle and high school years, parents can play an important role in supporting students' out-of-school learning endeavors. This could include hosting learning groups for students to work with peers on a joint project, supporting your child as they engage in an out-of-school learning program by driving them to and from an event, or by support your child’s passion areas - their participation in sports, engagement in work experience, or exploration of different hobbies.
Ultimately, every family is different and every student is different. Hybrid aims to support both students and their families in the shared journey of education. For parents who are at home, this can afford different opportunities to engage alongside their child and for those that work during the week, Hybrid can alleviate after-school activity pressure by allowing students to participate in passion areas during the school-day hours, creating more time for families to connect during evenings and weekends.
Do other Hybrid Schools exist?
Yes - even though Hybrid education is a relatively new concept to us, this is a proven model that is already
successful at a number of schools. We have listed a few of these below. Feel free to check them out!
- Poudre Global Academy in Fort Collins, Colorado
- SAIL Academy of Innovative Learning in Surrey, BC
- Valor Prepratory, Arizona
- Crossroads Flex High School in Cary, North Carolina