Population: 4,683,139
Number of K-12 Schools: 1930
Number of K-12 Students: 635,037
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Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs: 75
Number of K-12 E-Learning Students: 69,735

Note that these profiles are taken from the most recent edition of the report, please review additional annual profiles below.

K-12 E-Learning Programs

In 2015-16 there were 59 district-level public distributed learning schools (distance education providers) and 16 independent (or private) distributed learning schools that enrolled approximately 69,735 unique students in one or more courses.  LearnNowBC has ceased operations, and its main services to schools (e.g., school, course, trades finders and Collaborate) have been transferred to the Ministry and are operated by Open School BC.  Additionally, Open School BC also provides provincial content and online hosting services on a cost-recovery model to school districts lacking the capacity or desire to manage their own.

The Ministry of Education has not yet begun to gather data on blended learning programs, but can report anecdotally that blended learning is on the increase. At present, the BC Learning Network, a consortium of school districts providing online courses in distributed learning schools, is in year two of its major content development three year plan with the goal of creating online content and digital resources that can be used in all school learning environments.

Governance and Regulation

The distributed learning landscape in British Columbia has remained relatively stable over the past years. The legislative language in section 3.1 and section 75 (4.1) of the School Act, 2006, as well as section 8.1 of the Independent School Act, 2006, still govern the operation of distributed learning programs. Both pieces of legislation contain similar language concerning the establishment of distributed learning schools “only with the prior agreement of the Minister.” As such, these agreements between the Ministry and the school districts or independent schools serve as the main governance documents for distributed learning in British Columbia. In addition to these agreements, the Ministry also has a series of policy documents that outline the regulations that distributed learning schools must follow.

In 2013, minor changes were made to legislation and funding to allow students in Grades 8 and 9 to enroll in both a program at a neighbourhood school as well as courses provided by a distributed learning school, as long as the distributed learning school is operated by another school district.

The current funding model in British Columbia does not differentiate between distributed learning and blended learning, or between face-to-face and blended learning.  However, there are different funding amounts for face-to-face courses and programs, as compared to distributed learning courses. Under the current policy, the delivery method is considered distributed learning as long as the student is at a distance from the teacher for the majority of the time.  A “majority of the time” is not explicitly defined under the current regulations.

Previous Provincial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

K-12 distance education in Canada began in British Columbia in 1919, when the province began offering correspondence education to students living in isolated parts of the province (Toutant, 2003). This centralized system of correspondence education continued until 1984, when the province began to establish the first of nine regional correspondence schools (Dunae, 1997-2008). K-12 online learning began in British Columbia in 1993, with the introduction of New Directions in Distance Learning and the EBUS Academy. By 1994, the responsibility for distance education had largely shifted to individual school districts. Over the past two decades, both public district-based and independent online learning programs have proliferated considerable. Winkelmans, Anderson, and Barbour (2010) provide a comprehensive history of the development of K-12 distance education and e-learning in the province.

References

Dunae, P. A. (1997-2008). Correspondence education. The Homeroom. Nanaimo, BC: Vancouver Island University. Retrieved from https://www2.viu.ca/homeroom/content/topics/programs/corresp.htm

Toutant, T. S. (2003). Equality by mail: Correspondence education in British Columbia, 1919 to 1969. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

Winkelmans, T., Anderson, B., & Barbour, M. K. (2010). Distributed learning in British Columbia: A journey from correspondence to online delivery. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, 14(1), 6-28. Retrieved from http://journals.akoaotearoa.ac.nz/index.php/JOFDL/article/viewFile/29/26

Vignettes

Brief Issue Papers

Individual Program Survey Responses

 Program  Most recent response   Medium   # of Students   # of Teachers   # of Courses 
Abbotsford Virtual School
http://avs34.com
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
Blended
1,500 supplemental
300 full time
80 blended
12 full time
3 part time
3 blended
75  (gr 10–12) &
all subjects (K–9) online
3 blended
Anchor Academy
http://www.ark.net/
2010-11 Online 503 30 full time ~80 (gr. 10-12)
70-80 (K-9)
Bulkley Valley Education Connection
http://www.schoolius.com/school/1507332162859575/Bulkley+Valley+Education+Connection
2015-16 Online
Blended
180 supplemental
30 full time
180 blended
2 full time
1 part time
2 blended
>50 distance
>50 blended
Burnaby Online Program
http://on-line.sd41.bc.ca
2011-12 Online
Correspondence
1,400 supplemental
225 full time
16 55 secondary
8 elementary
Choices DL
http://sd70.bc.ca/school/cdl
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
Blended
200 FTE distance*
60% students blended
4 full time
all blended
40 grades 8-12
full K-7 program
Coquitlam Open Learning
https://www.sd43.bc.ca/col/Pages/landing.aspx
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
Blended
~2,500 distance 7 full time
18 part time
3 blended
35+ distance
3 blended
Creston Homelinks
http://homelinks.sd8.bc.ca
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
Blended
130.5 FTE distance*
130.5 FTE blended*
3 full time
3 part time
6 blended
42 secondary
full K–9 program
Delta Access
http://www.deltasd.bc.ca/content/programs/deltaaccess
2015-16 Online 1,000 12 part time 40
Distance Education School of the Kootenays
http://desk.sd8.bc.ca
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
Blended
1,000 distance
14 blended
5 full time
3 part time
1 blended
33 distance
1 blended
Diversity by Design DL Academy
http://diversitybydesign.ca
2012-13 Online
Correspondence
100 2 full time
7 part time
~80
Ebus Academy
http://ebus.ca
2016-17 Online 4000 38 full time
2 part time
223
École Virtuelle CSF
http://ecolevirtuelle.csf.bc.ca/
2014-15 Online
Blended
204 online
12 blended
6 part time online
1 full time blended
19 online
1 blended
Education Outreach Program
http://eopmoodle.sd83.bc.ca/
2016-17 Online 58 FTE* 1 full time
1.5 (FTE) part time
75
eSchoolBC
http://www.eSchoolBC.com
2016-17 Online 5,000 15 full time
3 part time
60
Fraser Valley Distance Education School
http://www.fvdes.com
2012-13 Online
Correspondence
~3,500 30 full time
1 part time
~150
Hands-On Home-Learning
http://oakandorca.ca/handson/index.html
2014-15  Correspondence (PDFs) 82  12 part time
Heritage Christian Schools
http://www.onlineschool.ca
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
Blended
~3,800 supplemental
2,754 full time
1,580 blended
102 full time
60 part time
75 blended
143 distance
36 blended
Home Quest
http://homequest.deltasd.bc.ca/home
2015-16 Correspondence 90 full time 3 part time all subjects (K-9)
Island ConnectEd K-12
http://island-connected.sd68.bc.ca/
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
Blended
1,611 online
60 blended
12 full time
2 part time
2 blended
~80
Juan de Fuca Distributed Learning
http://jdfdl.web.sd62.bc.ca/
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
2,800 distance
1200 blended
8 full time
22 part time
23 blended
55 distance
26 blended
Kamloops Open Online Learning
http://kool.sd73.bc.ca
2015-16 Online 2,544 3 full time
12 part time
104
Kleos Open Learning 2016-17 Online
Correspondence
Blended
200 10 full time
6 part time
Full K-12
Kootenay Discovery School
http://www.sd5.bc.ca/school/kds/Pages/default.aspx
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
600 1 full time
2 part time
42
Navigate (NIDES)
http://navigatenides.com/
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
Blended
570 FTE distance*
175 FTE blended*
110 FTE adult*
32 full time
8 part time
8 blended
120+ distance
full K–7 program blended
Northern BC Distance Education School
http://www.des.prn.bc.ca
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
435 4 full time
2 part time
160 secondary
full K–7 program
North Coast Distance Education School
http://ncdes.ca
2012-13 Online
Correspondence
~3,400 8 full time 65
North Vancouver Distributed Learning School http://www.sd44.ca/school/distributed/Pages/default.aspx 2016-17 Online
Correspondence
Blended
 ~3,000 distance
~550 blended
8 full time
15 part time
6 blended
57 distance
3 blended
Quesnel Distributed Learning School
http://qdlonline.com
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
Blended
150 online
35 blended
2 full time
1 part time
1 blended
25 online
16 blended
Richmond Virtual School
http://RichmondVirtualSchool.ca
2015-16 Online 1800 online
1700 blended
2 full time
45 part time
45
Rocky Mountain Distributed Learning School
http://getsmartbc.ca
2015-16 Online ~350 3 full time 75
SelfDesign Learning Community
http://www.selfdesign.org
2016-17 Online ~2200 ~30 full time
~145 part time
full complement of K-12
South Central Interior Distance Education School
http://www.scides.ca/
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
182 grades K – 12 & 1519 cross-enrolled (total 294 FTE) distance 10 full time
4 part time
full program K-7 distance
>150 gr. 8-12 distance
South Island Distance Education School
http://www.sides.ca/en.html
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
Blended (pilot)
6794 distance
~100 blended
22 full time
12 part time
full program K-7
119 gr. 8-12
South Peace Distributed Learning
http://dcss.sd59.bc.ca/spc/spdl
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
55 FTE* 1 full time
4 part time
16
Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning
http://www.sailacademy.ca
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
Blended
~2000 distance 21 full time
300+ blended
80+
Traditional Learning Academy
http://www.schoolathome.ca
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
Blended
1200 distance
250 blended
40 full time
35 part time
18 blended
80 distance
25 blended
Vancouver Learning Network
http://vlns.ca/
2016-17 Online
Correspondence
 ~5000 8 full time
31 part time
 ~90
Vernon Virtual Learning
http://vlearn.ca
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
Blended
1200 distance
100 blended
9 full time
3 part time
240
YouLearn.ca
http://youlearn.ca
2015-16 Online
Correspondence
500 4 full time
1 part time
48

* Full-time equivalents, not the total number of students.

To update this information, visit http://tinyurl.com/sotn-program-survey

Inter-provincial and International

If a student in British Columbia took a course from an online program in another province or territory, or even in another country, the student would present him/herself at a local school or distributed learning school and request either equivalency for a credential earned in another jurisdiction or permission to challenge a course for credit based on prior learning or experience. The Ministry’s policy is to allow each school to have their own procedures to guide this process.

At present there is only one school district business company (i.e., SD73 Business Company) that has an agreement with the Ministry to offer distributed learning content to non-resident students.  The Business Company is owned by the Kamloops-Thompson School District No.73  but operates at an arms-length and is not able to grant British Columbia credits.  A non-resident student who completes a course through the SD73 Business Company would have to go through the process of receiving credit for the student’s course based on the guidelines established in the student’s own jurisdiction, or the BC jurisdiction they register to study in as an international student.

Additionally, there are a few distributed learning programs that have specific agreements in place to serve students in a given jurisdiction. For example, the Northern British Columbia Distance Education School can serve students in the Yukon by special arrangement. The Yukon Department of Education is responsible for recognizing those credits (although the Yukon does follow the British Columbia K-12 curriculum).