Belleisle Regional High School
|Belleisle Regional High School (BRHS) is situated in scenic Springfield, Kings County. BRHS is a combined middle and high school serving students ranging from grade 6 to 12 in both English and French Immersion programs. There are 35 teachers and teacher assistants that strive to meet the needs of our students. Our course offerings are diverse and provide our approximately 310 students with a diverse experience in Language Arts, Math, Science, Humanities, to the Fine Arts and a rich experiential skills-based Technology Education|
program that includes the trades and computer-based online courses. Thanks to local business and agency support, students can take advantage of a Cooperative Education work experience in their grade 12 year. Grade 6-8 students have a true middle school experience that is holistic and active.
One aspect that has been particularly beneficial is the role online learning plays in the rural community. Where lack of funding and priority may not reach the distance schools, learning can still take place no matter where the student is sitting. As an administrator at a rural school for the past four years, it is clear that we would be lacking in the diversity of courses and opportunities for our students if online course delivery was not available. With limited selection of classroom-based programs, distance education has filled many of those gaps and has been vital that the New Brunswick Ministry of Education maintains a vision that includes online learning for our students.
Local facilitators work in conjunction with the distance education teachers in monitoring student progress and delivering curriculum and technical support. The distance teacher can communicate with the students via texting and voice. If required, the distance teacher can use whiteboard technology to demonstrate concepts and testing. Assessment tracking is enhanced where the distance teacher checks in with the local facilitator in maintaining control of student progress. Although these students are kept accountable for their work completion, those students who are not strong independent workers may not keep up. Online programmes are designed and packaged for strong curriculum alignment, they are not always accommodating for those who are not strong readers or require ongoing assistance. Nevertheless, their delivery makes for some dynamic learning outside the traditional classroom.
Online learning has contributed to the academic life of our rural school community. The variety of courses available online provides options that simply doesn’t exist without the distance education programme. It’s a level of experiential learning in areas like Hospitality and Tourism, Nutrition and Healthy Living, and Digital Technologies. These courses bring to the student a focus on alternative programs, as opposed to the more traditional academic ones. As half of our students generally enter the trades or other programmes at community or technical college, experiential learning must be provided and online programmes contribute to this endeavour.