Public School System Options
(Also see BC Ed’s page for a quick flow-chart visual on the educational options in BC)
As with the independent school system, the public school system offers essentially two choices for enrollment: physical attendance at any public school in the province (provided space is available), or as a home-based student participating in any kind of distance ed./distributed learning program. These programs currently include nine regular distance education programs (paper-based) and 18 public school DL programs (Distributed Learning) across the province. You can find a listing of all of these programs at the Ministry’s site.
As per Section 76 of the BC School Act, BC’s public schools and distance ed/DL programs are inherently secular and non-sectarian in nature; no religious dogma or creed is to be taught in a provincial school. Enrollment then means that if you wish to teach your children religious materials, it must take place on an extra-curricular level (i.e., cannot be used for evidence of learning or assessment) and it must be funded wholly by the parents and not by the ministry. Religious materials may not besubmitted to the DL teacher as evidence of learning.
Schools which enroll students in any public school program, whether attending or home-based, receive funding on the following criteria:
- The School Board provides the educational program
- The School Board ensures each student’s program is supervised by a BC Certified Teacher
- The education program must meet required areas of study and graduation requirements
- Teachers will assess, evaluate, and report on a student’s progress.
These policies can be found on the Ministry’s Distance Ed Policy page.
You should also take a look at the Ministry page depicting the differences between homeschooling and enrollment in a distance ed./distributed learning program.