Distributed Learning – Funding

Date came into force or revised

Revised July 4, 2016

Status

Current

Policy statement

The Ministry of Education will provide funding for eligible educational programs or courses when  students receive instruction through distributed learning. Students must become active to be considered an eligible enrolment. The Ministry of Education uses multiple enrolment data collections as the basis for qualification for funding for boards of education to deliver instruction through distributed learning.

Rationale or purpose of policy

This policy consolidates distributed learning funding models that existed prior to 2006.  It allows boards of education operating distributed learning (DL) schools to have the flexibility to enrol students at different times during the year and receive funding. This policy provides students with flexibility and choice. 

Authority

Policy in full

Boards of education will report to the Ministry when students enrol and when they become active participants in a distributed learning program or course. The Ministry does not provide funding to boards for students who enrol but do not become active as defined in the Distributed Learning Active Policy.

Funding for distributed learning in Grades K-9

For funding purposes full-time equivalent (FTEs) enrolment in distributed learning programs for Grades K - 9 are determined in a manner similar to other schools, subject to the Distributed Learning Active Policy and Form 1701 Instructions.

Funding for distributed learning in Grades 10-12

For funding purposes, enrolment in distributed learning programs for Grades 10-12 are determined in a manner similar to other schools, subject to the Active Policy and Form 1701 Instructions.

Students in Grades 8 & 9 who enroll in whole or in part in a DL educational program provided by a board may be cross enrolled with another board of education or by an independent school authority as well. The crossing enrolling board or authority providing courses to a cross-enrolled student receives funding for each Grade 8 & 9 course claim.  For cross enrolled DL course claims report according to the DL Active policy’s per course funding requirements for Grade 10-12 students and Form 1701 Instructions. Funding claims for cross enrolled student claims may only be reported in the July count.

Students in Grades 10 - 12 who enrol with a board of education operating a DL school may enrol with other boards of education and independent schools as well. Each board offering DL courses to a student receives 0.1250 FTE in funding for each four-credit Grade 10 - 12 course in which a student becomes active, subject to the Distributed Learning Active Policy and Form 1701 Instructions.

Students are not allowed to take the same course at the same time at different schools. A course must be completed, or withdrawn from, before a student can enrol in the same course again.

For boards to be eligible for funding for the same DL course taken in the same DL school by Grade 10-12 students (including adults) the following conditions must be met:

  • The student must have been previously reported as failed (through course completion), or as course completed and wanting  to improve their mark, or withdrawn from that course.
  • If a student has withdrawn from a course or did not complete a course, there must be a record of student inactivity for two DL enrolment counts, with a corresponding record of attempts made by the DL school to contact the student for that course.
  • All required areas of study in a course (contained in the corresponding Program Guide) must be provided to the student when a course is claimed for funding again.
  • Assessment of the student’s past work must not be used to evaluate re-claimed course progress. 

Adult students may enrol in a distributed learning school and are funded according to the adult education provisions in the Ministry of Education Operating Grants Manual.

Adult students who have not graduated (known as non-graduated adults) may take eligible courses as defined in the Adult Funding Policy.  These courses must lead to the British Columbia Certificate of Graduation (the Dogwood) or the Adult Graduation Diploma (the Adult Dogwood).

Eligible tuition-free courses for adult students who have graduated from secondary school or high school in another jurisdiction (known as graduated adults) are the Literacy Foundation courses.

Further funding eligibility requirements for all students are set out in the K-12 Funding-General Policy.

Procedures related to policy

The Ministry of Education provides funding to boards of education for school-aged students enrolled in distributed learning (DL) schools based on the following procedures: 

For full-time Grades K-9

  • Funding for DL is based on student enrolment counts conducted in September, February, and May.
  • Every student enrolled in Grades K-7 who becomes active in an eligible DL program by September 30 will be funded at 1.0 FTE (full time equivalent).
  • Students in Grades 8 and 9 will be funded at 0.5 FTE plus 0.125 FTE per eligible four-credit course to a maximum of 1.0 FTE per school year. Each student must have a learning plan that shows all the courses the students will take during the school year. Additional courses taken after the September 30 enrolment data submission that are not included in the plan will not be included in the funding calculation for that student.
  • For Grades K - 9 students new to a particular DL school and who become active by the February student enrolment count, additional funding will be allocated to the board of education operating the DL school at half the FTE rate for that school year (pro-rated to reflect half the school year). Similarly, newly active Grades K - 9 students at the May enrollment count will be pro-rated at 1/3 of the FTE rate.
  • If a student enrolled in Grades K-7 chooses to take part of an educational program through more than one school, boards of education may make their own arrangements for shared services as long as no tuition fees are charged to the student.

For cross-enrolled Grades 8 & 9

  • Students may enrol any time during the calendar year.
  • Courses taken by cross-enrolled students in Grades 8 & 9 will be funded for each Grade 8 & 9 course in which the student becomes active, subject to the Distributed Learning Active Policy and Form 1701 Instructions.
  • Funding claims may only be reported in the July count.

For Grades 10-12

  • Students may enrol any time during the calendar year.
  • DL courses taken by students in Grades 10 - 12 will be funded at 0.1250 FTE for each eligible four-credit course in which a student becomes active (see Form 1701 Instructions for course credit and FTE calculations).
  • A student enrolling only in Grade 10 – 12 courses in a DL school, who is also enrolled in Grades K-9 in another school, is counted as a Grade 10 - 12 student for DL funding purposes.
  • Students may combine Grade 10 - 12 courses in DL schools with courses in non-distributed learning schools (regular, alternate, continuing education). To aid students taking DL courses, non-DL schools may claim one funded support block per student per year (the combined total number of support blocks and courses cannot exceed a maximum of eight for these students – as per the Form 1701 Instructions).
    Example: If a Grade 10-12 student wanted to take six courses in a regular, alternate, or continuing education school and two courses through a DL school, the Ministry would fund each as follows:
    • the board operating the regular, alternate, or continuing education school per existing funding policy for the six courses
    • the board operating the DL school at 0.250 FTE for the two eligible four-credit courses in which  the student became active.

Useful Contacts

If you have any questions relating to the Distributed Learning – Funding policy, please contact the Ministry at:

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