Online Learning Policy - Homeschoolers (Interim)

Date came into force or revised

July 1, 2021

Status

Interim for the 2021/2022 school year

Policy statement

A child entitled to enrol in Grades K-9 may either enrol in an educational program with a board of education or independent school authority or may register for homeschooling at any school in the province, but not both.

A person entitled to enrol in Grades 10 through 12 may register for homeschooling at any school in the province, and at the same time be enrolled as a student for course(s) in one or more online learning schools or program in certain circumstances.  A person who enrolls in a Grade 10 through 12 course offered through a standard school cannot also register as a homeschooler.

Rationale or purpose of policy

Changes to the School Act and the Independent School Act regarding online learning came into effect on July 1, 2021. The 2021/2022 school year will be an interim year in the implementation of changes to online learning in the Province.  A new, comprehensive online learning policy and a procedures guide are under development with Indigenous rightsholders and stakeholders and will be fully implemented on July 1, 2022.  For the 2021/2022 school year, the former distributed learning policies have been replaced by interim online learning policies that will be in effect until the new online learning policies are implemented on July 1, 2022.

This policy clarifies when homeschooling and online learning may be combined.  It sets out how students registered as a homeschooler can also enrol in Grade 10-12 online learning courses offered by a board of education or independent school authority.

Authority

Policy in full

In this policy, the terms board of education or Board include a francophone education authority. The term Authority refers to an independent school authority.  

Homeschooling is an educational program provided to a child by a parent, not under the supervision or direction of a BC certified teacher or Letter of Permission holder employed by a Board or Authority. Homeschooling is not the same as online learning. Online learning programs or courses are taught by BC certified teachers or Letter of Permission holders who are certified by the Ministry of Education and employed by a Board or Authority.   

For more information on homeschooling, see the Homeschooling Policy.

For children entitled to enrol in Grades K- 9

For Grades K-9, a child may be enrolled in one or more educational program with a Board or Authority or be registered as a homeschooler, but not both. When a child registered as a homeschooler is enrolled in a Grade K-9 educational program provided by a Board or Authority, including online learning, the child loses homeschooling status.  A Board or Authority enrolling a child in an educational program must satisfy program requirements established in legislation. A Board or Authority cannot provide only a portion of an educational program to a student in Grade K-9 who is also engaged in homeschooling.

A child registered as a homeschooler may attend educational programs offered by a Board or Authority, subject to any terms and conditions established by the Board and Authority including the payment of a fee. However, a child does not receive credit for taking instruction in this manner.

If a child is enrolled in an online program or course for Grade K-9 with a Board or Authority, that child is no longer considered a homeschooler.

For persons of school age and entitled to enrol in Grades 10- 12

  • Persons of school age eligible to enrol in Grades 10-12 can be registered as homeschoolers by a Board or Authority and be enrolled in an online learning school operated by the same Board or Authority.  They may also be enrolled or cross-enrolled by one or more other Boards or Authorities in an online learning program or course if such enrolment is permitted by an interim online learning agreement (PDF) with the minister. A Board or Authority providing online learning courses to Grade 10-12 homeschoolers will receive Ministry funding for the courses that the eligible student takes under online learning funding policy and procedures.  Credit toward graduation is awarded for the successful completion of online learning courses.
  • A registered homeschooler who enrolls in a Grade 10-12 course offered through a non-online learning school becomes an enrolled student and ceases to be registered as a homeschooler.

Procedures related to policy

For homeschooling

Parents seeking to homeschool their children

  • register at a public or independent school
  • deliver instruction at home
  • exercise complete independence and control over their children’s education
  • may use any learning resource of their choice, and
  • are not obligated to follow provincially prescribed curriculum.

For online learning

When participating in online learning programs delivered by boards or authorities, home-schooled students

  • may learn at home
  • are enrolled in a public or independent online learning school
  • are obligated to meet curriculum learning standards [LINK to definition in this policy] and/or outcomes in Provincial curriculum or Board/Authority-Authorized courses
  • must use only learning resources recommended by the Ministry of Education or authorized by the Board or Authority
  • if enrolled with an Authority, may use religious materials as part of their educational program
  • must have a BC certified teacher or Letter of Permission holder leading their educational program, including assignment and assessment of activities 
  • are issued formal student progress reports by the online learning school, and
  • participate in provincial assessments (Foundation Skills Assessment and provincial graduation assessments).