Classroom Alternatives

Every September, parents have options for their child's education. Parents should talk to their school district as soon as possible about their options.

Last updated: September 22, 2020

Online & Distributed Learning

Both public and independent distributed learning schools offer distributed/online classes. Students in kindergarten to grade 7 must take a full course load at one school, while students in grades 8 to 12 may enrol in courses in a number of different distributed learning schools at one time.

There are 46 school districts with 53 public schools offering distributed learning courses and 16 independent schools are currently offering distributed learning courses.


Homeschooling is typically led by a family member who delivers an educational program to a child at home.

Note: Homeschoolers are not eligible to receive a British Columbia Dogwood Graduation Certificate.

Classroom Alternatives Comparison:

  Public school distributed learning Independent school distributed learning Traditional homeschooling
Education program must meet the Learning Outcomes of the B.C. curriculum Yes Yes No
Learning must be supervised by a B.C. teacher Yes Yes No
Students must use district- or school-approved resources Yes Yes No
Student progress must be evaluated by a teacher and report cards are prepared by a teacher three times a year Yes Yes No
Student must participate in provincial assessments Yes Yes No
Religious texts / resources may be used No Yes Yes
Eligible to receive a B.C. Dogwood Graduation Certificate Yes Yes No
Status of student with school Enrolled Enrolled Registered


Additional Local Options

In-class instruction

There is no substitute for in-class instruction. It provides students with face-to-face teacher-led learning, peer engagement, supports social and emotional development and decreases feelings of isolation. 

School also provides many students access to programs and services they can't get at home and is integral to their overall health. 

School districts will contact all families in their school community to share their safety plan and confirm if they plan to have their child attend classes in September or require an other option.

The Ministry has also given school districts the flexibility to find options that work for families. This includes remote options for students within their districts, as well as the tools school districts need to increase their existing programs to meet demand.

Homebound education

Homebound education services allows students to continue their education program if they are absent from class during the school year because of injury, illness, surgery, pregnancy or mental health reasons. 

To access homebound education services, parents and caregivers must contact their school.