Classroom alternatives

Last updated: November 23, 2021

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Every September, parents have options for their child's education. Talk to your local school district or independent school authority about specific options and program or course details.

In online learning (formerly distributed learning) students can:

  • Connect with their teacher from anywhere using the internet, phone or mail
  • Work with their teacher to reach goals in their learning plan
  • Take a program or course online, web conferencing, teleconferencing, correspondence, etc.
  • Get support through opportunities for in-person learning and interactions with other students

Both public and independent online learning schools offer online learning. Students in Kindergarten to Grade 7 must take a full course load at one school, while students in Grades 8 to 12 may learn from home entirely, or learn at school and take some courses online.

There are 47 school districts with 52 public schools offering online learning courses and 16 independent schools are currently offering online learning courses.

Homeschooling is typically led by a home educator (a parent or guardian) who delivers an educational program to a child at home.

Homeschoolers are not eligible to receive a B.C. Certificate of Graduation.

Comparing classroom alternatives



Online learning with a B.C. public or independent school

In-person learning at a B.C. public or independent school

Must follow the B.C. curriculum

No Yes Yes

Learning must be supervised by a B.C.-certified teacher, as part of their duties of employment with a B.C. school (responsibilities include planning, selecting educational resource materials, facilitating learning activities, and documenting learning)

No Yes Yes

Learner progress must be evaluated and report cards prepared by a B.C.-certified teacher

No Yes Yes

Learner must participate in Provincial Graduation Assessments and Foundation Skills Assessments

No (assessments are optional) Yes Yes

Religious beliefs may be taught

Yes No (public schools) No (public schools)
Yes (independent schools) Yes (independent schools)

Status in a school

Registered homeschooler

Note: If eligible, student can keep registered homeschooler status while enrolled in Grades 10 to 12 online learning courses

Enrolled student Enrolled student

Additional local options

In-class instruction

Learning in a classroom setting provides students with face-to-face teacher-led learning, peer engagement and supports social and emotional development. 

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.