Showcasing alternative learning at Winchelsea Place in Parksville tonight (Thursday, Jan. 29)

School District 69 (Qualicum) is considering as plan to offer 'flexible learning opportunities'

School District 69 will showcase four alternative learning programs for elementary students at an information evening for parents and guardians this Thursday.

“It’s about offering flexible learning opportunities,” said assistant superintendent Gillian Wilson

Two of the programs on the agenda for the information night are still in the proposal stage and thus not yet available in the District. According to a news release from the District, The Primary Outdoor Education Program — also known as SOLE (Sustainable Outdoor Learning and Exploration) — would provide students with the “opportunity to learn in natural outdoor settings where they can play, explore, and experience natural systems and the environment.” Wilson said that students in this program would spend most of the day outside, but would have some in-class learning too.

Also not yet available to students is the proposed Science, Technology, Robotics, Engineering and Making Program (STREAM). The release said this program would use science and technology as the base for teaching all aspects of the B.C. curriculum.

The other two programs that will be showcased that evening are already running in the District: the Elementary Collaborative Education Alternative Program (CEAP) and the Elementary French Immersion Program The CEAP program provides yearly or term-based learning plans for students who learn via distance or face-to-face sessions. The Elementary French Immersion offers students the opportunity to be educated in French.

Wilson said whether or not any of these programs will be offered in September “depends on what interest there is.”

Wilson said these alternative learning programs are not about personalizing education for students. “This is done by our teachers everyday,” she said.

Instead, the assistant superintendent said that such programs would allow children to follow their interests, passions and learning styles.

“It would be a great opportunity for the district,” she added, saying that offering alternative programs such as these could help attract potential students and their families to move to the area from other districts.

You can learn more about the programs at the information session on Thursday, Jan. 29 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Winchelsea Place.

For any other information, please contact the School District at 250-248-4241.

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