Powell River Board of Education (School District 47) has announced that it has been selected by BC Ministry of Education and Child Care to become a provincial online learning school (POLS).
According to a media release from the school district, as of September 2023, only a selected group of school districts in the province will be able to offer a variety of programs and courses to all students in BC, no matter where they live. Only provincial online learning schools will be able to cross enrol or out-of-district enrol students for online learning.
The release stated that provincial changes to online learning and the process to become an official POLS have been underway for the past few years and required an official expression of interest by school districts, which was then followed by an independent panel review.
“We are extremely proud to be chosen as one of the provincial online learning schools,” stated Jay Yule, superintendent for the local board of education. “Our district’s online learning school, Partners in Education (PIE), started in 2003 and has grown to over 1,100 students in three different campuses.
“Our record of service supporting personalized online and blended learning for all students, including those with diverse abilities and disabilities, has made us an invaluable partner to students for almost two decades, and we look forward to continuing to design, develop and deliver innovative programs to promote learner success.”
Next steps in the process include signing a ministerial agreement in the fall, participating in the governance and operations efforts, as well as the accountability and quality assurance framework.
School District 47 serves a student population of just over 3,000 students. There are six elementary schools (kindergarten to grade seven), one secondary school (grades eight to 12), and Partners in Education (PIE) - the online learning school, with campuses in Powell River, Comox Valley and Bowen Island, with more than 1,100 students from kindergarten to grade 12.
The school district has many programs available that provide choice and alternatives to respond to the diversity of student needs, according to the release.