Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Distributed Learning?

Distributed learning is a way of taking courses at a distance from typical schools and classrooms. Students take the same courses and earn the same credits as they would in a classroom setting, and they have full support from certified teachers. The difference is that students can learn from home – or anywhere – any time of day or night. Enrolment times are flexible and courses are offered in various ways, using:

  • The Telephone
  • Print Materials
  • Email
  • The Internet

Q. Are the DL courses at SPDLS the same as courses taught in BC schools?

DL courses follow the provincial curriculum and must comply with the BC School Act. They are equivalent to the same courses offered in schools. The difference is in the methods used to deliver instruction to students.

Q. Who is Distributed Learning for?

Distributed learning is available to all 8-12 students in School District #59 and the Province of BC. K-7 programs are available form other service providers, upon request. Students can take distributed learning courses instead of, or in addition to, their regular classroom studies.
With its flexible approach, distributed learning is great for:

  • students who prefer to work at their own pace
  • students whose variety of interests may not be reflected in the courses available locally
  • athletes with demanding training schedules, or
  • performing artists and others who want to keep up with their studies while they're away from home

Q. Are all SPDLS courses done online?

DL courses can be delivered in a variety of ways. Some are offered primarily online, some combine online and print materials, and a few use print materials only.  This year, all of our courses in grades 8-12 are online.

Q. Do I have to attend SPDLS once a week?

We encourage all of our students to attend once a week. This gives us the opportunity to get to know our students, help them with their courses and time management, and to schedule in some fun events. Swimming, bowling, gymnastics, plays, cultural events, and ski trips have been planned in past years.

Q. What are the requirements for enrolling in SPDLS?

Space must be available. Parents must have a good understanding of what Distributed Learning is, and they must be willing to support their child in a home-learning environment. Students must be committed to learning at home.

Q. Are computers available to SPDLS students?

We are not able to supply computers to every student, but some students are eligible to receive a computer on loan from SPDLS. Students who are registered full time, and do not already have a computer at home can apply for a computer. A computer contract must be filled out and a refundable deposit paid. Computers are available onsite for student use.

Q. What does it cost?

A $100 deposit is required for textbooks and for access to resource center materials. When all textbooks and materials are returned in good order, the deposit is refunded.

Q. How do students get their marks?

SPDLS issues regular report cards; teachers are responsible for providing marks and other assessment information to their students.

Q. Do SPDLS students write provincial exams and can they get their Dogwood certificate?

Yes, SPDLS students must meet the same requirements as other BC students for exams and courses. They receive the Dogwood certificate when they complete their K-12 education.

Q. My child is already enroled in a school. Can she/he still take a DL course at SPDLS?

You can now enrol in more than one school at a time if you are in Grades 10-12 as long as one of the courses you take is distributed learning. For example, if you attend your local Secondary School, but need to take Physics 12 because your local school does not offer it, you may take a Physics 12 course from SPDLS . You will not have to pay tuition fees to do so.

Q. I need to repeat a course; can I do this with SPDLS?

Yes. There is no tuition fee.

Q. I want to complete my high school – can I do this at SPDLS?

Yes. SPDLS provides courses leading to high school graduation. SPDLS students must meet the same requirements for exams and the Dogwood certificate as does any student in a BC school.

Q. Can a student who is unable to attend school due to illness take DL courses?


Q. Can adults take SPDLS courses if they haven’t completed their K-12 education?

Yes. There is no tuition fee.

Q. What is the difference between home-schooling and distributed learning (DL)?

Students taking Distributed Learning are enrolled in a school and their education program is supervised by a BC certified teacher.
Home-schooled children are not enrolled but are registered with a school district and their parents are responsible for setting the curriculum, supervising instruction and assessing learning.

Q. Are Reimbursements available?

No.  Reimbursements are not allowed, as per Ministry of Education policy.

Q. Can I take College Courses as a part of my SPDLS program?

SPDLS students may choose to take a Dual Credit program through Northern Lights College. College courses can also be taken as a part of a Graduation program.