Oak and Orca Policies
Oak and Orca Bioregional School policies can be downloaded in pdf format here. The policies below are selected portions of the document that relate specifically to home-learners.
A summary of the policies that apply to home-learning families:
- The Bioregional Education Association operates a distributed learning school, Oak and Orca Bioregional School-DL. The program is also known as Hands-On Home-Learning for a Sustainable World. It is our aim to provide a home-learning program that parallels the regular school program. This program will be child-directed in nature. Materials and resources will be provided electronically for children to use. The learning program provided will be individualized by the teacher. Children will direct their own learning by choosing from the available activities, materials and resources. Parents are responsible for assisting students with their learning activities, as needed or as requested by the teacher.
- Children enrolled in the distributed learning program may either learn full-time at home or part-time in the Oak and Orca Classrooms, part-time at home. The number of spaces available for part-time students will depend on the capacity of the building and the number of students enrolled in the full-time regular school program. Families enrolled in the distributed learning program will abide by all the Oak and Orca Bioregional School policies as they apply to a home-learning or partial home-learning program.
- Conferences between families (parent and/or student) and their designated teacher occur on a weekly basis, in person, by telephone, or by Internet. The conference is the basis for the teacher to be able to know the child's needs, develop an individualized program of study and deliver it to the child. Some flexibility may be available if circumstances do not permit regular weekly communication, as long as the teacher is able to provide a program that meets the needs of the child. In addition to the conferences, families will need to provide evidence of work completed by the student as requested by the teacher. A representative of the school may visit a child to identify the student, assess skills, and ensure progress is being made as reported. The meeting place will be the students home, Oak and Orca School, or another place agreed upon by both parties.
- The Oak and Orca program is a child-directed program. As a result, families are responsible for recording the activities the child chooses to do. The student will be expected to be learning for approximately 25 hours per week (15 hours per week in Kindergarten.) Activities worked on, whether they are activities provided by the school, activities recommended by the teacher, or activities created by the child/family, must be logged in a manner agreed upon by the teacher. Unless other arrangements have been made, completed logs will be collected on a weekly basis. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that the teacher is aware of all the child's learning activities.
- In addition to logs, families are responsible for submitting any forms, questionnaires, information and student work requested by the teacher to the school. Portfolios are used to track and assess student learning. Items chosen by the child or requested by the teacher for the portfolio must be copied and mailed or scanned and emailed to the school in a timely manner. All submissions will be kept on file with the teacher. A student's file will be considered up-to-date at any time that it contains all logs and submissions required and requested at that time.
- An expense budget is available for items needed for the program, workshops and courses of relevance to the child's learning program, and other resources/activities that are part of the child's educational program. The school will pay companies/service providers directly for any authorized expense. Parents should discuss each potential expense with the teacher prior to arranging the transaction to ensure that the expense is acceptable as part of the educational program. In cases where there is a dispute between teacher and parent as to the educational value of an expense, the Board Appeals Committee (BAC) will receive written information from both parties and make a final decision. In order to receive payment for an expense, companies/service providers must submit an invoice, which clearly shows the expense to be for educational supplies or programming. Expense budget amounts and schedules will be provided each year by the school. The amount and timing of the expense budget will depend on how much and when funding is received for that student. Kindergarten students will receive half the expense budget of an equivalent ungraded elementary student because the program is half time (half-funding.) Expenses will not be authorized for a child whose file is not up-to-date with the school according to the submissions policy.