Learning Groups

HCOS Learning Groups are committed to offering innovative, Christ-centered educational opportunities for home learners virtually and face-to-face, through a variety of activities offered in communities around the province. We support home educating families by actively exploring and experiencing a range of knowledge and skills while nurturing our relationships with God and with each other.

Learning Camps

Learning Camps are short term group learning experiences, often with parental presence. These range from field trips, to workshops, to a short-term set of weekly classes, to overnight events. Examples include writing workshops, science experiments, field trips to the aquarium or zoo, theatre performances, robotics competitions, overnight trips to Barkerville, and SALTS.  

Parents and students are encouraged to share the learning that took place during learning camps including any pictures, handouts or other relevant work with their support teacher.  

To find out more and sign up, families can:

  • Use information and links in emails received from their support teacher about available Learning Groups
  • Go to https://learninggroups.ca/ and use filters to find opportunities in their area
  • Sign up for e-alerts and receive email notification of events as they open for application

Co-ops

In Co-ops, parents plan and direct activities regularly throughout the year to learn in multi-age groups. All the participating families contribute in some capacity to plan and implement learning, and remain on-site with their children. Each Co-op is unique as parents share from their expertise and shape experiences based on their goals. Past Co-ops have incorporated project based learning, fine arts experiences in visual art, drama and music, Destination Imagination or STEAM learning, regular field trips as a group, special holiday events and other varied activities.

Parents and students are encouraged to share the learning that occurs at co-op, including any pictures, assignments, handouts, projects, blogs, etc with their support teacher. While these activities don’t fully cover competencies in one subject area, they supplement learning and address competencies across multiple subject areas.

Many co-ops form through families reaching out to other families and planning to meet regularly to learn together. Sometimes Co-ops are open to other families joining them; you can find out about these by:

  • Using information and links received by email from your support teacher
  • Visiting Co-op Contacts to contact someone from a Co-op in your area

Interested in facilitating a Co-op? Contact your local Learning Group team member, or ask your support teacher to put you in touch with the Learning Group Regional Admin in your area.

Community Connections

Students in Community Connections (CC) learn in a class setting for a half- to full-day each week over 16-24 weeks through the school year. These multi-term classes provide a campus learning environment while maintaining a home education flavour. 

Certified teachers or experienced instructors guide students through varied learning experiences including hands-on, group and collaborative learning. Students learn presentation skills, complete projects, videos, experiments, participate in physical education classes and more. Activities vary depending on the subject and location. Through a combination of class work and take home assignments, students develop competencies in specific subject areas. CCs do not fully cover the content and competencies of each subject, but are an excellent blended supplement to your home learning.

Parents and students are encouraged to share the learning that occurs at Community Connections including any homework, handouts, assignments, projects, lab reports etc. that were completed with their support teacher .  

CC instructors will provide information about class activities in emails, term summaries or blogs.

Parental involvement is often encouraged. 

Application Process

  • To learn more about the locations, grades and subjects typically offered please view our 2019/2020 calendar here. We will update with 2020/2021 locations as they are determined.
  • To let a CC Coordinator know that you’d like to join for the following school year, please fill out your information in our waiting pool. Depending on space, the coordinator will be in touch about the application process. 
  • To facilitate approval of an application to a CC, please have your child participate in a learning camp prior to application to a CC. Learning Camp options can be found at https://learninggroups.ca.
  • HCOS Special Education students are welcome to apply. Acceptance will be evaluated on a case by case basis after a conversation with the support teacher and family to ensure necessary support levels are available onsite.​ 

Application to an HCOS CC is a separate process than enrolling for the school. Application links for a CC become available in April/ May. First priority enrolment is offered to returning students, followed by those in the waiting pool. If additional space is available a posting will be made at https://learninggroups.ca/.

Community Connections Plus

Students in Community Connections Plus (CC+) learn in a class setting for a full day on a weekly basis over a period of 30 weeks. 

HCOS certified teachers provide all the instruction and assessment needed to fully cover the subject taught and complete the report card in Encom. 

Students receive instruction to fully cover the content and competencies in 3-4 courses, such as Social Studies, Science, Physical and Health Education, ADST or  Arts Education. Students learn presentation skills, complete projects, videos, experiments, participate in physical education classes and more.

As students go through the grades, homework progressively increases and is required to fully complete the subject competencies. Weekly communication with the instructors provides information about class activities. 

The fee for HCOS Registered and General Community students is higher to include teacher compensation. 

CC+ locations currently include: Langley, Abbotsford, Abbotsford Theatre, Chilliwack (Gr. 10 only), Kelowna, Prince George and Penticton. Find our more here.

Application Process

  • To let a CC+ coordinator know that you’d like to join for the following school year, please fill out your information in our waiting pool. Depending on availability, the coordinator will be in touch about the application process. 
  • To facilitate approval of an application to any CC or CC+, please have your child participate in a Learning Camp prior to application to a CC. Learning Camp options can be found at https://learninggroups.ca.
  • Application to an HCOS CC+ is a separate process in addition to enrolling at HCOS. Application links for a CC are available in April/May. F First priority enrolment is offered to returning students, followed by those in the waiting pool. If additional space is available a posting will be made at https://learninggroups.ca/.

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Absolutely! While priority does go to Heritage Students, unless a Learning Camp is specifically noted as Heritage Community only, students from General Community schools are welcome to join us.

Great to hear of your interest in our HCOS Learning Groups! As a registered homeschooler with HCOS you have access to all of our group learning events-such as learning camps- with both virtual and face to face opportunities throughout the province. These can be accessed via our website and the registration link associated with each event. In most cases HCOS homeschoolers are included in Heritage Enrolled Community pricing; however, in some instances i.e. Community Connections and some Learning Camps, HCOS Registered Homeschoolers pay the same fee as General Community Students. 

We require all staff and volunteers working with students to have a Criminal Record Check clearance letter on file with us prior to the event. This sometimes takes a bit of time after you contact us to proceed with the CRC. You can contact us at any time to get this on file. Please download and fill in the CRC application letter and send in as per the instructions.

  • Learning Camps are single day or short term activities such as a field trip or workshop.
  • Co-ops are multi-term events where parent participation is expected to facilitate the weekly classes.
  • Community Connections are weekly half or full day opportunities throughout the school year. These multi-term classes offer a campus style environment while maintaining a home education flavour. 

Heritage subsidizes their students through fee reductions and with the staff required to oversee and administer Learning Groups. General Community students are not subsidized by Heritage and therefore their cost for an event is higher to reflect the actual cost of an event.

It is our desire to get it as close to what we have traditionally offered as possible, and we are willing to be creative, flexible and innovative in making that happen. Learning Groups come in a variety of shapes and sizes and we will work together with venues, facilities and coordinators to help ensure health and safety measures are met as needed. Our goal is to make any precautionary measures as routine and natural as possible.

Please send any questions and concerns regarding a Learning Group activity to lg@onlineschool.ca and one of our team members will be happy to assist you (please note which LG opportunity you are inquiring about).

Application

You’ve received the automatic message indicating that we have received your application.   

  • For Learning Camps, this indicates acceptance to the event unless the coordinator is in touch to indicate otherwise.
  • For Community Connections, please remember that this does not indicate acceptance to the event, as we may not be able to accomodate all applicants. The LG coordinator of the event will be in touch upon application deadline to confirm if your application is accepted.   
  • Please note that HCOS PO payment entries will occur in Encom around the event date.  To pay from General Community PO, a parent will receive an invoice from HCOS to forward to their respective school. Credit card payments are processed upon submission (unless indicated otherwise).  
  • Mark the dates on your calendar.  
  • Your LG Coordinator may be in touch closer to the date with further details about the event. 
  • Enjoy the event!

If you did not receive the confirmation email, it could be that you entered your email incorrectly, your application was not submitted properly, or the email was redirected to your junk mail folder. If concerned, please contact lg@onlineschool.ca.

A confirmation email is automatically sent when you complete the application. Prior to acceptance all applications are reviewed manually. Priority goes to HCOS students and where there are group challenges we wish to make sure a student is fully supported to ensure successful participation. All these points affect when the link for a Learning Camp may be closed as full and whether an application is approved for a student to attend. We appreciate your understanding.

Unlike a school that would have a student's emergency information on file and accessible, Learning Groups are run by many different coordinators in many areas throughout the province. In the case of an emergency, the coordinator needs to have information on hand should a situation arise and a parent cannot be easily found or contacted.

Community Connections

  Community Connections Community Connections Plus
Frequency One day a week One day a week
Duration Half Day (e.g. 9:00am-12:00pm) or Full Day (9:00am-3:00pm)
18-24 weeks

 

Full Day
30 weeks

 

Style  
  • Face-to-face classes with optional home activities assigned
  • Competencies in various subject areas are developed but classes do not fully cover the content and competencies of each subject; they supplement home learning.
 
 
  • Face-to-face classes with homework (increasingly through the grades) assigned for completion between classes, 
  • All instruction and assessment needed to fully cover the subject is provided.
  • Typically 3-4 courses, but varies
 

Instruction

Certified Teachers or qualified instructors

BC Certified HCOS Teachers
 

Teacher Oversight for Course Reporting

Support Teacher

CC+ Teacher

Parental Involvement

Primarily drop-off with some parent involvement

Drop-off with optional parent volunteer opportunities

Please see here for general information for each of our Community Connections locations.

All types of Community Connections are via a Learning Groups application link, separate from enrollment in the school. In any given year, returning students are first given an opportunity to apply. If space allows, students on the Waiting Pool list will be contacted and offered spots as available. Then if space remains, the application link will be posted to the HCOS Learning Groups website.

If you are interested in attending a Community Connection in the coming year, you are welcome to add your family to the CC Waiting Pool.

All Learning Group applications are subject to review and approval from the event coordinator.

It is our desire to come as close to what we have traditionally offered as possible, and we are willing to be creative, flexible and innovative in making that happen.

 It is our understanding that come September, schools are expected to resume in person instruction. Remote learning or Zoom instruction is not our intention at this time. 

Please note that it is our goal to maximize face-to-face learning within the flexibility available within the nature of the CC, and in the context of our one day a week programming. Further information will be provided closer to schools closer to September.

As of June 1st, schools shifted to Stage 3. The recent update sent to participating CC families with further information about what the fall could like can be viewed here

Further information will be communicated to schools closer to September.

Please contact the Coordinator for further information related to a specific location.

When students apply to attend a CC or CC+ for the upcoming year, a minimum application fee amount is collected by credit card. The HCOS PO# can then be used for the balance of the fees.

CC CC+
  • Parents can look at their resource funding and make more than the minimum payment if desired
  • HCOS PO# funds (balance) will be processed in the Fall (after the deadline)
When the office adds students into their CC+ Courses in Encom, the fees will automatically be deducted at that time.

Please note: If there are not enough funds in the family Encom account) to cover the balance due, the amount outstanding will be charged to the credit card on file (used in the CC/CC+ online application).

Community Connections (CC) and CC+ tuition for HCOS Enrolled Students will not increase for the same program/hours as before, but stay at the same level as previous years. Please see the Learning Groups website for further information and application.

Yes, as an HCOS program, families can indicate PO# payment for CC applications though total may be greater than the $350 allowance provided at this time.

For CC+ course fees at the grad program level gr. 10-12 the cost is $600 for enrolled HCOS students. The tuition fee of $50 per grad course up to $200 will apply, and we will continue to honour the $100 funding credit per (4 credit) course towards the CC fees. Fees are processed in the same manner as CC Plus (above question).

We would hope that all students that wish to participate in a CC may continue to do so and that finances are not a barrier for anyone’ s involvement. 

People have come forward to mention that they would like to give and sponsor student seats to enable participation. For the most up to date information please visit SOPHIE.

Please see below for details.

  • May 26, 2020: Letter sent to CC/CC+ families with applications prior to funding announcement.
  • June 3, 2020: Letter sent to CC/CC+ families (applied to date, plus 1920) to provide information regarding our 2021 considerations in returning to face to face classes.
  • June 8, 2020: Letter sent to students with additional points to the June 3 email.

We appreciate your patience as your enrollment is being processed by HCOS. Once your enrollment has been confirmed, you may then proceed with your application to attend CC (CC applications are processed separately from HCOS enrollment). In the meantime, please put your name in the CC Waiting Pool.