Deconstructed schooling might be the answer for kids who don’t do well in a traditional classroom or who can’t physically be at school. Examples might be serious illness, travel or their ability to work better in a different environment. Unschooling is to the classroom as freelance is to journalism or consulting is to office work. The job still gets accomplished but the way in which it is done is very different. The Arrow Lakes Distributed Learning School (ALDL) website states that it “offers flexible options for students from K-12 and for graduated and non-graduated adults to learn.”
For students who are home-schooled in Grades Kindergarten to 9, support via ALDL is available which offers support with curriculum. Students in this program are also offered in group arts projects or recreational activities such as the ski program and curricular field trips. The ALDL School partners closely with Lucerne School in New Denver to support students: fine Arts performances, inclusion in Writers Festival, Science Fairs, Immersion Weeks and other opportunities are offered to DL home-based learners. The same types of opportunities are in the works to be expanded to other schools in the district.
Principal of Lucerne School Nichol Suhr also oversees the ALDL and spoke with the Arrow Lakes News, “Distributed learning allows people to totally design their own educational program. It can vary from purely on the computer or very fluid, organic design based purely on students interest and what is out there in the community.”
Distributed learning is free, public education available to residents of B.C. whether they are in the province or not and many families who have travelled to other countries or provinces access the ALDL program for their children.
She explained, “The parent works with the teachers to design a learning plan. Then they meet with teacher on regular basis.”
For secondary students past Grade 9, the ALDL offers flexible courses to meet B.C. Ministry of Education graduation requirements. They refer to this as blended learning. In Nakusp, students can see teacher Judy Eichhorst, our amazing teacher in Nakusp each Friday from 10:00 am – 4 p.m. at the Selkirk College ABE classroom. Eichhorst also available online.
The ALDL also offers upgrading, repeat courses to meet post-secondary admission requirements, and Dogwood or Adult Graduation diplomas for students over 19 years of age. Support for adult students is available from teachers both online or in a blended learning face to face environment in either Nakusp or New Denver. Courses are free for non-graduated adults and many are free for adults who have already graduated.