The Kootenay Lake school district has announced that their online learning program, Elev8, is open for registration for the upcoming school year. They also announced the program has been chosen to become an online school serving all students across the province.
The program also allows families with children in primary school the option to teach their children early education skills from home, including kindergarten.
Elev8 kindergarten aims to provide a solution for families who require more flexibility in their child’s schooling due to work schedules, travel plans or other family needs. Or, for parents who wish to have a bigger role in their child’s early education.
SD8’s superintendent Trish Smillie says SD8 and the province have improved online education significantly since the pandemic to ensure students enrolled in online learning receive the same quality of education as they would in a classroom.
“There has always been an appetite for online schooling from some families based on where they may be living or traveling or working, or just something that they choose for their own family to learn,” she said.
“During COVID it highlighted for the province that online education needed to be equitable, flexible, and easily accessible to all students across the province. Now, post-pandemic, they were able to create equity and standardization across online learning centers.”
Smillie says parents can feel confident their children will learn the same essential social skills through Elev8’S early education programs as they do provide proper tools to ensure the level of education is appropriate.
“It’s definitely a different way to connect but I think families highly support their kindergarten learners at home, and families can provide the social, emotional learning skills and the play-based learning and the project-based learning with the support of a certified kindergarten teacher through Elev8 that are meant to support families and students.”
The 10-month online option for early education includes a mix of paper-based and online learning that facilitates early literacy, numeracy and social and emotional skills.
Each student who enrolls in the program will receive a resource crate containing books, games, learning aids, toys for learning through play, notebooks, pens and other tools that would be found in an in-person kindergarten class.
Families who register will also qualify for a $600 student learning fund to aid in other materials an activity to enhance early learning.
Smillie says on average the enrollment number for Elev8’s kindergarten program is about 10-12 students, but they’ve already enrolled double that for the 2024-25 school year.
Registration for the Elev8 program for the upcoming 2023-24 school year is available on the Elev8 website.