Sarah Timleck’s son enjoying pottery class at SIDES. The distance learning school is part of the School District of Saanich, with accredited B.C. teachers assisting parents and guardians to facilitate schooling at home — with plenty of opportunities for face-to-face learning too!

K-12 schooling from home with a B.C. teacher on your SIDE

Flexible learning, professional guidance, and a better understanding of how to support your kids

Sarah Timleck’s son started Grade One in a brick-and-mortar school, but it wasn’t a good fit.

“I needed to make a change that would benefit my son,” she says.

After researching a variety of options, Timleck chose SIDES, the South Island Distance Education School. Unlike home schooling, SIDES is a public school in the Saanich School District and offers remote learning with fully qualified B.C. teachers.

“With other home schooling options there’s a lot of extra work to build a curriculum from scratch,” Timleck says. As a single parent working full-time, Timleck thought she was too busy to make it work. “It feels almost effortless now. Home learning is so flexible.”

Public school, from home

In the SIDES system, certified teachers guide Home Facilitators (parents or guardians) through the B.C. curriculum and take care of assessing students’ learning.

“All the content online is sorted into easy-to-follow buckets for reading, math and all the other subjects. We get step-by-step instructions for the assignments with all the materials we’ll need and the textbooks we’ll be using. When my son has completed the assignment I scan and upload it and the teacher grades it and provides feedback,” Timleck says.

SIDES provides report cards three times a year, and teachers offer support and coaching to improve the educational experience through all assignments. Kids aren’t alone either — Timleck’s son spends Thursday and Friday mornings face-to-face with classmates at SIDES, and goes on field trips like any other student.

Hands-on, flexible, consistent

School Principal Karen Flello says students enrol with SIDES for all sorts of reasons including medical fragility, maintaining consistency through travel, or just to get more time with family at home.

“We’ve had students who enrolled in kindergarten and continued straight through to Grade 12 in our program, and we’ve had students who travelled with their parents on a temporary work assignment who kept up with the B.C. curriculum while abroad,” she says.

Students are expected to work through the existing program if they are able, but the school can provide adaptations and the support of special education teachers and assistants to accommodate a variety of needs and provide extra feedback.

“Distance education doesn’t mean everything’s on a screen. The elementary program helps Home Facilitators use books, manipulatives and other tools to encourage play-based learning,” Flello says.

“I love knowing what my son is learning day-to-day,” Timleck says. “I’m not just dropping him off at school and crossing my fingers. I know how he’s doing, what his strengths are, and how I can better help him.”

Enrolment opens May 1 each year for September schooling. Learn more about the program by visiting sides.ca. To get in touch about elementary programs call 250-479-7125 or email sides@saanichschools.ca.

EducationSaanich PeninsulaSchools

 

SIDES students gathered for the annual Terry Fox Run. There are lots of opportunities to build community and create lasting friendships while schooling from home.

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
It’s Election Day in B.C.: Here’s what you need to know to vote

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

Shay Baker, 17, hasn’t been seen or heard from since Oct. 21 and is wanted on outstanding warrants. (Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police searching for high-risk missing youth

Shay Baker, 17, is wanted on outstanding warrants

Plastic Ocean by Oak Bay resident Gabriela Hirt is in the Federation of Canadian Artist’s “Crisis” exhibition on now in Vancouver. (Gabriela Hirt/cropped to fit)
Oak Bay artist wins juried show in Vancouver

Pair of Oak Bay artists part of ‘Crisis’ exhibition

The M’akola Housing Society is looking to build two new residences in Sooke to help provide affordable accommodation for local Indigenous people. The projects were granted nearly $1.1 million toward their construction through the Regional Housing Trust Fund. (Photo courtesy M’Akola Housing Society)
Regional Housing First Program strikes another chord in Greater Victoria

Affordable housing partnership grants will help house over 100 people on income assistance

Online reservation service, First Table, allows Victoria diners to have dinner at half-price if they’re willing to be flexible about when they go. (Black Press Media file photo)
New reservation service allows Victoria residents to dine out at half price

First Table gives Victoria diners 50 per cent off when they book tables during off-peak hours

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Liberals Leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Greens Sonia Furstenau, BC NDP John Horgan (The Canadian Press photos)
British Columbians vote in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

At dissolution, the NDP and Liberals were tied with 41 seats in the legislature, while the Greens held two seats

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

U.S. border officers at the Peace Arch crossing arrested two men on California warrants this week. (File photo)
Ottawa predicts system delays, backlogs unless court extends life of refugee pact

Canada and the United States recognize each other as safe places to seek protection

BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson,  BC NDP leader John Horgan and BC Green leader Sonia Furstenau. (File)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Climate change and sustainability promises from the parties

Snap election has led to a short campaign; here’s the lowdown on the platforms

Most Read