Frequently Asked Questions
What is Online Learning?
Online Learning is a method of instruction that relies primarily on communication at a distance between students and teachers, including internet or other electronic-based delivery, teleconferencing, or correspondence. (see Ministry of Education Policy). Students do not attend formal classes on-site!
What is Abbotsford Virtual School (AVS)?
Abbotsford Virtual School is a Distributed Learning school that provides collaborative educational programs for Kindergarten to Grade 12 students or Adults. We provide free courses to any BC resident wishing to meet their graduation requirements, and offer tuition-based courses for adult learners wishing to upgrade.
Our BC certified teachers actively support each student in the development of an educational plan, providing resources, regular tutoring and on-going assessment. All programs are fully accredited by the Ministry of Education of B.C.
We are located at 33952 Pine Street, Abbotsford, BC, V2S 2P3
Phone: (604) 859-9803
Fax: (604) 854-1463
Who can take Abbotsford Virtual School courses?
We provide full programs to enrolled K-9 students at Abbotsford Virtual School. We provide free courses to Grade 10 to 12 students regardless of what other school they may be enrolled in and we provide free and tuition-based courses for Adult learners wishing to upgrade or graduate.
Are there any costs?
All courses are FREE for British Columbia non-graduated students who are residents in British Columbia or temporarily travelling/living out of the province. International students can take courses but are subject to a course fee. Graduated Adults can take some Grade 11 and 12 courses fior FREE but other courses are subject to a course fee of $550 per course. For a few courses we do require a $100 refundable textbook deposit.
Can I just take one course through Abbotsford Virtual School and still be enrolled in another school?
Yes, if you are in Grade 10,11, 12 or an adult.
Can a student use AVS courses to graduate or earn a Dogwood Diploma?
Yes. We can help students earn a regular Dogwood or and Adult Dogwood. All of our courses are fully accredited with the MInistry of Education.
What are the benefits of enrolling in an AVS course?
Our friendly and supportive staff are well trained to work with students to develop a learning plan suited to your needs! We provide many course styles and structures.
What is a PEN?
PEN is short for Provincial Education Number. This number is provided to each student in British Columbia and is used to identify your student records with the Ministry of Education.
What are the different styles of courses AVS offers?
- Elementary courses: these are offered both online and onsite, working collaboratively with families to promote individualized learning.
- Online Courses: continuous enrollment and self paced classes for the majority of the year, so you can start a course or course(s) when you need to and take as little or as much time as you need to complete them (up to one year). Teachers communicate with students and parents through email, messaging, phone, etc.
Are AVS courses easier than the courses in regular high school?
All AVS courses must meet the same Ministry of Education curriculum expectations as regular schools. You should expect the same time commitment as students in a regular high school. Teachers follow the same curriculum and assessment practices. The difference is in having more flexibility in how you can take AVS courses and we may have some courses that are not offered at all high schools. In BC, all 4 credit courses are designed to be about 100-120 hours of instructional time.
How many hours a week should I expect to spend on an online course?
The actual amount will vary depending upon the course, and will be equivalent to the time you would spend in a face-to-face course plus additional time for studying and homework. However, not all of this time will be online. Your time will be spread between course reading, assignments, and discussion board participation. Your teacher will provide you with specific expectations of daily or weekly assignments that you must complete.
Do I have to attend regularly?
Yes, but your attendance commitment is different with AVS. Your attendance is evidenced by your regular contributions to online discussions or email reflections to your teacher and regular logging into our Learning Management System to complete and submit work. Or, in the case of paper-based courses (K-5), regularly turning in work and writing module tests.
Do I have to be online at specific times? What is the schedule and completion time?
We have continuous enrollment and self paced classes for the majority of the year, so you can start a course or course(s) when you need to and take as little or as much time as you need to complete them (up to one year). It takes on average 100-120 hours to complete one of our courses. You will work on your courses at your pace.
When can I start?
Self-paced courses may be started at any time. Most online courses start at the beginning of each semester (early September for September 1 and early February for September 2). We may be able to accept late entries.
How are parents involved?
Students taking secondary school courses usually work independently on their courses in consultation with their teacher. However, home educated children in Kindergarten to Grade 9, often depend upon their parent(s) to structure day-to-day learning. Parents or guardians are expected to provide an email contact and should expect emails from teachers to inform them about how the student is progressing. Parents and guardians can assist students by monitoring time and work completed. Parental help may not be possible in some courses and may bot be required, but play a huge role in helping their child be successful. Note that parental and student emails are only used for school purposes.
How do I know if learning at AVS is right for me?
Distributed learning is not for everyone. Courses require the same amount of work as traditional classes and meet the same course objectives. Some students may actually spend additional time working on a courses taken online because of the amount of reading required to complete assignments. It also takes more self-discipline and dedication to succeed in an online learning environment due to the absence of face-to-face interaction and mandatory physical attendance associated with classroom-based courses. Just like a traditional class, you have to be on top of your studies. You still have to read the textbook and/or other class reading materials; you still have to follow notes, hand in writing assignments on time, and do well on any quizzes or exams you may need to take. In short, virtual learning requires different attitudes, self-motivation, ability to set goals, a degree of experimentation/risk-taking, and time management skills. If you possess these skills, you will do well in a online class.
Students Typically Suited To Online Learning
- They are self-motivated to learn and succeed.
- They are conscientious as the virtual environment put additional responsibility for learning on the shoulders of the student.
- They are happy not dominating class time. A virtual classroom is more democratic than a traditional classroom. The student who dominates a class from the front row is less happy here.
- They are students who enjoy learning, who like to figure things out, and who enjoy independence and reading.
- They need not be a star student. Someone who learns at a slower-than-average pace can also succeed in virtual classes.
- They are students who need scheduling flexibility so they can complete their work at times convenient for them.
Students Typically Not Suited To Online Learning
- The student who doesn't like school for reasons that have to do with learning.
- The student who procrastinates will have difficulty meeting deadlines.
- The student who has a severe disability that hinders reading, for example.
- The student who is placed in an online classroom without wanting to be there will probably fail. In a online classroom, the student has to engage and have initiative.
- The student who take a full class load at a traditional school and participates in lots of extra-curricular activities may think a online class is an easy way to pick up extra credits. This is not the case.
Is online learning for me?
Take this quiz to find out if online learning is for you. Or learn how you can mix and match your education with both classroom and distributed learning courses at the LearnNowBC website.
What are the computer technical requirements I need to take an online course?
- PC users require Windows 10 or newer. Computers should have at least 4 GB of RAM and 100 GB of hard drive space. PCs require a sound card.
- Mac users require MacOSX 10 or better. Computers should have at least 8 GB of RAM and 100 GB of hard drive space.
- High-speed Internet connection is very useful for video streaming and live meetings.
- A built-in or plug-in microphone or headset for live meetings.
Where are you located?
Abbotsford Virtual School is located at 33952 Pine Street in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.
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Can International students take courses through AVS?
Yes, but there is a course fee. Please contact Abbotsford Virtual School for more details at 604.859.9803.
How do I register?
For K-9 programs: Please Contact Us at 604.859.9803 to set up a time to meet with us on-site.
For online courses: Both secondary and adult students can register through our online registration process.
What about students with special needs?
Abbotsford Virtual School welcomes all students and provides individual programs and supports as provided by the B.C. Ministry of Education. Please Contact Us for more details.
How do I find out about Graduation requirements?
Learn more about the Graduation requirements for Secondary students.
Learn more about the Graduation requirements for Adult students.
How do I find out my password if I lost it?
Please contact AVSOffice@abbyschools.ca with an email that lets us know your password is lost and your full name so we can resend it to you. Students cannot change passwords. These are maintained by the system operators.
What is AVS withdrawal policy?
Students who have reached more than 50% of the course completed are not allowed to withdraw. If the student does not complete the remaining items in the course, the student will be assigned a mark based upon all work expected. This may result in a failing grade.
Will I earn course credits at AVS?
We are an accredited public school, following the BC Ministry of Education curriculum guidelines. Our courses will be accepted by post secondary colleges and universities in BC as pre-requisites for program admission.
Is there Teacher support?
Course work is completed online with teacher support through messaging, phone calls or by appointment as needed. Each course or program is supported by a teacher who is a specialist in their grade or subject area.
How to register for online courses?
You can register online at http://abbyvirtual.com/registration/. Submitting ID and proof of address IS REQUIRED TO COMPLETE THIS PROCESS if the student is not currently part of the Abbotsford School District.
A complete list of our courses is available at here.
What kind of computer should have?
If all courses from grade 6 to 12 are online, what kind of computer should I have?
1) Laptop Running Windows 10 - Minimum specs:
- 2+ GHz processor
- 8+ GB RAM
- 128 GB SSD + 1 TB SATA of available hard-disk space OR 256 GB SSD
- 3-button, scroll-wheel mouse.
Recommended but not required: 3D class video card with 1GB of memory or higher and supports hardware acceleration. Please ensure that the video card driver supports OpenGL version 3.0 or higher and is up to date.
2) Chromebook - Minimum Specs:
- 4GB Ram
- 2022+ End of Life, as listed here: https://support.google.com/chrome/a/answer/6220366?hl=en
- Intel Processor
3) Any relatively new Macbook
Where do I find my teacher's contact information?
All AVS courses have a dedicated teacher. Contact Staff