Three commendations and no recommendations for improvement: those are the results of the BC Ministry of Education’s inspection of SelfDesign Learning Community for the 2021/22 learning year, which found our SelfDesign to be in compliance with all relevant provincial requirements and standards.

“With this renewed provincial accreditation, SelfDesign can continue operating as a recognized, provincially funded Group 1 Independent School in British Columbia,” says SelfDesign Learning Community Principal Catherine Dinim.

One of the commendations the inspectors made was for our exceptional course completion rate in grades 10 to 12.

“Over the last few years, 95 per cent of learners who began our grade 10 to 12 courses successfully completed those courses,” Catherine says. “In contrast, the provincial average for online courses for 2019/2020 about 65 per cent.”

We were also commended for our ongoing and deepening commitment to reconciliation. SelfDesign continues to actively seek out and strengthen connections to our Indigenous education offerings led now by Amber Santos, and to engage more deeply with our learners to support relationships with elders and traditional knowledge keepers in the learners’ home communities.

“That these efforts were commended this year shows how much work we have undertaken in the last 18 months,” Catherine says. In our last inspection, which took place in November 2020, inspectors recommended that we work to find more ways to support our learners, families, and educators to engage intentionally with First Peoples’ Principles of Learning.

“The inspectors also commended us on our use of data and metrics to plan strategically and to improve our programs and offerings,” Catherine says. “We are always looking for opportunities to learn and improve our offerings. We have made collecting and analyzing data about our learners’ and families’ engagement levels a key part of that process.”

“Like all independent schools in the province, SelfDesign must meet rigorous requirements under British Columbia legislation in order to continue operating,” says SelfDesign Chief Learning Officer Nikki Kenyon. Every two years, provincial officials evaluate SelfDesign to ensure our programs and processes meet the requirements of B.C.’s Independent School Act and regulations, as well as the province’s educational standards and outcomes set out for independent online learning schools in B.C. In alternate years, including this learning year, the Ministry conducts a monitoring inspection.

Inspection teams are comprised of principals from other independent schools with experience and clear understanding of the compliance requirements, working alongside the inspector of independent schools or their designate. In late-2019, the Ministry invited Nikki to join its school inspection team. She participated in the inspection of four B.C. online schools.

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