How our kindergarten to Grade 12 program works

Our kindergarten to grade 12 educational program places your child at the centre of their learning journey with support and resources to help them succeed every step along the way.
With over one-third of our learners at SelfDesign® Learning Community having special needs, we integrate our support services into every grade level of our kindergarten to grade 12 program and offer significant support for learners with special needs, whatever their age or ability.
We provide learners with Indigenous learning opportunities so they can understand the world and its relations through a framework of Indigenous wisdom and philosophy.
Our integrative and inclusive program is funded by the B.C. Ministry of Education and Child Care as a Group 1 Independent Online Learning School.
You have access to the SelfDesign Learning Experiences Library, a dynamic collection of resources, questions, suggestions and inspirations sparked by the curiosity of our learners and offered in integrated interest-based experiences.
From kindergarten to grade 12, your child and you work one-on-one with a B.C. certified educator who will support your child in achieving their goal of completion in a way that best suits them – B.C. Certificate of Graduation (Dogwood Diploma), Adult Graduation Diploma or School Completion (Evergreen) Certificate.
Out of province learners can enrol in our kindergarten to grade 12 program, including residents of the United States, through our partnership with Cognia. For more information, please send a message to

Our support services are for learners with special needs.
They are integrated into every grade level.


What to expect in each grade


From kindergarten to Grade 7, we have developed a B.C. certified educational program that allows the unique spirit of your child to evolve naturally, today and into the future. Our offerings speak both to the playful spirit of the child and the emerging maturity of the young person.

  • You and your child work with a B.C. certified educator to create a personalized learning plan that maps your child’s interests and curiosities, specifying resources and activities that will be used to facilitate learning and meet B.C. educational requirements.
  • You’ll work one-on-one directly with your educator, who will guide you through your child’s learning plan. As your child grows older, their direct relationship with the educator grows as well.
  • Grade 6-7: additional offerings include optional drop-in real-time meetings which are playful, low-pressure opportunities for your child to enter into a collaborative online learning environment, to develop foundational skills to support them in their growing independence as an online learner at SelfDesign.
  • Grades 8-9: In addition to live offerings, learners have access to a variety of resources and prompts for artifact creation available throughout the learning year through the SelfDesign learning platform which will support them as they move into their highschool grades.

How we assess learning

At SelfDesign Learning Community, we assess our learners based on competencies. Because our kindergarten to Grade 12 program is based on competency, we assess learning not through reporting, but through what we call “Observing for Learning”. Our B.C. certified educators participate in an ongoing weekly conversation with you and your child. This type of communication and dialogue is led by your educator.

In the Observing for Learning process, you observe and reflect on your child’s learning during that week which includes describing learning activities as well as the learner’s engagement or emotional response. Your educator responds, reflects and shares in observing, and also matches your child’s learning with B.C. Ministry of Education requirements, from kindergarten to Grade 12.


GRADES 8 – 9

Grade 8 and 9 at SelfDesign Learning Community follows a similar program to kindergarten to Grade 7 with the addition of workshops that are either theme-related or personal development-related:

  • Workshops that are either theme-related or personal development-related:
    • These drop-in workshops offer playful, low-pressure opportunities for your child to enter into a collaborative online learning environment, to develop foundational skills, and to interact with the curriculum through the themes.
    • Your child can participate in the workshops as observers or actively participate in sharing stories, laughter, and sharing perspectives on their themes.
  • In grades 8 and 9, your child will start to take on more responsibilities, engage in deeper Observing for Learning with their educator, and may explore connections with their peers online. These Observing for Learning communications provide evidence of learning that is validated by the educator for academic credit, and create rich documentation for your child and your family about the breadth of learning that has occurred over the year.
  • You and your child will start to look towards grades 10 to 12 and what path to completion may suit them best.
  • Learning takes place in a variety of environments — at home and in communities as well as in SelfDesign-organized offerings, from camps to community events to online forums and special interest groups (optional).

Grades 10-12

  • Grade 10 to 12 learning follows B.C.’s new curriculum, and SelfDesign Learning Community’s personalized learning approach.
  • We support your child in achieving their goal of completion in the way that best suits them, whether it’s their B.C. Certificate of Graduation (Dogwood Diploma), Adult Graduation Diploma or School Completion (Evergreen) Certificate.
    • The B.C. Certificate of Graduation (Dogwood Diploma) is awarded to students who successfully complete the provincial graduation requirements. Students require a minimum of 80 credits to graduate. – B.C. Ministry of Education
    • The British Columbia Adult Graduation Diploma (BCAGD), also known as the “Adult Dogwood” is for adult learners (18 and older) who want to take courses in order to complete high school and obtain their adult high school diploma. – B.C. Ministry of Education
    • The School Completion (“Evergreen”) Certificate is intended to celebrate success in learning that is not recognized in a Certificate of Graduation (Dogwood Diploma).It is used to recognize the accomplishments of students with special needs and an Individual Education Plan, who have met the goals of their education program, other than graduation (and not all students with special needs should be in an Evergreen Certificate Program.)The Evergreen Certificate is not a graduation credential; students who receive an Evergreen have not graduated. It is important that students and their parents clearly understand that the Evergreen represents the completion of personal learning goals but does not represent graduation. – B.C. Ministry of Education

Learners have the same opportunities to graduate as learners in brick-and-mortar (traditional classroom-based) schools. Your child can apply to post-secondary institutions to further their education and work toward a future professional career.

  • Courses are grouped and integrated into a theme, which is a subject your child is interested in such as Travel and Adventure, Storytelling, or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math)
    • All Grade 10 themes include the core courses required for the Dogwood graduation diploma. Themes are interest-based experiences where the course content is delivered through the lens of the chosen interest.
    • Grade 11 and 12 themes are more diverse and flexible than Grade 10, so learners can begin to personalize their path to graduation, while still engaging in interest-based learning.
    • Grade 12 learners can chart their path to graduation (and personalized post-secondary admissions requirements) with a combination of theme and add-on course choices.
  • Grade 10 to 12 learning includes 20-plus hours of course-based learning each week, which includes 17-plus hours of coursework, one hour of weekly connection with an educator, and two hours of connection with a learning specialist, who facilitates the learner’s courses and themes.
  • There are many possibilities for your child to connect with peers through group-based learning and participate in in-person camps throughout the province during the year.
  • Learners in grades 10 and 11 create a Personal Challenge Project – a passion-lead project with their personal interests as the focus. Learners in Grade 12 create a Capstone project, a year-long personal project about their interests.
  • In Grade 12, your child can participate in the year-end commencement celebration.

Our information packages

Kindergarten – Grade 9

Grades 10 – 12


What a calendar year looks like

Check out some important dates throughout the learning year.

There are no upcoming events at this time

Parents/guardians are vital members of the learning team at SelfDesign

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