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Frequently Asked Questions: Honours Courses

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What is happening with honours courses?

Remaining Grade 8 honours courses in the District will be phased out beginning in the 2021-22 school year. These courses currently run at two secondary schools. Other than these two schools, honours courses do not exist at any other secondary school in the District as part of regular program offerings.

What are honours courses?

Honours courses are not currently prescribed as part of the curriculum as defined by the Ministry of Education. These courses vary from school to school. For example, some courses may accelerate the pace, while others may provide enrichment opportunities.

Why will the remaining honours courses in the District be phased out?

These classes are not part of the BC Ministry of Education’s Redesigned Curriculum. The District is committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion. By phasing out these classes, all students will have access to an inclusive model of education, and all students will be able to participate in the curriculum. This avoids streaming students, while allowing those students who wish to work ahead to do so.

Will my child be challenged?

Teachers support the diverse needs of all students in their classes through differentiated instruction, and this includes enrichment. All classes provide a rich learning environment. The learning opportunities provided by honours courses continue to exist within general education classes.

Can a student still be awarded honours standing without taking an honours class?

Yes. Honours standing is awarded on the transcript of grades to a graduating student with an outstanding level of achievement with the term “Achievement with Honours.” To be eligible for this designation, a student must:

·      Satisfy all provincial graduation requirements

·      Obtain a higher average than 3.0 in the best 76 credits for required courses and elective credits 

My child took an honours class in the 2020-21 school year, in Grade 8. Will they be able to continue with the honours course next year?

Yes, any student who completed a Grade 8 honours courses will be able to complete the honours course in the 2021-22 school year. All honours courses running in general education in the District will have ended by the start of the 2022-23 school year.

Are honours courses the same as Advanced Placement?

No. The Advanced Placement Program is a cooperative educational endeavour between secondary schools, colleges and universities administered by the College Board. For students willing and able to apply themselves to college-level studies, the AP Program is designed to enrich their secondary experience in a variety of subject areas. It provides the means for colleges to grant credit, advanced placement, or both, to students who have applied themselves successfully in AP subject areas. It is generally senior students taking these courses.

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