FAQ'S: TRUTH VS MYTH
It's time to activate the truth, debunk some myths, and address any sticky ideas surrounding 7S and blended learning. GET the facts. HAVE an opinion. MAKE up your own mind!
#1 Is 7S just for athletes?
We don’t make fish climb trees. We take you as you are. Athlete or not.
We stoke passions, we empower youth, we celebrate the enjoyment of life, we help students tap into their creativity, we enable them to be co-authors in their own education, and we encourage them to set goals and pursue their dreams. Some are athletes. Many are not. Every individual has a different strength and gift. We actively help them discover and explore what that is or maximize what they already know. Whether the passion is to act, dance, paint, ski, kite surf, skate, get big air, or travel the world, we ignite the spark, provide personalized support and a unique flexibility that you just can’t find anywhere else. From the ordinary to the extraordinary, from the next literary sensation to the one who struggles with the written word, from those who just don’t get it to the next math prodigy, from the ones that need a lift to fly and those who are already in the air, we educate according to need and pace. From the beginning, students learn their creative, sporting and personal joys and passions are equally as important as their academics, so that they can participate actively in the world and take joy in contributing instead of just consuming facts and figures.
We attract students who are DRIVEN TO LEARN, FOCUSED, DETERMINED, and MOTIVATED TO SUCCEED, and who want a flexible education, which means that athletes are often attracted to our self- directed style of education. They don’t have to compromise on their studies, don’t get behind on work, can work ahead if they need to, can strike the right balance between work and life and can use our ‘Flexible Fridays’ to train, travel, compete, get ahead or catch up on their academics.
#2 What is Seven Summits?
We are not a school, but an Educational Centre which provides an exceptional high school education. We are a non-profit, registered charity. That means no one is making money from this! We are partnered with an AWARD-WINNING distance learning school — SD71’s NAVIGATE NIDES. All courses meet BC graduation requirements and are delivered through the BC public school district at no cost to local or BC students. We do charge a facility fee that pays for our administrative staff and overhead costs.
#3 What is blended learning?
Academic courses and electives are delivered by BLENDING traditional learning styles with innovative ones. Courses are provided by the award-winning SD71’s NAVIGATE NIDES and they meet BC graduation requirements. We take the best of both worlds, online and face-to-face learning, and blend them together to create a highly flexible, self-directed, personalized program. Students access their SD71 courses online during independent study blocks. They can monitor their progress, work through the content at their own pace and submit assignments ALL ONLINE. There are teacher-mandated deadlines, but students can communicate with teachers to adjust deadlines as needed. Students at 7S are also fully supported in traditional classrooms by teachers who are physically present, providing individual and targeted support throughout the day. Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Math, English, Science, Precalculus, Social Studies and Career Education are all subjects delivered by our BC qualified teachers in our learning centre, in traditional ‘lesson time’. Physical Education blocks make full use of our external facilities – in our Rossland gym and in the great outdoors. Guided by community mentors, individual projects can be tailored to interests, aspirations and future careers. Regular workshops deliver art, drama and music and we make full use of the experts and industries in our community to provide a rich, ever-evolving curriculum which exceeds expectations and meets individual needs.
#4 What does a typical day look like for a 7S student?
Students have a timetable according to their grade, subject and elective choices. They attend school between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Thursday. They enjoy a 15-minute break (10:10 to 10:25 a.m.) and can use our kitchen and communal areas at lunch time (11:35 a.m. to 12:35 p.m.) to rest and socialize. The longer school days from Monday to Thursday enable us to close the Centre on Fridays, allowing students more time to pursue their own passions.
Some sample timetables:
#5 If you offer a public school curriculum, why is there a facility fee?
Ministry funding pays for our SD71 teachers and the curriculum ONLY. It does not pay for the building, utilities or the administration to run the Centre.
The facility fee, combined with our fundraising monies, also covers a portion of the associated costs for the multitude of various trips and activities that students benefit from throughout the year.
#6 What are your facility and curriculum fees?
Current facility fees are included on our registration form HERE under the payment plan section. LOCAL full-time students, not affiliated to any of our sports partners, ONLY pay a facility fee. No SD71 curriculum fee is required.
For guidance only, the 2020/21 facility fee is $2,450 CAD (Full time, full academic year, 7-10 courses; A local student lives in the Rossland catchment area, lives at home and does not require a homestay family).
This includes a refundable Volunteer Fee of $250 CAD which is returned to parents who volunteer more than 20 hours to the centre by the end of each academic year.
Please inquire about shorter terms, family discounts and Financial Aid (available for qualified local students). Ask for BC student (lives outside the Rossland catchment area and requires a homestay family), Canadian student (lives outside British Columbia, but within Canada, and requires a homestay family), and International student rates (lives outside Canada, and requires a homestay family). Homestay fees are always extra.
PLEASE CONTACT TANIS SHIPPY AT THE CENTRE FOR ALL FACILITY AND CURRICULM FEES FOR BC, CANADIAN, AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: firstname.lastname@example.org
#7 Is it really competitive to get into? Do I have to apply?
Our student capacity is 60 at our current site but all applicants are judged on their individual merit and needs before being accepted.
The application/interview process provides a clear picture and understanding of how a blended model is different from a traditional model, as well as expectations of the student and family. It gives all parties an opportunity to ask questions and feel confident in their decision to attend.
#8 Can my child attend 7S if they have an IEP (Individual Education Plan)?
Currently we do not receive Ministry of Education funding to provide the necessary support which is crucial for students with Individual Learning Plans to flourish. We sincerely hope this changes in the future so that they can join our fully inclusive learning family.
#9. Will I have to do everything on my own? What support is there?
Seven Summits operates on a blended-learning model, which means there is both face-to-face time with our teachers, as well as time to work on the online subjects on your own.
Student progress is monitored throughout the year and courses are set up on a semester system. However, students are welcome to work ahead or through individual plans if they need longer to complete courses.
Grades 8 and 9 are more structured than higher grades. As students acquire independent, self-directed learning skills, they can progress with a less-structured framework through grades 10 to 12 as long as timeframes, deadlines and learning outcomes are being met. This model helps to make transitioning to post-secondary education and the workplace seamless.
#10 Why should I go to Seven Summits instead of another school?
So. Many. Reasons! If you want to love your high school education, turn them into the best years of your life, use every Friday to pursue your own personal adventures, are future-thinking in your approach to learning and demand a schedule that is highly flexible and tailored to you, come and give us a visit or shadow one of our students. WHY 7S?: READ HERE!
#11. Will I be able to get the courses I need?
Yes, SD71’s course selection is extensive and covers all the necessary COURSES for university entrance. Work experience courses are available for 18-year-old students who are following an adult diploma route. Independent study courses (IDS) are also available and encouraged for students in grades 10-12. (IDS courses can be in any area of interest or study).
#12 Do only students who can work independently attend Seven Summits?
The Grade 8 and 9 schedule looks similar to that of a traditional school. With our support, students become confident learners who can manage their time effectively and become accountable for their own education. In Grades 10 to 12 their independence increases each year, so someone coming in those grades can still pick up the independent skills, just in a shorter timeframe.
#13 Do Seven Summits students spend all their time doing online courses? Why not just home-school if that’s the case?
Students who attend Seven Summits receive a blended model of face-to-face learning taught by BC certified teachers and online interactive learning. We are like a family, with opportunities you can’t find anywhere else.
#14 What about competitive sports? Are there basketball, hockey and soccer teams?
Due to our small size we do not currently offer sports teams. However, we do offer a rich variety of sports in our extra-curricular activities, trips and PE lessons, such as mountain biking, rock climbing, golf, curling, cross-country skiing and tennis. Free Avalanche training to gain AST1 accreditation is provided too (courtesy of Kootenay Avalanche Courses) and many of our student body are members of competitive sports clubs and teams. Students also have the opportunity to join teams for sports in local brick-and-mortar schools, as per BC Sports in Schools rules.
#15 Is there arts and music instruction?
7S students can benefit from art, drama, choir and Ukele workshops. Many other types of music and extra-curricular instruction are also offered based on individual student interest and community support. As part of their Rite of Passage experience (ROPE Projects) our grade 8 and 9 students choose a passion project to work on during the year with the help of a community mentor. Many have unleashed their creativity, artistic flair and musical talents by learning a new instrument, doing photography, sewing, singing, painting, hairdressing, pottery, acting, dance, art, and even learning how to impress with ‘drag’ make-up skills!
#16 What courses are available for grades 10 to 12?
Our educational partner, SD71 NAVIGATE NIDES offers the full BC curriculum as well as a full range of electives at the high school level.
#17 Do all the students have to be in the Red Mountain Academy?
No, not at all. We have students who participate with our other partners, Kootenay Danceworks and Black Jack Ski Club, and many students who aren’t affiliated with any athletic academy at all.
#18 Can students take some courses at RSS or Crowe, and some at Seven Summits?
Preference will be given to full-time students, but if there is space, grade 10 to 12 students can cross-enroll.
#19 Are there regular hours or can students come and go as they please?
Students are expected to be at the centre during scheduled hours, unless given parental permission to work elsewhere. Academy students have extended days so that they can spend part of their days training.
#20 Are teachers or other supervisors at the centre all the time that students are there?
#21 What about holidays and Pro-D days?
Because of our FREE FRIDAYS, we do not have Pro D Days as such, as the centre is already closed on Fridays. We do observe stat holidays, and our winter and spring breaks are usually the same as our local School District (SD20). However, as SD71's Navigate NIDES is our educational partner, our centre follows the dates set by School District 71. You can access SD71's annual Calendar HERE
#22 What is your policy on the use of mobile phones during the school day?
We are currently reviewing our policy on the use of mobile phones in the learning centre in order to cut down on screen time and encourage students to talk to each other the old-fashioned way and perfect the art of conversation outside the realm of social media. We’ll keep you posted! Currently, cell phone possession and use in class time is determined by each teacher depending upon course structure. Read all about our consultation with parents HERE in the Rossland News.
#23 How do I get more information on registering my child at Seven Summits?