I was asked about how Middle school and High school worked in BC and while I am just starting that journey with Philip here is what I have figured out so far.
First there is a difference between the physical school definition of Middle and High school and the changes to the requirements. The physical appears to be based on capacity of the buildings involved. Currently 7, 8 and 9 are Middle and 10, 11 and 12 are High. That is changing in our school district next year to Middle being 6,7 and 8 and High being 9, 10, 11 and 12. Since we homeschool that doesn’t affect us. The requirements change at grade 8 for Middle and again at grade 10 for High school.
For grade 8 and 9 that just means an elective course added to the usual course load. Of course as a homeschooler I consider most of these to be life skills and have already been teaching them. I am going to do Technology Education by doing some robotics this summer. Grandpa is going to do some woodworking with Philip in the Fall.
“One of the following Applied Skills: Technology Education, Information Technology, Home Economics, or Business Education”
High school becomes even more challenging to figure out. I am going to have to do a lot more research by then. First there are courses that must be done which are the standard core courses but there is also things like Planning 10 and Graduation Transition that must also be completed. The biggest difference is that there is multiple versions of courses. So for example there is: Apprenticeship & Workplace 11, Foundations of Math 11 or Pre-Calculus 11 for Math 11. You also have your sciences divided up into Physics, Chemistry and Biology for 11 and 12.
You need a total of 80 credits with at least 16 being grade 12 courses. There is a lot of elective courses that you can take and you can take them through multiple providers. Some courses have Provincial Exams that are required order to get a Dogwood (BC High school diploma).
As usual day one is a travel day. We started with a 5 hour drive from Kelowna to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen. I used to live there and the name is Salish (local First Nations) for ‘Facing the Ocean’. Unfortunately our schedule had us racing for the ferry since traveling on a holiday Friday could mean long waits. We did watch one ferry pull out without us on it but we did get on the next one.
This was as good as we were expecting and it meant that we got on one of the new ships. What I didn’t know until I Googled it is that we were on the world’s largest double ended ferry. They have a capacity of 370 cars and 1650 people. The car decks were full but without a lot of walk-ons they don’t hit capacity on people. University reading break, then they hit max on everything.
Coming out of the dock we had a great view of Mt Baker in Washington State. I managed to get a shot with another BC Ferry passing underneath. Mt Baker is an active volcano for a volcanologist definition of ‘active’. Basically it can still erupt and is the second most thermally active in the range after Mt Saint Helens.
The ferry had on board a Parks Canada person doing a presentation comparing the various ships that have plied these waters. The first was a Coastal Salish Canoe that could take days or weeks to cross depending on the weather and if they had to stop and camp because of the weather. As you can see from the map there is a lot of open water and even the ferries have had to cancel sailings due to wind.
The second was Captain George Vancouver with his sailing ship. It could make the trip in a day, if the winds were right. We will see more on him when we visit the Royal BC Museum in a few days. He explored and made charts of the coast from Oregon to Alaska.
The third was a steam vessel that could do it in a day but required three days to chop enough wood for the journey. The forth of course was the ferry that we were on and it could do it in one hour, forty minutes with its diesel engines.
As you can see on the map some of the passage get a little narrow. The narrowest one that we have to go through is Active Pass and it happens to be the midpoint of the journey so you pass the ferry coming the other way.
Our campground was about five minutes from the terminal. We got all setup and made tinfoil dinners and banana boats. Normally these would be done in a campfire but due to province wide fire ban we did them on the propane stove. The fire ban is because it is extremely dry and forest fires are a very real threat.