PACeS Handbook

The following document is long – however, all students of PACeS and their parents or guardians are expected to abide by the policies and procedures outlined here. As such, please take the time to carefully read each section and let us know if you have any questions.

Table of Contents

SECTION 1a: The School
SECTION 1b: Home Education
SECTION 2: Is Online Learning Right for You?
SECTION 3: Admissions and Finances
SECTION 4: Financial Policies
SECTION 5: Academic Policies
SECTION 6: General Information
SECTION 7: Alberta Conference of SDA Student Code of Conduct

SECTION 1a: The School

Welcome
Welcome to Prairie Adventist Christian eSchool (PACeS). We offer K-12 Adventist Christian Education online with direct teacher contact wherever you are. PACeS is an exciting opportunity for Adventist students living in and outside of Alberta. Each year we will grow in our relationship with each other and learn in many exciting ways.

Communication is the key to succeeding in the online learning community. The most important thing you can do as you progress through the learning activities is to communicate with other students and your teachers. All students are required to participate in live web conference sessions and to take advantage of available resources. We will work with email, phone, website and fax to communicate.

The phone number to use during normal office hours is: 403.848.3165
The fax number is 877.300.8843
The e-mail address (for general inquiries) is principal@pacescanada.org.

What is PACeS?
Prairie Adventist Christian eSchool (PACeS) is one of several online schools in the province of Alberta. These schools can be public schools or independent schools under the direction of the Alberta Ministry of Education. All students must meet the Alberta learning outcomes for their prescribed grade. PACeS is licensed and accredited by the provincial government. PACeS offers programs and courses that have been developed by the North American Division of the SDA church and are augmented by direct teacher input in support of the K-12 Alberta curriculum.

History
Founded in 2007, Prairie Adventist Christian eSchool is part of the Seventh-Day Adventist(SDA) educational system. The SDA educational system is the largest Protestant Christian education system in the world and has been in existence for over a century. We will draw on this experience and combine that with new technology to enable us to bring you Adventist Christian education no matter where you live. Given the SDA education philosophy of recognizing the role of parents as the primary educators of their children, this school will be a natural fit. It makes sense that Distance Learning be offered to SDA parents, because many see the need of an Adventist component in their home program.

Mission Statement
We will provide a quality personalized Seventh-day Adventist education based on the needs of each student. We will work with families to encourage and motivate students to reach their full potential academically, spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Philosophy
Prairie Adventist Christian eSchool (PACeS) is operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church to provide a spiritually oriented education for children. A belief in the existence of the Creator God is fundamental in the philosophy of Seventh-day Adventist schools. We respect His divine authority and recognize His intervention in human affairs. We believe that true education develops the spiritual, mental, and physical powers of each student; preparing them for the joy of service in this life and for the higher joy of service in the life to come. To achieve this goal, we encourage each student to:

• Develop a personal relationship with God and his fellow men as stated in Matthew 2:37-39
• Master the basic academic skills
• Value labor, physical and mental, as the blessing God intended
• Cultivate physical fitness, mental ability, and moral purity as the blessing God intended.

PACeS operates in harmony with the guidance and direction of the Alberta Conference Office of Education.

Parent Involvement
As the parent of an online learner, regular involvement in the educational process is essential. The success of the student is significantly affected by the cooperation between parents, students and teachers.

Return to top of page

SECTION 1b: Home Education

In Alberta, home education(parent-directed) is an option with a facilitator doing home visits twice a year. This is a great option if you like being in charge of your child’s education.

The Government of Alberta provides some funding for families that are under the Home Education Regulation (parent-directed program) and enrolled with PACeS by September 30th. Please see the Financial Policies section for details.

Return to top of page

SECTION 2: Is Online Learning Right for You?

One of the advantages of learning with PACeS is the ability to attend school from anywhere, but online learning can be a lot more challenging than it may seem. It is extremely important to have a realistic idea of what it will take to be a successful online learner. The following items will help you determine if you have the skills and prerequisites needed to take online courses with PACeS.

Perseverance
Successful online learners need to deal with and solve technical issues, seek help when necessary, work daily on their classes, and persist through learning challenges.

Time Management
Time management is a skill which must be learned and practiced. Once learned, it will benefit you throughout the rest of your life in many different areas. Working daily (M-F) on your classes, reviewing material, studying textbooks and other resources, making notes, and completing assignments all take time – and if that time is not scheduled, it will be difficult to find. Set specific times for studying when you avoid non-study related websites and distractions.

Communication Skills
We are here to help you succeed. If there are issues, please let us know so we can help as much as we are able. Email is our primary means of communicating with students and parents, but we need to hear back from you as well.

Basic Technical skills and Access to a Computer Connected to the Internet
Students and/or parent/guardian will need to know how to send and receive email, use a browser to visit websites, create new documents, open files, use a word processing program, print and scan documents. You will also need to be able to solve(or get help solving) problems involving your computer hardware and/or software.

Motivation and Independence
In order to be successful you must first want to succeed. Online learning requires independence, motivation, responsibility, and a certain level of maturity. No one can force you to learn. If you do not take the steps necessary for success, online school will be very difficult.

A Good Study Environment
It is crucial that you have space to study and attend class with no distractions. Do not try to work near the TV or where other people might distract you. It is also important to not distract yourself – close other websites, social media, etc. during your class and study time. Make sure you have a seat/desk that is comfortable without being overly relaxing.

Exams and Tests
As in any other school, tests and exams are part of the educational process at PACeS. Not only do they help teachers assess students’ progress, they help prepare students to take the Diploma exams in Grade 12. Diploma exams must be taken to receive an Alberta high school diploma and the scores are required by Canadian post-secondary institutions.

Because teachers cannot supervise students and their environment during testing, help from parents/guardians is necessary. Supervision means receiving and printing the test and ensuring that the student does not access prohibited materials such as notes, books, devices, or websites(other than an online exam) and that the test is taken with the time limits and before any deadlines. This requires a commitment of time and effort on the part of both the parent and the student.

Preparing for exams is crucial for student success, and begins on the first day of classes. In the past, those students who have actively and faithfully taken notes, been involved in classes, and studied beyond just homework have done well on tests. Those who have done only the minimum amount of work have not done well. Also, having a quiet place free of distractions for studying, classes, and test-taking is necessary.

Previous Factors
What helped you have success in your previous schooling? How can you transfer those strengths to online schooling? What made your previous schooling difficult? How can you avoid the same issues in online schooling?

Technology Requirements
In order for you to be a part of the online learning adventure it is necessary to have a computer with Internet connection (high speed), to which you can download and install software. Tablets and smartphones do not have all the capabilities necessary for the online program. You will also need a headset with microphone, webcam, and printer/scanner. These components will enable you to enjoy many learning opportunities and to communicate with your teacher and classmates. As we use Google Apps for Education, you will find your school activities generally run more smoothly if you use Google Chrome as your web browser.

Email
Once accepted and registered with PACeS, students will receive their own pacescanada.org email address which must be checked regularly and used to communicate with teachers. In order for successful communication, at least one parent or guardian must also have a working email address that is checked frequently. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to ensure emails from the school and/or teachers are not ending up in junk mail. Copies of all emails sent to the student account will be forwarded to the parent/guardian account. Students should not be able to access the parent email account.

Return to top of page

SECTION 3: Admission and Financial Information

Entrance Criteria
Applications are accepted at any time, however, students may only join classes at the beginning of the Semester (9-12) or Term (K-8, Terms 1-3). Applications must be submitted using the form on our website (new students or returning students). All required documents must be submitted at the time of application.

Kindergarten Age
Students applying for Kindergarten must be 5 years of age before March 1 of the school year for which they are applying.

Residency
Our online program is available to students regardless of location. Tuition is free for Alberta residents. Non-Alberta rates can be found on the financial policies(link) page. Alberta families under the Home Education Regulation(parent-directed) also have the option of registering with PACeS.

Courses
PACeS provides the core courses and a variety of elective courses which allow students the opportunity to fulfill the requirements of obtaining a Grade 12 Alberta High school diploma.

Determining which course a student enters will depend on availability in the course, the student needs, and completion of prerequisites determined by Alberta Education.

Our K-12 courses are based on Alberta Education Curriculum Guidelines. All students are entered into the Alberta Education Student Database system and final grades appear on student transcripts.
High School Diploma Credit Requirements
The credit requirements for completing an Alberta High School Diploma are set by Alberta Education and can be found here.

Diploma Exams (30 level classes)
Students taking 30 level (gr. 12) classes must write the Diploma Exam(s) for each course in order to receive credit. The Diploma exam will comprise 30% of their final mark for the course. More information from Alberta Education can be found here.

Alberta residents will write their Diploma exams at the centre closest to them. Non-Alberta residents will write at a Special Testing Centre in accordance with the following document.

Return to top of page

SECTION 4: Financial Policies

Textbooks
All textbooks must be returned by July 31st immediately following the end of school. Any books not returned will result in replacement costs being charged.

Alberta Residents

Tuition
There are no tuition fees for students enrolled in our K-12 online (teacher-directed) program by September 30th. Textbooks are also provided free of charge, though some workbooks may need to be purchased. Alberta students registering in the online program after September 30th will be charged “Non-Alberta Residents” tuition rates and conditions.

Receipting Policy
Alberta Home Education funding is only available to Families that are under the Home Education Regulation (parent-directed program) and enrolled with PACeS by September 30th. Reimbursements are processed beginning October 1st. The last day to submit receipts is June 15th of the current school year. The Funding Claim Form must also be filled out and submitted with receipts.

In keeping with Alberta Education guidelines, unused funding can no longer roll over to the next school year. All funds and receipts must be aligned with the educational plan for each specific school year.

Home Education Reimbursement Standards
Summary of Significant Changes 2017-18
Funding Claim Form (printable .pdf)
Funding Claim Form (editable spreadsheet)

Non-Alberta Residents

Annual Tuition Rates (2017-18)

Grade Canadian International
K-3 $1530 $1630
4-6 $1600 $1700
7-9 $2080 $2180
10-12 $2600 $2700
Single Class $500 $600

 

Family Discount
First/Second Child: Full Rate
Third/Fourth Child: Half Rate

Textbooks:
Tuition fees also include most textbooks. Some workbooks may need to be purchased.

Outstanding Tuition
Tuition fees must be paid by the 15th of each month (September to June). The previous year’s tuition must be paid in full before students can register for a new school year. In order to remain enrolled with PACeS, account must be paid in full prior to the end of the current term. The account must be paid in full before school documents will be released.

Forms
Man-Sask PACeS Subsidy Policy and Application

(must be submitted to Man-Sask Conference and PACeS before September 15th of the current school year)

Return to top of page

SECTION 5: Academic Policies

Attendance
If a student is going to be absent, he/she is required to notify his/her teacher as well as the administrator 24 hours in advance, unless it is an emergency.

Students are expected to watch the class recording as soon as possible. While PACeS expects students to watch missed class recordings, it is not a substitute for being in class.

If a student accumulates more than 8 total absences or 3 unexcused absences per class, his/her enrolment in the class will be jeopardized and reviewed by academic council.

Participation
Students will be considered present only if they participate in class discussions and answer questions when addressed. If a student fails to do this they will be marked absent for that class period. During class sessions, students should not participate in any activities that are not class-related.

Tardiness
Students are required to be in class on time. Three (3) unexcused tardies equal one (1) absence in his/her attendance record.

Travel
It is understood that PACeS allows some freedom of travel for families, but every attempt should be made to attend classes whenever possible. If attendance will be uncertain, students must make arrangements with their teachers a minimum of one week prior to their intended travel. These arrangements are the student’s responsibility. Students should attempt to complete as much work as possible prior to the trip.

Academic Dishonesty
For the first offense of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, etc.), the student will receive a mark of zero, with no chance to redo the assignment. If a second offense occurs, a letter of notice will be put into the student’s file and their continued enrolment in the class will be reviewed by academic council.

Supervision: Parents/Guardians are responsible for supervision of students, online or otherwise, at all times.

Assignments (Gr. 4-12)
Assignments are posted on a regular basis in Google Classroom, Moodle and PowerSchool. Students are required to check daily in order to keep up with assignments. Late assignments and tests will only be accepted if prior arrangements have been made with the teacher. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the teacher well in advance of the due date if an extension is needed.

Portfolios (Kindergarten)
If an extension is needed past the due date the extension form must be submitted.

Technical difficulties
If you are experiencing technical difficulties and are unable to attend class you are expected to contact your teacher or the principal and let them know.

Add/Drop Dates
The last day to add a class (Gr. 9-12) is 1 week after the first day of class. In order to add or drop a class it must be approved by the teacher, high school administrator and parent/guardian.

Valedictorian requirements
– Full-time enrollment with PACeS.
– Enrolled in level (1) courses (e.g. – Socials 30-1, Math 30-1, etc.)
– Minimum grade average of 85% with no grade lower than 70%.
– Grade average to be calculated based on 30 level classes only.

Transcripts
Final grades are submitted to the Alberta Education system of student records. These grades appear on student transcripts which can be ordered by the student using the MyPass website.

Return to top of page

SECTION 6: General Information

Planning for Success (Students and Parents)
Online learning with PACeS can be a very rewarding experience if you are willing to plan for success. Without a plan and commitment to it by both students and parents, you will not succeed. Here are some suggestions:
1. Schedule your time.
2. Eliminate distractions.
3. Communication is key – contact your teachers regularly.
4. Organize your work.
5. Ask for help.
6. Stick to your schedule.
7. Never give up!

Assignments
Teachers use a variety of platforms and methods to help students learn. Each teacher will have detailed information on assignments – what to do, when to do it, how and where to submit it. Keeping up with assignments is an important part of the learning process.

Student Progress/Grades
Each course has learning objectives listed. Further information can be found at Alberta Education. Grades indicate the student’s mastery of the learning objectives for each course. It is necessary for the student to frequently check their grades, assignment scores, and feedback from the teacher. If grades/feedback indicate that more study is necessary to improve understanding of some learning objectives, ensure that time and effort are spent reviewing those areas. If you have a question about your progress, email your teacher.

Parents should also keep tabs on their child’s progress and performance. Grades are available anytime in PowerSchool, and are updated regularly. If assignments are missing, or you have questions about your child’s grade, please contact the teacher.

Digital Responsibility
– Presenting content that is not your work must include credit to the original author.
– Sharing thoughts and ideas makes the Internet a better, more useful place.
– Students are encouraged to share and interact with others online in a respectful manner.

Communication
– Dialogue and interaction are encouraged in the online environment.
– Appropriate language is expected in the online course environment.
– Comments and dialogue should be positive and respectful of others.

Personal Information Privacy Policy
PACeS will ensure that student information is handled and stored securely and will not be disclosed outside the school, unless required by law.

Return to top of page

SECTION 7: Alberta Conference Student Code of Conduct

The revised Alberta Conference Student Code of Conduct will be posted here once it has been published.

Return to top of page