Argyll Centre

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The Argyll Centre is "...an Edmonton Public School in Alberta, Canada, with campuses in Calgary and Lethbridge, that provides distance learning for Elementary, Junior High and High School in both online and offline programs, as well as acting as a facilitator and curriculum resource centre for homeschooling families."

Students can choose to study solely to the Alberta Program of Studies (APS) - either the full annual course load or a few courses at a time - or to blend APS with other programmes of study (providing this meets the provincial Home Education Regulation).

Its website is http://argyll.epsb.ca/www/index.php

Further information

The Argyll Centre is (in relative terms) well-established having developed from the genesis of an experiment in the mid 1990s when a number of Edmonton Public Schools investigated the implications of students having access to 24/7 learning. The Centre formally dates from 1997.

The Argyll Centre offers a variety of home-based and face-to-face, on-site, education options to students throughout Alberta. There appears to be a strong emphasis on parental engagement (or, more accurately, involvement) to the extent that in some programmes the parent is the primary educator for parts of the course(s) and the teacher for others.

Live Online is a constructivist-based approach which combines parent-teacher-pupil triad with synchronous (live) virtual classroom, asynchronous (access anytime) learning tools and spaces, and the home environment. It allows students to set and follow a self-paced, individualized program. Live Online is for Grades 1-9 and aspires to "...construct social learning communities." Students learn in "...multi-graded, cross-curricular learning cohorts."

At the heart of the Argyll Centre's menu is the online programme Learn Net (for Grades 4 to 12) which Argyll Centre describes as

"...a teacher directed, online delivery strategy. Students in both elementary and junior high LearnNet programs are assigned a teacher. Students in High School are assigned a teacher advisor for each subject. Students registered in the LearnNet program can expect teacher to provide yearly and monthly plans to support learning and time management. In consultation with parents and students, adjustments can be made to help meet individual needs."

Students can select to combine online and offline, on-site and off-site or homebased study to suit their circumstances (Blended Education). However, to qualify as blended, at least 50% of the program for grades 1-9 and at least 20% for grades 10-12, must be teacher directed instruction that follows the Alberta Program of Study. The rest of the program may be Home Education that meets the Home Education Regulation.

Other strands include the Alternative High School and the eTourism programme - a semestered "...online program which blends high school tourism credit courses, work/volunteer experience, and Canadian Travel and Tourism (CATT) industry certification." The full range of High School courses offered in 2011-12 is contained in the Argyll Centre High School Guide.

In 2006 Argyll Centre was said to have had supported over 5,000 students through Grades 1-12. More contemporary figures are being sought and will be added when identified.

References


> Alberta
> Canada
> Virtual schools
> VISCED