133 pages, 7 x 10
Release Date:01 Aug 2015

Insider’s Guide to K–12 Education in BC

UBC Press, Pacific Educational Press

Provides parents with the information they need to

  • Navigate the school system
  • Make informed decisions
  • Access available resources and support
  • Advocate for their child

Equips educators with the information they need to help parents make the right decisions for their child’s education

Key Questions Answered

  • How does the school system work?
  • What makes a good school good?
  • How do I choose the right school for my child?
  • What program options are available? Which one best suits my child?
  • What if my child needs additional support or interventions?
  • How is my child’s learning assessed and evaluated?
  • What are the requirements for graduation?
  • How can I support my child through school transitions?
  • How can I become involved in my child’s school?
This resource is a comprehensive hands-on guide for both parents and educators to help them navigate and understand the education system in British Columbia. It is very informative about schooling options as well as support for all learners and assessment practices in a user friendly format. It would be a valuable resource for all schools to have. Sandy Magnussen, Parent and Special Education Technology Coordinator, SD46

David Mushens is a vice-principal at École Cariboo Hill Secondary School in School District No. 41 (Burnaby). He has presented workshops to educators and parents on topics such as teaching standards, assessment and evaluation, educational leadership, labour relations, and poverty’s impact on learners. With co-author Faizel Rawji, he has presented workshops on school leadership to Aga Khan Education Services’ headmasters in Kenya. David has published two novels, written commentary for numerous media outlets, and presented a paper to the national conference of the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education.

Faizel Rawji is the principal at Sunnyside Elementary School in School District No. 36 (Surrey). He has served as an advisor for the Premier’s Technology Council and contributed to the BC Education Plan in areas ranging from technology education to healthy living standards. A recipient of Canada’s Outstanding Principals Award and the Surrey Now Community Leader Award, he serves as the president of the Surrey Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association. In addition to his work with co-author David Mushens in Kenya, Faizel has been appointed to the Aga Khan’s national education board, providing strategy and advice for the Ismaili community.

David Starr is the principal of Byrne Creek Community School in School District No. 41 (Burnaby). David has authored a book, From Bombs to Books, that shares the deeply moving stories of refugee students, their parents, and the staff at Edmonds and Byrne Creek Community Schools. He has also written a novel for young adults that will be published in 2016. David has spoken nationally and internationally on issues around community and refugee education. His schools have been featured by numerous media outlets. He is a Vancouver Canuck Community MVP Award winner and a member of the board of directors of Canada Scores Vancouver, a charity dedicated to providing literacy, soccer, and leadership opportunities to inner city youth.

Part 1: How the School System Works

Governance and Administration


How Schools Are Organized

How the School Year Is Organized

The Provincial Curriculum

Part 2: Choosing a School

What Makes a Good School Good?

How to Choose a Public School

How to Enroll Your Child into the Public School of Your Choice

How to Choose an Independent School

How to Enroll Your Child into an Independent School of Your Choice

Part 3: Program and Schooling Options

What Types of Program and Schooling Options Are Available?


Distributed Learning

Francophone School

French Immersion

Other Language Immersion Programs

Community Schools

Advanced Placement Program

International Baccalaureate Program

Aboriginal Education Programs

Arts Programs

Sports Programs

Montessori and Reggio Emilia Programs

Challenge Programs

Multi-Age Cluster Classes

Vocational Programs

Other Programs of Choice

Part 4: Learning Support and Behaviour Interventions

Would Your Child Benefit from Additional Learning Support?

Does Your Child Need English Language Support?

What Can You Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied?

Understanding Interventions or Supports for Behaviour Issues

Part 5: Assessment and Evaluation

The Difference Between Assessment and Evaluation



Parent-Teacher Interviews

Part 6: Frequently Asked Questions

How and When Will Your Child’s Class Placement Be Determined?

What Input Can You Have in Your Child’s Class Placement?

Why Do Schools Have Multi-Grade Classes?

What Makes an Effective Teacher?

What Happens on Professional Development Days?

What Steps Can Help Keep Your Child Safe Online?

How Can You Support Your Child Through School Transitions?

How Can You Communicate Effectively with Your Child’s Teacher?

How Can You Support Your Child’s Learning at Home?

How Can You Become Involved in Your Child’s School?

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