City School Vancouver :: FAQ
City School, Vancouver, B.C.
Because there's more out there.

Can I go to university if I graduate from City School?

You can if you choose the prerequisite courses, and achieve a high enough mark in them.

What courses are offered?

Every year we offer the basics. In Grade 10 they are English, Science, Social Studies, Foundations & Pre-Calculus Mathematics or Apprenticeship & Workplace Mathematics, Planning and P.E.

In Grade 11, the basics are English,  Socials, Pre-Calculus Mathematics, Apprenticeship & Workplace Mathematics and a science.

In Grade 12, they are English and Graduation Transitions.

What non-basic courses are planned for 2017-2018?
We're not sure yet.  It will depend on what the majority of our students are interested in.

How do I get marks for a course if there are no classes?

We do have classes from time to time in most subjects, some more than others.  Math classes are the most regular, and your mark is based on a blend of practice work, quizzes  and tests.

In English, you’ll make a comprehensive self-evaluation to establish a baseline at the beginning of the course, and then plan with your advisor how to improve where you need to. There will be minimum requirements for reading and writing, and opportunities to form book groups for novels, hold seminars for poetry, make and attend presentations, put on scenes from plays, etc.

In some courses you’ll present a portfolio at each reporting time, and your teacher will evaluate it.

Big projects will have aspects that count in more than one course. You might interview a political candidate (a social studies topic) and write an article about it (an English topic).  Students or teachers may initiate projects.

Do I write the provincial exams?

Yes, for English 12. You’ll get lots of opportunity to prepare and practice.

How do report cards work?

At least three times in the school year, you and your teachers will evaluate your progress toward your goals, and put some kind of number (%) on your level of achievement. We have as wide a variety of rubrics for assessment as there are things to assess; part of every project plan is how participants will measure their success.

How do I figure out what to do each day?

After Advisory time, the first half hour (9 -9:30) of each day is Context, where we look at important events in the news that make the rest of what we do relevant.  Math classes follow. 

Keep up to date with our wall calendar or in-house website to know when out-trips are planned.

General Meetings are for organizing what will happen and when; make sure you’re there to find out.

Projects can take hours or days once you get going on them. We don’t impose “stop-work” orders just because a certain time of day is reached.

Is attendance mandatory?

The short answer is: Yes. You are expected to come to school in time for Context every day unless you arrange in advance to be somewhere else that your learning plan requires (project work or research, volunteering, job shadowing, travelling, work experience, and so on). You must always be accountable for your whereabouts on school days.

What if something I want to do costs money, and I can’t afford it?

City School has a community partner who will subsidize school activities if our fundraising efforts are insufficient.

I have an idea for a field trip. How do I make it happen?

If there’s a cost involved, create a budget. Put an item on the agenda at General Meeting. If some people are interested, organize a time to get together and plan it. Then go!

Can I study whatever I want, even if it isn’t connected to any course?

Why not? Just be sure you are managing your time and energy in a way that achieves your goals for the year.

Can I get course credit for stuff I do outside of school?

Yes. Check the prescribed learning outcomes for the course you want to get credit in, and work with your advisor to plan how you’ll do it.

Can I accelerate in a course?

You can if you’re motivated. Make a plan with the teacher involved.

I’m really a disorganized person. Should I consider City School?

If you wear your disorganization as a badge of honour, then probably not. If you want to learn to be more organized, then we’re happy to help.

If a field trip or guest speaker has nothing to do with the courses I’m taking, do I still attend?

Absolutely, because school is for finding out what you don’t know, and what you don’t know is not limited to courses you’ve selected.

Can I start any time in the year or does it have to be September?

Our preference, for the sake of community-building, is September, but that isn’t cast in stone. The problem with coming in too late is that you won’t have enough time to get a year’s worth of credits, if that is your goal. And you may have to dream up ways of learning course material that we’ve covered through projects and field studies.

How can I take a course that City School doesn’t offer?

First, see if any other students want to take it. If they do, maybe you can work together. You are free to develop courses that we’ve never offered before; that’s how we all learn!

If you can’t see a way to do an Independent Directed Studies version, you can take an online or paper-based course through VLN (Vancouver Learning Network) or other distance education provider. You could take a course at King George, but remember that doing so will tie you down to an inflexible schedule.

Can I come and visit?

Of course! Call us at 604-713-5816 or send an e-mail (link below) to set it up.