King's View Academy
Overview of King's View Academy
Kings View Academy (KVA) is a Nova Scotia, grades 7-12, private school with permission (accreditation) to grant the Nova Scotia Department of Education High School Diploma. We offer mainly the Nova Scotia Dept. of Ed. Public School Plan (Learning Outcomes Framework) curriculum (same as all Nova Scotia public schools) and offer the College Board (collegeboard.org) Advanced Placement® curriculum (with support or exam only.) Our facility is at 9 Strath Lane in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (sharing a back property line with Beazley Field). In addition to in-person learning support at our facility we offer online (distance) learning for all of our courses.
Our education model is based on the principles of adult learning from the field of Adult Education. These principles combine the skills of self-direction with content acquisition to help students prepare for life after high school: to not only help students achieve good grades for admission to a desirable post-secondary program, but to help them develop into effective self-directed learners so that they can survive and excel in a mature, higher education learning system like university.
In addition to the same courses and High School Diploma of Nova Scotia public school and other accredited Nova Scotia schools, we also offer a high level of flexibility. We can change most aspects of programming including start dates, end dates, types and frequency of assessment, additional "community-based" and directed study courses (will have to be approved to earn high school credit towards graduation), learning either in-school only or online only or a combination - based on the learner's need and goals, among other factors.
This educational approach was initially designed, based on adult learning principles, to accommodate gifted learners. We have found that this approach also works well with certain students with various forms of anxiety and special needs. In addition, this approach works well with students who have other goals and activities during the school day and/or school year, such as high level athletes, high level musicians, learners who travel more than 20% of the school year, and students over 16 who wish to work in combination with schooling during school hours, among others. The initial design of KVA's education model was also a response to problems created from aspects of other approaches to education.
KVA does not follow strict daily/weekly/monthly/semester/yearly schedules. Some students require schedules as they become more effective self-directed learners, and other students remain productive in all of their courses, making regular progress, while following their own schedules that incorporate academics as well as work, leisure, social engagement, and other factors important to that student.
At KVA the student is at the center of his/her own program. All of his/her content experts (what we call "teachers") and parents/guardians are part of his/her learning team, and can all see real-time updated posting on work completed and passed in, assessed, handed back with feedback, and discussions about the content and self-direction. This being the case, KVA students are required to have a higher level of responsibility around managing their own learning/schedule/engagement/motivation. We believe that if you do not allow the student to take responsibility for his/her program/engagement/communication, he/she will not develop into an effective, self-directed learning, capable of excelling in higher education. Students who are suited to study at KVA will have at least a small amount of motivation to engage in academics, and will be able to communicate directly with content experts, and have a real reason for completing courses and graduating high school, will do well at KVA. They will be well-supported in their academics, and development as self-directed learners. those who have none of those traits, in our experience, do no better at KVA.
As an enrolled student, taking (for example) 6 courses, you can expect to spent 30 hours or so on those 6 courses, or an average of 5 hours per week on each course. Our guarantee, and model, is for 1 of those 5 hours (on average) to be spent directly with the content expert for that course (this is possible because we do not program five 75-minute classes each week for each course.) During this hour one-on-one student-content expert time they will discuss expectations, the content, assignments, outcomes, what mastery looks like, communication, and self-direction. We know that learning takes time, and learning is a subjective act that happens basically inside the learner's head. Instruction, lecture, videos, textbooks, reading examples, engaging other sources... are all just resources. Choosing effective resources and engaging fully with those materials are necessary for actual learning. The knowledge acquired this way will follow you through your like. On the other hand, cramming, memorizing, and completing exercises without effort generally do not lead to new knowledge. Think about university: good grades will get you admitted, but good academic knowledge and skills (pre-requisite high school content) will allow you to understand, learn, progress, master, and excel.
Renewed Accreditation (Spring 2022)
In the spring of 2022 KVA hosted representatives from the NS Dept of Ed for a review of KVA's ability to satisfy the requirements for permission to grant the NS High School Leaving Certificate (Diploma). They reviewed many aspects of Nova Scotia's Public School Plan, which specifies how Nova Scotia public schools provide education and school for Nova Scotia P-12 students. As KVA's education model, philosophy, and support diverge, in some cases, from those of public school, this review was extremely important in determining if the NS Dept of Ed was in support of KVA's approach. Assessment, attendance and instruction at KVA are among these approaches. In the end, the team "recommended" KVA for renewed permission to grant the NS Dept of Ed High School Diploma (which is the strongest recommendation they could have made in favour.) The renewal term will be for the next 3 school years (ending around the summer of 2025).
Through this process KVA's education model was recognized to be helpful to some students who may have needs beyond what the NS public school system can support. The term they used was "Niche School." As such, KVA is accredited to support its students with this flexible model, allowing for a unique combination of online and in-person learning support.
One new addition to KVA's system of supporting learners is the addition of a syllabus for each student and his/her courses. The idea is that once we determine the courses the enrolled student will take, we will create a plan for the student to progress weekly through each course, monitoring progress, so that each student can reach his/her goals. Incidentally, it is not uncommon for KVA students to achieve 100% in some or all of their courses. A course is just a list of outcomes (learning expectations) and each one of the outcomes can be learned and mastered by each student (given sufficient time to learn and sufficient resources and support.)
Google Classroom (KVA's Online Education System - with a twist)
All of our programs are based on the Google Classroom learning system (also used in Nova Scotia public schools). We have added some functionality to better support transparency and communication for the student's "learning team" (the student, parents/guardians, tutors, teacher...). Students not only have access to the resources and learning support in content-based Classrooms, but each student's learning support is based around a student-specific Classroom for that student, and his/her parents/guardians, content experts, and any other relevant stakeholders. All meetings, assignments, feedback, comments, and communication related to that student is added to his/her Classroom so that ALL members of his/her learning team can see what he/she is doing, in what subject, at what stage of the assignment process, with communication around difficulties, feedback, progress, mastery, and self-direction support. Truly transparent.
KVA continues to accept and enroll new students.
If you believe that KVA may be a viable option, or you want more information, please contact the principal, Dr. Derek MacDonald at email@example.com or (902) 429-5434. In addition, much of what we do and believe about education and learning can be found on the various pages of this website - please review them at your leisure.
We offer full programs as well as single courses. We can support accelerated programs and courses as well (for example, a student who wished to graduate in June 2020 may wish to increase the final grade of a previously completed course by graduation. This may be possible - please inquire.
If you decide you would like to try KVA the first steps are: meet with (or call) Dr. MacDonald to discuss the model and atmosphere and to pose your questions; and to spend some time at KVA (and online at KVA) to experience it first-hand.
International Students attending King's View Academy
KVA has hosted international students for as long as it has been a school (going on 23 years). KVA does accept international students in ALL of our programs. We have the flexibility to support learning in 1 or more courses, starting and finishing anytime, in person and/or online. For more information please contact us.