FAQs – Education Services Agreement

These questions are specific to education services agreements.

If you don’t see what you’re looking for here, you can find additional FAQs on these pages:

Why do we need an education services agreement?

Distance education funding structures are defined by the Funding Manual for School Authorities (October, 2020).

Under the new funding model, school divisions will be funded according to their Weighted Moving Average (WMA) of primary registrations. 

VVS can provide student instruction to students who are registered in other schools, when an education services agreement is in place. 

These agreements provide a framework for how we can provide education at a distance for individual students whose primary registration is with a school division other than PHSD. 

These agreements would support schools:

  • to fill gaps in individual student timetables 
  • to provide instruction to groups of students for whom the school does not have a teacher (or compatible section in the school’s programming).

With an education services agreement in place, your students can be set up to receive instruction from teachers at VVS.

What happens when I turn 20?

Students moving from funded school-aged status to adult need to:

  • complete second semester courses by June 15 (courses will be finalized and reported to Alberta Education by June 30), or
  • complete Summer School by August 6 (courses will be finalized and reported to Alberta Education by August 13)

How do we set up an education services agreement?

There is no cost in establishing an education services agreement. 

Visit the Pembina Hills School Division page on education services agreements. There you can read more details and obtain a copy of the agreement template.

Once the agreement has been established we will invoice your school division monthly based on the number of credits for registered students.

Please discuss this offer with your administration team and your system administration.

For questions related to inter-jurisdictional agreements:  David Garbutt, PHSD Superintendent david.garbutt@pembinahills.ca 

What fees are associated with an education services agreement?

Entering into an agreement is free. 

Fees will be charged based on the number of credits for which students from your jurisdiction have been registered.  

For a fee of $130 per credit, (e.g. $650 for a typical 5-credit course) PHSD’s Vista Virtual School will: 

  • Receive non-primary student registrations from your schools
  • Add your students to VVS class-lists
  • Work with your schools’ teachers and administration to monitor and support student progress.

Why does VVS need to charge a fee?

Vista Virtual School is funded like any other school in the province and needs to hire staff to deliver education, maintain its infrastructure (including the courses), and administer the school. Additional students mean additional costs.

The fees charged to your school authority for delivering instruction to your students are required in order to maintain viability of services to students.

Do the fees also cover the cost of textbooks, materials, and supplies?

No. Textbooks, materials and supplies remain the responsibility of each school authority to provide.

Textbooks, materials, and supplies may be purchased from VVS:

Please refer to our Course Catalogue for materials and pricing.

The cost is averaged out between used and new textbooks; but as such, you may receive a used textbook in reusable condition.

Course materials ordered through Vista Virtual School are not refundable.

All ordered materials are mailed to the student; they are not available online.

What services does Vista Virtual School provide?

In an education services agreement, VVS teachers:

  • Deliver the content asynchronously
  • Connect with your students regularly to provide feedback and academic support 
  • Maintain communication with school contacts 
  • Assess and grade student work
  • Record final grades in PASI

Can students register at any time?

Vista Virtual School operates within the traditional school year and has two semesters. 

Schools can register students at any time, but students will be expected to complete their courses by at least the end of the second semester. Students can begin almost any time, but reasonable academic counselling must be part of the plan so that students can be guided with a pace that is right for them.

Students from schools using a quarter system can also register and pace their completion accordingly.

Vista Virtual School also operates a summer school. See our summer school page for more details.