FAQs

What is Digital Immersion?

The John Oliver Digital Immersion Program is a 1 to 1 laptop program that aims to leverage technology and media arts as tools for learning and to prepare students to be life-long learners while thriving in the digital age. We inspire learners to become free critical thinkers as well as develop leaders through action.

What classes incorporate the Digital Immersion aspect?

Almost all of the classes incorporate the Digital Immersion aspect. However, the class in which this aspect is most applied is the Information Technology/Independent Directed Studies class. In this class, students learn how to code, create blogs, work on an Independent Directed Studies project, and much more! Note: The use of technology depends on the teacher and the course.

Do much coding do students do on a daily basis?

It’s important to note that the curriculum for the Information Technology/Independent Directed Studies class is different for each grade and is not limited to just coding. But, in terms of the coding unit, it is about 2.5 months long or a quarter of the course. During the coding unit you will be doing coding during the class time as well as at home if you have been assigned homework.

Do we need our own computer?

Yes, you will need your own laptop. MacBooks are a good option, but are expensive and easy to break. A more affordable option that the Mini School recommends is a Chromebook (minimum 4GB RAM, 16GB storage, 11.6” screen, Intel chipset).

How would accelerated Math help a student?

Accelerated math will allow you to learn concepts earlier and get a head start. After taking PreCalculus 12 in grade 11, many students take Calculus 12 in their Grade 12 year. However, this is optional. You will have the option of taking a math course of your choice or no math course at all.

What are some of the places you go for Mini School Field Studies?

For the Mini School Field Studies, we travel to all sorts of places such as Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Okanagan, the Canadian Rockies, Alberta, Washington State and Oregon. All these trips are extremely fun and educational. These trips are great opportunities for students to try new things, bond with each other as well learn plentiful. If you would like more specific information about each trip, go to the “core curriculum” tab and then to the “field studies” tab.

On average, what is the cost of each Mini School Field Trip?

The cost varies depending on the trip but usually averages around $500. This excludes the price of any equipment/clothing you may be required to purchase.

How many classes are you in with your Mini School cohort?

You are with your mini cohort for your Core Mini School classes. This excludes any elective courses and senior level sciences.

On average, how many hours of homework does a mini school student have?

This all depends on the student and how much work they are able to complete in class. But, on average, a Mini School student spends 2-3 hours doing homework. This will start to vary as you move through each grade.

What should families do if they need financial support?

If a family needs financial support they should immediately talk to Ms. Laumen or Mr. Lee so that something can be arranged.

What if a student was in a French Immersion program prior to joining the Mini School?

In the case of a student that is more advanced in French, they will be assessed and then typically put into a higher level French class (usually a year ahead ).

What types of clubs and sports are there for Mini School students at John Oliver?

John Oliver offers a variety of clubs and sports for students to join.  Some clubs that are offered at John Oliver include student council, JO cares, tech crew, and JO rainbow diversity. Some sports that are offered at John Oliver include girls/boys basketball, girls/boys soccer, girls softball, track & field, and ultimate. Being a mini school student does not prevent you from joining clubs and sports. In fact, you are allowed to join as many clubs and sports as you would like!

What is the application process?

You must complete an application to our mini school program. This year, instead of doing face to face interviews each candidate will be required to to make a short video to submit with their application. This video is an opportunity for the candidate to showcase their unique characteristics and abilities. You can find all of the necessary documents and instructions for the application under the “Application” tab on our website. 

What if I do not get accepted the first round?

There are three rounds of selection and acceptance. After that, if you do not receive a seat the first year, we also back fill in subsequent years, direct inquiry to school administration first to receive a referral to appropriate counsellor and teacher.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact JODigitalMini@vsb.bc.ca.