CALGARY, Alberta, Nov. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This school year, Covid-19 has forced schools across Canada to adapt to courses offered online instead of in the classroom.

A similar challenge twenty years ago, to use technology to educate isolated students, resulted in the first e-learning school in Canada created for Indigenous learners.

Since 2000, students have logged on to SCcyber E-Learning Community courses from 64 First Nations communities, from Paulatuk NWT, north of the Arctic Circle, to Siksika in southern Alberta.

SCcyber E-Learning Community is celebrating twenty years of offering courses online. The school is also celebrating one of the highest percentages of high school graduates in First Nations communities.

The school offers more than 100 academic and elective courses and has provided more than 20,000 courses to students. Each semester typically has an enrollment of 250-300 high school, junior high or adult education students.

"Education is something as a society we have the opportunity to get right, and it should be everyone's right to have that opportunity," says CEO Martin Sacher. He worked in public high schools in Alberta and Saskatchewan for 22 years before launching the school.

Partnering with his wife Mavis Sacher, whose background includes a Masters degree in Educational Technology, the couple created Canada’s first online school tailored to Indigenous Learners. Course contents are culturally sensitive to Indigenous backgrounds, while flexibility in enrollments and extended completion periods allow students to work according to their own pace.

"When we started 20 years ago, it was such an out of the box idea but reserve communities embraced online learning and now it is mainstream today," says Mavis Sacher.

More than 350 students have earned Canadian high school diplomas through SCcyber, and the school has won national and international awards for its innovation and success.

The school's success has been supported by aboriginal governments, federal and provincial governments, and by natural resource companies. Many of these companies have hired SCcyber grads into their workforce across Western Canada.

For more information:

Martin Sacher
CEO, SCcyber E-Learning Community
Calgary, Alberta