Wahsa Distance Education Centre is a private First Nations High School dedicated to providing quality secondary education services to remote Ojibway, Cree, and Oji-Cree communities across Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Wahsa is a program of the Northern Nishnawbe Education Council with headquarters in Sioux Lookout, Ontario, and serves a geographical area of 200,000 square kilometers, including many communities restricted by fly-in access only.
Course material is delivered via audio and video interactive technology including SMARTboards and Bridgit software, FM radio, or through Independent Learning correspondence.
Each community has a distance education coordinator who provides support and accountability, and telephone tutoring is available. Sioux Lookout-based teachers visit students in each community at least once a term to assist in person and provide additional support.
Wahsa curriculum is based on the course expectations set out by the Ministry of Education and is tailored to meet students’ local needs. Credits earned contribute towards the completion of requirements for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Students usually take one to three courses at a time. Extracurricular activities and clubs are also offered.
Wahsa’s programs are delivered in three trimesters, which are divided into two seven-week terms with one study week break per term. Each one-term course is worth a half-credit, and students can join a course at the start of each term, allowing for a high degree of flexibility in coursework scheduling.