Rail Program



Richmond Virtual Schools' RAIL program for grades 8-10 is a blended, project-based program that is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful in their post-secondary education and in the rapidly changing workplaces they will encounter. RAIL is guided by three connected design principles—personalization, connections and collaborative design—that set aspirational goals and create a foundation for understanding our approach.



RAIL teachers embrace the idea that every student is unique and learns in his and her own way.  Students will be able to control the pace and scope of their learning as a result of our blended learning approach. Through our RAIL program, students will have the option to complete the five year high school program in four years. Students will explore their passions and develop social, emotional and cognitive skills to prepare them for post-secondary education and for success in the ever changing global workplace. Within the framework of structured courses, the RAIL program allows for flexibility and opportunity for diverse strengths. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning through a variety of methods.



Students will pursue their passions through authentic projects which will have significance to them, their teachers and to the community. Students will work with mentors in the community to create high quality, useful and meaningful projects. Students will work closely with an advisor who will provide guidance throughout the entire RAIL program. RAIL students are also connected to Palmer students as they are enrolled in Palmer electives.


Collaborative Design

Students, teachers and mentors will co-create the learning experience. Students will work in cross-curricular, multi-grade teams to solve real world problems. Students will have access to a makerspace to build prototypes and test design ideas.


Why Choose RAIL?

RAIL students focus on inquiry, induction and project based learning, through an interdisciplinary program which integrates concepts from Science, Math, and Humanities. Students explore real world topics that foster independent learning and critical thinking. The students will communicate with mentors and professionals to connect their projects to real world experiences. 

As full-time students with five RAIL courses and three Palmer courses, you will have conections with the larger Palmer population. Students will be able to participate in Palmer clubs and sports.


Transforming Curriculum

  • Currently, many post secondary institutions and employers are seeking learners with a diverse skill set. RAIL teaches young people problem solving, leadership, and digital citizenship which are the skills students will need to be successful in their future careers.
  • Students learn through face-to-face instruction and online digital content that honours individual student's choice and voice while allowing students to work at their own pace.
  • Student learning is supported by a collaborative team of educators and support staff.
  • Students have access to a creative learning environment with digital tools.
  • Students will gain confidence in speaking with adult mentors around their projects
  • Students will learn more about their own learning profiles and explore related interests.
  • Field trips and out-of-school activities will be integral in to the program to connect students with the larger community.


Students will:

  • study Mathematics, Science, Socials Studies, English, and ADST with two RAIL teachers
  • Palmer will provide options for PHE, Art, Band, Drama, Tech Ed, French, ...
  • use hands-on learning from an inquiry mindset (Genius Hour)
  • participate in personalized, project based learning
  • have access to a makerspace
  • attend daily full-time in-person classes
  • have the opportunity to connect with members of the community
  • participate in outdoor field trips and offsite learning experiences



Students must:

  • be able to work with computers and learn using digital content
  • be committed to attending all on-site classes and field trips
  • be academically motivated and work well independently
  • be able to create, communicate and collaborate in group settings
  • be capable of working in a flexible multi-grade learning environment
  • have the ability to maintain an effective daily schedule for learning in the home environment
  • value the learning process just as much as the mark
  • enjoy working on projects 


Field Trips

There is no course fee for the RAIL program but there is a $1100.00 fee to cover the cost of camping and field trips. The outdoor education program helps students make connections with the environment and creates opportunities for students and teachers to bond and have shared experiences through physical and mental challenges. When students overcome their perceived limits they feel more confident, experience more success and take more educational risks in and out of the classroom.


Draft Timetable

  Monday Tuesday
9:00 Check In & Progress Check In & Progress
9:15 RAIL Humanities ADST
10:55 Break Break
11:15 RAIL Tech-sploration PE
11:30 Math French
12:48 Lunch Lunch
1:35 Science Band
3:00 Dismissal Dismissal