Virtual High School is an online private school offering OSSD credit courses to Ontario students as well as students from other provinces and countries. Students may begin their course on any day and progress through at their own pace by choosing when to write tests, when to submit assignments, and when to write the proctored final exam. There are no textbooks required. VHS offers the highest quality online education and the best in online teaching by following a unique, student-centered approach to learning.
The Our Kids review of Virtual High School
Stephen Baker began developing the concept of the Virtual High School in 1995, and it gained accreditation in 2002. So the concept has been in place for some time, and has proven itself over the past 15 years. Baker is clear that the intent is not to replace the high school experience wholesale, or to suggest that there aren’t significant benefits to attention a brick and mortar institution, including social interaction, events, and belonging within a shared community. That said, he’s also aware that the need for an online school is indicated, and he’s happy to pioneering a means of servicing that need. Certainly there are some students who require structure and routine in order to thrive and succeed in their course work, and the Virtual High School is, in some very real senses, for the opposite type of student, one that is self-starting, and prone to managing their time efficiently and effectively. Courses can be started at any point, and students are able to work through the material at their own pace. That doesn’t mean that they are unsupervised, of course, and teachers invigilate the students throughout, providing clear guidance and support. Likewise, there are opportunities for interaction and collaboration with other students. Counter to that, there are of course very many things that VHS can offer that other schools simply can’t, including distance learning and remediation, and in providing an accredited high school program online taught by accredited instructors. At the end of the day, it’s a unique approach, and it has proven itself with a range of learners to a range of academic purposes. We’ll perhaps be seeing other like programs in the coming years, and certainly they’ll be looking to VHS as a model.
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