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"The teachers are very responsive and helpful with any questions or concerns I had."


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Review of: Ontario Virtual School

Anne Balayboa - Alumnus    (Jan 21, 2020)

Overall Experience

I needed to upgrade some grade 12 courses and I thought that this school would be perfect for that. Since it was online, I was able to complete the course at my own pace and they gave plenty of time to complete it (1 year). The teachers are very responsive and helpful with any questions or concerns I had. The school offers many courses for all high school years. As well, they give you a choice between an e-book or a physical book that they mail out to you. The lesson plans are all there for you and there is a lesson count to let you know how many you have left to complete which is handy. There isn't much I would change about this school because everything is fairly accessible since it's all online. There were just a few lesson glitches but most of it was fixed as long as I let someone know about it. I do feel like the courses prepared me well for my next steps in life.


School Leadership

As stated above, whenever I needed help, it was there within 24 hours. The admin staff was very responsive and helpful. I wasn't able to find a proctor, so they allowed me to write the exam at the school. It's a great option for those who can't find a suitable proctor! I can't speak for other students as it was all online, but my experience with the administration was really good. They were always professional with their answers and provided me with the information I needed. I did not have many issues with the administration. The only thing is, their staff is limited, though I had no problem getting any answers.


Teaching

The lessons were all pre-made slideshow presentations with the teacher voicing each slide. It was pretty easy to follow along to because I could pause the video at any time. Much better than sitting in a class because I can't rewind what the teacher said. The quality of teaching is great. The teachers are accredited and are very knowledgable about their subjects. I took biology and chemistry and it was obvious that these teachers had a passion for what they were teaching. Whenever I had questions, I would simply e-mail the teacher and they would get back to me within 24-48 hours with detailed responses. I felt respected as a student and I didn't feel like I was bothering the teachers. After each test or assignment, I was given feedback. I was provided with the correct answers and the reasoning for each answer. Same with assignments and labs. After I completed the final exams, I was given a report card by mail and was given overall feedback on my performance which I greatly appreciated. I really liked Mr. Wiebe who helped me through grade 12 chemistry. I could tell he was extremely passionate about teaching and he was very helpful.


Academics

This school offers a variety of courses for all grades in high school. The courses are laid out and easy to find. I registered with this school because I needed to upgrade some grade 12 courses as it is required for the university program I am applying to. It may turn some people away because it is all online and some people prefer in-person courses, but believe me, it is a great experience. I was able to move at my own pace and I got just as much information through these courses as I would have in a regular brick and mortar school. I cannot speak for competitiveness among students because it is all online. It is actually a cool experience because I felt like I was the only student in the class and I had unlimited access to my teachers. I definitely was challenged academically, the courses were just as challenging as the first time I took them when I was in high school. I do feel like the school has prepped me for my next steps in my academic life because the lesson plans were thorough and the tests were very fair. There is no doubt, I learned a lot!


Extracurriculars

As this was an online school, I was not part of any extracurricular programs. I don't believe that Ontario virtual school offers any because again, it is all online and can be taken anywhere, even overseas. If you are a parent looking to enrol your child and want them to join in any extracurricular activities, that could be done through their regular school. This school is great for online courses, not so much for the extracurriculars.


Students

I cannot speak to other students because I did not meet any of them. However, based on the reviews on the actual school's website, I could tell that many of the students enjoyed their courses just as much as I enjoyed mine! I've seen many reviews from students in high school and also people like me who have previous post-secondary education and are trying to get back into a different program. I imagine that the student body is diverse as this is an online school and pretty much anyone of any race or any age can take it.


School Life

I appreciated the fact that this school was very flexible. I was able to write tests at 3 am if I desired! I work a full time job, so it would be difficult for me to go to a physical class with a fixed time schedule. The Ontario virtual school helped me out greatly with that. Because of this flexibility, I believe that the student's overall life is not hampered by the time schedule since each course is given a max of one year to finish. I did like attending this virtual school, it is a cool experience to have, in my opinion. If you are the type of person who does not have the time to attend regularly scheduled classes, then this school would be perfect for you!


Community

The teachers and the admin staff were very helpful and kind. I believe that they all are very communicative with each other so that the students have an easier time getting through the courses and dealing with any formal paperwork. The admin staff and teachers are very accommodating and friendly. I am over 18, so I enrolled myself into the school but parents are definitely welcome. The parents have just as much access to the admin staff and teachers as the students themselves do. In terms of other students, I had no interactions with anyone besides my teachers and the admin staff. I am sure that if I did have interactions with other students, that it would have made my experience more interesting.


School Location

The biggest thing that stands out about Ontario virtual school is that it is, well, virtual! I have access to the courses and the teachers basically anywhere I go which is amazing. If I wanted to take 5 lessons in one night, I could! I didn't have to get ready to go anywhere, I could even watch lessons in my pajamas.


Admissions

They will accept you as long as you provide them with your current education status and are able to provide them with the necessary details. The admissions process was very simple and quick. They have all the information on the school's website but if you prefer to talk to someone, the admin staff responds very quickly. You can even e-mail the school or call them. I did not feel pressured or have much trouble with the department because they were very welcoming and informative about the many questions I had. If you are a self-motivated individual, this school would be a great fit!


University placement and counselling

As someone who has been through university before, I did not really need any counselling for university. Though, the school's website offers much information on university help if it is needed. However, since I am trying to apply as a mature student, I needed help on the application process. The school's website has a lot of information on how to correctly apply and which university to apply to. But if that is not enough, again, the admin staff is highly informative when it comes to applying to university. As I was taking the courses, I would periodically get notifications and messages on deadlines to apply for university programs and what steps had to be taken which I found very helpful. For best results, any future students applying to this school should talk straight to the admin staff as they would be able to get you all your answers and they are all very friendly.


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