Welcome to The Virtual High School

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FAQ

Schools can join VHS as Teaching Members or Student-Only schools. Teaching Members participate in VHS by freeing a high school teacher one period a day to teach a VHS course online. Student-Only schools do not have a teacher teaching a VHS course, but only have students taking VHS courses. VHS also accepts individual students. For more information, check out our Schools page.

If your school would like to have someone from The Virtual High School to meet with your school administrators or to present to your school board members or staff, please contact a School Development Specialist or call 978-897-1900 x3.

Your school can join The Virtual High School through our Student-Only Membership or Teaching Membership programs. These are more fully described on our Schools page.

Costs to join The Virtual High School vary depending upon the membership option your school selects. Please click here to contact us, or call 978-897-1900 to request information on membership pricing.

VHS does accept individual students. For more information, check out our Schools page or contact VHS School Development Specialist at 978.897.1900 x3 to request information on individual student pricing.

All VHS teachers are certified in the disciplines in which they teach.

VHS teachers must participate in and successfully graduate from VHS online professional development Online Teaching Methodologies in order to teach a VHS course.

The Virtual High School offers either asynchronous, or self-paced. VHS believes in student-centered classes which encourage collaboration among students. Therefore, our asynchronous courses run on a weekly-scheduled basis. This means that although the student has the flexibility to access his or her class anytime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, there are definite due dates and scheduled deadlines for assignments and activities. VHS also realizes students may need to complete credit recovery courses at their own pace. For this reason we also offer self-paced Flex courses. This unique program helps students at risk of not passing a course, graduating with their class, or matriculating to the next grade level.

Students only need reliable access to the Internet and a compatible web browser.

In general, course content is viewable on mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones, ChromeOS and Android devices, and mobile users can interact with the course (post to discussions etc)

  • Posting to the Dropbox from iOS (version 9+) and Chromebook devices is possible, but requires some additional steps:
  • The current Brightspace interface is not perfectly optimized for mobile access (mobile users should expect to have to zoom and scroll frequently order to interact with some of the buttons and controls in the Brightspace platform)
  • The Brightspace Audio and Video recording tools use Adobe Flash and are not compatible with most mobile devices.
  • Some courses have requirements (such as installing specific course software) which are not compatible mobile devices - the course description in the Catalog should be reviewed carefully in any cases where a student intends to work primarily on a mobile device to ensure that they can complete the course successfully. Please submit a ticket in cases where there are any questions.
Supported Devices
  • Apple iPhones and iPod touch running iOS 6 and later are supported, but most options for file uploads (including dropbox submission) require iOS 9+
  • Android phones/tablets running version 4.0 and later
  • Chromebooks running a fully updated ChromeOS

Note: Microsoft Surface and other similar tablets running a full desktop operating system are fully capable of accessing Brightspace as long as they meet the normal system requirements. However, Windows Phone devices are not officially supported at this time.

The VHS Course Catalog has classes for high school and middle school students of all levels. We also have courses for Gifted & Talented and Middle School students. The entire range of student abilities is reflected in the VHS course catalog - from Advanced Placement and honors level classes to courses offered for remediation and credit recovery.

Just as in a face-to-face class, regular attendance, active participation, timely completion of assignments, and thorough attention to task make for a successful online learning experience.

Student-to-student interaction is an integral part of all asynchronous VHS courses. Students communicate through asynchronous threaded discussion.

While VHS believes that virtual courses should be a required component of traditional education, VHS is not a cyber school. VHS believes that virtual learning enhances face-to-face instruction, but is not a replacement for traditional schooling.

Most of our courses are asynchronous, which means that there are no live meeting times during which students and their teacher gather as a class. Students read lessons, work on and submit their assignments, participate in group projects, and contribute to class discussions at any time, as long as they meet due dates for class assignments and keep up with the general flow of the class. Our self-paced flex courses can be completed at a student's own pace. Students complete and submit assignments on their schedule and students can take up to 15 weeks to complete their class if extra time is needed.

A student can take up to four Virtual High School courses in a semester. Additional courses for special circumstances are considered on a case by case basis.

Our average class size is 21.

Yes, students can save their work as "in progress" so that they can come back to complete it at a later time.

The Virtual High School (VHS) has been extensively studied, and the research indicates that students learn online through VHS as much, and in many cases more, than they do in traditional classrooms. For more Information, see our results page.

In order to teach a Virtual High School course, teachers must successfully complete our online professional development course in online teaching pedagogy and methodology.

There is no set time the teacher must be online however, all teachers must be in class and respond to all students within 24 hours (Monday-Friday).

The participation of our teachers is monitored and reported on weekly. Teachers must be in class each day and respond to students within 24 hours (Monday - Friday).

VHS offers two sessions of summer school courses each year. Courses are offered for both enrichment and credit recovery.

Fall 2017 VHS Schedule

DateMay Day Event

May 10, 2017

Wednesday

Registration opens for 17-18 classes

August 2, 2017

Wednesday

Student Orientation and ILOs Open

September 6, 2017

Wednesday

Fall Semester Begins

September 12, 2017

Tuesday

Add/Drop Period Ends

October 31, 2017

Tuesday

Term 1 Ends

November 1, 2017

Wednesday

Term 2 Begins

December 19, 2017

Tuesday

Fall Semester Ends 

Spring 2018 VHS Schedule

DateMay Day Event

January 03, 2018

Wednesday

Full Year Classes Resume

January 24, 2018

Wednesday

Spring Semester Begins 

January 30, 2018

Tuesday

Add/Drop Period Ends

March 20, 2018

Tuesday

Term 1 Ends

March 21, 2018

Wednesday

Term 2 Begins

May 08, 2018

Tuesday

Spring Semester and Full Year Courses End

Summer 2018 VHS Schedule

Date Day Event

June 20, 2018

Wednesday

Extended Session and Session 1 Courses Begin

July 20, 2018

Friday

Session 1 Courses End

July 23, 2018

Monday

Session 2 Courses Begin

August 17, 2018

Friday

Extended Session and Session 2 Courses End

Fall 2018 VHS Schedule

Date Day Event

May 10, 2018

Thursday

Registration opens for 18-19 classes

September 05, 2018

Wednesday

Fall Semester Begins

September 11, 2018

Tuesday

Add/Drop Period Ends

October 30, 2018

Tuesday

Term 1 Ends

October 31, 2018

Wednesday

Term 2 Begins

December 18, 2018

Tuesday

Fall Semester Ends

Spring 2019 VHS Schedule

Date Day Event

January 03, 2019

Wednesday

Full Year Classes Resume

January 23, 2019

Spring Semester Begins

January 29, 2019

Tuesday

Add/Drop Period Ends

March 19, 2019

Tuesday

Term 1 Ends

March 20, 2019

Wednesday

Term 2 Begins

May 07, 2019

Tuesday

Spring Semester and Full Year Courses End

Students may add courses within the first week of the start of a semester. Students may drop courses, without consequence, up to one week after the start date. After this period, students will receive a Withdraw (W) from the VHS. Dropping or adding of courses is to be done through the VHS site coordinator.

VHS and VHS courses are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Secondary Education and the Advanced Ed Accreditation Commission. VHS schools are accredited by their local accrediting agency, and participating member schools have agreed to give credit to VHS courses as either core courses or electives. In addition, all VHS core courses have NCAA initial-accreditation.

There is a common grading system for all courses in The Virtual High School. Teachers report grades to the VHS, which passes these grades on to the student's administrative office.

VHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on May, 2001.

Yes. See our Accreditation and Credentials page for more information.

Based in Massachusetts The Virtual High School offices are located at 4 Mill & Main Place Suite 510, Maynard, MA 01754.

Yes, we offer courses at 3 different levels. Course levels help students understand class expectations before they enroll in a course. Levels provide students with perspective about class rigor to enable students of varying abilities to evaluate their potential for success. Due to the different categorizes of course levels in secondary schools, our courses are organized into three achievement levels: Standard, Honors, and Advanced Placement. All courses prepare students for post-secondary educational pursuits. Our courses are all at or above college preparatory level and are designed to challenge students and provide opportunities for enrichment. Definitions of each course level are included below.

  • Standard Level - Standard level, college preparatory, courses are appropriate for students intending to pursue two- or four-year college placement. Courses require well-developed reading, writing, mathematical, critical thinking, and study abilities, as well as self-discipline and organization to complete assignments within expected deadlines. Students are expected to work on average between 6 to 8 hours per week in a Standard level course.
  • Honors Level - Honors level courses are presented at a more accelerated pace than Standard level courses and require students to develop a deeper conceptual understanding of course concepts. Honors courses require advanced reading, writing, mathematical, critical thinking, and study abilities, as well as self-discipline and organization to complete assignments within expected deadlines. Students are expected to work on average between 8 and 10 hours per week in an Honors level course.
  • Advanced Placement (AP®) Level - Advanced Placement courses are equivalent to college level courses and require students understand concepts that are more complex and faster paced than most traditional high school coursework. Advanced Placement courses include open-ended discussions, detailed writing assignments, and complex problem solving, and they require students have strong collaboration skills and excellent reading and writing abilities. Students will be expected to research and analyze materials to formulate and justify their claims and opinions. AP students are encouraged to complete the College Board exam testing knowledge of the AP subject, which may (depending on the college) translate into college credits if the student scores high enough on the exam. Students are expected to work on average between 10 and 12 hours per week in an AP level course.