VHS Celebrates 20 Years Preparing Students for College and Careers in Global Classrooms
October 10, 2016
Supports Students in Developing Independent Learning Skills, Preparing For College And Careers, Earning Credit, And Engaging With Their Peers In Global Classrooms
This year, The Virtual High School (VHS, Inc.), a nonprofit empowering schools with the industry's most comprehensive online learning programs, will reach its 20-year milestone. The past two decades have seen the organization grow from a small operation funded by a U.S. Department of Education technology challenge grant to an international, non-profit e-learning provider. Today VHS delivers online instruction to middle and high school students at 639 schools in 33 countries; there were more than 18,000 student enrollments in VHS courses in the 2015-2016 school year.
"We've come a long way from the handful of schools that helped us pioneer our online learning program," said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of VHS, referring to the 28 schools and 710 students who first partnered with the organization.
VHS began in October 1996 with a $7.8M grant to Hudson Public Schools and Concord Consortium from the U.S. Department of Education. By the following year it launched 30 courses including its very first Advanced Placement® course.
Two years later the organization established its first partnership with an international consortium. Recently schools from Turkey, Switzerland and Dubai joined the VHS family. All schools that partner with VHS have access to a wide range of core, elective, credit recovery and AP® courses that inspire, ignite and deepen learning. Currently the VHS offers more than 200 unique online courses including 23 AP® classes, one of the largest catalogs of online AP® courses anywhere.
In 2001, VHS transitioned to a non-profit organization and in 2004, was offering summer school courses. Its commitment to deliver exceptional results was recognized in 2008 when the highly esteemed United States Distance Learning Association honored the VHS for its 21st Century Best Practices in Distance Learning award in 2008.
VHS launched its flexible credit recovery program in 2011 to help students at risk of falling behind or failing a course. In 2015, VHS developed and launched its Online Judaic Studies Consortium, funded through a grant from The AVI CHAI Foundation.
With each innovation, some things, including high levels of service and support, remained the same. Last year, 97% of schools working with the non-profit course provider continued their participation into the next academic year.
"Since our inception we've felt strongly that all education - not just online education - benefits from a supportive community working together to provide students with access to quality education, regardless of geographic location or resource constraints. Twenty years later, we continue to serve families, schools and educators; we know the work we do truly does make a difference. Moving forward, our long-term vision is to prepare students to be successful in college, careers, and life," said Ribeiro.
About The Virtual High School
The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts has set the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for secondary school students and online professional development for educators. The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development and individualized course offerings. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology, and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association's (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit www.VHSLearning.org or call (978) 897-1900.