Below are answers to our visitors' most frequently asked questions about VHS. If you cannot find the answer to your question listed below please call us at 978.897.1900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Getting Started page.
If your school would like to have someone from The VHS Collaborative 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.
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 NetCourse Instructional Methodologies in order to teach a VHS course.
The VHS Collaborative courses are not digital correspondence classes. VHS believes in student-centered classes which encourage collaboration among students. Therefore, our classes run on an asynchronous 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.
You will be able to view lesson content, submit course assignments and fully participate in most courses on mobile devices, including iPads, iPhones, and Android devices. The following features within the learning environment will not work on portable devices:
- Flash content and software is not compatible with iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch).
- Record Audio and Record Video functions require Flash and do not work on mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets).
- Courses which use installed software will require regular access to a regular desktop/laptop computer for installation and use.
Be sure to check your course description in the VHS course catalog to see if the course you are interested in requires Flash or uses installed software.
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 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 cyberschool. VHS believes that virtual learning enhances face-to-face instruction, but is not a replacement for traditional schooling.
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.
A student can take up to three VHS Collaborative courses in a semester. Additional courses for special circumstances are considered on a case by case basis.
Typically our course enrollment numbers are at or below 25 students per section, with an average student to teacher ratio of 21:1.
Yes, students can save their work as "in progress" so that they can come back to complete it at a later time.
VHS has been extensively studied, and the research indicates that students learn online through The VHS Collaborative as much, and in many cases more, than they do in traditional classrooms. For more Information, read about The VHS Collaborative's Commitment to Quality.
As all of our courses are asynchronous, 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).
- June 22, 2016 - Summer Session 1 and Extended Sessions Start
- July 22, 2016 - Summer Session 1 Ends
- July 25, 2016 - Summer Session 2 Starts
- August 19, 2016 - Summer Session 2 and Extended Sessions End
- August 3, 2016 - Student Orientation and ILOs Open
- September 7, 2016 - Fall Semester Begins
- September 13, 2016 - Add/Drop Period Ends
- November 1, 2016 - Term 1 Ends
- Novemberber 2, 2016 - Term 2 Begins
- December 20, 2016 - Fall Semester Ends
- January 4, 2017 - Week 16 Begins for Full-Year Courses
- January 25, 2017 - Week 1 Begins for Spring Courses
- January 31, 2017 - Add/Drop Period Ends
- March 21, 2017 - Term 1 Ends
- March 22, 2017 - Term 2 Begins
- May 9, 2017 - Spring Semester Ends
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 Northwest 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 VHS Collaborative. 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.
Based in Massachusetts The Virtual High School offices are located at 4 Mill & Main Place, Suite 510, Maynard, MA 01754.