2017 has been another busy and exciting year at Virtual High School. As we gear up for 2018, we’d like to reflect on some of the big events of this year.
Virtual High School’s academic departments continued to work on updating and launching courses this year. In 2017, SNC4M launched and ENG2P, CHA3U, HHS4U, and HHS4C were updated.
SNC4M is a grade 12 university/college preparation course that teaches students about nutritional science, pathogens and disease, a variety of medical technologies, biotechnology, and public health issues. This course is valuable for all students, including those pursuing post-secondary programs that do not focus on the sciences. What sets SNC4M apart from our other science courses is that it incorporates a number of case studies. This engaging approach encourages students to become actively involved in problem solving.
ENG2P is a grade 10 applied English course that extends the range of oral communication, reading, writing, and media literacy skills that students need for success in secondary school and daily life. For the first time in a VHS course, ENG2P contains a unit on graphic novels.
CHA3U is a grade 11 university level course that enables students to gain an understanding of the social, economic, political, and cultural development of the United States from colonization to the present.
Virtual High School introduced free tutoring into all of its courses this year. Students now have access to online tutoring for their course(s). The tutoring program is in addition to the access each student has to his or her VHS teacher. Adding this support is of great benefit for our students because with this service, they receive additional professional, individual support when they need it.
Virtual High School began working on a project developing 36 elementary level courses for a large state school in the United States in late 2016. Throughout 2017, this intensive 18-month project has progressed immensely, and we are beginning to prepare for the project close in early 2018. By the end of November 2017, over 76 000 media assets had been created or procured, and approximately 26 000 pages of content had been produced for this massive project.
Virtual High School hosted its annual Professional Development day for our teachers on October 28, 2017. The day began with opening remarks from John Baker, CEO of D2L. He commended us on the important innovations we are bringing to education in our work at VHS. We then split into our breakout groups and attended sessions on various topics to help improve VHS as a whole. The day ended with a closing remark from Steve Baker, CEO and Principal of VHS, about the past, present, and future of VHS. The day was a great success with much discussion and collaboration among our administrative teams, academic teams, and teachers.
For the past 5 years, Virtual High School has hosted Run4Kids, a 5-kilometer walk or run through Bayfield streets in support of a children’s charity. For the 3rd year, Run4Kids supported Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario. On Sunday, September 3rd, over 120 participants, 35 volunteers, and many spectators joined us in Bayfield to support Aiden, a 14-year-old boy from Middlesex County who has a cardiac condition. Aiden is a Wish Child with Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario. His wish is to, one day, be the Prime Minister of Canada. Before the race began, the crowd listened to Aiden speak about his journey through surgeries and how much the Run4Kids event and Make-A-Wish mean to him.
The final amount raised from Run4Kids 2017 was $9308. We are extremely grateful to all of our generous donors, participants, volunteers, and well-wishers! The day was a great success, and we are excited to hear about Aiden’s wish. Click here to view the photos from the day.
VHS continues to grow and expand, which is a testament to the quality and professionalism of the individuals we have working within our school. This year, we had approximately 7300 students enroll – the most we have seen to date. It is exciting to see the growing interest in the flexible education option that VHS offers. The changes and pace at VHS are exciting, and we look forward to another great year in 2018.