2018 was another busy and exciting year at Virtual High School. As we gear up for 2019, we’d like to reflect on some of the big events from the past year.
Virtual High School’s academic departments continued to work on updating courses. New versions of ENG4U, OLC4O, and MCR3U launched in 2018.
ENG4U, a common choice for the Grade 12 English diploma requirement, is one of the most popular courses at VHS. We are excited to offer a new version of this course with new assessments, new essay topics, and a new Essay Skills Quiz. Universities now emphasize concision and clarity in undergrad writing, and our new version of ENG4U helps students prepare for the projects, essays, and other assignments they will be required to produce after graduating from VHS.
OLC4O is an option for students who have not been successful in writing the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test, which is required in order to graduate. This new version provides students with immediate feedback on lessons. Exemplars modelling concepts now appear throughout the course, and students are required to submit a final portfolio that contains their best pieces, fully edited, before they write the exam.
MCR3U is the most popular prerequisite for accessing the university-track set of Grade 12 math courses. The new version has changed the course structure to transition into the rigor of the course expectations with better modelling, more fluidity, and more opportunities for feedback. The course includes revamped assignments, discussions, quizzes, and a new practice exam.
Elementary Project Wrap-Up
Virtual High School began working on a project developing 36 elementary-level courses for Florida Virtual School in 2016. This massive project wrapped up in 2018. The project consisted of 36 courses, 3,087 lessons, 34,903 content pages, 75,000 images, 6,500 audio clips, 750 videos, and 7,500 printable worksheets. Learn more about this project.
New Content Projects
VHS began writing and developing new math courses for Virtual Elementary School. New Grades 1─8 math courses are set to launch in 2019. Our team also began revamping our high school courses. Starting with grade 9, VHS is making exciting updates to the 70+ courses VHS offers.
Post-Secondary Info Series
In September, VHS ran its first-ever Post-Secondary Info Series session on Facebook Live, and the series continued throughout the fall. To date, the VHS team has met with 11 post-secondary institutions from across Ontario to discuss the exciting programs and experiences each of them has to offer students. Watch the videos.
In 2018, Virtual High School continued to make many contributions to the community through various initiatives. Some of these included donations to Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Huron County Christmas Bureau, the Bayfield Historical Society, the local food bank, and other groups and organization. We also sponsored plays, sports teams, conferences, fundraisers, and more. We were thrilled to sponsor the first annual Lit On Tour event in Goderich, ON. Co-presented by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the County of Huron, the event brings exciting contemporary writers to communities across Ontario to promote literacy and the literary arts.
Our most substantial effort to give back to the community is our annual Run4Kids event. For the past 6 years, Virtual High School has hosted Run4Kids, which is a 5K walk or run through Bayfield in support of a children’s charity. This year’s Run4Kids once again supported Make-A-Wish Southwestern Ontario. Specifically, we raised funds for Jesse’s wish. Jesse is an 11-year-old boy who has been battling cancer. We had the honour of orchestrating Jesse’s Wish Reveal at the event this year. Jesse and his family went to Costa Rica in November to fulfill his dreams of zip-lining, seeing monkeys and sloths, and visiting the country’s beautiful waterfalls and hot springs—all thanks to the support we received at Run4Kids 2018. The final amount raised this year was $12,653. We look forward to Run4Kids 2019. Learn more about the event.
VHS continues to grow and expand, which is a testament to our outstanding team. By year’s end, we will have approximately 8,500 enrolments—the most we have ever seen. It’s exciting to see a growing interest in the flexible education that VHS offers. We look forward to 2019.