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Frequently Asked Questions

 

General

  • How does it work?

    A student can register for any course at any time and work at their own pace. Each course contains instructional content that covers all the Ontario curriculum expectations and has been carefully designed by VHS’s content development team. All of our writers and developers are experienced, qualified teachers in their respective fields, and each is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Assignments and quizzes appear throughout the course content. Students submit their answers and written assignments online. There are interactive activities and multimedia elements throughout the content to engage students, provide opportunities to practice understanding, and differentiate instruction. The assignments are submitted to the online Dropbox within the learning environment. Any tests or quizzes will be open-book, timed, and completed online. The final exam is also completed online under the supervision of an appropriate proctor. The student will be responsible for selecting a proctor and submitting an approval application to VHS. The date, time, and location of the exam will be mutually agreed upon by the student and proctor. Once the course is finished, Virtual High School will send official copies of the final report card to both the student’s home address and their school, where it can be added to the list of courses on their Ontario Student Transcript (OST).

  • Will these courses count towards my diploma or university application?

    Yes. This is the first question you should ask of any private school. VHS is inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Education and is qualified to issue OSSD credits, which are the same credits earned by students in bricks-and-mortar public schools and private schools in the province of Ontario. Our Ministry BSID# is 665681. View the VHS 2017-2018 Accreditation Report

  • Can I take a course at VHS?

    Yes! Whether or not you are enrolled in university or college, another high school, or live in another country, you are eligible to take courses at VHS. You do not need the permission of your current school to take a course with VHS. Virtual High School will communicate with your school when you register for a course with VHS. Virtual High School will also send a copy of your midterm report card to your school when you reach that point in the course. When you have finished the course, VHS will send the final report card to your home school, where this course will be added to your ongoing Ontario Student Transcript (OST) in your Ontario Student Record (OSR). OSSD credits earned from VHS are the same as those earned at bricks-and-mortar schools in Ontario. See section 10.6 in the Ontario Schools Policy & Program Requirements document for specific details.

  • How long does a course take?

    Students proceed through their courses as quickly or as slowly as they desire. There are no schedules or due dates to follow—students decide when to hand in their assignments and when to take their tests to meet any personal deadlines they might have. Attendance is not tracked. Students have up to 18 months in which to complete their courses and have the option to pay for course extensions. Students choose when and how the coursework is completed. The course outline indicates that the course will take 110 hours and highlights the breakdown of each unit. Please keep in mind that the 110 hours reflect the number of hours a student may spend on the lessons and does not include additional time students may take to complete assignments or prepare for tests or examinations. At Virtual High School, we recognize that students learn at different paces, and therefore, our teachers do not track the amount of time students spend online working on their courses. The rate of progress through the course is based on the students’ completion of the lessons and assessments.

  • What are the tuition fees?

    Our tuition fees include all costs associated with the course—there are no textbooks required in addition to the tuition fees1. The tuition fees include tax.

    Grade Canadian Student2 International Student3
    9 $479 $579
    10 $479 $579
    11 $579 $679
    12 $579 $679

    1Note: Students may be required to borrow or purchase novels for English courses. Copies are readily available from used bookstores and libraries.
    2At VHS, students are considered Canadian students if they are Canadian citizens or have a permanent address in Canada.
    3At VHS, students are considered international students if they are not Canadian citizens nor permanently residing in Canada. If you are registering from an address outside of Canada and are (1) a Canadian Citizen, (2) have a permanent residence in Canada, or (3) are attending a Canadian International School that studies the Ontario curriculum, please be sure to contact our office before proceeding to register to ensure the appropriate course fee is applied.

  • What are your additional costs?

    VHS has very few additional costs. For the vast majority of our students, the tuition fee for their course is the only fee they pay to VHS. Additional fees may apply in the following circumstances:

    • Course Transfers: A student has the option to transfer from one course to another at any time within the 18-month completion deadline. If a student requests a transfer, an administrative fee will be required as the preliminary work will have to be repeated by our staff. This fee may range from $49–$304, depending on the circumstances. It is important to note that if a student transfers into a new course, the 18-month deadline will not refresh. The student will be required to complete the new course within the original 18-month deadline, based upon the enrolment date of the original course. Transfers will not be available to a student who has completed more than three assessments. The decision of the VHS Registrar is final in all cases involving refund requests and course transfers.
    • OSSLT: Should a student wish to take the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test at the VHS administrative office located in Bayfield, Ontario, a fee of $199 will apply. Should a student wish to take the OSSLT through VHS at an alternative location, a fee of $499 will apply.
    • Course Extensions: Students will have the opportunity to extend a course if they are unable to complete the course within the 18-month time limit. The extension options are listed below.
      • 1 additional month: $99
      • 2 additional months: $149
      • 3 additional months: $199
      • 4 additional months: $249
      • 5 additional months: $299
      • 6 additional months: $349
      The maximum length of extension allowed for any course is 6 months total. Students must pay for the extension on or before the date of expiration. Fees apply to the number of months being purchased at the time of transaction and are not calculated in combination with any extensions previously purchased by the student. For example, if a student purchases one month for $99 and requires an additional one month extension, the same fee ($99) will apply, with no fee reductions. Students will be removed from their courses on the next business day following the expiration date. Once removed, the course cannot be reactivated.
    Additional costs may also occur if a student transfers their OSR to VHS and VHS becomes the student’s home school, or if VHS is required to create a new OSR. Such costs include the following:
    • Equivalent Credit Assessments: VHS can evaluate the transcripts and report cards of a student from outside Ontario to determine if the student has completed equivalent credits elsewhere that fall under the OSSD requirements. The fee for an initial assessment is $90; this will determine how many courses the student needs to complete in order to earn the OSSD. Should a student decide to register, the fee to create the official equivalent credit assessment is an additional $90. 
    • OUAC: An OUAC account can be opened for any student whose OSR is hosted by VHS. VHS will maintain the OUAC account throughout that school year. The fee for managing the account and applications to three post-secondary institutions is $180. VHS can also communicate directly with post-secondary institutions, rather than OUAC, if needed. If a document is requested to be sent to more than three post-secondary institutions directly, then a fee of $30 per instance will apply. Additional fees will also apply if a student requires information to be couriered through FedEx to any institution. VHS can also communicate with OUAC and post-secondary institutions for students whose OSR is not held at VHS. There is no fee for communicating with OUAC and up to three institutions. Beyond three institutions, the fees identified above apply.
  • Will VHS communicate with my school throughout my course?

    VHS will inform the student’s home school when they register for a course, when the midpoint has been reached, and when the course has been completed. A midterm report card and final report card will both be sent to the home school. The OSSD credit earned at VHS will then be added to the student’s list of credits, which is maintained by the home school on an Ontario Student Transcript (OST).

  • Are the credits recognized by universities and colleges?

    At VHS, students earn OSSD credits, which are the same credits that a student would earn in a bricks-and-mortar school in Ontario. As a result, these credits will not be viewed any differently by post-secondary institutions. In fact, asynchronous online courses demand that students be motivated, goal-orientated, and independent—all of which are essential traits for student success in post-secondary settings. VHS has many university students taking courses each year to meet prerequisite requirements for programs they may be switching to. Many universities are advising students to choose VHS to meet necessary prerequisites, as students can take a high school course while they are actually attending university. Universities also offer many online courses and whole programs—they know the value of quality online courses. We recommend contacting any potential post-secondary institutions directly to inquire about their admissions policies. 

Registration

  • When can I enrol in a course at VHS?

    VHS has ongoing enrolment, which means students may register on any day of the year. Typically, students will be able to begin courses within 24 hours of registration.

  • How do I register?

    Registration is completed online using our registration page.

  • What happens after I register?

    Once the registration process is complete, students will receive an initial email confirming their registration and payment. A second email will be sent with the student’s username and a password link. Typically, this email is received within 24 hours. 

Student Support

  • What support will I have throughout the course?

    Students will have a certified teacher throughout the course as well as 24/7 access to unlimited, on-demand, online tutoring.

  • Who will be my teacher?

    At VHS, students will be assigned a certified, highly skilled teacher. Students will have the same teacher throughout the entire course* and will be able to communicate with the teacher via the VHS email system. Visit Our Educators and Teacher Spotlight sections of our website to learn more about VHS’s teachers.

    *On extremely rare occasions, a teacher may become unavailable to teach a course, but that role will be immediately filled by another qualified teacher who will make the transition as seamless as possible.

  • What is my teacher’s role throughout my course?

    Your teacher is there to answer questions, provide feedback, and grade assessments. Your VHS teacher should be the first person you contact with any questions or concerns about your course or course content.

  • How long does it take for assessments to be graded?

    The majority of departments at VHS follow a standard of providing feedback and grading within 5 days. Some departments with larger writing components, notably English and Social Sciences, may allow up to 7 days for assessments to be graded. Teachers will clarify specific expectations when students enrol.

  • Do I have to wait until an assignment is graded before I can move forward in the course?

    No. You are able to continue working through your lessons at your own pace; however, we recommend waiting for your teacher’s feedback before submitting more assignments so that you can use the feedback to improve on future coursework.

  • How do I communicate with my teacher?

    You will communicate with your teacher primarily through email within the learning environment. However, other modes of communication such as telephone or video conferencing may be arranged upon request and at the teacher’s discretion. VHS requests that teachers log in daily to respond to emails and address inquiries.

  • What happens after I earn a credit with VHS?

    Once VHS receives the final report issued by the teacher, our records department will process this information and mail an official copy to the home address we have on file. We will also fax and mail a copy to the student’s home school. At the student’s request, VHS can also communicate with a post-secondary institution or send the report to OUAC/OCAS.

  • How does the tutoring work?

    Tutoring is provided by a third party. Students will have access to tutoring via Virtual High School’s learning environment. The service is online, unlimited, on-demand, and instantly available 24/7 for most subject areas*. The tutors are proficient in all subject areas offered by Virtual High School.

    When students need assistance, they upload a file, description, or image of the lesson or assignment to the chat box. Tutors will help students with any questions they have about the topic of study, but they do not provide students with answers. All sessions are saved on students' personal dashboards and are monitored by Virtual High School. Students will not be permitted to utilize the tutoring service during the final exam.  

    *On rare occasions, tutors may not be instantly available in subject areas that have lower demand.

Guidance

  • I have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). How can VHS accommodate my exceptionality?

    Assessments and activities within the online courses must take into account the strengths, needs, learning expectations, and accommodations identified in the student’s IEP. Accommodations may include reducing the workload, simplifying tasks and material, and providing more time for learning and completing activities. The assistance of other persons and the use of specialized equipment may also be required to accommodate the student’s needs. Additionally, VHS’s self-paced model naturally offers students accommodations. One of the main benefits is that students are able to work at their own pace and spend as much or as little time on the lessons as needed to understand the concepts. Other benefits include the following:

    • Students can use assistive technologies that they have access to and with which they are familiar.
    • Some of our courses offer ReadSpeaker—a tool that reads the text on the page out loud and highlights the words that are being spoken.
    • Our courses include text, video, interactive activities, and many practice opportunities.
    • Where possible, the assessments allow students flexibility in the medium or to format the use of unique tools with which to present their ideas—choose to write a paper, give an oral presentation, or create a visual, for example.
  • I am an English Language Learner (ELL). How can VHS accommodate this?

    Our teachers are coached on ways to best support ELLs in order to provide all students with the support they need to be successful. Additionally, helpful tips and strategies are provided within courses for ELLs if they are having any difficulty with learning in English.

  • I do not live in Ontario, Canada. Can I still take courses with VHS?

    Yes, VHS welcomes students living anywhere in the world. All that you will need to complete your course is a computer and an internet connection.

  • How will OUAC/OCAS or the university know that I am taking a course with VHS?

    When a student enrols or reaches midterm or final point in a course, VHS can send that information to OUAC, OCAS, and/or to any post-secondary institution upon the student’s request. Once VHS has the student’s request on file, any future updates on the student’s progress (i.e. midterm or final report cards) will be forwarded accordingly. However, it is always beneficial to double-check that the grade has been updated when you reach the midterm or final point in the course.

    Please note: VHS will not send course updates to OUAC or OCAS unless you have provided your reference number to us. Once we know your reference number, we will send updated grades there as they are processed.

  • What is a prerequisite course? Do I have to complete this course before I register?

    A prerequisite course is one that a student must complete prior to taking the next level of the subject. Prerequisite requirements are outlined by the Ministry of Education in order to ensure that students are properly prepared to take a course at the next level. For example, a student must complete SCH3U prior to being able to take SCH4U in order to ensure that the student has the foundation to be successful in the higher level course. Students can find out more information on required prerequisites by viewing the Course Outline for the courses they are hoping to take. A student may enrol in a course without providing prerequisite evidence, but they will not have access to all of the course content until this evidence is demonstrated to VHS. Depending on the experience of the student, it is also possible that a prerequisite requirement can be waived, but this is done at the discretion of the VHS Principal. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain and send VHS a copy of their Ontario Student Transcript (OST), report card, or credit counseling summary. Such documents prove to VHS that the student has achieved the prerequisite for the course. If a student or parent requests that a prerequisite be waived, the principal will determine whether or not the prerequisite should be waived based upon the student's educational level, experience, or maturity. If a student has taken a similar course in a different province or country, it is possible that the prerequisite could be waived as determined by course equivalency standards. Download the Prerequisite Waiver Form.

Final Exam

  • How does the final exam work?

    All exams at VHS are closed book and completed online under the supervision of an appropriate proctor. Proctoring can be organized in two ways:

    1. Student finds a proctor to supervise the exam: If a student is finding their own proctor, a Proctor Approval Application must be submitted to the office two weeks* in advance of the intended exam date. The application is then reviewed by the exams administrator and the student is notified when the proctor has been approved and/or if VHS requires additional information on the proctor. Once approved, the proctor is sent a Proctor Memorandum indicating the exam procedures and exam password via email. The proctor and student are responsible for understanding the exam procedures and protocol (i.e. no content can be accessed during the final exam). Once the exam is completed, the proctor must sign and return the Proctor Memorandum indicating all procedures were properly followed. In order to ensure the integrity and security of the final exam, the proctor must meet the following criteria in order to be considered for approval:
      • Must have a professional university degree or college designation
      • Must provide a non-generic business email address for correspondence purposes (i.e. not Gmail or Hotmail, etc.)
      • Must not be a family member
      • Must not be a student at any level of study
      • Must not be a tutor

        * Have this reduced to one week by using a proctor from our Pre-Approved Proctors List.

    1. Student chooses to write with Examity: Examity is an online proctoring option that allows students to schedule and write their VHS exams at any time. Examity is a pre-approved proctoring option at VHS, so the student is not required to submit a Proctor Approval Application for this method. If a student chooses to write a final exam with Examity as the proctor, the student will create an Examity account through the VHS learning environment, schedule the exam, and pay online. Examity charges US$16.50 for the first hour and US$7.00 for any additional hours. All of the same exam rules for traditionally proctored exams will apply to exams written with Examity.
  • What is the procedure for writing the final exam?

    1. If the student chooses to find a proctor: The proctor must first be approved by VHS following the guidelines above. Once the exam is scheduled with the proctor, it is up to the student to ensure that they understand the rules and regulations surrounding the final exam. For example, the student cannot access any external content during the final exam. All final exam procedures can be found in the Introduction unit of the course under Final Exam. The student will access the exam online and a password will be entered by the proctor in order for the student to access the exam. The exam will be timed, so it is important for the student to be aware of any time constraints for the exam. The student will then work through the exam and save his or her responses as questions are completed. Once the final exam is submitted, the proctor will sign and return the Proctor Memorandum to our office.

      Please note: The final report card for the course will not be released until VHS receives the signed Proctor Memorandum from the proctor.

    2. If the student chooses to write with Examity: The student must access the Examity portal in VHS and create an account with Examity. The student must provide a copy of a government-issued photo ID such as a driver's license, passport, or identification card and complete a series of security questions and verification steps. VHS recommends that students set up the account a few weeks prior to scheduling an exam. If the student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP), the student must contact the Exams Administrator before the exam is scheduled to ensure that accommodations can be implemented with Examity. The student can then schedule and pay to write the exam with Examity. On the day the student is scheduled to write, they should log into the Examity account 10–15 minutes in advance to complete the authentication process. This is where the student will speak with the remote proctor via microphone and webcam to confirm the student’s identity. The student will be supervised online for the duration of their exam. Any additional resources that can be used during the exam, such as a formula sheet, will be provided to the student by the proctor. Your exam video will be reviewed after the writing period to verify that all rules and regulations were followed. It may take up to 48 hours for your exam summary to be released.
  • Who can I ask to proctor my exam?

    If the student is currently registered in a public or private school, then the student should consider arranging to write the exam with a person associated with his or her home school (teacher, librarian, counselor), where feasible. If the student is not currently registered with another school, or this is not an option, we recommend that the student contact a local public library, college/university, or testing centre to see if they offer proctoring services. The student will be required to adhere to the policies and procedures of these locations in addition to VHS final exam policies and procedures. If this option is not available, then the student can ask anyone who he or she knows that meets all requirements set out above. A few examples of individuals who would most likely be approved as a proctors are: engineers, registered nurses, lawyers, Chartered Accountants, etc. Alternatively, students can choose to write the exam with Examity and have the exam supervised online by an Examity proctor. The student will be required to cover any fees associated with the chosen proctor or Examity.

  • When can I write the final exam?

    The student selects the date, time, and location of the final exam. If the student is choosing to find a proctor, the student and proctor must agree on the date and time selected. When the student is nearing the end of the course, they can submit a Proctor Approval Application at any time. Students must allow two weeks for the application to be processed. Assignments and tests do not have to be completed at the time of application but must be submitted before writing the exam. Any assignments not received by the teacher prior to the exam may be graded a zero. If the student does not submit the application two weeks in advance of the exam date, the application will not be processed. The student will be asked to reschedule with an appropriate time frame or reschedule the exam using Examity, which allows for flexible scheduling options.