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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 Ontario curriculum expectations and has been carefully designed by VHSís 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 for students who work through the material. Students submit their solutions and written assignments online. Interactive activities and multimedia elements occur throughout the content to engage students, provide opportunities to practice understanding, and differentiate instruction. The assignments are all submitted to the online Dropbox within the learning environment. Any tests or quizzes will be completed online and will be open-book and timed. 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 the studentís home address and to the student's home school where it can be added to the list of courses on the 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 and private schools in the Province of Ontario.†Our Ministry BSID# is 665681.†View the VHS 2016 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, if needed. 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 reflects 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 studentsí completion of the lessons and assessments.

  • What are the tuition fees?

    Our tuition fees include all costs associated with the course Ė there are no textbooks required in addition to the tuition fee*. The tuition fee includes tax.

      • Grade 9 courses are $449.
      • Grade 10 courses are $499.
      • Grade 11 courses are $549.
      • Grade 12 courses are $579.

    *Note: students may be required to borrow or purchase a novel for English courses. Used texts or similar copies are readily available from used bookstores and libraries.

  • What are your additional costs?

    VHS has very few additional costs. For the vast majority of our students, the tuition fee for your course is the only fee you 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 within the first three months of registration. If a student requests a transfer, an administrative fee will be required as the preliminary work will have to be repeated by our staff. A fee of $100 will apply if the student has not completed any of the assessments. A fee of $175 will apply if the student has completed no more than three assessments. Transfers will not be available to a student who has completed more than three assessments or who has not requested a transfer within the three month period. 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 through VHS at a location near the student, a fee of $499 will apply. 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. Students must be taking at least one course with VHS in order to be eligible to take the OSSLT with VHS.
    • 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 six 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 his or her OSR to VHS and VHS becomes the studentís home school, or if VHS is required to create a new OSR. Such costs include:
    • Equivalent Credit Assessments: VHS can evaluate 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 $60; 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 $120.
    • 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 3 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 3 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 3 institutions. Beyond 3 institutions, the fees identified above apply.
  • Will VHS communicate with my school throughout my course?

    VHS will inform the studentís home school when he or she registers 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 studentís 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 courses will not be viewed any differently by post-secondary institutions. In fact, asynchronous online courses demand that students be motivated, goal-orientated, and independent Ė 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 Ė they know the value and the learning that can occur in quality online courses.

Registration

  • When can I enroll in a course at VHS?

    VHS has ongoing enrollment 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 studentís 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, high quality 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 VHSís 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 teacherís 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 enroll.

    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 teacherís 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 can be arranged upon request. †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 studentís home school. At the studentís 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 Schoolís 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 under study, but 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, a tutor 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 studentís 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 studentís needs. Additionally, VHSís 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:

      • Students can use assistive technologies that they have access to and are familiar with.
      • Some of our courses offer ĎReadSpeakerí Ė a tool that reads the text on the page aloud and highlights the words that are being spoken.
      • Our courses use 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 Ė 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 enrolls 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 a studentís request. Once VHS has the studentís request on file, any future updates on the studentís 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 higher 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 enroll in a course without providing prerequisite evidence, but he or she 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 his/her 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 his or her own Proctor, a Proctor Approval Application must be submitted to the office two (2) 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 e-mail 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.
    2. 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 and schedule and pay to write the exam online with Examity. Examity charges $16.25 USD for the first hour, and $7 USD 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 he/she understands 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 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, he or she 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 studentís identity. The student will be supervised online for the duration of your 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 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, if applicable.

  • 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, he or she can submit a Proctor Approval Application at any time. Students must allow two (2) 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 to reschedule the exam using Examity, which allows for flexible scheduling options.

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