Students in Control
VHS courses must adhere to the required expectations or outcomes prescribed by the Ministry of Education in Ontario. However, the courses can still be flexible. Students can choose which novel from the choice given in their English course or which unit they wish to start with first in their science course or which assignment they wish to complete first. Students are given a lot of control over their own learning.
Studies of online learning indicate that average student performance in well-crafted online courses, such as the 71 courses at VHS, is at least equal to the average performance of students in traditional bricks-and mortar classrooms. Similarly, universities treat students taking online courses from VHS with the highest regard, often recommending to their own students wishing to change their University program, that they attend VHS to pick up the necessary high school prerequisite.
VHS places the student in control. The student decides when they ‘come to school’, how much time to spend on their course work on any given day, when to pass in their assignments, when to write their unit tests and even where and when they will write their final exam. Students needing more time to practice their learning can choose to move slowly through their course whereas other students may move quickly through their course to remain engaged.
After the student finishes the final exam, the teacher will submit the report card to the main office which then issues the report card and Ontario Student Transcript (OST) to the student. VHS will also send a copy of both report card and the OST to the student's home school, where the course is added to the student’s ongoing record of courses on the OST.
High Schools have Changed
Students can now choose among schools and courses like never before. Students registered fulltime or part-time in a public, Catholic or private school anywhere in Ontario can sign up for a course at VHS any time. International students can also sign up for a course at VHS any time. All the student needs is evidence that they have met the prerequisite for the course. The student does not need the permission of their current school because VHS will communicate with their school to inform them of the registration.
The VHS teacher is not focused on the disruptive student in the class or whether a student’s T-shirt is appropriate but rather is focused on guiding student learning through an individualized curriculum. This actually allows growth in the student-teacher interaction for all VHS students as it tends to be more personal than in a traditional bricks-and-mortar classroom. Combine this with the outstanding teaching staff at VHS, and it makes for an exciting time for student learning.