A positive, responsive, and respectful online school culture does not happen in isolation but arises as all teachers and administrative staff focus on achieving the three goals set by Virtual High School in a thoughtful and meaningful manner.
3.1 Reaching out to National and International Students
Many international students come to Ontario to pursue secondary school because Ontario is recognized across Canada and around the globe as a leader in educational excellence. The Ontario government is committed to keeping Ontario as an educational destination for international students. Virtual High School attempts to follow in these footsteps by providing a positive educational experience for our national and international students seeking online Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) credit courses. Students completing their OSSD with Virtual High School may then consider Ontario as a potential destination for their post-secondary education. Actions to be taken by VHS are:
- ensure VHS courses provide a high quality learning experience for national and international students.
- focus on the specific educational needs of international students and provide direct intervention to meet these needs in meaningful ways; and
- consider every student equally and thus provide opportunities for the student to achieve success according to his or her own interests, abilities and goals. That being said, international students will pay slightly more for their VHS courses due to the extra administrative work involved.
3.2 To Be Responsive to the Educational Needs of Our Students
The educational philosophy of Virtual High School has always been to provide a student-centered education in the online environment. The positive growth in the number of students taking our courses, the high level of completion rates within VHS courses, and the strong academic performance of our students as they progress into post-secondary institutions, all affirm that we are focused on the essential educational outcomes. Actions to be taken by VHS are:
- allow the student to start his or her VHS course on any day, move through the course at any pace, and write the final exam on any day,
- contact the student upon registration in order to provide the necessary information to the student enabling the student to begin the online course right away,
- post the contact information of all VHS school administrative staff at our main website to help students to quickly get answers to their questions,
- promote communications between the student and their teacher upon enrollment, in order to open this extremely important connection,
- adhere to the principles and policies outline in "Growing Success: Assessment and Evaluation, and Reporting in Ontario Schools" in order to improve student learning,
- constantly evaluate the effectiveness of the initial student communication, course introduction units, News items, and school website as to their effectiveness with students,
- share best practices of teacher-student interactions among all VHS teachers,
- enable all VHS staff to receive student feedback in order to determine the extent to which student educational needs are being met, and
- create an environment where student and parent complaints are encouraged and welcomed so that these complaints are acted upon in a prompt and welcomed manner.
3.3 To Be Responsive to the Administrative Needs of Our Students
Virtual High School makes every attempt to provide a full range of academic services to its students - services normally found in all public schools in Ontario. Our goal is to make sure that this full range of services is provided in a professional and timely manner to all students. Actions to be taken by VHS are:
- establish and maintain Ontario University Application Centre (OUAC) accounts for our OSR students planning to entering university upon graduation from VHS;
- establish and maintain Ontario College Application Service (OCAS) accounts for our OSR students planning to entering college upon graduation from VHS;
- produce and forward copies of the Ontario Student Transcripts (OST) to post-secondary institutions in a timely manner;
- make arrangements for students to write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT), a requirement for graduation;
- replicate and establish a VHS Individual Education Plan (IEP) for exceptional students in order to identify the student's specific learning expectations and how these expectations are to be accommodated within their online course;
- establish and maintain Ontario Student Records (OSR) for those students who are the sole responsibility of VHS, following the Ontario Ministry of Education's guidelines; and
- determine the equivalent credits earned by students entering the Ontario school system in their previous educational setting and to advise the student on the remaining requirements to be completed in order to earn the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).