Friday, October 18, 2013

Virtual High School

We expanded our Program of Studies at WHS by more than 200 courses when we partnered with the Virtual High School Global Consortium in 2009.  VHS provides a wide range of online courses that offer unique enrichment opportunities for students, many of which would not be available in a traditional high school course catalogue. As part of membership in the VHS Collaborative, WHS provides a teacher to teach one VHS course each semester.  The VHS Collaborative includes schools from 30 US states and 34 countries around the world!   As a member of the Collaborative, we can fill 15 student "seats" each semester in VHS courses.  

Here are some of the exciting elective courses our students have participated in the last several years:

Investing in the Stock Market
World Conflict:  A United Nations Introduction
History of Photography
The Human Body
Engineering Principles
Computational Science & Engineering using Java
Journalism in the Digital Age 
20th Century Women Authors 

Along with Advanced Placement courses:

AP Art History 
AP World History
AP European History
AP Psychology 

And World Language offerings:

Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture
German Language and Culture
AP French Language and Culture

Senila Yasmin working on a VHS course
Sophomore Senila Yasmin is taking a VHS course this year, in addition to a full slate of honors-level courses in school.  She told me that she really enjoys the independence required to be successful this class.  "It's a lot of work", she said, "and definitely a lot of responsibility".  But she is getting a true 21st century learning experience by working on a group project with her classmates - from all around the US - who sign on at all different times of the day and night to complete the work.  Senila's teacher is from Ohio.  Senila believes that this course is great preparation for the level of independence needed for college.

Ms. Beth Hughes teaches a VHS course called "Bad Boys in Literature"
WHS English teacher Ms. Beth Hughes teaches a literature course for the VHS Collaborative.  Ms. Hughes has been a passionate advocate for this educational opportunity at WHS; she often states the imperative of offering this kind of experience to our students if we truly want to be a high-performing 21st century school.  

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