In a year when everything has changed, students still have a tried and tested course option VHS, or Virtual High School.
VHS is an online program with more than 200 courses available. Students can take the courses as electives, giving them access to classes they would not be able to participate in otherwise. Topics range from American Sign Language to mythology.
Coursework takes place asynchronously, that is so as long as students meet the deadlines set by their teachers, they can complete work anytime and anywhere.
Since VHS has always been an online program, it did not have to change much when learning at all levels and worldwide went remote as the coronavirus bore down a year ago.
Mrs. Grosso, Hull High School librarian and VHS site coordinator, told the Times that some students struggled last year because “some of them needed me here.” But “some students kept up with it and did amazing,” she added.
One side effect of the coronavirus on VHS observed by Grosso is that “each semester we have 25 seats, but because of the pandemic we don’t have that many kids taking it.”
Each VHS course has an actual teacher from somewhere else in the world who can communicate with and help students. Students also have actual classmates they interact with on a regular basis.
Grosso believes that one benefit of VHS is that “there’s other kids from all around the world, so you get to connect with people you wouldn’t normally connect with. You still have that contact with the students.”
Grosso’s role as site coordinator is largely to help students. “I step in if ever the student is having trouble with the teacher. I’m still there as your teacher here,” she explained.
VHS is “for highly motivated students who can manage deadlines,” she said, noting that “it’s great for students that like to have everything all planned out.”
For more information on VHS, visit https://vhslearning.org/
Victoria Dolan is school correspondent for The Hull Times.