Q. Who can take courses in the Virtual High
School @ PWCS?
A. Any 9th-12th
grade student enrolled in an accredited public Virginia school with counselor [verbal]
permission. Middle school students with special academic needs or conflicts with
scheduling may be approved to enroll - please see your MS counseling office for
approval. Students in Grades 9 - 12 may take courses for new or repeat
credit. Rising Freshmen: with approval from the student’s middle school
administrator or designee, rising ninth grade students may also take high school
classes for course credit during the summer prior to entering 9th grade.
Prerequisites may apply. Additionally, Prince William County home-instructed students can take
online courses if the parents enroll them in the local base school for the
purpose of attending the VHS.
Go to the Student Criteria page to see computer
configurations and take a self assessment
Q. How much does an online
A. The tuition for students enrolled in a PWC school is
$450 dollars per course and for non-PWCS students the cost is $595 dollars per
course. HPE courses may have additional fees or special tuition costs. See the Tuition Information page for more details.
Q. Where can I find more details on the courses?
A. Full course descriptions, as well as video overviews, are available in our course catalog. The catalog is updated each session and is linked under the "Need to enroll" menu item on the home page.
There is also a supplemental page for HPE courses located at: https://softchalkcloud.com/lesson/serve/Hnt7hSZ5IOwkJq/html
How many courses can I take through the Virtual High School?
A. At this time the VHS@PWCS is a supplemental program and does not provide a full-time solution. Students are typically still taking courses at their base school, however, in some circumstances, students could be "vhs only" and take courses on in the the Virtual HS. Most students take ONE course per session. However, some students choose to
take two courses. If you take two courses there are additional requirements in
exam scheduling and orientation. Taking two courses in the summer is extremely
challenging as each course can average 4-6 hours per day of work. We currently
do NOT have an option for full-time enrollment, however, we hope to have this option in the near future.
Q. Who will teach
the online courses and how do I communicate with them?
teachers are fully certified in their content area and are either currently or
formerly employed with the Prince William County School System. Instructors
have online office hours for daily contact and also instruct live lessons
(bi-weekly in spring and fall - daily in summer). Attendance at these lessons
is highly recommended, but if a student has a conflict, they are recorded and
archived for later access.
Q. Do students receive high school credit
for courses taken?
A. Yes, students will receive high school credit
when a course is successfully completed. The credit is placed on the PWCS transcript and is issued by their base
Q. What grading scale is used?
A. The Prince
William County Public Schools grading scale. If you are an out of district
student, a grade based on the PWCS scale will be submitted to your base school.
They may choose to convert the % to their grading scale. VHS courses still have marking periods and all work must be completed within each marking period. Penalties apply for late work.
Q. Can a
student take the Virtual High School course instead of summer school?
Yes, the online summer program runs concurrently with the regular PWCS summer
school schedule, and students may participate in the summer graduation ceremony
Q. Do courses count towards a student's GPA (Grade Point
Average) for class ranking?
A. Yes, the course will count towards a
student's overall GPA. All grades are submitted to the base school guidance
department to be placed on the student's transcript. If a student is taking the
course as a repeated credit, the grade will average with the previous grade and
the credit will only apply once.
Q. How does a student know his/her
A. The online gradebook helps students keep track of their
grades. Grade reports are also provided four times during the semester. Final
grades are submitted to the student's base school for application to the
official transcript. Parents are enrolled as Auditors and can login to view
student progress at any time.
Q. How and where does a student take
the end of course examination and/or state SOL (Standards of Learning)
A. Final Exams are taken with the
VHS instructor in a proctored environment. The exam is online, but the student
reports in person to the testing location with a Photo ID to take the exam. If
you are out of town, or have a valid conflict, on the exam date, you can use an approved external proctor. (*exceptions: HPE I and Econ/Finance) Students take their SOL exam via their base school in the spring and fall sessions. In the summer session, students take the SOL exam at the location of the traditional summer program. The SOL exam must be taken to earn the VHS course credit unless the student has previously passed the SOL. Students can earn a final exam exemption if they pass the SOL exam during the session.
The midterm has been replaced by an online Benchmark Assessment (20%) that is taken online but contains a student video assignment for authenticity.
Q. Can I work at my own pace in
the VHS courses?
A. Yes and no. The courses have deadlines (daily or
weekly) established by the instructor. Students are expected to meet those
deadlines. The courses are self-paced in terms of when and where students
complete their work. Students can choose to spend more time on a topic by
viewing a lecture a second time, or thinking about a question for awhile,
without the fear of holding back the back the rest of the class. Students are
not given a specific time to be online, they are expected to pace themselves to
complete the work on time.
The average amount of time most students spend on their VHS course is 5-7 hours per week during the fall and spring -- 4-6 hours per DAY during the six week summer session. Students can login and work at anytime during the day.
Universities view courses taken at VHS differently from those taken at brick and
A. Yes they probably do. Because online courses demand that they student be self-motivated, goal-oriented, independent learners, they may actually value VHS course higher! Because colleges and universities themselves offer many online courses, they know the value of this type of course.
Q. Are VHS Courses approved by the
A. Yes. Our courses meet the criteria for the NCAA
Non-Traditional Course Standards and are approved for credit. The HS Code is: 851138 and the school name should be entered as: The Virtual High School at PWCS. You must register yourself as a student in our school. VHS courses are shown on the PWCS transcript as an online/non-traditional course. (Enter VHS courses in the "My Coursework - Addl. Coursework" area)