FAQs

Q.   Who can take courses in Virtual Prince William?
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 VPW.

Q.   How much does an online course cost?
A.   The tuition for students enrolled in a PWC school and non-PWCS students can be found on the
Tuition Information page


Q.   How many courses can I take through the Virtual High School?
A.    At this time the Virtual Prince William is a supplemental program and does not provide a full-time solution.  Students are typically still taking courses at their base school.  Students are permitted to take up to 2 virtual courses per semester; fall, spring, or summer. 

Q.   Who will teach the online courses and how do I communicate with them?
A.    VPW 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.   Will I 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 maintained by their base school. 

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. VPW courses still have marking periods and all work must be completed within each marking period. Penalties apply for late work.  
VPW sessions have two marking periods weighted 45% each + a cumulative final exam weighted 10%.  

Q.   Can I take a Virtual Prince William course instead of summer school?
A.    Yes, the online summer program runs concurrently with the regular PWCS summer school schedule, and students may participate in the summer graduation ceremony in August.

Q.    Do courses count toward my 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. Both grades will appear on the transcript.

Q.    How will I know my grade?
A.    The online gradebook helps students keep track of their grades. Inside the learning management system (Canvas) there is an icon for grades, the student can also view a progress report at anytime by clicking their name in the top right corner of the screen. Grade reports are provided twice during the semester to both student and parent.  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) test?
A.   Final Exams are taken online within the VPW course on the set day during the semester.  This set day is typically the Thursday of the last week of the semester.  Final exam information will be communicated during the corresponding semester. 

Students are regularly asked to complete online Benchmark Assessments which contain a student video assignment for authenticity. A webcam, as well as a headset (or computer with mic and speakers), is required for all courses.

SOL exams will be coordinated by the student and taken at their base school during the Fall and Spring semesters.  During the summer semester, VPW will coordinate all SOL testing at a PWCS location.  This information will be communicated during the summer semester.
 
Q.    Can I work at my own pace in the VPW 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 the time of day and location 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 according to the course schedule/calendar. The average amount of time most students spend on their VPW 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.  

**IMPORTANT:  If a student fails to make adequate progress (daily in summer and weekly in fall/spring) they can be withdrawn from their VHS course(s) without refund.

Q.  Do Universities view courses taken at VPW differently from those taken at brick and mortar schools?
A. Yes they probably do. Because online courses demand that they student be self-motivated, goal-oriented, independent learners, they may actually value VPW course higher!  Because colleges and universities themselves offer many online courses, they know the value of this type of course.

Q.    Are VPW Courses approved by the NCAA for college bound student athletes? 

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)