FAQ

Q.   Who can take courses in the Virtual High School @ PWCS?
A.    Any 9th-12th grade student enrolled in an accredited Virginia school with Guidance Counselor permission. (Rising freshmen can also take a course in preparation for HS).  Students in Grades 9 - 12 may take courses for new or repeat credit.   Rising Freshmen:  with approval from the student’s home school administrator or designee, rising ninth grade students may also take high school classes for course credit.

Additionally, PWC home instructed students can take online courses if the parents enroll them in the local base school for the purpose of attending the VHS.

Q.   How much does an online course cost?
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. The Research Paper Tutorial and HPE II  may have additional fees or special
tuition costs.

Q.   How many courses can I take through the Virtual High School?
A.    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. Some students, who are pre-approved by their base school, can take all of their courses online.

Q.   Who will teach the online courses and how do I communicate with them?
A.    VHS 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 teach live lessons that are also recorded and archived.

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 issued 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.

Q.   Can a student take the Virtual High School 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 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 grade?
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) test?

A.  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.  Benchmark exams include a video assignment - students are required to have a browser-enabled webcam.   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 on the exam date, you can use an approved external proctor.
 
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.

 
Q.    Do Universities view courses taken at VHS differently from those taken at brick and mortar schools?
A.     Yes, they probably do. Because asynchronous online courses demand that the student be self-motivated, goal-orientated, independent learners, they may actually value VHS courses higher!  Colleges and universities themselves, offer many online courses, they know the value and the learning that can occur in an online course.

Q.    Are VHS Courses approved by the NCAA? 
A.    Yes.  Our courses meet the criteria for the NCAA Non-Traditional Course Standards and are approved for credit.  Enter the course(s) into the NCAA system with the school name:  "The Virtual High School at PWCS"