Virtual High School, Yay Or Nay?


Maggie Smith

Virtual High School

Many high school students, especially juniors, believe moving up a grade means moving into more advanced classes. While more advanced classes can mean moving into honors, more often than not it means moving into AP. Madison High School offers an array of AP classes, but they do not, and can not offer all of them. MHS tries it’s best to include a wide variety of classes for every student’s interest, but this cannot include everything. Thankfully, for those of you looking for AP classes MHS doesn’t offer, there is another option; virtual high school. The VHS program is great for students looking to broaden their horizons, or get college credit, however there are some downsides as well.

VHS is a great program that does offer a proper AP course, however every single thing about the class is done online. Papers are done online, tests, quizzes, midterms, group assignments, everything is done online. This can be incredibly difficult for people who don’t work well online or without face to face help. There is no physical contact with your teacher, everything must be done through a private chat or comments on graded work. Not only that, but there are no notifications for VHS material. That means that you will not be notified when work is due, or when the teacher is trying to reach out to you, you simply have to check every day to make sure you’re not missing anything. There is no face to face contact with your classmates either, which can make group work incredibly challenging and tedious. You will have to exchange phone numbers or emails with your classmates or you will never get your projects done.

Furthermore, all quizzes and tests are timed and have an expiration date. This means that you can take your tests or quizzes any time during the week, but they must be done by the due date and time, otherwise you will never be able to take them, and you will receive a zero, no exceptions.

Moreover, all your resources are online. All research and textbook work is done online, and you have to navigate through your textbook through the textbook website only, unless you want to buy your own copy.

All in all whether or not you should take a virtual high school AP course really comes down to who you are as a student. If you think you will be fine learning entirely from the internet, with no face to face collaboration of any kind, then VHS just might right for you, however if you worry about your ability to perform in this kind of setting, then talking to a guidance counselor is the best decision. VHS is an incredible commitment, and once a student is in, it’s incredibly difficult to get out of. However keep in mind that for many of the AP classes MHS doesn’t offer, VHS is the only option. It can be a very rewarding experience.