The PA Virtual High School provides a rigorous educational opportunity with high accountability and performance standards. Technology like web quests, podcasts, videos and web cams make both synchronous and asynchronous classes engaging and interactive. Twenty first century skills (Global Awareness, Information and Communication Technology, Problem Solving, Time Management, and Personal Responsibility) are integrated with core content aligned to state standards.
The PA Virtual High School program holds high expectations for the students , and also provides many opportunities to apply classroom lessons to everyday life. Students participate in co-curricular activities like Homeroom, Get Fit, What’s Cooking, and Yearbook. These social opportunities are virtual, using Blackboard Collaborate, where students chat, use microphones and webcams, and teachers and students build relationships inside and out of the classroom.
Students apply classroom lessons in real-world settings through the Graduation Project. At PA Virtual, the state-mandated Graduation Project is student-driven and based on the student’s career interest.
All of these aspects — academics, real world application, and engaged and active learning —provide students with a well-rounded educational experience enabling them to be successful after graduation.
High School Instructional Models
The PA Virtual High School program uses block scheduling. This enables students who need credit recovery to recover credits in a timely manner, and also allows high-achieving students to work ahead. A student’s instructional model depends on the level of interaction needed with a PA Virtual Teacher. A student does not have to be completely synchronous or asynchronous, a mixed model can be used based on the student’s academic strengths.
Students work independently according to PA Virtual teacher-provided course pathways. Live lessons and office hours are available, but not mandatory.
All high school students start in the synchronous model attending mandatory live real-time lessons several times each week via Blackboard Collaborate with mandatory teacher office hours for additional support. After a minimum of one month of class a student can move to the asynchronous model by actively participating in class, submitting quality work on time, and achieving a grade of 80 percent or above.
Learning Coach Conferencing
To enhance our prescriptive approach to your child’s education, the High School program offers conferencing opportunities in order for the Learning Coach to remain involved and informed in the student’s education.
- Conferencing opportunities include:
- Two formal Learning Coach/teacher conferences in the fall and spring.
- Weekly opportunities through office hours.
- Individual conferences as needed.
High School Assignments and Assessments
In order to ensure academic success, High School students must:
- Complete assignments and assessments within the timeline and guideline established by the PA Virtual teacher.
- Submit completed assignments via Blackboard or email.
- Assignments and assessments include but are not limited to computer-scored tests and quizzes; short answers and essays; papers; oral presentations; and projects.
In accordance with PA School Code mandates, PA Virtual requires all students to complete a Graduation Project. At PA Virtual the Graduation Project is based on the student’s interests and future career plans. Through this project students use primary research to demonstrate their ability to apply, analyze, synthesize and evaluate the knowledge gained in their high school career.
The Graduation Project provides students with the opportunity to explore and discover career options after high school. This discovery may take the form of service learning, job shadowing, or research. In addition to the opportunity to explore and learn future career plans after high school, this project completes the state’s graduation requirement for a culminating project.
High School Graduation Requirements
In order to graduate from PA Virtual, a student must earn a minimum of 21 credits in the following subject areas:
2 Foreign Language (2 years in the same language)
1 Art or Music
2 Electives (courses of choice in student’s area of interest)
.5 Graduation Project