How VHS Learning Can Expand Learning Opportunities for International Schools
By Wesley Simoes, Academic Coach at Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (CAISL) in Portugal
When I began working at Carlucci American International School of Lisbon (CAISL), the school was already using VHS Learning’s online program. The platform had replaced our school’s previous Global Online Academy system and offered the benefit of expanded Advanced Placement (AP)® course offerings.
As an international school, we use an American curriculum but also offer an International Baccalaureate (IB)® diploma. Our student body is very diverse, with students from numerous Asian and European countries, each with their own educational goals and post-graduate plans. The expanded learning opportunities from VHS Learning help to support the rigorous programs that our school offers, boost students’ transcripts with AP® courses and more.
Meeting Rigorous Academic Standards
Our school has very high academic standards, and our students typically score well on their SATs and other standardized tests. For this and several other reasons, it’s critical that our school has a quality, robust online platform that can meet or exceed those standards.
With VHS Learning, our students can continue to advance when they’ve already completed all foundational coursework, allowing us to offer differentiated learning to our diverse student body. In the past, we couldn’t do this, and it’s been really beneficial to students who are ahead––whereas in the past, they may have wasted six months they could have been progressing.
Before CAISL students take a course with VHS Learning, they first must complete an orientation and sign a contract, which helps to set students’ expectations for time management, prioritizing, and deadlines. Students take their VHS Learning courses during a specific class period in a classroom devoted to online learning. As the students’ academic coach, I monitor student progress in their courses and check in with them periodically. The program has worked well for our students, and their focus and commitment to online learning pays off, with all of our students receiving A’s in their courses.
Supporting Students Interests and Goals
Students appreciate the wide range of courses they gain access to through our school’s partnership with VHS Learning. Whether students are looking to take courses based on sheer interest or boost their transcripts with AP® and honors courses, VHS Learning provides ample course options.
VHS Learning even supports students’ goals for the future, with specialized electives that prepare students for a variety of college and career options. For example, one of our students who planned to attend theater school took VHS Learning courses on film, literature, and screenwriting to help develop a foundation for their post-grad education.
Expanded Learning Opportunities Support Student Success
With the expanded learning opportunities our students have through VHS Learning, they can receive the differentiated education they need to meet their personal learning goals and post-graduate plans. As an international school, we love that VHS Learning offers a global classroom where students can connect with their peers across the world. The program offers the courses that we can’t, and this expanded learning is essential to our students’ success.