Our Year in Review 2022
By: Carol DeFuria
2022 has been a year full of hope and excitement as schools settled into a new normal post-pandemic. Students and teachers were able to once again connect with one another face-to-face and engage in school events and activities they had been missing over the past couple of years.
This past school year has also presented some unique challenges, including the need for accelerated learning to recover pandemic learning deficits. Reflecting on 2022, our many highlights outweighed the challenges, as VHS Learning expanded our course offerings, partnered with even more schools world-wide, and developed helpful resources for students and teachers.
Throughout the year, several VHS Learning team members were featured in articles discussing equity in online learning, language learning opportunities for students, and how to provide effective feedback to online learners. Wesley Simoes, from one of our participating schools, was featured in District Administration discussing his global perspective of online learning and its benefits as an academic coach at Carlucci American International School of Lisbon in Portugal.
Over the summer, we partnered with Chinese Plus to host a four-week professional development course for Chinese language teachers. Our Online Teaching Methodologies (OTM) course is a graduate-level teacher training program, and this session focused completely on Chinese language teaching was created to promote the global development of online Chinese language courses for high school students. To supplement the OTM program, Chinese Plus invited internationally renowned Chinese teaching experts to provide additional instruction.
In October, we attended the sixth annual CSforALL Summit, where we announced our plans to further our commitment to expand student access to computer science education, supporting a more sustainable K-12 computer science education system. At the 2022 CSforALL Summit, we made the commitment to offer free online computer science courses to fifty high school students in rural or underserved high schools, including all necessary course materials and a student orientation.
This fall, we introduced our weekly enrollment option for our Flexibly Paced courses. To expand flexibility and provide more options to students as they work to get back on track after the pandemic, we increased the frequency of our Flexible course options. Now students can start a Flexible course on any Monday through the first week of December (for AP® courses) or through February (for all other courses). This option gives students the flexibility to enroll in essential AP® and other core courses at the time that is best for them.
In November, we released a new guide for high school educators which dispels myths about online learning and provides helpful resources for finding high-quality online courses for students. The playbook, “Choosing the Right Online Education Partner: A Playbook for Educators,” is available at no cost to educators. In the guide, educators can learn more about the common misconceptions about online learning and discover the differentiators of high-quality online learning, including a checklist for evaluating online courses and providers.
Most recently, we announced new data highlighting student achievements in VHS Learning courses. During the 2021-2022 academic year, students completing VHS Learning online courses had an average course pass rate of 91%. In addition, VHS Learning students surpassed national average pass rates on their Advanced Placement® exams this year. Students who took VHS Learning summer school courses for credit recovery achieved success as well, with an average pass rate of 75% in 2022. VHS Learning participating schools expressed their satisfaction with the program, and 88% continued their participation into the 2022-2023 academic year.
At VHS Learning, we have so much to be grateful for in 2022, not the least of which is our nonprofit’s continued ability (for over twenty-five years!) to provide high school schools and their students with equitable access to more than 300 courses that might not otherwise be available to them.
As you reflect upon your year, we hope you take pride in the impact you have had on your students and the personal goals you have achieved in 2022. On behalf of all of us at VHS Learning, we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season, and a new year filled with exciting possibilities!