Frequently Asked Questions

Who can take courses in Virtual Prince William?

Any 9th-12th grade student enrolled in an accredited public Virginia school with counselor permission (verbal). Middle school students with special academic needs or conflicts with scheduling may be approved to enroll – please see your middle school counseling office for approval. Students in grades 9-12 may take courses for new or repeat credit.

Rising Freshmen

With approval from the student's middle school administrator or designee, rising 9th grade students may take high school classes for course credit during the summer before entering 9th grade. Prerequisites may apply. Additionally, Prince William County home-instructed students can take online courses if the parents enroll them in the local base school for the purpose of attending the VPW.

How much does an online course cost?

The tuition for students enrolled in a Prince William County school and non-Prince William County Public Schools students can be found on the Tuition Information page.

How many courses can I take through the Virtual Prince William?

At this time the Virtual Prince William is a supplemental program and does not provide a full-time solution. Students are typically still taking courses at their base school. Students are permitted to take up to two virtual courses per term: fall, spring, or summer with VPW admin and counselor approval.

Who will teach the online courses and how do I communicate with them?

VPW teachers are fully certified in their content area and are either currently or formerly employed with Prince William County Public Schools. Instructors have online office hours for daily contact.  Daily and weekly student attendance in the course is closely monitored by instructors and VPW admin.  A student may be withdrawn from their VPW course due to inactivity in the course and/or failure to access the course within a certain amount of consecutive days.

Will I receive high school credit for courses taken?

Yes, students will receive high school credit when a course is successfully completed. The credit is placed on the PWCS transcript and is maintained by their base school.

What grading scale is used?

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 percentage to their grading scale. VPW courses conducts its terms into two semester grades; semester 1 and semester 2.  All course content must be completed within the given dates and deadlines of each semester.  VPW uses and communicates its late policy.

VPW terms have two semesters weighted 45% each and a cumulative final exam weighted at 10%.

Can I take a Virtual Prince William course instead of summer school?

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.

Do courses count toward my GPA (grade point average) for class ranking?

Yes, the course will count towards a student's overall GPA. All grades are submitted to the base school counseling 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. Both grades will appear on the transcript.

How will I know my grade?

The online gradebook helps students keep track of their grades. Inside the learning management system (Canvas) there is an icon for grades, the student can also view a progress report at anytime by clicking their name in the top right corner of the screen. Grade reports are provided twice during the term to both student and parent. 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.  During the fall and spring terms, students and parents may utilize StudentVue and ParentVue as well.  These resources are not available during the summer term.

How and where does a student take the end of course examination and/or state SOL (Standards of Learning) test?

Final Exams are taken online within the VPW course on the set day during the term. This set day is typically the Thursday of the last week of the term. Final exam information will be communicated during the corresponding term.

Students are regularly asked to complete online Benchmark Assessments which contain a student video assignment for authenticity. A webcam, as well as a headset (or computer with microphone and speakers), is required for all courses.

SOL exams will be coordinated by the student and taken at their base school during the fall and spring terms. During the summer term, VPW will coordinate all SOL testing at a PWCS location. This information will be communicated during the summer term.

Can I work at my own pace in the VPW courses?

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 the time of day and location 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 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 according to the course schedule/calendar. The average amount of time most students spend on their VPW course is 5-7 hours per week during the fall and spring terms and 4-6 hours per day during the six week summer term. Students can log in and work at anytime during the day.

If a student fails to make adequate progress (daily in summer and weekly in fall/spring) they can be withdrawn from their VPW course(s) without refund.

Do Universities view courses taken at VPW differently from those taken at brick-and-mortar schools?

Yes, they probably do. Because online courses demand that they student be self-motivated, goal-oriented, independent learners, they may actually value VPW course higher. Colleges and universities themselves offer many online course and they know the value of this type of course.

Are VPW Courses approved by the NCAA for college-bound student athletes?

Yes. Our courses meet the criteria for the NCAA Non-Traditional Course Standards and are approved for credit. The HS Code is 851138 and the school name should be entered as The Virtual High School at PWCS. You must register yourself as a student in our school. VPW courses are shown on the PWCS transcript as an online/non-traditional course. (Enter VPW courses in the "My Coursework - Addl. Coursework" area)