Virtual High School and Independent Study

Virtual High School

VHS is a non-profit collaborative of nearly 200 participating high schools offering full-semester online courses to high school students in 22 states and 8 countries. VHS offers nearly 150 innovative, student-centered courses that augment curricula and meet nationally accepted standards. VHS offers courses in the following disciplines: Arts, Foreign Languages, Language Arts, Life Skills, Math, Science, Social Studies, Technology, and Advanced Placement Studies.

In the fall of 2005, Smith Academy introduced Virtual High School as an option for students to enhance their educational experience through online course work.  Students are required to attend VHS classes during the academic day at Smith Academy. The VHS academic calendar is divided into two distinct grading terms per semester. This is a rigorous program, requiring a great deal of time, effort and self-discipline. Semester courses are awarded 2.5 credits and year-long courses are awarded 5 credits. Virtual High School courses are designated as VHS on the high school transcript. The Virstual High School course catalog may be viewed at:

Academic Independent Study and Work Study

A student interested in a field of study, which extends beyond the high school curriculum, may apply for one-semester or two-semester academic independent study projects or work study projects. The intent of these experiences is to provide an opportunity for extraordinary achievement so that the student acquires knowledge that cannot be fostered in the conventional class. The equivalent of one class period per day is devoted to the academic independent study. Each project is advised by a faculty member and are graded Pass/Fail. The grades are part of the permanent transcript. One-semester academic independent studies are awarded 2.5 credits and year-long academic independent studies are awarded 5 credits. An IS on the transcript designates an Independent Study course.

Work Study projects are advised by our school guidance counselor and are graded Pass/Fail. The grades are part of the permanent transcript. Work study projects are placed on the semester basis. The amount of credit earned varies depending on the student’s contract.