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Thursday December 14, 2017 at 4:32pm Age: 1 year
Category: High School, District


The high school years are marked by a growing preoccupation with the future. Whether they’re split between areas of interest or have a narrow focus, making education and career choices, with long-term consequences, can be a perplexing and anxious process for high school students. 


Ample course choice helps students explore and identify their interests and strengths, but there is nothing like hands-on exposure and experience to put possibilities through the test. 


Sophomore Julia Wallace, the oldest of three siblings and many cousins, discovered she had a knack for engaging and caring for children. At an early age, she began seeing herself as a pediatric nurse or kindergarten teacher.   

But how would she know which path was right for her? When she learned about a Kindergarten Apprentice course through Virtual High School (VHS), Julia seized the opportunity.


As part of her course work, Julia developed five lesson plans and executed them in Mrs. DiSimone’s class of 18 kindergartners, at Minisink Valley Elementary School. The planning involved setting learning objectives and preparing supporting materials. In the classroom, Julia read aloud to the students, engaged them in book discussions, implemented follow-up activities, and brought each lesson to a conclusion.


“The first time I felt really nervous, but now I can’t believe how attached I grew to the kids in just five lessons,” Julia said. “I really enjoyed being with them and working with their different personalities, from very shy to very friendly.”  


The experience had its challengers. “The lessons have due dates, and I’d be running to stores after school to buy supplies or get something printed,” Julia said. “It’s all on you. You need to be disciplined, manage your time, and stay focused.” But she would do it all over again. “There’s a lot of room for creativity and trying your own ideas, and the teachers are very good. I also had a lot of guidance and support from Mrs. DiSimone and Mrs. Lombardo. They encouraged me to take initiative and gave me honest feedback.” Dolores Lombardo, MVHS library media specialist is the coordinator for the VHS program.

“I’ve grown a lot as an individual through this experience, and I feel very strongly about my education and career choices,” Julia said. “Now I’m ready to take first steps independently and take charge of my future.”

Virtual High School: What is it?

VHA is a collaborative organization of over 200 high schools across the United States, and abroad, offering over 300 online courses for high school students, including electives and AP courses. 


“VHS allows students to diversify their studies while increasing their independence and confidence, and improving skills in computer literacy, technology and communications,” Mrs. Lombardo said. "With so many colleges offering online courses, this is a great opportunity for our students to prepare for their future and be college and career ready."

Who is it for?

MVHS students can start taking VHS course in the second semester of freshman year. Ideal candidates are students who can work independently, are comfortable with technology, and are looking for courses not currently offered at MVHS. VHS courses are an additional opportunity to explore college and career choices.  

Where and when do students attend VHS classes?

Enrolled students report daily to the school library during their scheduled study hall period for VHS course work. Students can continue or complete their work from home, at any time.

Interested? Learn more at

VHS Spring Registration Is Open. Email Mrs. Lombardo for an application or ask her at the library.