Common Questions (FAQs)
See below for common questions asked by Vista Virtual School students, parents and guardians. Additional adult student questions can be found in the Adult Upgrading section.
Vista Virtual School (VVS) is a public school that is fully accredited by Alberta Education. VVS is a school within Pembina Hills Public Schools that offers distance learning for grades 1-12 students from across Alberta. Students can be temporarily outside of the province and/or the country, as long as they are a resident of Alberta and have proof of Canadian citizenship. All high school courses taken with VVS appear on your Alberta Transcript of High School Achievement and in students’ myPass accounts.
Vista Virtual School offers over 300 courses in the elementary, junior high and senior high levels.
Are you curious what your online course will look like once you are registered in your course? View the following walk-through of your online course!
Elementary and junior high students receive print courses with paper lesson modules and assignment booklets. All elementary courses are in print format, whereas junior high courses can be offered in online or print formats.
Senior high and adult courses involve downloading and printing assignments/modules (either from the Student Information System (SIS)/Moodle or a Google Doc), then uploading them to Moodle for assessment. Textbooks and additional reading materials are not available online.
Senior high and adult online courses have no additional print materials for purchase besides what is listed in the course materials list (e.g., textbook and reading materials). Lessons are completed online. Assignments are completed online, and/or printed and uploaded (depending on the course). Textbooks and some additional reading materials are not available online.
Full-time students take a semester-based course load through Vista Virtual School. Part-time students only take a selection of courses—either taking one or multiple courses at any point in the year, and can start courses at any time. Many part-time students register with Vista Virtual School in addition to other classes they are taking at their local school.
Senior high full-time:
- Students cannot be enrolled with any other school during the year.
- Semester 1 runs from September 1 to January 31, and Semester 2 runs from February 1 to June 30.
- Students take a full course load, typically 15-20 credits per semester.
- Students are expected to spend about 30 hours a week on coursework.
- Students hand in assignments according to a timeline set by their teachers.
- Students are expected to keep in regular contact with their teachers and academic counsellor, and must attend Student-Parent-Teacher Interviews.
- Students and parents must meet with a Vista Virtual School academic counsellor prior to enrollment.
Senior high part-time:
- Students can be enrolled in another school or only through Vista Virtual School.
- Students can enrol for courses any day and are given one year from the date of enrollment to complete. Students who are 19 on September 1 of the school year must complete their courses before August 15.
- Students can enrol in up to 10 credits at a time.
- Students need to enrol in compulsory core courses (Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies) at each grade level.
- Our goal is to have students complete courses by the end of the school year for both the elementary and junior high programs and by the end of each semester in the high school program.
- Teachers are always ready to help and expect that students will ask for assistance regarding coursework and assignments.
- Coursework is done on one unit of study at a time in each course, submitting completed work regularly for evaluation by the teacher or marker.
- Assignments are typically completed sequentially so knowledge gained in one assignment helps with the next.
- Students are given feedback by the teacher or marker with the expectation they will follow suggestions to improve in successive assignments.
- Final marks are based on assignments, quizzes, and supervised exams.
- Vista Virtual School students receive a monthly mini-report and a final report card each school year.
Adults 20 years of age or older as of September 1 of the school year may also take courses through Vista Virtual School. See the Adult Upgrading section for more information on eligibility and course admission and registration procedures. Adult students pay $120 for each course credit in addition to any required textbooks and materials.
Alberta Education funds full-time and part-time students until they turn 20 years old and become an adult student. If you are taking a Vista Virtual School (VVS) course and turn 20 during the school year, you have until August 15* to complete your currently registered course(s). After this date, you will be withdrawn from your course(s) and will have to re-register as an adult student—there are no extensions granted.
This means if you are withdrawn from the course but still want to complete it, you will have to pay for tuition and books/materials the same as other adult students. Students turning 20 after the school year has started can register in a course until June 30 of the current school year, but the course(s) must be completed by August 15.
*Note: this does not apply to courses provided by Alberta Distance Learning Centre on VVS’ behalf, as those courses must be completed by June 15.
Adult students and senior high students (grades 10-12) can register and start courses anytime.
Students entering grade 10 may register for senior high courses after July 2 of the school year once they have received their final grade 9 report card (please remember to upload it to your registration application).
Full-time students entering grades 2-9 may submit a registration application for the next school year once their previous year’s final report card has been received (please remember to upload the report card to your registration application).
Returning full-time students (in grades 1-9 and 11-12), as well as new students entering grades 1, 11, or 12, may submit their registration application for the next school year starting May 1. Students entering grades 1-9 should submit their registration application by the third week of September and be enrolled in their courses by September 30 of the school year. Full-time students in grades 10-12 may submit registration applications up until March 31.
Yes, students in grades 10-12 can take courses with Vista Virtual School. Part-time senior high students can be enrolled in up to 10 credits at a time.
Students cannot be enrolled in the same class at the same time at any school in Alberta. For example, if you wanted to upgrade your Math 30 grade, but are still enrolled in that class at another institution, you will have to drop the class or wait until it is completed to enroll in the same course at Vista Virtual School (VVS). However, you can take multiple courses at the same time while still attending a different institution. For example, you can take Math 30 at another institution while you are taking English 30 at VVS (different classes at the same time).
In order to enrol with Vista Virtual School, students must be a Canadian citizen, lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent residence, a child of a Canadian citizen, or a child of an individual who is lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent or temporary residence.
As one of the Province of Alberta registered schools, we are also required to follow all regulations concerning maintaining student records. One of the requirements is to obtain documentation of citizenship for student records.
All students are required to submit one of the following:
- Canadian Birth Certificate;
- Canadian Passport or Nexus Card;
- Canadian Citizenship Certificate/Card;
- Certificate of Indian Status Card
- Permanent Resident Card (both sides)/Paper;
- Record of Landing/Landed Immigrant paper or Refugee Protection Claimant Document (RPCD);
- For students under age 18: certification indicating that you are the child of a Canadian Citizen (including a copy of your parent’s documentation); or
- For students under age 18: certification indicating that you are the child of an individual lawfully admitted to Canada for permanent or temporary residency (including a copy of your parent’s documentation).
* Note: A Driver’s License is not considered proof of citizenship. And VVS does not accept study permits.
If you are unable to upload your citizenship documentation to your registration application, please email it to email@example.com or bring it to a Vista Virtual School campus.
Students do not pay upfront when they submit their registration. Once a registration is processed, the student will be emailed instructions for making a payment for any applicable fees owing. Full payment is then due within 48 hours and can be paid by credit card online through SIS, or by cash or debit in person at any Vista Virtual School Campus.
If you require financial assistance, you may wish to look into the Skills Investment Bursary.
Full-time students in grades 1-9 complete their courses by the end of the school year—June 30.
Full-time senior high students complete their semester 1 courses by January 31 and semester 2 courses by June 30.
Part-time and adult students are given one year to complete core courses, six months to complete 3 and 5-credit elective courses, and three months to complete 1 credit CTS courses. However, students who are 19 years of age on September 1 of the school year must complete their course by August 15 and adults funded by the Skills Investment Bursary must complete by their Session End Date.
Extensions may be granted with teacher approval, upon presentation of a reasonable completion plan. Additional fees apply for adult students.
Course marks are comprised of assignments that are submitted online and—for some courses—quizzes and supervised exams. The course mark is weighted differently for each class and is outlined by the instructor at the start of the course. All courses follow the Alberta Education standards and guidelines.
Important: Quizzes (or assignments within the quiz tool) must be completed on a laptop or desktop computer. Moodle does not support tablet or cell phones for quizzes at this time.
Yes, diploma exams are mandatory for all students registered in an eligible Alberta Education program. If you are upgrading your course mark and have already completed the diploma exam, you may be able to use your previous diploma exam mark. Both the course mark and the diploma exam mark are required for a final mark to appear on your official transcript. Vista Virtual School requires students to write a supervised course final exam in addition to the diploma exam.
For more information, please visit our Diploma Exam Information page.
Yes, we are a fully accredited school under Alberta Education. Therefore, any high school courses taken with Vista Virtual School will be reported to Alberta Education and placed on your transcript. Vista Virtual School courses will be recognized the same as any other public school in Alberta (including for out-of-province post-secondary institutions).
You may request an official copy of your Alberta high school transcript from Alberta Education, using myPass. If you need to send your transcript to an Alberta post-secondary institution, you may use ApplyAlberta.
myPass is an Alberta Education secure self-service website for Alberta students to:
- Order high school transcripts.
- View diploma examination marks.
- Register to write or rewrite diploma exams.
- Request diploma exam rescores.
- View and print Detailed Academic Reports (DAR).
- View progress towards a high school credential (diploma or certificate).
- View/Update student personal information.
- Order additional copies of an awarded credential.
- View and print letters of confirmation of name, age, and enrolment.
- Provide third-party (including parents and guardians) access to student’s myPass account.
An Alberta Education official transcript only shows the highest marks and credits awarded for each completed course. A withdrawn course may show up as withdrawn or incomplete on your Detailed Academic Report through myPass for your record.
The Physical Education curriculum requires that students participate in various activities across five dimensions:
- Alternate Environments (outdoor activities)
- Individual Activities
In each dimension, students complete a minimum five hours in one or two activities of their choosing. Students are required to submit photos or video showing participation in these activities, as well as submit a completed supervisor declaration for each activity dimension. Each month in the course, students are required to submit a monthly log.
Supervision is required for all activity hours earned. Activities must be supervised by a person over the age of 18 who has considerable experience in the activity. Some activities can be supervised through the use of fitness tracking apps (e.g. hiking, walking, outdoor cycling, outdoor running). Only 5-7 hours can be supervised by family members. All other supervision requests must be approved by the teacher.
PE 10 requires a CPR/ Heart Saving course, offered twice a year through Vista Virtual School.
PE 20 & 30 has a 10 hour Volunteer Commitment promoting physical activity.
Students complete lab experiments virtually. This means they either complete interactive simulated labs online, review step-by-step photos, or watch videos of experiments being completed; they also complete information from experiment plans and photos, or complete written laboratory assignments based on the learning concepts. Usually, there is an opportunity to attend a full-day lab (for some courses) later in the school year—more information is available from the teacher.
Even though full-time students follow the typical September through June school year, Vista Virtual School courses operate year-round through distance learning so there is no officially designated spring or fall break. Campuses are closed for winter break and statutory holidays.
Tax Receipts (T2202) can only be issued by post-secondary institutions (university, college, etc.) for post-secondary courses. As Vista Virtual School offers high school (upgrading) courses, these are not tax deductible.
Funding received through the Skills Investment Bursary is considered taxable income. A T4A will be issued by the Learner Income Support Office for all learners receiving in excess of $500 during the previous tax year.
Vista Virtual School teachers and academic counsellors are always ready to help and expect that students will ask for assistance regarding coursework and assignments. We strive to keep students and parents informed of progress on a regular basis.
Our teachers and academic counsellors work in the Calgary, Edmonton, and Barrhead campuses. If your teacher or academic counsellor is at a campus near you, you may ask them if it is possible to set up an in-person appointment. Teachers and academic counsellors are ready to assist you by telephone or email, and many use Skype, Google Hangouts, texting, etc. Teachers and academic counsellors are available Monday to Friday from either 8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. or 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Our academic counsellors and teachers also visit Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer regularly. Students can meet with their teachers, write supervised exams, or return textbooks during this visit. For dates and details, please contact your teacher(s).
To find out your teacher or academic counsellor’s campus location and contact information, please visit Our Staff page.