Boston, MA (USA), April 2021 - Even without the current need for remote learning, quality online education options can expand the curriculum available to students and prepare them for the postsecondary world. For these reasons the Catholic Independent Schools consortium has extended its partnership with VHS Learning for the nineteenth consecutive year. The consortium has renewed its VHS Learning membership with 213 semester-length virtual enrollments for the 2020-21 academic year. Their students are enrolled in 97 VHS Learning courses.
The following schools currently benefit from participation in the Catholic Independent Schools consortium:
- Academy of Notre Dame, Tyngsboro, MA
- Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree, MA
- Arlington Catholic High School, Arlington, MA
- Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody, MA
- Cardinal Spellman High School, Brockton, MA
- Fontbonne Academy, Milton, MA
- Mount Alvernia High School, Newton, MA
- Notre Dame Academy - Worcester, MA
- Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School, Lawrence, MA
- Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA
- Stephen T. Badin High School, Hamilton, OH
Sister Kristin Hokanson, the consortium director, serves as the primary site coordinator in the partnership with VHS Learning. Hokanson said her decision to join the online program came when she had the chance to visit a physical classroom with students taking VHS Learning courses back in the late 1990s. "I honestly felt like I walked from one century into the next," she recalled. "I saw that technology was going to be an important tool and that students needed a solid education involving technology - and one of the ways was to take an online course."
Back then, Hokanson was the principal of Pope John XXIII High School, a private school in Everett, MA. Her school and about five others entered the program together, but they did not use the consortium model until a VHS Learning representative suggested it in 2001. "The benefit of being a consortium is that you can purchase semester enrollments in bulk, so you have a reduced fee," Hokanson said.
In addition to expanding curriculum options and preparing students for the technological world, Hokanson cited the capacity to expand students' world view as another significant benefit. "It introduces you to a much wider global community," she said. "Students learn about different cultures and how to interact with diverse groups of students. They meet and form peer networks."
"This nineteen-year partnership is a testament to our extensive course catalog and our industry-leading customer service," said Carol DeFuria, President and CEO of VHS Learning.
"The ability to quickly add more than 250 courses to a school's program of studies helps these parochial schools offer more variety than some of their larger public school counterparts. These schools are very familiar with what our high-quality online classrooms can add to the high school learning experience, and we are thrilled they have extended their partnership with us to further benefit their students."