How we began...
In the light of the current pandemic, it is interesting that QSI Virtual School (QVS) started in 2009 in Kyiv, Ukraine, as a response to a local epidemic of the H1N1 flu. At the time, Ukrainian government closed all public and private schools for 21 days. The QSI school in Kyiv, the Kyiv International School (KIS), decided to continue instruction in a distance learning format.
"I rushed back to Kyiv and met with the Middle School and Elementary School leadership team and we decided to accelerate our plans for KISMET and move the classes online due to the closure. Teachers still reported for work but were engaged in building their online classes and then conducting instruction online. ... For the rest of that year and during the 2010-11 school year, QSI flew me around to various schools to work with them on developing their own Moodle sites. We also offered a few classes totally online and allowed students from other QSI schools to join in. Then, at the end of the 2010-11 school year, QSI's Director of Operations called me and asked if I could found a totally online QSI school to meet the needs of our students across the globe. I accepted and QVS was born."
-Ron Snyder (secondary DI at KIS at the time and the first director of QVS)
The success of the distance learning program, and the needs communicated to QSI HQ from other QSI schools around the world, prompted HQ to develop an internal distance learning program to serve brick and mortar QSI schools. The goals of the program were:
1. to provide secondary courses for smaller QSI schools without an established secondary program (grade 9-12).
2. to provide instruction of students with scheduling issues, i.e. a student needs to take a course required for graduation, but the course does not fit into the student's local school schedule.
3. to provide opportunities for elective courses that are not offered by the local QSI school, and to provide a way to take course(s) required by student's prospective university.
4. to provide a way for grade 11 students to finish or to take a course in the summer, in order to avoid taking an overload course during final year before graduation.
QVS started instruction in the school year 2011/12 with only a handful of online instructors and 12 online courses. A large portion of the job of QVS was to find suitable distance learning providers to supplement the needed courses not initially offered by QVS. Of these providers, the most used have been Florida Virtual School, Keystone, K12 International Academy and The Virtual High School.
Very early on, QVS started offering Advanced Placement® courses. This has led to the establishment of close ties with the College Board.
In the current 2020/21 academic year, QVS offers 44 high school courses with 17 AP courses. Enrollment reached 250 students from 35 brick and mortar QSI schools around the world.
Currently, QVS is undergoing registration in Malta (EU) with plans to accepts external (outside QSI) registrations in the school year 2021/22.
In 2021, College Board approved QVS to offer AP Seminar and AP Research as synchronous distance learning courses, which opens up a way for students to earn the AP® Capstone Diploma through QVS.
We pride ourselves in our humble beginnings and in the fact that our goals and priorities have always been to serve and to help students and schools in need. We feel that after 11 years of hard work and student success we are now ready to extend our service to families and schools outside QSI.
AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.