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General Information




Established in 1998, Virginia's first virtual Governor's School, named for a former Governor of Virginia, uses a variety of sophisticated technology and software to enable students from all across the region to participate in innovative classes from the convenience of their home high schools. Using synchronous technology and software, students see on their computers what their instructors choose, as well as hear them explain the material. They can ask questions, collaborate with their classmates, complete group projects, etc., just as they would in a traditional classroom - and also learn how to use exciting distance learning technology as well. Classes are archived to enable students to return to them at a later time to review the material or catch up on anything they might have missed.

  • This unique program is offered to students in 17 separate school districts in Southwest Virginia, an area covering over 4,000 square miles. The "virtual school" draws students from the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Highland, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe, in addition to the cities of Bristol, Galax, and Norton.


  • Our courses are selected to supplement and extend the curricular offerings of our partnering high schools. They provide our students with high school as well as college credits, giving them a significant head-start on their college education and careers. Students gather during each semester orientation, and attend innovative, class-related field trips where they become well acquainted with their instructors and classmates and often develop lasting friendships.


  • HGS classes begin at 7:20 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m., and are offered in both a year-long and semester-based format to make them convenient to our educational partners and their students.


  • Dual-enrollment classes are taught by HGS faculty with college credit granted through each high school's regional college. The Colleges with whom we partner are Mountain Empire Community College, Southwest Virginia Community College, Virginia Highlands Community College, and Wytheville Community College.


  • Our staff is uniquely qualified, and presently consists of seven faculty members, a director, and an administrative assistant.

    HGS Staff Members work closely with school Principals, Guidance Counselors, and Facilitators to insure that our students are supported and that communication flows efficiently.