High School in Middle School?

Student and Teacher at a computer


Is your middle school student interested in taking virtual high school courses?

VirtualSC offers both middle school and high school level courses. While on-grade level courses are usually the right fit, some 7th and 8th grade students are ready for the challenge of high school credit courses. With so many courses offered, how do middle school students know which courses will offer the most benefits? The following are areas to consider before enrolling.


Interest is an important factor of success in an online course. Self-motivated students generally do better than students who were placed in a course by someone else. A middle school student’s interest in a high school course should be discussed before enrollment. Read the course syllabus and view course tour video posted on our Course Offerings webpage (opens in a new window).


Interest is not the only deciding factor. Students taking advanced courses should be academically ready for high school levelcourses, specifically those offered in a virtual platform. High school credit courses will become part of the student’s high school transcript and the final grade weighted in the GPA. Grades, mastery of 8th grade skills and teacher recommendation are all helpful indicators of a student’s readiness.


All online classes require daily focused time on task. Students in advanced courses may need more time for the extra work. Consider a student’s schedule. Will there be time to focus on the coursework and seek additional help if needed?


Aiden is an 7th grade student who is interested in drama and creative writing. He has an open exploratory period and could join a lab group taking a high school level computer science course. Is this a good placement?

Maybe. Has Aiden shown interest in computer sciences? Do his science and math grades reflect a mastery of 8th grade skills? His schedule is open for daily work, but will he have access to additional help if he struggles with an advanced concept?

Options. Aiden could take a VirtualSC middle school exploratory course in the lab such as Journalism, Exploring World Language or Game Design. While these courses would not carry high school credit, they may be a better interest, maturity and scheduling fit for Aiden and prepare him for advanced work in the future.

Ima is an 8th grade student who took Algebra 1 in 7th grade and did well. She is in her school robotics club and is interested in engineering, computer science, or maybe game design. Because she would like to start advanced courses as soon as possible in high school, she is thinking of taking an introductory computer science course such as Discovering Computer Science or Fundamentals of Computer Science at VirtualSC, in addition to her full course load at school.

Maybe. Ima definitely has the interest and background to consider taking a high school computer science course. Good questions to consider are whether Ima has the maturity to work on her own on an online course, and whether she has enough time in her schedule on top of a full school day and her robotics commitments.

Options. Ima should ask her counselor to help her decide which high school course is a good fit for her future plans. VirtualSC also recommends Discovering Computer Science over Fundamentals of Computer Science for advanced middle school students.

Alex is a 6th grade student interested in learning a new language. She plays on a travelling soccer team with international students.

Maybe. Our Exploring World Languages exploratory course may be a great fit for Alex as she learns about different languages and can help her decide which language she would like to take at the high school level in 7th or 8th grade. Alex and her family should discuss if the travel sports schedule will interfere with an asynchronous coursework.

Options. Alex can request enrollment in a high school credit world language course such as Spanish 1, French 1, Latin 1a and other titles when she gets to 7th or 8th grade.


If you have questions about our upcoming courses and student enrollments, learn more at VirtualSC.org.

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