The core curriculum for the Blue Ridge Virtual Governor's School is carefully planned by qualified subject matter instructors and approved by the BRVGS Joint Board, with representatives from all participating school divisions. Those courses specifically designed for Governor's school students are termed "core courses."
These courses are uniquely designed to emphasize connections between disciplines, real-world situations, collaboration, integration of technology, and innovative approaches to learning. These courses, in combination with advanced courses at each participating local high school and college-level offerings, work together to provide a rigorous course of study for BRVGS students. As students progress into 11th and 12th grades, the BRVGS Core Courses are created to make learning an active process. Students must actively pursue excellence. Students will be given all of the resources necessary for success, but will not be given 'answers'. Group collaboration and problem solving are emphasized.
All courses in core academic areas are taught at the gifted or enriched level. Students must complete Governor's School Core Courses on each grade level, as they progress, in order to be eligible for graduation with the Governor's School Seal.
Ninth Grade - Technology Through the Ages (WHI & WHII)
While the past, by definition, consists of data that nothing in the future can change, knowledge of the past is progressive and constantly being transformed and perfected. Students will study the history of our world through the eyes of historians. The strands of the social studies disciplines (historiography, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, economics, geography, and political science) are used to reach conclusions about what happened in the past to give meaning to human events. This course meets and exceeds the requirements set forth in the Virginia Standards of Learning for World History I and World History II.
Tenth Grade - AP Biology/Biotechnology
Biology has brought us to the brink of a world of 'engineered' products that are based in the natural world, rather than on chemical and industrial processes. Biotechnology is not new! The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) defines biotechnology to be 'the application of biological knowledge and techniques to develop products and services.' Today, our new understanding of many aspects of cell function and our ability to manipulate their genetic content is being used in medicine, agriculture, criminal justice, the pharmaceutical industry and many other areas. This course offers the student an opportunity to experience the basics of microbiology, human genetics, biotechnology, and exploration of bioethical issues.
Eleventh Grade - Computer Science -(or approved BRVGS elective)
The field of Computer Science is one that has seen tremendous growth in the last few years. This course will assist students in identifying fundamental principles and concepts in the field of computer science that will be used within the context of mathematical problem solving. The skills of problem solving, logic, organization, and precise expression will be developed. Students will examine current issues in the field of computer science including copyright laws, intellectual property, ethics, and the future of the Internet. This course meets and exceeds the requirements set forth in the Virginia Standards of Learning for Computer Mathematics. This course is taught in an online format by instructors certified to teach in this area. Each school site has a facilitator appointed to act as a liaison with students, parents, and the online instructors.
Twelfth Grade - Senior Internship
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" - (Mary Oliver)
As our BRVGS seniors approach graduation and adulthood, we want them to think about this question. Students combine rigorous research with a minimum ten hours of interaction with an expert in their field of interest. In addition, they serve a minimum of 10 hours of community service related to their study. The overall purpose of their senior internship is to coach them as they take a look at themselves, their talents and interests, and to find a meaningful way to explore their connection to the real world before they leave us. The internship and service will take as many diverse forms as we have students. Throughout their internship work, students will reflect on leadership and their potential to make a difference in our world.