Virtual High School

Archbishop Molloy High School is now offering online courses to eligible seniors, above and beyond their regular schedule, through Virtual High School.

Virtual High School, also known as VHS, gives our students the opportunity to take unique courses that may not exist in a classroom setting.
Below is a list of courses with their description offered at Archbishop Molloy High School.
If you have any questions about Virtual High School please contact our Site Coordinators.
Mr. Kenneth Auer:
Mrs. Rachel Galla:
English Courses 
Folklore and Literature of Myth, Magic, and Ritual
Want to know what your ESP ability is? Want to really find out what's behind the story about that haunted house in your neighborhood? Curious about parapsychology? Do you think you may have been visited by aliens, or do you know someone who thinks they have been abducted? If so, this course may be for you!
This English course will explore common elements in the literature of modern mythology, current folklore, and literature involving magic and the mystical. Students will read novels by Lois Lowry, Stephen King, Robert Cormier, and Toni Morrison. Students will research and analyze the phenomena described in the literature.
Students will investigate and contribute legends/scare stories from their locales as the class conducts its investigation into the social purposes served by such modern folklore. The current obsession with the paranormal and alien visitation as it applies to modern myth and folklore will also be explored.
Please note: The emphasis of this course is on modern folklore which, in an Information Age, is significantly different from historical folklore. It should also be noted that this is an Honors level English course. Be prepared to read, to write, and to discuss!
Twentieth Century Women Authors
This English course will explore literature written by America's female novelists. We will begin the course with material written at the start of the twentieth century and trace its progression to the new millennium. Through research on the author's background and critical analysis of the writing, students will chronicle in historical context the changing role of women socially, politically, and economically.
Students who enjoy literature and history are encouraged to sign up for this course. This class does not have a gender bias :-)
Reading selections for this course may include material from the list below.
THE AWAKENING by Kate Chopin
ETHAN FROME by Edith Wharton
YONNONDIO by Tillie Olsen
ANIMAL DREAMS by Barbara Kingsolver
THE BEAN TREES by Barbara Kingsolver
Cultural Identity through Literature Section JM: Understanding Place
Through the study of multicultural literature, students will investigate the issues that both divide and unite humanity. This course offers students the opportunity to view the world from a universal point of view, which is increasingly significant as we become a more globalized society. 
This course will address the qualities of being human and how others, who may differ, are equally human. The perspective we can obtain through the acceptance of cultural diversity will have a direct effect on the future of the world. Issues such as human rights, stereotyping, ethnicity and culture, social class, tradition and ritual, the immigrant experience, and gender bias will be explored.
A selection of fiction and non-fiction texts, poetry, song lyrics, film and other media will serve as springboards for discussion and activities in exploring global perspective.



Animal Behavior and Zoology
Have you always been interested in animals and their behavior? Do you love to spend time at zoos and aquariums, and find animals (and their interactions) fascinating? This course explores the tremendous diversity of animal life and the interconnectedness of different animal species with each other and with humans. The first part of the course explores the classification and characteristics of all the animal phyla, with an emphasis on the evolution of animals and the adaptations that have allowed such diversity to flourish. The second part of the course focuses on many different animal behaviors (including human behavior). We will learn about different types of behaviors – from innate (genetic) behaviors to learned behaviors. The social interactions between animals will be covered in depth as we study courtship, aggression, altruism, and parental behaviors in animals. We will also discuss different careers in the animal sciences as a culminating activity, which should be of great interest to students who wish to pursue their love of animals as their professions. The course will utilize a number of interesting articles, discussions, virtual field trips, activities, videos, and projects to give a wider perspective of the animal kingdom and animal behavior.
Bioethics Symposium
The Bioethics Symposium is built around student inquiry and critical thinking. The nature of the course is to develop the concept of ethical decision-making and how this applies to the increasing number of biological ethics decisions we are, and will be, making as we venture into the next decade/century. Students will investigate the topic of ethics, belief systems, important ethical dilemmas from the past and how decisions were made. A variety of bioethical questions will then be proposed by the participants. Teams will investigate the science and the social science aspects of a particular question. The culminating activity will be an on-line bioethics symposium. Each team will prepare and offer a multi-media presentation of their issue.
DNA Technology
DNA Technology will provide an in-depth focus on the field that has developed recently as a result of discoveries based on knowledge of DNA. This should provide students with a better understanding of information they are facing on a daily basis concerning DNA. They will also take a close look at a new and exciting industry, the biotechnology industry as a career potential. 
Students will trace the timeline of the history of genetics up through the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule. Students will study the basic DNA molecule; make a DNA model and model protein synthesis using such Internet resources as Access Excellence, Biology Hyper textbook, Biology Project and Simple kitchen labs will be performed for the extraction of DNA using common detergent and salt. Technology based on DNA will be addressed including restriction enzymes, DNA fingerprinting, Recombinant DNA and PCR. The class will then examine various applications of the Biotechnology industry such as agriculture, medicine, genetic, and forensics. We will be involved in Web Quests concerning cloning and genetically engineered foods and will propose legislation on these controversial topics. Finally ethical issues and scientific concerns will be debated on-line.
Oceanography Section GH: A Virtual Semester at Sea
“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” Marshall McLuhan.
Students will board the USS Cyber, a virtual oceanographic research vessel modeled after the flagship of NOAA’s fleet for a sail that begins in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and ends in San Diego, California. As the crew of the ship, students will perform scientific experiments and collect data that will teach them about the geology, chemistry, and physics of the ocean. From the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia to the Caribbean and Antarctica, from the coral reefs to the hydrothermal vent communities deep in the ocean, students will make observations about the sea’s ecosystems and the sometimes-unexpected life within them. There are no traditional tests. Students are expected to participate fully as members of the expedition. If you’ve ever wondered what it might be like to go to sea, pack your bags, and join us.
This is a survey course covering the basics of physical oceanography and marine biology presented in a fun and engaging format. There are no traditional tests. Students will be graded on their weekly assignments, which will include both individual and group projects. In lieu of a midterm or final exam, students will be expected to complete a major individual project each term. Prospective students need to be self-motivated and willing to work in a team environment. There will be a strong multimedia component to the course, and students will have the opportunity to choose from reading assignments that meet their comfort level. The course is fast-paced and rigorous. No prior knowledge of oceanography is expected.
Pre-Veterinary Medicine
Are you interested in becoming a veterinarian or a veterinary technician? Do you love animals and wish to learn more about them? Preveterinary Medicine will introduce you to basic vertebrate anatomy by covering the major systems of the body including the digestive, reproductive, skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, excretory, and integumentary systems. We will use examples from small animal medicine (dogs and cats although some large animal anatomy will be covered) and discuss medical problems that are commonly seen in veterinary offices. Every week we will have a "Dilemma of the Week" where I will introduce common ethical dilemmas that veterinarians face on a regular basis, and you will discuss these issues with your classmates.
Following the introduction to anatomy and physiology, you will learn the diagnostic procedures that assist veterinarians in making appropriate diagnoses. You will learn how to take a medical history, perform a basic physical examination, and what types of tests (blood, X-ray, fecals) that vets employ to get a better picture of the animal's health. For the remainder of the course, you will work in small groups on case studies. You will follow cases from start to completion, brainstorming about potential causes of ailments, diagnoses and treatment options.


Social Studies

American Multiculturalism
American Multiculturalism will help you learn more about cultural diversity in the United States. You'll learn about bias, stereotypes, and hate, and how to deal with difficult or uncomfortable situations in your own life. You might even be asked to bare the deepest secrets of your soul! We'll study various cultures such as Native American, Asian, Hispanic, African American, Arab American, and more! If you want to learn more about the diversity of America, challenge your conventional thinking about the way we categorize, label, and treat the people around us, learn about the groups that have influenced the culture of America, and recognize your own attitudes and beliefs regarding American multiculturalism, then this course is for you!
Arts and Ideas: The Best of Western Culture
Students will take a guided tour through the best of western culture in which they will taste arts, architecture, music, literature, history, religion, and philosophy from ancient times into the twenty-first century. Western Culture and Humanities is a challenge course for students who like to study how arts, ideas, inventions, and events all connect. Students will: 
· Read and respond to text and online verbal, visual, and auditory sources
· Visit virtual museums and cultural websites
· Share active class "discussions" online
· Work with other students online in student-selected investigations and presentations
· Synthesize ideas and develop writing skills in individual short essays
Course Bias: Open Minds and Kindness. While the course focuses on the best of the arts in western culture, the student and parent should be aware that the texts and some websites include artistic historical nudes. The course instructor will encourage students to investigate many artistic and social orientations as valid within the culture of origin. Maintaining open minds and withholding judgment in order to understand what contributions have been made in the past are biases encouraged throughout the course. In addition, students will be required to maintain courteous and encouraging tones toward all others as they discuss their personal responses to works.
Eastern and Western Thought
Students will examine great thinkers of the East and the West, from ancient to modern times. Students will read selections from works such as the Bhagavad Gita and the I Ching as well as read excerpts by philosophers such as Buddha, Lao-Tse, Muhammed, Gandhi, Socrates, Locke, Rousseau, deBeauvoir, and Marx. All reading will be "on-line." Students will also use the Internet for discussion and course work, including research and other activities. A key theme of the course will be to examine the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western thinkers. Students will conclude the course with individual research and preparation of a project about a "thinker" of their choice.
Peacemaking is about power. It is about realizing and utilizing your personal power, by recognizing that there are alternatives to violence and to a "win-lose" philosophy of life. Peacemaking is an active process, not a passive exercise.
Peacemaking is an interdisciplinary course exploring Peace and Peacemaking in four interrelated ways - the personal, interpersonal, communal and global. Through exploration, evaluation, reflection and discussion we will better understand our own roles and responsibilities as peacemakers. Topics covered will include: service for the sake of peace, forgiveness, understanding, contemplation, philosophies of non-violence, and peacemakers past and present among the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. Readings include works by Thich Nhat Hanh, Martin Luther King, the 14th Dalai Lama, Mohandas Gandhi, Simon Wiesenthal and others. Projects will include a Peace Offering and creation of a multimedia project: assembling Pieces of Peace.
In this course you are invited to participate in an activity that is about 2 500 years old and you are expected to develop your own ideas about the philosophical problems, theories and arguments. You will be challenged to think critically on your own, but always taking into consideration what the others had and have to say about those matters. 
Philosophy enhances the improvement of the analysis of personal convictions, the understanding of the diversity of arguments of others and the awareness of the limited character of our knowledge. In this sense, philosophy is a basic and important part of education and an instrument for making democratic life deeper.
As a participant in this philosophy course you will be challenged to think critically and learn to think with the ideas and points of view of past and contemporary philosophers. You can expect to write, read and debate extensively, always by means of an argumentative discourse and weekly assignments.
The Holocaust
To properly understand the Holocaust, students will become familiar with the history of Anti-Semitism. They will investigate the historical conditions that  allowed the rise of Hitler in Germany. We will study the use of propaganda in creating the Nazi Regime. Two books will be read: Night by Elie Wiesel and  All But My Life by Gerda Weismann Klein, both authors being Holocaust 
survivors. Our readings will reveal how life changed for those marked by the Nazi as undesirable and how the “Final Solution” was played out in the concentration camps. We will take a virtual tour of the U.S. Holocaust Museum. Students will develop a final oral history project around an actual interview with a Holocaust survivor. Students will be engaging fundamental questions 
about human nature, prejudice and violence, since the terror of genocide continues to be with us. 
The Vietnam War
This course will use readings that contain profanity and mature themes.
Vietnam -- because of it, our nation was changed forever. Take this class and find out what the fuss was all about. Discover why THE WALL can evoke such emotion from those who lived through that era. Find out how the United States could enter a struggle where it won every battle and yet lost the war. Learn how we stumbled into this conflict to fight communism, and ended up fighting each other. Have you ever heard of Kent State or Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi Jane? Have you ever wondered about B-52's, M-16's, Peaceniks, Hawks, Doves, and Hippies? Do you know where to find the Mekong Delta, the Parrot's Beak, the DMZ, Cambodia, Laos, or Camelot? And what happened in Chicago? What is the significance of Agent Orange, Green Berets, AK- 47's, and "All We Are Saying is Give Peace a Chance." The Vietnam War is still an open wound in this country that will not go away. It is one of the most divisive periods in our nation's history and the only war our nation has ever lost. The Vietnam War lasted through the administrations of five presidents. The Vietnam War was and is a national tragedy. Take this class and find out what the fuss is all about.
In this class, we will explore the history, the causes, and the results of the Vietnam Conflict. We will begin with an analysis of Vietnam itself; its people, its ancient beginnings, its complex culture, and its geography. We will delve into the roots of this conflict in the French colonial experience before and after the Second World War. We will examine the beginnings of American involvement in Vietnam in the context of politics, diplomacy, and economics. We will study the military aspects of the conflict in terms of strategy, tactics, weapons, and battles. We will compare and contrast the impact of this conflict on the administrations of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. We will investigate the antiwar movement and learn of its impact on the war's outcome. We will learn how America's involvement in this conflict came to an end and how the conflict itself eventually came to an end.



Engineering Principles
Question: Why don’t buildings and bridges fall down more often?
Answer: Because there are people who have the skills to put together the right materials in the right shape to make them stay up –sometimes even during large earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes.
Have you ever looked at impressive structures like large bridges, skyscrapers, or even private homes, and wondered why they don’t fall down more often? Perhaps you are the kind of person who never gives a second thought to such matters – assuming that structures are all pretty safe. But even a quick look at the history of buildings will show you that they don’t always work. What made the Tacoma Narrows Bridge fall apart in a tame wind in 1940? Why do buildings in Los Angeles survive large earthquakes, while others in other parts of the world (such as in Bam, Iran, 2003) are flattened? This course will introduce students to the engineering world that helps to understand these questions, and to lead some people into the professions related to structural engineering.



Art History: Renaissance to Present
Please Note: This course may not be appropriate for students with specific accessibility limitations as written. Please refer to the VHS Handbook policy on Special Education/Equity for more information on possible modifications. If you need additional assistance, please let us know at
Ever wonder why Impressionists seem so mundane now but were so shocking in their day? Why did that guy Pollock toss and drip all that paint around and get paid a lot of money for it? What was all the hoopla at the Brooklyn Museum a few years ago?
This course is designed to emulate a college level 'survey' course in Art History that will answer these questions and raise a few more. It begins in the Renaissance in Western Europe, because 1500 was an important moment for Western culture, and finishes off the second half of the millennium. We'll visit museums all over the world, virtually of course, and look at the connections among various types of art that have been created for the past 500 years. This course is a great way to expand your understanding of history as well as your understanding and love of visual art. If you like looking at works of art and wondering what on earth the artist was trying to communicate, this is the course for you!
As in any art history course, images of the nude human figure will be viewed and discussed. Some controversial topics will be raised during the course, particularly when we discuss censorship and contemporary art.
History of Photography
Please Note: This course may not be appropriate for students with specific accessibility limitations as written. Please refer to the VHS Handbook policy on Special Education/Equity for more information on possible modifications. If you need additional assistance, please let us know at
This course will explore the use of photography as a record of visual history - not just the use of photography for documentation, but also as a reflection of technological developments, social trends, and as a means of personal expression. Students will examine the works of famous photographers, from its beginnings in the 19th century to contemporary times, and will develop an aesthetic vocabulary. In addition, they will have opportunities to exchange ideas and explore subject matter through class discussion forums and team work. They will also create studio assignments in order to gain an appreciation for how photography can be used as a means of personal expression.