Mountain Vista Governor's School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Not to be confused with Mountain Vista High School.
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology
Mountain Vista Governor's School Logo
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology is located in Northern Virginia
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology is located in Virginia
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology is located in the US
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology
Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology
6480 College Street
Warrenton, Virginia 20187
United States

Warrenton Campus: 38°40′56″N 77°47′00″W / 38.682084°N 77.783407°W / 38.682084; -77.783407Coordinates: 38°40′56″N 77°47′00″W / 38.682084°N 77.783407°W / 38.682084; -77.783407

Middletown Campus: 39°02′10″N 78°15′55″W / 39.036086°N 78.265314°W / 39.036086; -78.265314
School type Magnet governor's school
Established 2006
Director Dr. Rosanne Williamson
Grades 11th-12th
Years offered 2
Enrollment 108 (as of 2008-09)
Color(s) Navy and teal          
Feeder schools

Warrenton Campus

Middletown Campus

Information 540-347-6237

Mountain Vista Governor's School for Science, Math & Technology (commonly Mountain Vista or MVGS) is one of Virginia's 18 state-initiated governor's schools,[1] serving primarily 11th and 12th graders. The school is composed of two campuses, one each in Middletown, Virginia, United States and Warrenton, Virginia, United States. Admission is determined via an application process.[2]


Planning for Mountain Vista began in 2003; its participating counties were one of the last in the state not covered by an existing academic-year governor's school or similar program.[3] The participating school systems surveyed parents and students within their respective counties to gauge interest. A plan for implementation was created and put into motion; A committee was formed, and approval was sought from the Virginia Department of Education.[4] A first review of the plan was presented to the Virginia Department of Education at their January 11, 2006 meeting.[5] The funding for MVGS (a total of $190,544) was first approved in the 2006-2008 Biennial Budget passed by the Virginia House of Delegates.[6]

On January 11, the estimated portion of the school budget that the participating counties had to pay was approximately $216,527; it was divided among each of the counties.[7] Each county's school board was responsible for approving both the funding and a 3 year commitment in order for the project to continue.[8][9] Each jurisdiction was made responsible for the funding for each slot at the governor's school allocated to them.

In May 2006, Dr. Rosanne Williamson was named director of Mountain Vista, and she assumed the post on July 1.[10]

On January 15, 2011, students from both campuses travelled with their teachers to Richmond, where they participated in the 2011 Volvo Construction Challenge. The Middletown team of four students placed second in the Transportation Infrastructure challenge.


Each participating county has a local committee that decides who attends from that county. Students interested must complete an application and submit transcripts and two written essays.[11] The applications along with teacher recommendations are reviewed by the local committee and admission decisions are made.

Participating localities[edit]

The number of slots at the governor's school allocated to each jurisdiction, as of September 14, 2006:

  • Frederick & Fauquier (30)
  • Culpeper (15)
  • Winchester (13)
  • Warren (15)
  • Rappahannock (4)


The Mountain Vista Governor's School program does not have a classroom facility of its own. Instead, students travel to Lord Fairfax Community College to take courses offered by the program, then the students return to their home schools and maintain eligibility for sports and extracurricular activities there. The area served by Mountain Vista is too large for a single location to which busing all students would be practical; LFCC was chosen because it has a campus on each end of the area covered by Mountain Vista.[12] The two sites are connected via videoconferencing that allow them to interact with each other.[13]

In addition, all Mountain Vista students are given laptops by their respective county for use year round.[4] During the 06-07 and 07-08 school years, the school used the Blackboard Academic Suite of e-Education software designed to allow the students to submit and retrieve notes and assignments on snow days or other missed days of school, and to provide virtual office hours for instructors. Frederick County Public Schools provided the means of sharing their purchased BAS with MVGS. However, during the 2008-09 school year, Frederick County switched to the ANGEL Learning Management System, causing Mountain Vista to change to ANGEL along with it. MVGS also used a private discussion board for communication between staff and students. Then, in the 2011-2012 school year, MVGS decided to change from ANGEL to Google sites due to technical issues with ANGEL. Google groups were created as classes and Google mail sent out homework quickly and efficiently.


The Mountain Vista curriculum was designed to be a college level mathematics and science program providing a solid basis for doing research and making connections between disciplines.[14] The classes are connected in a way that when a topic is being taught in physics, a similar concept is being taught in math and humanities is discussing social applications and ramifications of the subject. Most of the courses have homework assignments assigned during the summer and due on the first day of class making learning a year round activity.[15] A number of MVGS classes are Dual Enrollment, AP, or both, giving the students the ability to earn college credits while still in high school.

The courses offered are:

  • Science:
  • Mathematics:
  • Humanities:
    • MVGS Humanities I: The Power of Thought / English 11
    • MVGS Humanities II: Applying the Power of Persuasion to World Issues /Government
  • Research:
    • MVGS Research I: Introduction to the Fundamentals of the Research Process
    • MVGS Research II: Exploration of Cutting-Edge Science and Technology Fields (Applied Research)

Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, the follow courses will also be offered:

  • Biology:
    • MVGS Biology I: Introduction
    • MVGS Biology II: Advanced Topics (Genetics, Ecology, and the Physiology of Organisms)

The school once offered Precalculus, but this course was discontinued as participating school divisions elected to require all first year MVGS students to be prepared to enter Calculus as originally intended by the designers of MVGS.

Along with in class work, classes include projects that allow for hands on problem solving and collaboration with other students like a water balloon launch competition.[16]


The first class graduated in 2007. Almost half of the students will attend Virginia's top 3 schools (University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute) according to US News and World Report with one-third of students attending UVA.[17] At the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia, Mountain Vista Governor's School has had success with students becoming Monroe Rodman, and Echols scholars. Other notable colleges that alumni have attended include University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Cornell University, University of Notre Dame, Harvard University, United States Air Force Academy, United States Coast Guard Academy, and the United States Naval Academy. Top Liberal arts colleges[18] are also represented with students going to Wellesley College, Pomona College, and Harvey Mudd College. Top acceptances for the Class of 2011 have included Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, Washington University in St. Louis, Vanderbilt University, University of California, Berkeley, Tufts University, and Purdue University.

Most of the remainder are going to other local universities like Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Mary Washington, and George Mason University

As of 2011, the first alumni of Mountain Vista Governor's School began to attend Graduate and Professional schools in the fall. Examples of where Mountain Vista alumni have ended up includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for particle physics and Harvard Medical School.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]