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2021 System Upgrade (VLS 2.0)

Site enhancements, new features are now live

Last edited January 12th, 2022

For details on current and resolved issues caused during this upgrade, please view: Current Issues.

VLS 2.0 Available

We are excited to announce the upgrade to the Virtual Lab School platform has been launched.

This upgrade provides greater flexibility for our users and content creators, faster page loads (especially for staff rosters), security and stability enhancements, and several new features. Here's a look at a few of the new features available now:

  • Two new user roles: Non-Supervisory-Specialist, and Support Staff.

    Support Staff (SS): This role is designed for those who work in Child and Youth Programs (CYPs), but do not provide direct care to children and youth. This role is ideal for program clerks, cooks, front office desk-staff, maintenance or custodial staff, bus drivers, or other support roles within CYPs. The coursework most applicable to SS users is in the Focused Topics tracks.

    Non-Supervisory Specialist (NSS): This role is designed for staff within programs who may serve, or be preparing to serve, in a mentorship role, such as an assistant Training & Curriculum Specialist or a CYP lead teacher. NSS users can be enrolled in and self-certify in the Training & Curriculum Specialist track or the Program Manager track but do not have the ability to manage any other users' progress. Hence, we recommend that this role only be used for learners who have completed their foundational training and who can appropriately monitor their own learning within these self-certifying tracks.

    Learn more about these and other roles in the
    Staff Roles support article.

  • New Roster Features: User Search and Quick-Roster

    Administrative roles that have the ability to view and manage other staff now have two new features for managing their staff. A new search bar is available on the Staff Roster page to quickly search for a specific user. Additionally, a new Quick Roster feature is available which allows the ability to pin staff members with which they are working for quicker access.

    See more about these features in the
    Staff Management Overview support article.

  • Focused Topics Certification Update

    Nearly all of the Focused Topic courses are now enrollable and certifiable. In November of 2020 we launched our first set of certifiable Focused Topic courses and we have now extended certification to all but a couple of courses. Certification may be vls-assessed (multiple choice) or tcs-assessed (multiple choice and short-answer reviewed by a TCS or PM). Other improvements to our assessment system include larger question banks for a more accountable assessment of course competency.

    Read more about the different assessment types in the
    End of Course Assessment support article.

  • Additional preparatory updates

    Other system updates are now in place for new content and new features that will be announced and released in 2022. We are excited to share these with you soon!

Downtime & Support

With an update of this size (literally all the site code has been re-written and modernized), there are always inevitable bugs and blemishes that need fixed and polished.  We are working diligently to address any issues that arise and would like to assure our users that the data on the old system has been saved and securely backed-up.  Over the next few weeks we will be releasing small patches to address issues or interface tweaks as they are reported.  Additionally, we will be doing an additional verification pass across all progress data to doubly insure that no users have any inconsistent assessments or lesson/course/track progress records.

During some of these patches over the next few weeks, you may experience some additional intermittent site unavailability that should be minimal and only last an hour or two at a time.  If you wish to report any display or functionality issues not listed below or have any misaligned data, please email us with detailed info about the issue at

For details on current and resolved issues caused during this upgrade, please view: Current Issues.


Thanks for your patience and support

-The VLS Team