A. Linwood Holton Governor's School
Virginia's First Virtual Governor's School
One Partnership Circle - PO Box 1987 Abingdon, VA 24212
Telephone: 276-619-4326      Fax: 276-619-4309     e-mail: holton@hgs.k12.va.us




Welcome to Linwood Holton Governor's School and the start of a new calendar year of exciting learning experiences, preparing you for traditional college and beyond. With the pending start of a new semester comes Orientation Spring 2021. Traditionally orientation has provided new and returning students the opportunity to set-up required HGS accounts, obtain materials, learn about school policies and procedures, meet their instructor(s), and meet fellow students, all done during orientation sessions held at the Higher Education Center (HEC) in Abingdon. However, due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic, all spring semester orientation activities will be online only.

How online orientation will be conducted is best covered via a few questions and answers.

Who is required to complete Orientation Spring 2021 online?

If you will take a 2021 spring semester start Governor's School class you must complete Spring Orientation 2021 online. If this is your first semester taking a Governor's School class this academic year, you must complete ALL of online orientation. If you are a current HGS fall semester student and taking a HGS class that starts in the spring semester, you must only complete the HGS LIVE! Session portion of orientation. Missed the LIVE! Sessions? Contact your school Guidance Counselor today! (The LIVE! Make-Up Session schedule is available here.) There will be no in-person orientation sessions for HGS classes that start in the spring 2021 semester.

How do students "complete" online orientation?

The ALHGS Orientation Spring 2021 web site is now open. The site may then be reached HERE or by typing the URL http://www.hgs.k12.va.us/Orientation2021/ in a modern browser address bar. (Please use the latest versions of either Firefox or Chrome.)

On the Orientation Spring 2021 site students will complete an account request form (form completion annually is required to attend HGS), learn about the HGS Virtual School, how to attend live (synchronous) classes, how to access HGS email, and how to use the HGS Virtual Classroom software. If you are a current HGS fall semester student, you must only complete the HGS LIVE! Session portion of orientation.

If everything is online, how do I get my books?

Materials for each student will be available at their local high school by the beginning of the HGS spring semester, which is currently scheduled to start Thursday, January 14, 2021. Please see your high school guidance counselor to obtain materials sent for you to your school.

I need to change something. What do I do?

Please speak with your high school guidance counselor.

Can I still register for a spring semester class?

Yes! Please see your guidance counselor.

When do classes begin in the spring semester?

The first day of spring semester classes for ALHGS is Thursday, January 14, 2021. (If the start date changes again, the new date will be posted on the ALHGS web site as well as in the HGS Twitter feed.)

We look forward to meeting you online during Orientation Spring 2021.


The Governor's School is pleased to announce a NEW HGS COURSE FOR 2020-2021: Survey of American Literature (ENG 241/ENG 242). This one semester asynchronous class will be offered for the first time by HGS in the spring 2021 semester. The six hour college credit course will emphasize individual writers and their works, beginning with works in the colonial period, continuing up to approximately the Civil War.

Discover the connections between ideas and patterns of development of American society and culture. Enroll in Survey of American Literature Today! (See the announcement above this one for enrollment instructions.)


Learn the language of heath care this coming spring at the Governor's School. This asynchronous class, which will provide three hours of college credit to students, will be offered this academic year in the spring semester 2021. How do you enroll in Medical Terminology? Please see your school guidance counselor to enroll.


Beginning with the fall semester of the 2020-2021 academic year, the Governor’s School will offer Latin I and Latin II. Why Latin? Latin is the basis for many scientific names, terms, and phrases as well as legal phrases. (You, as a US citizen, may one day be paying an ad valorem tax or if in the legal profession, filing an amicus curiae brief.) Thinking of entering the field of biology, medicine, or other healthcare related professions? If so, knowing basic Latin may be of significant benefit to you in your college and subsequent professional career.

Latin I will be offered in the fall 2020 semester followed by both Latin II and Latin I in the spring 2021 semester. All Latin classes will be asynchronous (“on-demand” classes) high school credit classes. (HGS Latin classes are the only classes offered by the Governor's School for which college credit is not available.)

Interested? Register Today! Talk to your guidance counselor about enrollment and HGS admission requirements.

Carpe Diem.


WELCOME to the [temporary] home of the HGS Bulletin Board. The HGS Bulletin Board is the place where you can find student scholarship opportunities, unique educational opportunities, student competition announcements, and much more.

2021 BBB Student of Integrity Scholarship

The deadlines for the Better Business Bureau Serving Western VA's 18th Annual BBB Student of Integrity Scholarship and Social Scholar Video Contest are quickly approaching. The application deadline for the BBB Student of Integrity Essay Scholarship, which offers a $1000 award, is January 31st. The application deadline for the BBB Social Scholar Video Contest, which offers a $500 scholarship, is February 28, 2021. Details here.

NASA Stem Enhancement in Earth and Space Science

NASA, the Texas Space Grant Consortium and The University of Texas at Austin Center for Space Research have joined forces to encourage high school students’ interest in STEM careers. The SEES project allows students to work remotely prior to their onsite internships in Austin, Texas, July 17 – July 31, 2021 or participate in a virtual project. Participants will conduct authentic research with NASA subject matter experts in their chosen areas of work. Housing, transportation and meals will be provided. Application deadline is February 22, 2021. More details are available HERE.

Pamplin Leadership Award

The Pamplin Leadership Award is a one year merit-based $5000 Virginia Tech tuition scholarship presented to up to forty qualified students chosen from the Commonwealth of Virginia's public high schools. Details HERE.

Focusing on the Future

Focusing on the Future is a virtual career and academic planning conference for all Middle and High School Students as well as Counselors and Parents. Details HERE.

Saturday Enrichment Program

This fall William & Mary will offer Saturday Enrichment Programs (SEP) for students grades 7-9 in the area of Statistics, Art, Botany, and Anatomy. William & Mary’s SEP is an academically challenging program with an emphasis on inquiry-based learning for students. Details HERE.

Student Poetry Contest

Appelley Publishing is holding a Student Poetry Contest, which has a first place prize of $500 in each grade division. Students may submit one original poem on any subject, with the poem being from 2 to 20 lines. Contest entry flyer for mail-in entries is available HERE. For more information and to enter via the web go HERE.

Virginia Space Grant Consortium Opportunities

Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) provides several FREE and highly engaging Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning opportunities for Virginia students. The applications for our three online programs are OPEN UNTIL October 25, 2020

  • Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) is an interactive online STEM learning experience for 10th grade students highlighted by a seven (7) day residential summer academy at NASA Wallops Flight Facility focusing on the current missions at Wallops. Flyer (PDF) here.
  • Virginia Aerospace Science and Technology Scholars (VASTS) is an interactive online STEM learning experience for 11th and 12th grade students, highlighted by a seven (7) day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center focusing on human spaceflight. Students can earn up to five free dual enrollment college credits. Flyer (PDF) here.
  • The Virginia Earth System Science Scholars (VESSS) is an interactive online STEM learning experience for 11th and 12th grade students, highlighted by a seven (7) day residential summer academy at NASA Langley Research Center, focusing on the Earth’s responses to climate changes, weather, and natural hazards. Students can earn up to five free dual enrollment college credits. Flyer (PDF) here.

VDOE Covid-19 Resources

The Virginia Department of Education has issued a bulletin with links to resources for parents. Students may want to forward the link to family members. Details here.

Free Comcast Internet

During the coronavirus pandemic, Comcast is offering free internet to low-income families for two months. Details here.

Prepare for College In Virginia

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia provides resources for parents and students to help them with preparing for higher education: Student Resources. One of these resources is the 1-2-3 GO! Program, Virginia's Three Steps to College, which helps with preparation, the application process, and paying for higher education in Virginia: Three Steps to College Events.

MIT Beaver Works Institute

MIT Beaver Works Institute is a four-week program at MIT that challenges high school students to tackle high-tech projects. Watch for future offerings and course announcements here.

Emory & Henry College STEM Cohort Scholarship Program

Emory & Henry College introduces their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Cohort Scholarship Program. Download the announcement PDF here.


HGS Virtual School Browser Requirements

The software used by the Governor's School makes use of the latest web standards supported by the major browsers: Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Thus, the HGS Virtual School (Canvas) and the HGS Virtual Classroom (Jigsaw) no longer support the Internet Explorer web browser. Students should not use the Internet Explorer browser to access the HSG web site, HGS Virtual School, and/or HGS Virtual Classroom.

Soon students may not be able to access the HGS Virtual School/Classroom unless they are using the latest version of Chrome and/or Firefox. Currently, one must use Google Chrome browser versions 75, 76, or 77, with browser version 77 being preferred. If one is using Mozilla Firefox, one must use version 67, 68, or 69, with browser version 69 preferred. As new versions of Firefox and Chrome are released, students are obligated to keep their browsers up-to-date to have access to the school's sites.

You do not know what browser version you are using? Instructions on how to check and update Firefox are available here. Instructions on how to check and update Chrome are available here.

Enforcement of the above noted browser requirements will begin no later than October 15, 2019.


Smart Phone E-mail Access is available

To use this feature:

  • Connect using your e-mail address and password
  • Once connected, the setup and access should be automatic by using the auto discover feature of the phone (auto discover is active on the mail server)
  • If connecting manually, use holtonmail.hgs.k12.va.us as the server name

You can reach the non-flash mail access web page here: http://www.hgs.k12.va.us/mobile

Unfortunately, due to variation in phones, OS of phone systems, etc., we cannot offer any advice and/or support beyond the above for phone e-mail access.

Please note that depending upon your connection, when connecting for the first time using your phone, you may have to log into your e-mail entering rather than using just . Password entry remains unchanged.


Governor's School Introduces A New Video Series

Considering a Governor's School class but would like to know more before you take the leap? To provide more information about classes for prospective Governor's School students, the first series of information videos are now available. The videos are interviews with class instructors as well as current and former students. By viewing the videos, prospective students will learn about the class format, course content, and students' experiences. Series videos will continue to be posted throughout the year. Follow the links below to the web pages on which the currently available videos are posted.

Advanced Multimedia Applications
Human Anatomy & Physiology
All History Department Courses:
Appalachian History, Western Civilization, and World Civilization

Please Note: The videos are "Under Construction."
Please check back...they should be available soon

So grab a Governor's School admission application, a box of popcorn, and prepare to learn about a great opportunity.


Tour Your [Future] College Campus

Ready to begin your college planning? If so, check out eCampusTours for a virtual tour of hundreds of different colleges.  This web site offers virtual tours of buildings and grounds for over a thousand different college campuses.