At VLACS, students have the opportunity to customize their learning according to their interests, talents, or passions. Our flexible learning journeys include courses, projects, experiences, teams, and college. By mixing these learning journeys, students create their own unique learning playlists.
A Competency-based Approach
We are a competency-based school. We define competencies as the big ideas and enduring understandings that students are expected to master before moving on. For example, this competency is part of the U.S. Government competency group:
Students will demonstrate an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship by investigating the political processes and citizen involvement in local, state and national governments
We understand that not everyone learns at the same rate and that many students will benefit from having more time to master a concept. The same student that struggles with one competency may find that the next competency is easier for them to master, and they progress quickly. We do not label students as failures because they need more time to learn. At the same time, we welcome students who would like to accelerate their learning. Students who meet the prerequisites for college courses are welcome to enroll at any time during their high school career.
Here is a list of a few of the colleges VLACS students have been accepted into in recent years:
- Bard College
- Boston University
- Bowdoin College
- Culinary Institute of the America
- Dartmouth College
- Harvard University
- Kings College, London
- Syracuse University
- Temple University
- University of Mass. Amherst
Badges symbolize a student’s competency in a skill, qualification, or interest. At VLACS, students can earn digital badges by completing eligible competencies and experiences. More information on badges can be found here.
All New Hampshire resident students are required to take the Smarter Balanced Assessment in grade 11. VLACS will work with students and their families to arrange testing in their region. Students are also required to take a state science exam and the SAT in grade 11, and may take the optional PSATs during their sophomore year.
Supporting Our Students
For students enrolled in six classes, there are potentially six instructors and an advisor working directly with every student — plus, the academic helpdesk, technical helpdesk, and the VLACS office staff. This means that every VLACS student has a team of people who will do their best to help ensure that they have the best possible learning experience.
Certified and experienced instructors provide one-to-one instructional support and feedback to students on a regular basis. Parents are always encouraged to become involved in their child’s academic career at VLACS. In addition to our monthly virtual meetings, parents receive monthly communication from their student’s instructors — including progress reports each month. Parents and guardians can check on student progress anytime through their parent account at VLACS.
The main goal of the advisory program is to seek to ensure that every student is successful. All full-time students are assigned to an advisor and advisory group. During a student’s tenure at VLACS, the advisor serves as a student’s advocate, coach and counselor and the primary contact for parents or guardians. Through advisory, students have opportunities to identify and explore interests, talents or passions which lead to the creation of a future plan.
Students can access the academic HelpDesk to get immediate answers to questions related to their courses if their instructor is not available. To locate the Academic Helpdesk, visit your course page, select the "Need Help?" button and answer the prompted questions.
Our technical HelpDesk staff are available to help solve problems with any VLACS technology. You can access the Helpdesk here.
Special Education Services
At VLACS, students work at a pace that meets their needs and have the opportunity to redo assignments, tests, and projects as they work toward the mastery of competencies. In many cases our learning model meets the requirements prescribed in IEPs. When additional support is required, as per the IEP, our staff works with the student’s school district to create a positive learning experience. As per New Hampshire law, a student’s resident district shall have the responsibility, including financial responsibility, to ensure the provision of the special education and related services in the child’s IEP. New Hampshire law does not apply to out-of-state students.
VLACS Office Staff
If students or parents have questions that they need answered, our staff is available Monday through Friday to help.
Talented and gifted students or — as we prefer to say — every student, can excel at VLACS. Students who want to accelerate their learning are welcome at VLACS. Looking for advanced courses? How about kick-starting your college degree? Students can take AP courses or begin earning credits toward college while still in high school.
Browse the learning catalog
VLACS offers a wide variety of subjects, from traditional math and science studies to special interests like photography and walking fitness. Take a look for yourself!