At VLACS, we believe that our focus on establishing positive relationships with students and parents/guardians is essential to a positive middle school experience. Our certified instructors provide one-on-one support to help students achieve success.
A Competency-based Approach
We have a full complement of middle school courses as well as a variety of high school learning journeys in which students can enroll. During the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, students are required to complete English, math, social studies, science, physical education, advisory, and an elective course. We recommend that every middle school student complete at least one high school course.
We are a competency-based school. We define competencies as the big ideas, concepts, and enduring understandings that students are expected to master. For example, this competency is part of the English Language Arts competency group:
Students will demonstrate the ability to write persuasively and support claims and reasoning with sufficient evidence for intended purpose and audience.
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 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 high school learning journeys and competency groups (courses, projects, etc.) are welcome to enroll as part of their middle school experience. And yes, all high school credits that are earned in middle school will “count” toward graduation at VLACS.
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 grades 6, 7, and 8. VLACS will work with students and their families to arrange testing in their region.
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 middle school 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 virtual meetings, parents receive communications and progress reports from their student’s instructors on a monthly basis. Parents and guardians can check on student’s progress anytime through their parent account at VLACS.
The main goal of the middle school advisory program is to ensure that every student is successful. All full-time middle school 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 short term goals.
Students can access the Academic HelpDesk to get answers to questions related to their courses if their instructor is not available.
Our Technical HelpDesk staff are available to help solve problems with any VLACS technology.
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 [link to Customized Learning] 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 if available Monday through Friday to help.
Talented students— 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? Students who have met the prerequisites for high school courses can begin earning credits toward graduation while in middle 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!