General FAQs

Please see our Tuition page for up-to-date tuition and registration fees for New Hampshire and national students.

Virtual schools are available through the Internet and provide students the flexibility of anytime, anywhere access to rigorous, personalized education. In the virtual classroom, every student is actively engaged directly with the instructor, thereby offering a comprehensive and thorough understanding of each course taken.

Charter schools are public schools that operate without many of the regulations that apply to traditional public schools. In exchange for this increased freedom, charter schools agree to greater accountability. The ‘charter’ that establishes each school is a performance contract detailing the school’s mission, program, goals, students served, methods of assessment, and ways to measure success. Charter schools are accountable to their sponsor, usually a state or local school board, to produce positive academic results and adhere to the charter contract.

The Exeter Region Cooperative School District (SAU 16) initiated the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School as an independent organization. The Academy has its own employees and teaching staff, Board of Trustees, and financial statement.

The charter for the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School was unanimously approved by the New Hampshire State Board of Education on May 9, 2007. The school is authorized as a charter school, public school, and 501(c)(3) non-profit. New Hampshire students attend the Academy free of charge while out-of-state students attend on a tuition basis. Both full-time and part-time students are welcome to attend VLACS. 

Many NH high school students cannot take advanced placement or specialized classes because their school district cannot afford the course or there is not enough student interest for a school district to justify funding a course. Since its inception, VLACS has provided students and schools options to reduce drop-out rates, scheduling flexibility, expanded course offerings, and credit recovery options. An additional benefit we offer is the one-to-one communication between the instructor and student, which is vastly different from the instructor-student relationship in the traditional classroom environment. The virtual environment enables the instructor to get to know each student and challenge each student based upon his/her learning style, strengths and weaknesses.

Virtual Learning Academy Charter School is New Hampshire’s first statewide, online high school. It provides students with flexibility, choice, a personalized learning environment, and the opportunity to learn using the latest technology. Most importantly, VLACS provides every NH high school student with an equal learning opportunity.

The Virtual Learning Academy is funded through the New Hampshire’s Education Trust Fund, which exists solely to benefit NH’s charter schools. State law gives the NH Legislature the authority and job to fund the state’s charter schools.

Any high school or middle school student who resides in New Hampshire, up to the age of 21, may apply to VLACS. VLACS will accept national high school and middle school students on a tuition basis.

Part-time students may enroll in VLACS for academic enrichment, accelerate their progress in a traditional high school program or finish uncompleted coursework. Students who intend to graduate from VLACS may apply to pursue full time studies. Students may also pursue college credit while still in high school through our dual-credit partnering programs with several colleges.

We purchase most of our curriculum from the Florida Virtual School, a successful virtual school that has been operating since 1997. During the past 10 years, the FVS curriculum and coursework has been evaluated and revised to meet rigorous academic standards. In addition, FVS’ instructors, administrators, students and parents continually evaluate the curriculum and coursework.

If you would like to apply to be a full-time VLACS student, please review the information on our full-time students admissions page. If you would like additional information you are welcome to attend one of our open house sessions or to contact our office by email ([email protected]) or phone (603-778-2500).

If you would like to be a part-time VLACS student, there is no application process. You can enroll today. See our Enrollment page to learn more.

The charter for the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School was unanimously approved by the New Hampshire State Board of Education on May 9, 2007. Advanced Placement courses are audited and approved by the College Board on an annual basis. VLACS course courses have been approved by the NCAA.

Admissions FAQs

The admissions process at VLACS is intended to help support students as they transition to online learning full-time. Prospective students will follow the steps below as part of the admissions process:

  • Create an Account
  • Enroll in courses (immediately or after Admissions Plan Meeting)
  • Complete the Full-Time Application
  • Attend an Information Session
  • Participate in an Admission Plan Review Meeting
  • Meet Admission Plan goals

The first step in the admissions process is to create a student account and complete the full-time application. After VLACS receives your application, the office will contact you via email to schedule an online Information Session. After you attend an Information Session, you will receive a link to schedule an Admissions Plan Review Meeting. During this meeting you will discuss your course completion goals, course selection, and course requirements, as well as develop a timeline for acceptance to the full-time program. The last step in the admissions process is to meet the goals outlined in your Admissions Plan, which involves the completion of online coursework. Once you meet these goals, you will be accepted to our full-time program.

The length of the admissions process varies depending upon students’ individual circumstances. If a student has successfully completed VLACS courses previously and is currently enrolled in courses, (s)he may progress through the process within four weeks. The process may take longer for a variety of reasons, including: 1) If the student is not yet enrolled in courses; 2) If the student is struggling to meet admissions goals; 3) If the admissions team is waiting for the student’s transcript; 4) If the student has not yet attended an information session or Admission Plan Meeting.

Students will work with an admissions counselor during the Admissions Plan Meeting to create a personalized plan. The process is not “competitive”; it is designed to give the applicant time to solidify whether VLACS is the right fit, and our team time to determine that students are prepared to meet attendance requirements. Although details of the plans will vary by student, every applicant shares these common goals (“The Three Cs”):

  • Consistency (weekly submissions, working in sequence, following pace charts)
  • Competency (meeting/re-doing competency assignments)
  • Communication (attend scheduled meetings, reach out with questions/concerns)

If your ultimate goal is to return to your local school, you may take a full course load (i.e. up to six credits in an academic year) at VLACS without applying to our full-time program. You would be considered a part-time VLACS student and you may choose either: 1) to remain officially enrolled with your local school yet access VLACS curriculum (you should explore this option with your local school); OR 2) file a Letter of Intent to Homeschool with your local SAU.

Full-time VLACS students:

  • Are pursuing a VLACS diploma
  • Take the majority of their credits through VLACS
  • Work towards meeting VLACS’ (vs. their local school’s) graduation requirements
  • Must meet attendance requirements
  • Take a required Advisory course which involves completing self-reflection and future planning projects and doing community services
  • Are assigned to an Advisor 
  • Participate in statewide assessments as required by the Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program (RSA 193-C). Full-time students shall also be required to participate in annual standardized assessments as well as certain college and career-ready assessments as required.
  • Engage with and apply English and mathematics graduation competencies during every year they are enrolled in high school even if graduation competencies for English and mathematics have been demonstrated. Such engagement may occur through integration of these graduation competencies in courses focused on content areas other than English or mathematics. Such engagement shall support students to be college and career ready in mathematics and English/language arts.

Click here: High School Graduation Requirements 

*Please note that all VLACS full-time students are required to complete community service each year.

Please see the Full-Time Admissions Process portion of our website.

Student and Enrollment FAQs

Log into your account as often as you wish, using your username and password. Once you are placed in your desired course, you will be contacted by your instructor.

Students may opt to work at an accelerated, traditional or extended pace; however, regular work submission and communication is required in all VLACS courses in accordance with the student’s pace chart.

If you choose to meet competencies through projects, teams, experiences or a combination of these and course work, you will not have the option to earn honors or advanced designation. However, learning through projects, teams, or experiences provide students with the opportunity for more authentic, student driven, and in-depth learning.

VLACS has on-going registration. You may enroll in at any time throughout the year. Please check our learning catalog to see if there are waiting lists for the course, project, experience or team project in which you are interested.

VLACS is an approved New Hampshire school providing services to K-12 and Adult Education.  In New Hampshire, schools have the authority to accept or reject courses or credits from any school, including New Hampshire public schools and charter schools.  Most every school in New Hampshire accepts credits from VLACS; however, on occasion schools have created policies or rules that have limited the acceptance of certain courses or credits. We recommend that you contact your local school to find out if our courses or credit are eligible for transfer.

VLACS provides students with an official transcript that can be included in a college or employment application packet along with their full-time school’s transcript.

Yes. We are an approved public school in NH, our credits are accepted just as they are from any other public school.

Hundreds of national and international students have taken VLACS courses and successfully transferred credits to their home schools. We always recommend checking with your local school before enrolling at VLACS.

Please see our Tuition page for up-to-date tuition and registration fees for New Hampshire and national students.

VLACS instructors guide students through the online coursework, and students can complete the work at their own pace, however, regular work submission and communication is required in all VLACS courses in accordance with the student’s pace chart. For example, a strong math student can complete an Algebra course in 15 weeks, whereas a struggling Algebra student may take up to 38 weeks to complete the course. The virtual environment enables the instructor to get to know each student and challenge each student based upon his/her learning style, strengths, and weaknesses.

The timeline for course completion will be flexible to meet the needs of students. Typically, students will complete a 1-credit course in about 36 weeks or complete a 0.5-credit course in 18 weeks. Students could opt to accelerate the pace of these courses or request additional time if they find the coursework too challenging.

If you have questions about enrollment, registration, or courses, visit our web site www.vlacs.org and select the Contact Us page for an email contact. You may also contact us at (603) 778-2500 and the operator will direct you to the appropriate staff person.

High school and middle school students who reside in New Hampshire are eligible to apply and attend VLACS free of charge. VLACS accepts out-of-state students when seats are available; these students will be charged tuition for attending the school.

Parents FAQs

Please see our Tuition page for up-to-date tuition and registration fees for New Hampshire and national students.

In the virtual classroom, every student is actively engaged with the instructor. Each student is directly accountable for every query, question or exercise. Unlike the traditional classroom where instructors communicate with several students at all different levels, at one time, virtual instructors are in constant, one-to-one communication with each student. This environment enables the instructor to become familiar with the student’s learning style and skills, and facilitate an effective, challenging learning opportunity for each student, at their own pace.

 

Technically, instructors communicate with students through the Academy’s open source, Web-based course management system. The system enables instructors to upload and share materials, hold online discussions and chats, give quizzes and surveys, and gather and review assignments, and post grades. The system is password protected and meets stringent privacy and security standards to protect users.

Parents are encouraged to become involved in their child’s academic career at VLACS. Full-time admitted students are assigned an advisor who maintains regular contact with parents about the student’s progress. The advisor’s role is to serve as a contact person for the student or parent regarding questions about courses, procedures, college placement.

In addition, students and parents receive a welcome call from the instructor of each course and then monthly communication from the instructor including regular progress reports. The instructor will return all emails and phone calls from students and/or parents within 24-48 hours.

High school and middle school students who reside in New Hampshire are eligible to apply and attend VLACS free of charge. VLACS accepts out-of-state students when seats are available; these students will be charged tuition for attending the school.

No. The state’s Adequacy Education Fund and local property taxes fund New Hampshire’s public education system. The state manages and distributes monies from these income sources to public school districts.

Educator FAQs

All VLACS instructors are either New Hampshire certified or are in the certification process and deemed as highly qualified according to state standards. Administrators conduct a specialized, comprehensive hiring process for all instructors to ensure they are willing to accept and enjoy the unique and demanding challenges of online teaching. Currently, VLACS employs over 190 certified instructors from five New England States.

Home Education FAQs

Just over 15% of our students indicate that they are home educated.

Information about home education is available on the New Hampshire Department of Education website.  You can also contact your local school district for additional resources.  Additionally, there are a number of organizations dedicated to helping families who want to educate their children at home.  Many of these organizations along with additional information about home education can be found by conducting a web search.

If your child is under the age of 18 and you choose to withdraw them from your local school prior to acceptance as a full-time student at VLACS, you must submit an intent to home-school letter to your local superintendent, principal of a non-public school, or the Commissioner of Education within 5 business days of the official withdrawal from your local public school. A sample intent to home-school letter is provided below:

If your child is under the age of 18 and you choose to withdraw them from your local school prior to acceptance as a full-time student at VLACS, you must submit an intent to home-school letter to your local superintendent, principal of a non-public school, or the Commissioner of Education within 5 business days of the official withdrawal from your local public school. A sample intent to home-school letter is provided below.

Date
Superintendent
SAU #
Address
Town/City, NH Zip

Dear Superintendent:

In accordance with New Hampshire RSA Chapter 193-A:5 and Administrative Rules Ed 315.04(a), this letter serves to notify you of the home education program for our child(ren).
Beginning date of home education program:

Child A
Name:
Address:
Birthdate

Child B
Name:
Address:
Birthdate:

Parent/Guardian A
Name:
Address:
Phone number:

Parent/Guardian B
Name:
Address:
Phone number:

Please contact me/us if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Parent/Guardian

In most cases this is an option. Please contact your local school or SAU office for details.  The law governing access to public school programs by non-public or home educated students can be found here: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XV/193/193-1-c.htm

No. Only full-time VLACS students may earn a VLACS diploma. In order to become a full-time VLACS student a student must successfully complete the full-time admissions process which is outlined here.

All students taking VLACS courses are considered to be part time unless they apply and are formally accepted to our full-time program. If you have completed the formal VLACS admissions process you and your child will be notified when acceptance to the full-time program is official.  More information about the application process is available here.

In accordance with the New Hampshire Department of Education rules, VLACS does not grant credit for prior work/accomplishments completed by a home educated student. However, VLACS may waive credit requirements based on work completed as part of a home education program. To have credits waived a parent/guardian must supply one or more of the following:

  • A transcript from an approved school
  • Certification from a state approved and/or accredited education program
  • Certification issued by the commissioner of education, resident school district superintendent or non-public school principal pursuant to a home education program established in accordance with RSA 193A, or (for students located outside of New Hampshire) certification from a home education program recognized and/or accredited by the Department of Education, or equivalent state agency, in the student’s home state.
  • Any other documentation that VLACS believes will allow it to determine proper grade placement (such as test scores).

For more information please review the New Hampshire Department of Education website.

Once a student is accepted to VLACS or their home education has ended, written notice of termination should be sent to the same entity with whom you filed your home education plan within 15 business days.

Home-schooled students may take up to 6 courses at one time. Students may not exceed 6 credits per year (July 1st – June 30th).

Early College FAQs

No. For decades, high school students have been meeting the demands of Advanced Placement and dual credit courses. In many instances, however, these programs have been available only to top performing students or such programs have been available only to students in large or affluent school districts. We believe that any student who is motivated by the challenge of meeting high academic standards should have the opportunity to take a single college course.

Many courses will transfer to other colleges, however, to be sure, students must consult with the college or university you are planning to attend after high school to get a definite answer.

  • SNHU course registration is currently closed. Current students must complete all coursework by 8/31/2020.
  • eStart courses take 16 weeks to complete. Go to the eStart website for Registration/Course Dates.

If you are a VLACS full-time student, you will earn one credit. If you are a full-time student at a traditional school, please contact your guidance counselor to find out how many credits will be transferred to your transcript.

The tuition and fees for an SNHU or CCSNH course is outlined on the Tuition page.

eStart is a partnership between VLACS and the Community College System of New Hampshire. Credits earned through eStart are dual credits: high school and college. Any New Hampshire junior or senior from high school, private school, alternative school or home educated can take 100% online courses taught by CCSNH instructors. Tuition is just $150 per course and the credits can be used toward a degree program at CCSNH or other post-secondary institutions. Please email [email protected]for more information.

Learning Journey FAQs

No. At VLACS, you can earn a credit in English through a variety of options as long as you master all of the competencies for that English credit. For example, you can choose to achieve 2 competencies by doing 2 projects. Then, you can take care of the rest of the English competencies through courses.

Projects are designed to take 3 to 4 weeks. If you want to earn an entire credit through a project, that would typically consist of 7-8 projects taking approximately 32 weeks.

Don’t worry, you can still “recover” a competency through projects or by enrolling in a single course competency.

If you would like to apply to be a full-time VLACS student, please review the information on our full-time students admissions page. If you would like additional information you are welcome to attend one of our open house sessions or to contact our office by email ([email protected]) or phone (603-778-2500).

If you would like to be a part-time VLACS student, there is no application process. You can enroll today. See our Enrollment page to learn more.

No. At VLACS, you can earn traditional “course” credit through a variety of learning journeys as long as all of the competencies in a competency group or course are mastered. For instance, you could master two English and two science competencies during an internship. Then you could master the rest of the English and science competencies by enrolling in and completing the remaining competencies in a course or a project.

This depends on the Experience that you design and the amount of time you have to commit to your experience. It usually takes about four weeks to complete an experience that satisfies a single competency or 32-36 weeks to master the competencies for a full-credit.

Courses, Projects, Teams and Experiences are alternative ways for you to learn, meet competencies, and earn credit toward graduation. Courses are organized by traditional subject areas and take you through the materials in a similar way to traditional courses in school. Projects provide the opportunity for you to learn more independently, through web resources, and demonstrate your learning by completing a project. Experiences allow you to work with a VLACS instructor to design your own method for learning and demonstrating competency. Teams gives you the opportunity to work together with other students in a virtual team to explore and develop skills and techniques in an area of common interest. The important idea to understand is that that competencies can be met through a single journey or by combining Courses, Projects, Teams, and Experiences. Regardless of the journey, students work closely with a VLACS instructor.

Experiences can happen through internships, service learning, travel, independent study or entrepreneurship.

Credit is earned by learning and meeting a group of our existing competencies. So, the answer is maybe. Students have to demonstrate that competencies have been mastered in order to receive “credit” for the Experience.

No. Experiences must be designed with a VLACS instructor and then activities and tasks are completed.

No, a VLACS instructor will work with you to design an Experience. You will ultimately be responsible for setting up the Experience.

Yes, provided you meet all of the course competencies. You might meet them all through the Experience, but more commonly most of them are met through the Experience and the remainder are completed through project or course work.

Students work on Experiences on a regular basis. This may mean each week day or a few week days for an extended period of time. Students will be expected to meet with their instructor weekly and meet due dates for their assignments.

Students will need to be able to access and use Google Drive and Documents. The VLACS instructor and student will decide if a mentor is needed. A mentor is an expert in the field who coaches the student. The mentor can be a professional in the field, someone with specific expertise or knowledge, or a teacher. Mentors must complete a Criminal Records History Check and Fingerprinting.

You will start working on your chosen competencies after completing an introductory unit that focuses on designing your Experience. In this unit, you will, among other things, identify the competencies you will pursue, determine what you will do to demonstrate mastery of each competency, and conduct some initial research on the competency skills and concepts.

No. Although it is a group task, each person will be assessed based on his/her individual work and will not be penalized for someone else not doing their work.

Team offerings start periodically throughout the year.  Please see the learning catalog for specific information on start dates.

Enroll in Team offerings as you would for any other VLACS offering.  Select ‘Enroll’ from the VLACS website and follow the instructions. A student must enroll in the entire competency grouping (segment 1).

The total estimated completion time is 16-18 weeks.

Each Team Course consists of 4-5 competencies bundled as 0.5 credit.

No, you will need to meet with the members of your Team periodically, but all meetings will be held online in the virtual meeting room.

Adult Education FAQs

VLACS is a state approved charter school and public school. Our approval to serve as a school comes directly from the NH State Board of Education which grants us the ability to award high school diplomas and academic credits. To ensure that our programming and services meet the requirements set forth by the NH Board of Education we must submit an annual report describing and documenting our work, plus, every five years we are required to participate in a charter renewal process that is identical to many independent accreditation processes. Certain courses are approved by the NCAA. Please contact [email protected] for more information about specific courses.

  • Adults living outside of NH who do not have a high school diploma can enroll in our diploma program, earn individual credits, or take our courses for enrichment.
  • NH residents 21 and over who do not have a high school diploma can enroll in our diploma program, earn individual credits, or take our courses for enrichment.  (NH residents under 21 who do not have a high school diploma are eligible for our regular high school program)
  • Any adult, anywhere who already has a high school diploma can take our courses for enrichment or individual credits.
  • NH students who do not have a diploma and are 18-21 years of age are not Adult Education students.  These students can take courses in our traditional high school for credit or for a diploma.  Please speak with our guidance department ([email protected]) about options.
  • All adults outside of NH who do not have a high school diploma are welcome to enroll.
  • Yes!  You can enroll in our diploma program to and earn an Adult Ed diploma through VLACS. Click here to apply to the Diploma Program.
  • You can also enroll in individual courses and transfer the credit to your local Adult Ed center.
  • For more information about our Diploma program please email [email protected] or call (603) 778-2500

We don’t have plans to at this time.

You will communicate with your instructor via email and have meetings in a Virtual Meeting Room, a free service that allows text and video chat.  Your instructor will email or text chat you each week to check in on your progress.  You can also make appointments with your instructor for more in-depth support.  

All VLACS instructors are either New Hampshire certified or are in the certification process and deemed as highly qualified according to state standards. Administrators conduct a specialized, comprehensive hiring process for all instructors to ensure they are willing to accept and enjoy the unique and demanding challenges of online teaching.

Many of the courses we to offer, such as English, Math, and Social Studies, will be helpful to those who are preparing for the HiSet test.

Adult Education students work at their own pace with support from VLACS instructors.  Instructors check in with students each week.   You will do all of your learning and submit assignments in our web-based Learning Management System.  This is also where your instructor will grade and provide feedback. The system is password protected and meets stringent privacy and security standards to protect users.

If you have questions feel free to email [email protected]. You may also contact us at (603) 778-2500 and the operator will direct you to the appropriate staff person.

Contact Us

Have a question about the curriculum, tuition, or how VLACS can give you more freedom to pursue an education? Reach out to us, we can help.