At VLACS, students have the opportunity to customize their learning according to their interests, talents or passions. Our flexible learning paths include courses, projects, experiences, teams, college and badges. By mixing these learning paths, students create their own unique learning playlists.
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 anytime during their high school career.
“VLACS is the future of education. The combination of personal flexibility with traditional schooling strikes the perfect balance between freedom and structure that prepares students like me for college and beyond. I say with confidence that VLACS students are more resourceful, more in control of their lives, and more free to follow their passions than any other students I have met. I hope that many future students will take advantage of all that VLACS has to offer, and will benefit from it as much as I have.”
— VLACS Graduate, Class of 2015
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.
VLACS also administers the NWEA in grades 9 and 10. This assessment can take place in a student’s home as long as a parent or guardian agrees to serve as a proctor.
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 high school advisory program is to seek 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 immediate 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 definition] 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.
There are a variety of clubs available to students, each supervised by a certified instructor/club advisor. Clubs provide students with another way to explore their interests, talents or passions and meet new friends.
A Student Support Team!
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, the VLACS office staff, and club advisors. This means that every VLACS high school student has a team of people who will do their best to help ensure that they have the best possible learning experience.
Highly motivated and talented students, gifted and talented 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? Students who have met the prerequisites for high school courses can begin earning credits toward graduation while in high school.