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 any time, 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 statements.
The New Hampshire State Board unanimously approved the charter for the Virtual Learning Academy Charter School 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, provide greater scheduling flexibility, expand course offerings, and offer 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.
VLACS 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, middle school, or elementary student who resides in NH, up to the age of 21, may apply to take classes at VLACS. VLACS will accept high school, middle school, or elementary students that are not residents of NH on a tuition basis.
Part-time students may enroll in VLACS for academic enrichment, acceleration in learning, scheduling flexibility, or credit recovery. Students who would like to graduate from VLACS may apply to VLACS full-time program. Students may also pursue college credit while still in high school through our dual-credit partnering programs with colleges and universities.
VLACS purchases most of our course curriculum from vetted course providers. The two primary providers are Florida Virtual School and eDynamics Learning. Florida has been in existence since 1997 and eDynamics since 2008. Both regularly review and revise their curriculum and course work based on national standards and feedback.
VLACS also creates project and experiential learning curriculum to provide students with the opportunity to master competencies while learning about the careers that rely on them.
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 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. All charter schools must apply for renewal by the NH State Board of Education every 5 years. Advanced Placement Courses are audited and approved by the College Board on an annual basis. Many VLACS core academic courses are also approved by the NCAA.
The admissions process supports middle (6-8) and high school (9-12) students as they transition to online learning full time. Prospective students will follow the steps below to complete the Admissions Process:
- Create an Account
- Enroll in Courses (immediately or after Admissions Meeting)
- Complete the Full-Time Application
- Attend an Information Session
- Application Review
- Participate in an Admissions Plan Meeting
- Meet Admissions Plan Goals
- Acceptance to the Full-Time Program
The length of the admissions process varies depending upon each student’s individual circumstances. If students have successfully completed VLACS courses previously and are currently enrolled in courses, they may progress through the process within four weeks. The process may take longer for a variety of reasons, including: 1) If they are not yet enrolled in courses; 2) If they are struggling to meet admissions goals; 3) If the admissions team is waiting for their transcript; 4) If they haven’t yet attended an Information Session or Admission Plan Meeting.
If an applicant is only taking courses through VLACS, they must enroll in a minimum of three courses, with one course being in a core academic area (Math, English, Science, Social Studies, World Language). If enrolled in courses at another school, students must enroll in a minimum of one course in a core academic area. In regard to which course(s) to take, students should consult the course requirements (MS) and graduation requirements (HS) to determine selections. If students are still unsure, they should wait until their Admissions Plan Meeting when they will discuss course selections with their Admissions Counselor.
Yes, if a student has demonstrated a commitment to online learning through current or recent VLACS course work, they may be accepted to the full-time program after submitting their application and attending an information session (i.e. without an Admissions Meeting or Plan). Criteria that will be considered include: consistent submissions, working on pace, timely completion of competencies, and an ability to balance multiple courses.
No, an admissions information session is different from a general VLACS open house and is a required step of the application process. During information sessions, students will meet an admissions counselor and learn more about the admissions process and the full-time program.
Students will work with an admissions counselor to create a personalized plan and goals. Although details of the plans may vary, goals will always center around:
- Submitting work weekly in each course.
- Submitting assignments and completing DBAs in sequence.
- Re-doing competencies until they are met.
- Attending scheduled meetings with instructors and the Admissions Counselor.
- Responding to communications from instructors and Admissions Counselors.
- Reaching out to instructors and Admissions Counselors for support or with questions or concerns.
No, the admissions team references transcripts to determine credits earned and course sequencing but does not use prior grades/past academic performance as part of the admissions decision.
VLACS does not cap full-time enrollment numbers. The admissions process is not competitive; rather, it is designed to support students as they transition to online learning, demonstrate their commitment to their courses, and determine whether full-time enrollment is an appropriate fit.
If a student’s ultimate goal is to return to their local school, they 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. They would be considered a part-time VLACS student and may choose either: 1) to remain officially enrolled with their local school yet access VLACS curriculum (the family should explore this option with their local school); OR 2) file a Letter of Intent to Homeschool with their local SAU.
We recommend that students remain enrolled at their local school until they are accepted at VLACS; however, this is the family’s choice. If they do withdraw prior to acceptance, families must submit a Letter of Intent to Homeschool with their 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.
- Are required to meet attendance requirements.
- Take a required Advisory course each academic year which involves self-reflection and future planning projects and doing community service.
- Are assigned to an Advisor who serves as their School Counselor and instructor for Advisory.
- Participate in statewide assessments as required by the Statewide Education Improvement and Assessment Program (RSA 193-C).
- 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 the 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 Advisory and community service each year.
Full-time middle school students are required to take a core academic course in each of the disciplines listed below during each year (6th, 7th, and 8th grade) of enrollment:
- English Language Arts
- Mathematics Course
- Social Studies
Additionally, each year a full-time middle school student is required to take:
- Physical education or health course
If students don’t meet their admissions goals on the first try, their Admissions Counselor creates new goals for the student as part of an “Extension Plan,” explores barriers to success, and provides resources. If goals are not met after an Extension Plan, the student’s application is withdrawn. Students can continue working in VLACS courses as a part-time student and are always welcome to reapply to the full-time program.
After attending an Information Session, students gain access to the “Admissions Resources” page, which includes admissions-related information and links to connect with Admissions Counselors during office hours. Students are encouraged to reach out to counselors with questions and for support in reaching goals.
Only full-time students are eligible to earn a VLACS diploma. With that being said, part-time students may work towards meeting VLACS graduation requirements. If they ultimately apply and are accepted to the full-time program, they will work with their admissions counselor and advisor to determine the remaining credits needed to earn their VLACS diploma.
Students are considered part-time VLACS students until they receive a formal acceptance and submit all required acceptance paperwork. Once these steps are completed, students are assigned to an Advisor and Advisory, and then their full-time journey begins!
Please see the Full-Time Admissions Process portion of our website.
Student and Enrollment FAQs
To view your course status, log into your account using your username and password. Under “Course Requests” on your dashboard, you will see a running list of all courses you’ve requested. Under “Waitlist,” recently requested courses that are awaiting instructor assignment will be listed. To view current course(s) with instructor assignments, click on “Academic Snapshot” or “Course Information.”
Students may opt to work at an accelerated, traditional or extended pace; however, regular work submission and communication are required in all VLACS courses in accordance with the student’s pace chart.
In the learning catalog, courses with an honors option are identified. If you wish to complete the honors option, select “advanced/honors” during the course selection process and/or let your instructor know when you meet with them during the welcome meeting. If you select this option, you’ll have additional honors assignments to complete.
You may earn the honors distinction in either projects or experiences by achieving “exceeds” on all rubric criteria. If you meet “exceeds” for all assignments, you will be awarded honors on your transcript.
VLACS has on-going registration; you may enroll at any time throughout the year. AP courses are the one exception as enrollment opportunities can be dependent upon College Board course roll-out and testing schedules.
VLACS is an approved New Hampshire school. 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. Almost every school in New Hampshire accepts credits from VLACS; however, on occasion, schools have policies or rules that limit the acceptance of specific courses or credits. We recommend that you contact your local school prior to enrolling in a VLACS course to determine if our courses or credits 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.
Many national and international students pay tuition to take VLACS courses and successfully transfer credits to their home schools. With that being said, we recommend getting courses pre-approved by 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.
The timeline for course completion can be flexible to meet the needs of students. When working at a traditional pace, students will complete a 1-credit course in about 36 weeks or a 0.5-credit course in 18 weeks.
If you have questions about enrollment, registration, or courses, visit our website www.vlacs.org and select the Contact Us page for email contact. You may also contact us at (603) 778-2500, and the operator will direct you to the appropriate staff person.
K-12 students who reside in New Hampshire are eligible to take VLACS courses (up to six credits per academic year, for part-time students) free of charge. VLACS accepts out-of-state students when seats are available; these students are charged tuition for attending the school.
Students begin a course by attending a Welcome Appointment with both the instructor and a parent or guardian. This meeting allows the student and instructor to get to know each other and provides the student and parent or guardian with an overview of the course. Students access their lessons and assignments through a web-based course management system. Instructors provide feedback on assignments and post assignment grades within this system. The system is password protected and meets stringent privacy and security standards to protect users.
Students also meet with instructors through an online meeting platform for help with lessons and assignments, Discussion Based Assessments, and required Monthly Appointments during which the instructor, student, and parent or guardian meet to discuss student progress.
Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s academic career at VLACS.
Students and parents participate in a Welcome Appointment with the instructor of each course prior to beginning, and then participate in Monthly Appointments each month to discuss student progress. Parents also receive monthly progress reports via e-mail. Additionally, parents have a guardian account that provides access to our student information system where parents can approve course requests, see student grades, and access monthly progress reports.
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.
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.
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
Yes! Just over 15% of our students indicate that they are home educated. Like all part-time VLACS students, home-educated students may take courses up to 6 credits per year (July 1st – June 30th).
Like all part-time VLACS students, home-educated students may take courses up to 6 credits per year (July 1st – June 30th).
No. Only full-time VLACS students may earn a VLACS diploma. To become a full-time VLACS student, a student must complete the full-time admissions process outlined 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. When a student applies to the full-time program, previous course work and credits will be evaluated during the admissions process.
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.
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.
Any student under the age of 18 who withdraws from a previous school and is taking VLACS courses as a part-time/homeschooled student must submit a Letter of Intent to Homeschool with a local superintendent, principal of a nonpublic school, or the Commissioner of the Department of Education. A sample NH Letter of Intent and additional information can be found here: Homeschool State Laws. Please contact your local SAU with questions.
Early College FAQs
For decades, high school students have been meeting the demands of Advanced Placement and dual credit courses. However, in many instances, these programs have not been available to all students in all school districts. We believe that any student who is motivated by the challenge of meeting high academic standards should have the opportunity to enroll in a college-level course. For additional information, please visit our College page.
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.
VLACS partners with accredited colleges to offer courses in a variety of academic disciplines. For up-to-date information on our partner colleges, visit the College portion of our website.
Learning Journey FAQs
No. At VLACS you earn credit by mastering all of the competencies. You may meet some through projects, others through the course, and the rest through experiences if you wish.
Each project is designed to take 3 to 4 weeks. If you want to earn an entire credit through projects, this would typically consist of 7 to 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.
This depends on the Experience 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, 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 material 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 your learning.
It is important to understand that competency can be met through a single or combination of learning methods: courses, projects, or experiences. Regardless of the method, 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 is completed through project or course work.
Students work on Experiences on a regular basis. This may mean each weekday or a few weekdays for an extended period of time. Students will be expected to meet with their instructor weekly and meet due dates for their assignments.
You will work with a VLACS instructor to understand the competencies you will master, design your own learning, and determine what evidence or deliverables you will produce to demonstrate your mastery of competencies. Additionally, you will find and work with an outside expert to support you in your learning and creation of deliverables. There is a great deal of flexibility and autonomy in this model.
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.
You may enroll in individual competencies rather than an entire credit worth. You may complete the competency through any of the modes (course, project, experience) that are offered for that competency.
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. In addition, every five years, we are required to participate in a charter renewal process that is identical to many independent accreditation processes.Many courses in core academic areas are NCAA approved.
Please contact [email protected] for more information about specific courses.
- Any adult, anywhere, over the age of 21, who does not have a high school diploma can enroll in our diploma program, earn individual credit, or take courses for enrichment.
- Any adult, anywhere, over the age of 18, who already has a high school diploma can take our courses for enrichment or individual credits.
- New Hampshire residents under 21 who do not have a high school diploma are eligible for our traditional high school program which is free for New Hampshire residents.
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.
Students who do not reside in New Hampshire and are 18-21 years of age who do not have a high school diploma may be eligible for our traditional traditional high school program. These students pay our out-of-state tuition.
Please contact our school counseling department ([email protected]) to explore options.
Yes! You can enroll in our diploma program and earn an Adult Education 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 Education 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.
Many of the courses we 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, please 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.
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.