General FAQs

What grades are offered by the California Virtual Academies?

The nine California Virtual Academies offer grades TK-12. Our enrollment consultants can help you find the right school for your student based upon your student's grade and your home location.

What subjects will my child study?

English/language arts, math, science, history, music, and art are the core online courses. There will also be other courses in the appropriate grade levels, such as physical education. High school students also take a world language course, and have access to honors and Advanced Placement® (AP®) courses as well as a variety of electives.

Does the program provide textbooks and other instructional materials?

Yes, we provide the textbooks and instructional materials that are needed to complete the program. These books and materials are sent to students directly. High school students receive fewer books and materials than elementary and middle school students, due to the different course requirements.

Upon successful completion of course requirements, will my child receive a high school diploma as students in traditional public schools do?

Yes, as a public school in California, students can earn a diploma through California Virtual Academies based on successful completion of the school's graduation requirements.

Can my child work at his or her own pace?

Elementary, middle school, and high school programs provide flexible learning environments. The online high school program is a combination of self-paced work and scheduled lessons and activities.

How much time do students spend on the computer?

We expect that students will spend no more than 20 to 25 percent of their time on the computer in the early grades. We believe in a balanced approach toward education. Computers help us provide you with effective assessment, planning, and time-management tools. Computers also act as powerful teaching tools that can motivate, stimulate, and inform children about the world around them. They do not, however, replace a solid education. Rather, they help facilitate one. That's why we use a unique multimedia approach that also includes a great deal of old-fashioned books, workbooks, and instructional materials.

Do you provide curriculum for special needs children?

Depending on a child's Individualized Education Program (IEP), we can tailor our curriculum to meet your child's needs. To discuss your child's needs with us, call toll-free: 866.339.6790.

Can you accommodate the accelerated learning needs of my gifted/talented child?

The beauty of our program is that it is flexible enough to meet children where they are in any given subject and take them where they want to go. Grade placement assessments, completed as part of the enrollment process, allow us to place your student in the appropriate level of curriculum. So, for example, if your fourth-grader is doing math on a sixth-grade level and reading on a fourth-grade level, we can tailor your curriculum and lesson plans to meet your student's abilities. Visit our gifted and talented student section.

How do students interact socially?

Throughout the year, students are invited to participate in school field trips (e.g., to historical sites, museums, zoos), picnics, and other social events. Local students and parents can get together on a regular basis in their areas. The online family directory provides a way for California Virtual Academies families to network with families in their region of the state. With online discussions and forums, new types of communities can be formed that are based not on geography but on shared interests.

Will this program intrude into my home?

There are no home visits as part of the program, and there are no cameras or any other intrusions into your home. The state of California does require that students meet with their teacher in person four times a year. This is accomplished by attending academic workshops, school outings, or state or other testing events. This school was created to help your child obtain a first-class education and serve your family's needs. If you ever feel that it is not the right choice for your family, you can withdraw at any time.

What if my family is homeless?

CAVA provides McKinney-Vento/Homeless assistance and supports for eligible families who meet the definition as defined below. If you feel you may be eligible for assistance through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, please contact Natalie Zartarian, CAVA Homeless Liaison at  or 805.581.0202.

According to section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a(2)), the term “homeless children and youths”—

(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence...; and

(B) includes—

(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;

(ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

(iv) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Children and youth are considered homeless if they fit both part A and any one of the subparts of part B of the definition above.

Click here to find out more information [PDF]

CAVA’s Homeless Liaison

Natalie Zartarian