How It Works (K-5)
The California Virtual Academies are tuition-free online public schools that use the K12 curriculum, which is accessed online as well as through more traditional methods. Educational materials are delivered right to the family's doorstep, including textbooks and tools such as protractors, magnets, and paintbrushes.
CAVA students in grades K–5 take courses in all core subjects—English/language arts, math, science, history, and art—as well as self-guided elective courses in world languages starting in grade 3, or music. Coursework is a mix of online and hands-on work, which caters to a wide variety of learning styles. Unit and course assessments are built in to each subject, and easy-to-use online planning and progress tools keep you and your student on track.
CAVA schools provide a dedicated support system to parents and students. In grades K–5, working closely with the teacher, the parent (or other responsible adult) serves as a "Learning Coach" to the child, helping to facilitate his or her progress and working to modify the pace and schedule as needed.
Parent/Learning Coach involvement is critical for the success of the student, but the level of involvement may vary per child and by grade level. The initial four–eight weeks can be intensive, as families settle in to a routine.
• Grades K–2: Parent/Learning Coach daily involvement is critical, and approximately 10–15 percent of this time is spent online.
• Grades 3–5: Students begin to have increased independence, but parent/Learning Coach involvement is essential for about 70–80% of school time, and approximately 15–25 percent of this time is spent online.
Working with Your Teacher
Teachers provide individual and small group assistance via online synchronous sessions titled "Class Connect." It is expected that students attend and meet with teachers to receive course assistance, tutoring, and instruction. These sessions vary by grade level and are scheduled by your teacher.
Attendance is logged Monday through Friday; however, academic progress can be achieved during the weekends as well. K–5 students are expected to spend approximately four–seven hours on schoolwork per school day.
• Grades K–2: Estimate approximately four–five hours of productive school work five days per week
• Grades 3–5: Estimate approximately five–seven hours of effective school work five days per week
Students in grades K–5 are required to show mastery of each lesson by achieving 80 percent or better on all lesson assessments. If a student is finding it difficult to master a lesson, the Learning Coach must contact his or her student's homeroom teacher. Teachers offer many support sessions to assist all of their students.
How It Works (Middle School)
Work Completion Expectation
In middle school, student learning changes to a semester-based approach where students are required to earn a passing grade of 60 percent or above on their assignments and online lessons. Due dates are assigned to lessons to encourage consistent, steady progress for academic success. Attending teacher-led, direct-instruction, online synchronous “Class Connect” sessions, along with completing coursework, will also assist with student success. Middle school teachers will work with families to ensure students are progressing academically as expected. Course pacing is designed to help assure student success.
Middle school is a time when students become more independent, taking on more responsibility and ownership for their learning. A parent (or other responsible adult) serves as a "Learning Coach" to the child. Parent/Learning Coach involvement is critical for student success, as middle school students continue to build their organization and time-management skills. Teachers set the pace of instruction, but the Learning Coach helps the student stay on track.
Parent/Learning Coach involvement may vary per child and grade level. The initial four–eight weeks can be intensive as families settle in to a routine. Students in grades 6–8 build self-advocacy skills and work more directly with teachers, but parent/Learning Coach involvement is essential for at least 20 hours a week, and roughly 50–60 percent of this time is spent online.
Working with Your Teacher
While online lessons can usually be completed at any time of day, students will be required to attend live Class Connect sessions with their teacher(s) based on the student’s individual needs. During Class Connect sessions, students will receive direct instruction from teachers and have opportunities to interact with classmates. In addition to regular, synchronous classroom instruction, teachers may offer support or small group sessions to assist in student learning. Parents/Learning Coaches are encouraged to contact their child’s homeroom teacher any time they have questions or concerns.
Attendance is logged Monday through Friday; however, academic progress can be achieved during the weekends as well. Middle school students are expected to spend approximately four–seven hours on schoolwork per school day.
Email is the primary form of communication between the school and families. Learning Coaches and students are required to check and respond to emails on a daily basis.