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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does this program work? 
A: The primary delivery of curriculum in VLA is through online study. Each Friday evening, teachers publish the work for the following week. Students login between Friday evening and Monday morning to read each assignment and create a work schedule for themselves the following week. Due dates range from Tuesday to Friday. During the week, students also attend site based workshop. These workshops happen at the same time each week and are mandatory. They are an integral part of the VLA education. 

Q: Do I have to live in the district to attend? 
A: Students who reside outside the Natomas Unified School District are allowed to attend VLA. You may read about our Lottery process on this document.

Q: Do students receive a diploma in this program? Yes, student will graduate with a highschool diploma. However, please note that our graduation requirements are significantly more rigorous than many neighborhood schools. Please read our Graduation Requirements at this link before applying.

Q: Can a student take on-site classes through VLA? 
A: VLA students are required to attend workshop classes as a part of the online instruction.  VLA students may also take a limited number of on-site classes through the site-based NCS Performing & Fine Arts Academy (PFAA) on a space-available basis. PFAA courses are NEVER promised and should not be an integral part of the VLA students' four year plan. VLA students who attend on-site classes must adhere to the class schedules and attend class regularly.

Q: Can a student come to school every day? 
A: VLA students are allowed to come to the campus on a regular basis if he/she is attending class or needs access to resources. A Learning Center has been established for VLA students to use for studying, test-taking, or computer-assisted research. However, students are expected to use their time on campus wisely and be engaged in academic studies when in the Learning Center.

Q: Is a student in VLA allowed to accelerate through his/her courses? 
A: Because the primary mode of curriculum delivery is through online study, students who are working at, or above, grade-level may be allowed to take courses out of sequence or take additional credits in order to graduate early. Acceleration through courses will require administrative approval.

Q: Is the program accredited?
A: VLA and the other four programs at NCS are fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Q: Are students with special needs allowed to enroll? 
A: Natomas Charter School's admissions policies do not discriminate against any pupil on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, gender, or disability. Since the primary mode of curriculum delivery is through online study, parents of students with special needs are encouraged to attend a pre-enrollment meeting to learn how the program can support the needs of their child. 

Q: Is priority given to students who are transferring from PACT/PFAA? 
A: Yes, preference for enrollment to VLA is given to students in other NCS programs. 

Q: How do you meet the Foreign Language requirement? 
A: VLA requires 20 credits in foreign language or in art for graduation. If a student chooses foreign language, the requirement can be met through VLA online courses, community college courses or by taking courses through the Performing and Fine Arts Academy.

Q: What is the difference between the VLA and PACT program? 
A: VLA provides a prescribed course of study whereby students complete subject-specific courses towards earning a high school diploma. The PACT program (K-8th grade) does not offer a diploma or specific courses for graduation. Instead, the curriculum is selected by the parents.

Q: What are your admission requirements? 
A: VLA does not have specific admission requirements. However, since this is an online study program, students must have the motivation and skills to work independently on their own to complete coursework. All students and their parents are required to attend an orientation prior to enrollment to ensure that they understand the requirements of the program. Students and parents must submit a complete application in order to be considered for enrollment.

Q: What are the graduation requirements? 
A: VLA requires a total of 220 credits for graduation:

  • 40 English
  • 20 Math
  • 30 Social Science
  • 20 Science
  • 20 Art or Foreign Language
  • 5   Health
  • 55 Electives
  • 20 Physical Education
  • 10 Senior Project

Q: What does the program cost? 
A: VLA is a public school program and is tuition-free.