FAQ


Questions About International Virtual Learning Academy (8)

What is the International Virtual Learning Academy?

International Virtual Learning Academy (IVLA) is a year-round, online, private K-12 school. IVLA is fully accredited by AdvancEd and awards a California State High School Diploma. IVLA faculty members are highly qualified teachers who meet the California State requirements for private school faculty. Teachers and counselors interact directly with students and parents to assess, prescribe, and monitor student progress. IVLA’s learning systems provide complete individualization to each student’s learning needs. IVLA offers over 1500 courses of the most innovative, engaging, and effective online curriculum available.

How will IVLA help me?

Whether you are a student working above grade level or if you have fallen behind and want to catch up to the curve, IVLA’s assessment and curriculum options can help you increase your chances of accelerating to graduation and success. If you’re a student who can work independently and without a lot of supervision, IVLA’s online programs can be a great “fit” for your educational needs.

Does IVLA offer courses at all K-12 grade levels?

Yes. IVLA enrolls students in grades K-12.

Can a student graduate from high school using IVLA programs?

Yes. IVLA awards a California high school diploma on completion of graduation requirements. Transfer students must complete a minimum of 25% of the required credits with our program to earn a diploma. Depending on the diploma track chosen, this will total either 5 or 6 credits.

In which states is homeschool legal?

IVLA is a private online school that provides a legal option for California homeschool students as well as homeschool students in many other states and countries. If you’re interested in knowing whether or not homeschooling is legal in your state, check the homeschool laws for your area. A complete listing is available at www.homeschoolfacts.com.

Which student populations does IVLA serve?

IVLA offers an alternative approach to traditional classroom education models. IVLA is proud to serve students:

  • who wish to take advanced courses or additional courses so they can graduate early;
  • who need to make up credits for failed courses in order to graduate;
  • who need remedial help in reading or mathematics;
  • who need a flexible learning schedule that allows them to focus on careers or extracurricular activities that include extensive travel; and
  • who live with medical conditions that make it difficult to attend a traditional school.

Do IVLA students do well academically?

The trend towards online learning raises the question of just how effective online or online homeschool education is as compared to current traditional education models. According to a 2010 study conducted for the U.S. Department of Education, online learners perform slightly better than students in traditional face-to-face classrooms. (Source: Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and review of Online Learning Studies: U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service – Revised September 2010.) The study analyzed research comparing online and conventional learning at institutions of higher education and in K-12 school settings between 1996 and 2008.

A key finding of the report shows that students doing some or all of their coursework online rank, on average, in the 59th percentile, meaning these students did better than 59% of all those who were scored. Students in traditional classrooms ranked in the 50th percentile. Although this is a significant difference, the results don’t signal the end of public schools. But – the facts may help put an end to the myth that online learning is of a lower quality than current traditional learning models.

Is lack of socialization a problem for IVLA homeschool students?

The level of socialization homeschool students enjoy is entirely dependent on how the adult(s) in charge of the experience coordinate and manage opportunities for outside activities. Not everyone who homeschools takes the time to plan extra-curricular activities or involve their children in the community. Generally speaking, homeschool kids go on field trips with other homeschooled kids; attend topically interesting classes and seminars at local museums, zoos and other places; start home businesses; play sports and are involved in art, drama and music lessons. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) “PBS Parents” Web page (http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/homeschooling) quotes National Home Education Research Institute president Brian Ray who believes that socialization is not a problem for the vast majority of homeschool students. Mr. Ray reports that “Research shows that in terms of self-concept, self-esteem and the ability to get along in groups, homeschoolers do just as well as their public school peers.”

To assist in the learning and socialization process, IVLA offers homeroom sessions through a mentoring program designed to give full-time students the opportunity to interact and build relationships with other students.

Questions About Enrollment / Policies (10)

How do I sign up for IVLA online classes?

Just complete IVLA’s Online Enrollment Application and an IVLA Advisor will call you within 24-48 hours to complete your enrollment.

High school students must provide copies of all past high school transcripts to IVLA at the time of application. IVLA will use the information from your transcripts to create an academic plan that includes graduation goals and requirements. You may fax a copy of your official transcripts to: IVLA School Administrator @ (877)278-6250.

As a parent, how involved should I be in my child’s online education?

In any educational experience, your student has a better chance to succeed when you take part in the process. You don’t have to be a trained teacher to manage your child’s homeschool and/or online learning program, but you must be prepared to be completely dedicated to the effort and accept that the experience will include a lot of hard work and time.

How does IVLA monitor student progress?

All IVLA courses are designed to allow students to move forward at their own pace as they master the course material. This means that no one gets left behind and no one gets held back. Students move forward at a pace that is right for them. Mastery-based progress is measured by a variety of methods, including quizzes, tests, papers, computer assessment, projects and a variety of out-of-school experiences. In addition, each fulltime IVLA student is assigned a mentor who monitors the student’s weekly education progress.

When can I start school with IVLA?

IVLA is a year-round school and does not follow a traditional school year calendar. Enrollment is continuous, so you can begin at any time. You can begin IVLA coursework as soon as your application is accepted and IVLA sends you a user name and password. You should receive your user name and password within 24-48 hours of application acceptance.

If a student lives in another country, can they attend International Virtual Learning Academy even though they are not a U.S. citizen?

As long as a student has a computer and Internet access, he/she can enroll in IVLA programs. IVLA is a private online school without a physical campus and does not require a student visa to enroll in classes. However, students must be able to read, write and speak English in order to participate in IVLA coursework. Many international students have used IVLA’s online programs and, on completion, have successfully applied for admission to colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.

Can a student enroll in IVLA classes mid-year?

Yes. Students can enroll in the middle of the traditional public school year. Enrollment can begin at any time of the year based on the date a student completes the entire IVLA application process. If a student has received full semester credit at his/her current public or private school, he/she may transfer to IVLA and complete the second semester. If a student is in the middle of a semester, special arrangements can be made with IVLA to get started regardless of where he/she is in their educational process.

Can a student be enrolled in a regular school and IVLA at the same time?

Yes. Enrolling in two schools at the same time is known as “concurrent enrollment.” Contact IVLA’s school administrator for full details about how to complete a concurrent enrollment.

I have been homeschooling. What grade level will my child enter on acceptance to IVLA?

IVLA’s grade placement policy: Homeschool work completed through the eighth grade level will be accepted if the student completes the Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment (DORA) and the Diagnostic Online Math Assessment (DOMA). IVLA will use the results from these two assessments to determine a student’s appropriate grade level. Transfer credits will be awarded once the student’s completed homeschool work has been reviewed by IVLA’s admissions staff to determine whether or not the work meets with IVLA’s academic standards.

Will IVLA grant a time extension if I do not complete the course on time?

If IVLA courses are not completed within the allowed timeframe, a one-time/three month extension period can be purchased from IVLA for $475. This allows a student three additional months to finish an incomplete course. If the course is not completed within the three month extension period, a “zero” grade will be issued and entered on the Student’s official high school transcript. When the coursework is finished, if the student does not earn a passing grade or does not complete all the required class work, a “Fail” grade will be recorded on the student’s transcript and no credit will be issued.

Can I get a refund?

IVLA strongly suggests trying our fully working demos before enrolling. The Enrollment Fee is non-refundable. Within 30 days, if full tuition has been paid, 50% of course fees will be refunded if less than 1/3 of the course material has been completed. If you are using a payment plan, no refund is available. After 30 days, no refund is available.

Questions About Curriculum & Courses (16)

Is all IVLA curriculum delivered online?

Yes. All IVLA courses, including all reading materials, are delivered online.

Is IVLA’s online curriculum appropriate for Special Education?

IVLA’s coursework is organized as a “self-paced,” and individualized learning system, which often works well in a Special Education setting. Students can start working at their class-appropriate grade level and move on to the next level when ready.

How effective IVLA’s Web-based curriculum?

The trend towards online learning raises the question of just how effective an online education is as compared to current traditional education models. According to a 2010 study conducted for the U.S. Department of Education, online learners perform slightly better than students in traditional face-to-face classrooms. (Source: Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies: U.S. Department of Education Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, Policy and Program Studies Service – Revised September 2010.) The study analyzed research comparing online and conventional learning at institutions of higher education and in K-12 school settings between 1996 and 2008.

A key finding of the report shows that students doing some or all of their coursework online rank, on average, in the 59th percentile, meaning these students did better than 59% of all those who were scored. Students in traditional classrooms ranked in the 50th percentile. Although this is a significant difference, the results don’t signal the end of public schools. But – the facts may help put an end to the myth that online learning is of a lower quality than current traditional learning models.

How much does a parent need to know in order to oversee distance learning?

While all IVLA coursework is designed for easy use by parents overseeing their childrens’ education, the most important thing a parent should remember is that he/she will be in charge of their child’s complete educational experience. This doesn’t mean one parent needs to know everything about every subject. It does mean that, if you have limited knowledge in a subject, you are responsible for finding educational opportunities for your child that fill in the blanks in your knowledge and experience. Homeschooling using online education programs requires that parents have at least a basic understanding of core academic subjects. You don’t have to be an expert in every subject, but you must understand basic concepts related to mathematics, grammar, science, and history. If you feel you do not have a working knowledge of these subjects, you can still succeed if you are willing and have the ability to learn about the topics as you work with you child.

A parent must also have good organizational skills in order to manage a homeschool or online education program. You will have to locate, review and assess a wide range of learning materials and opportunities and plan learning activities for your child, both educational and social. The bottom line is, you don’t have to be a trained teacher to manage your child’s homeschool and/or online learning program, but you must be prepared to be completely dedicated to the effort and accept that the experience will include a lot of hard work and time.

Does IVLA allow students to work at their own slower pace or work faster to move on to the next grade?

As long as an IVLA student completes all required coursework within the specified enrollment period, IVLA encourages everyone to work at a personally comfortable pace. Some learners prefer to complete one course at a time while others want to move ahead as quickly as possible. Once a student has completed all the required work within a grade level, he/she may re-enroll in the next grade level without waiting for the enrollment period to expire.

If I complete my IVLA coursework ahead of schedule and I did not pay in full, do I have to keep paying monthly?

The cost of IVLA’s all-inclusive tuition remains the same regardless of course completion date. Payment must be made in full before re-enrolling for the next grade level and before IVLA can release grades for completed courses.

How often should I submit lessons to IVLA?

Students should complete one-to-two lessons per week for each course taken.

What happens if I don’t submit work to IVLA in a timely manner?

IVLA considers learning to be a process that requires responsible participation on the part of students and families and strongly encourages students to establish a schedule for submitting assignments. IVLA also recommends that students keep communication active using the IVLA internal messaging system.

IVLA recognizes and respects that there may be extenuating circumstances that prevent a student from submitting work and communicating with administrators, teachers and counselors. We encourage you to contact IVLA’s school administrator to discuss these situations.

IVLA respects the seriousness of an Academic Withdrawal. If 21 days or more have passed and the student has not submitted any lessons, IVLA may be required to initiate a report of absence to IVLA’s Attendance Department. The Attendance Department will make every attempt to contact the student via telephone, email and letter. If after 30 days, IVLA has been unable to reach the student, enrollment will be suspended.

Can I receive High School credits while in Middle School?

Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 can receive high school credit for high school level math such as Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II.  Students wanting to take this level of math must show mastery of prerequisite requirements in each.  Students in grades 6, 7 and 8 are also allowed to take a foreign language for high school credit.  All other core courses and electives taken in middle school will not be considered for high school credit in accordance with college entrance requirements.  We permit students the opportunity to take high school level electives at the middle school level, however these courses will not count toward graduation requirements at the high school level.

Will IVLA give me credit for “outside activities” and “life experiences”?

Yes. IVLA elective courses are designed to document a wide range of life learning experiences to earn elective credit. A maximum of two credits will be awarded for outside activities or life experiences.

How many hours are required to earn an IVLA elective credit?

IVLA students must submit a weekly log entry summarizing completed elective activities. 72 hours of learning activity are required for each half credit earned in a semester. To earn one credit a student must complete 144 hours of a learning activity within two semesters.

Does IVLA offer advanced placement (AP) courses?

Yes, IVLA does offer AP courses, as well as Honors course.

How do I qualify for IVLA Honors or AP courses?

IVLA students wishing to enroll in honors courses must have a minimum 3.0 GPA or a letter of recommendation from an instructor or counselor. IVLA Students wishing to enroll in AP courses must have a minimum 3.5 GPA and meet all course prerequisites. Please contact an IVLA enrollment specialist for more information.

What are IVLA Advanced Placement (AP)** courses and how do I register to take the AP exam?

Advanced Placement (AP)** courses are college-level courses that IVLA offers to eligible high school students enrolled in IVLA programs. Because AP courses are weighted higher on transcripts, a student’s grade point average can be higher. Taking AP classes demonstrates to college or university admissions counselors that the applicant has college-level academic skills. Completing AP courses is a great way for students to receive college credit while still in high school without paying college per-credit fees.

Once an IVLA student completes an AP course, they are eligible to register for the AP exam. Students must register separately for AP exams. AP exams are administered by the College Board* in May of each academic year. (Visit www.collegeboard.com for more information about college credit for AP courses.)

Check out the following links for AP exam deadlines:

Visit http://collegesearch.collegeboard.com/apcreditpolicy/index.jsp for more information on the acceptability of Advanced Placement Credits at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

Visit http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/ap/reg.html to learn how to contact the AP Services Department or your local AP Coordinator.

**AP is a registered trademark of the College Board

How do I request my transcript from IVLA?

Click here for instructions to request a transcript from IVLA.

Questions About IVLA Teachers (3)

Are IVLA Teachers Licensed and Certified?

IVLA Teachers are fully qualified and certified under California’s Private School requirements. All IVLA teachers are credentialed and possess an advanced degree and/or have extensive classroom or homeschooling experience. Generally speaking, online teachers must meet the same requirements as traditional teachers. At the high school level , online teachers must have a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license.

Do IVLA teachers provide access to student grades?

IVLA teachers do not directly provide access to student grades. Grades, comments and student progress reports are available to parents and students through the IVLA Website.

How much direct academic support do IVLA teachers provide?

IVLA teachers are available on most weekdays to answer students’ questions and to provide assistance on an as-needed basis. Keep in mind that IVLA teachers, though always supportive, are NOT tutors and generally do not individually review each lesson or problem. IVLA teachers check their students’ progress and messages on a daily basis during the work week and will always respond to questions or concerns within 24-48 hours.   IVLA teachers are not available on weekends or holidays.