California Virtual Academy opened the San Mateo campus in Simi Valley in 2004. The school is a tuition free public charter school that offers a virtual education providing students with a unique learning experience. The materials students need to do their schoolwork are delivered to their home including books, CD’s and other materials. The school serves students in kindergarten through 12th grades.
The curriculum for students in kindergarten through 8th grade includes English, math, science, history, world languages, art, and music. The high school curriculum includes core subjects that meet the state standards and are often seen at other schools, along with comprehensive courses, honors courses, and advanced placement.
The school does not offer any extracurricular activities or sports. The languages taught include French, and Spanish. The only other program available for students is academic contests.
Most of the parents are very pleased with the curriculum, support from teachers, and even the program. On the other hand, some parents expressed that the amount of work that is assigned on a daily basis is a bit overwhelming and the lack of student interaction is very sad. Some parents expressed that there should be more extra curricular activities or sports so students can grow socially as well as academically. Many students expressed they enjoyed attending school at home, but miss being around other students.
The Academic Performance Index showed a small decrease in academic growth from 756 to 751.
The percentage of students that passed the California Standards Tests was pretty close to the state averages except for math. Almost all grade levels and math courses were below state averages. Tenth graders that passed the California High School Exit Exam were 88% in English with the state average at 83% and in math 83% with the state average at 84%.
With California Virtual Academy, one must remember that the school is online and the student must work independently. Of course, there is teacher support; however, students must be willing to contact teachers when they have a problem. In order for a child to succeed in a virtual setting, they must be willing to work and learn to schedule their time at home.
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California Virtual Academy @ San Mateo
2360 Shasta Way, Unit B
Simi Valley, CA 93065