General FAQs

What grades are offered at the Iowa Virtual Academy?

Iowa Virtual Academy serves students statewide in grades K-12. Students interested in enrolling in our program must submit an application during the Iowa Department of Education's Open Enrollment window. Kindergarten students must be five years old before September 15 of the year they wish to enroll to be eligible for the program.

What subjects will my child study?

Language Arts, Math, Science, History, Art, Music, and Physical Education are the core courses. Visit our K-8 online courses and high school online courses section.

What are the Physical Education requirements?

Iowa Virtual Academy recognizes the important role of Physical Education in the education of our students. The Iowa Healthy Kids Act requires 30 minutes of physical education each day for students in grades K-5 and 120 minutes per week for students in grades 6-12. The in-home nature of the online school model requires parents to assume the primary responsibility for the implementation of physical education activities. Teachers will provide the learning coach with resources and information concerning the Physical Education and the Healthy Kids Act requirements.

Does the program provide textbooks and other instructional materials?

Yes, we provide all the textbooks and instructional materials that are needed to complete the program. These books and materials are sent to students directly.

Can my child work at his or her own pace?

Our program is self-paced and flexible within the parameters specified by state law. The online high school program is a combination of self-paced work and scheduled lessons and activities.

What happens if my student completes a course mid-year?

When a student completes a course, the Iowa Virtual Academy will send him or her to the next level up until March 31 of any school year. After April 1, courses cannot be ordered again until the next fall. Teachers work closely with students to help pace the curriculum to meet the student's goals for advancement.

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. Computers 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. At the high-school level, students will spend nearly their entire school day online.

Do you provide curriculum for special needs children?

Depending on a child's IEP, we can tailor our curriculum to meet your needs. To discuss your child's needs with us, please contact our office, and we will put you in touch with our special education team.

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. Placement assessments taken online during 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 his or her abilities.

How do students interact socially?

Throughout the year, students will be invited to participate in school outings, field trips (e.g., to historical sites, museums, zoos), picnics, and other social events. We expect local clusters of students and parents to get together on a regular basis in their areas. We are also exploring new ways to interact socially using the powerful reach of the Internet. The online Family Directory provides a way for 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 and place but on shared interests.

Will this program intrude into my home?

There are no home visits as part of the program, unless you ask your teacher to come to your home (completely optional), and there are no cameras or any other intrusions into your home. 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 right for your family or your child, you can withdraw at any time.

How do I enroll my student?

Visit our How to Enroll in IAVA section for information on enrolling your student in Iowa Virtual Academy.