Virtual Learning Academy

Virtual Learning Academy

The Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) at Point Option makes remote learning personal by creating a true community of educators and learners focused on academic and social success.

The VLA is a modern approach to remote learning that allows students to participate in extracurricular activities and athletics at their assigned school. The VLA has strong community partnerships that permit our students to participate in meaningful learning and socially engaging field trips and activities. For more information, please call (757) 591-7408.

Click here for information on the Elementary Virtual Learning program.

Variety of Course Offerings

Middle and high school courses in the VLA include a blend of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (independent) instruction led by NNPS teachers.

Our Learning Community

The VLA is committed to meeting the needs of a diverse student population and advancing academic outcomes by providing equitable access to the learning environment for all students.


As one of Newport News Public Schools specialty programs for middle and high school students, the Virtual Learning Academy provides students with choice and voice in how, when, and where they learn.

About the Virtual Learning Academy

The NNPS Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) is an online learning option for students in middle and high school. These rigorous classes meet or exceed Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOLs) and align with NNPS graduation requirements.  Web-based classes include core subject matter content such as English, math, science and history as well as electives, special education services, and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Specific course offerings will be determined based on student enrollment and teacher availability.

Students enrolled in the NNPS Virtual Learning Academy must take part in an in-person orientation at the start of the school year and may be asked to meet with teachers in-person for select screenings, assessments, or conferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What grade level(s) will be considered?

The VLA is open to all rising 6th-12th grade students.

What courses will be offered?

High school courses and middle school courses have been developed based on current virtual offerings from WHRO and VVA as well as courses that could be offered by an NNPS teacher. The courses included on these lists have been determined by a committee of stakeholders that includes school leadership, C&D, teachers, and technology.

Will students still be enrolled in their currently assigned school?

Yes, they will be able to participate in any clubs, organizations, or sports at their assigned school if they meet the criteria for participation.

When will students be notified of acceptance into the VLA?

Student applications for the next year open in November and are due in December. Afterwards, we continue to accept applications on a rolling and space-available basis for grades 6-12. After an application is received, the application is reviewed by the VLA team and notifications are then sent to students and families via email. In the "How to Apply" section.

Can VLA students participate in marching sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities?

VLA students will still be enrolled in their "home" school and will be eligible to participate in all school activities, such as, clubs, sports, and extracurricular activities.

If enrolled in a magnet school program, will VLA students be able to continue taking magnet courses?

Yes, if they are taking VLA classes part-time. Magnet students will remain enrolled in their magnet school while taking classes through the VLA. Magnet course offerings will not be offered through the VLA.

Are Achievable Dream Middle/High students eligible to attend the VLA?

No. Achievable Dream Middle & High is a specialty school, so students will not be able to attend the VLA and remain an Achievable Dream student.

Are International Baccalaureate (IB) classes offered?

IB classes will not be offered through the VLA. IB classes are only offered at Warwick High School as a specialty program.

Will students be required to turn their video on during synchronous learning times?

The VLA teachers and staff will work to create a safe and engaging learning environment which will encourage students' active participation. The VLA staff will make every effort to meet students' needs in this unique learning format.

VLA Learner Characteristics

Students in the Virtual Learning Academy, will be provided many opportunities to exemplify the attributes of the NNPS Profile of a Learner.

NNPS Profile of a Learner

The VLA student is committed to achieving their learning goals and willing to take on the challenge of learning in a virtual environment.

Student & Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

Student Responsibilities

Attendance: VLA students are still bound to the attendance requirements outlined in Virginia state law and stated in the Rights and Responsibility Handbook. Students are expected to attend school in the virtual setting daily, provide emailed notes from the Parent when absent, and make-up work within a reasonable period as outlined.

Ethics: The rules of conduct for students in NNPS extend to a reasonable degree of enforcement over students enrolled in the VLA, including more restrictive, or adjusted expectations of students consistent with the program's mission and design. VLA students recognize the unique circumstances of their learning environment and are committed to working honestly, will avoid cheating, and other acts of misrepresentation. Students that are chronically unable to adhere to expectations may be considered for a change in educational assignment to include withdrawal from the VLA, the steps of review are outlined in the Rights and Responsibility Handbook.

Enrollment: Students enrolled in the VLA remain a member of the student body of their zoned/magnet school. They are encouraged to attend sporting events, school assemblies, school dances, graduation, and other in-person school events according to their preference. Grade level assessments, end-of-course examinations, and other tests offered by the division will be completed on NNPS campuses and administered by NNPS staff. Practical arrangements such as transportation and scheduling will be communicated in advance to students and families.

Safety: NNPS is committed to providing a safe and encouraging learning environment even in a virtual setting. Students and families can support these efforts by being mindful and maintaining appropriate electronic communication whether in virtual classes, chats, breakout rooms, or sending an email. Any forms of cyberbullying will not be tolerated.

Technology: All NNPS Virtual Learning Academy students are expected to sign on and participate in daily instruction using a school division-issued laptop; WiFi hotspots are available to students without internet connectivity. The devices remain the exclusive property of NNPS. VLA students have the responsibility to adhere to the Technology Device Agreement, and the Acceptable Use of Computing Systems by Students. In addition, students must promptly make their teachers aware of needed repairs, technical issues, or internet challenges that interrupt the learning, or prevent assignment completion.

Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

The role of the parent/guardian is absolutely essential to the successful academic growth of the student.

  • The parent/guardian is to be an active participant in the delivery of resources provided by the virtual school.
  • The parent/guardian is responsible for maintaining a schedule of instructional opportunities and ensuring that the student is progressing at a pace that is meeting the individual needs of the student.
  • The parent/guardian is responsible for keeping scheduled appointments and maintaining contact with teachers and staff throughout the school year.
  • The parent/guardian must utilize an active ParentVue account to review current academic progress and communication with teachers and staff.

NNPS staff will work with the parent/guardian to assist students in achieving their maximum academic growth in all required subject areas throughout the school year. Go to ParentVue.

How to Apply for Virtual Learning Academy

Students are selected for the NNPS Virtual Learning Academy through an application process. The steps to apply are as follows:

  • Review Virtual Learner Characteristics
    Students and families should review all information on this page to decide if the Virtual Learning Academy will meet their learning needs and goals.

  • Take Self-Assessment (optional)
    Prospective VLA students should complete the self-assessment with a parent or guardian to determine if virtual learning is a good fit for their learning needs. This self-assessment will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. Answer each question to the best of your ability.

  • Complete the Online Application
    After completing the self-assessment, complete the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) Application. Once submitted, you will receive a decision notification via email with next steps for enrollment.


Faculty and Staff

Principal Chris Smith
Assistant Principal Stephanie Bean
Virtual Learning Specialist Samantha Sissell
VLA Student Support Specialist and Testing Coordinator Jennifer Frazier
VLA 9-12 School Counselor Melissa Speas
VLA 6-8 School Counselor Leah Horrigan-Smith
VLA Science Kishla Holland
VLA Science MS Shayna De Ruysscher
VLA English Tina Dellapenta
VLA English Tamara Johnson-Miles
VLA English MS Kimberly Rodriguez
VLA Social Studies Lori Brewer
VLA Social Studies Melisa Quesenberry
VLA Soc St MS Leah Lewellen
VLA Math Daniel Craig
VLA Math Elizabeth Fehrman
VLA Math MS Shauna Hewitt
VLA Art Molly Peet
VLA Art MS Holly Prillaman
VLA CTE Earl Hester
VLA CTE Elizabeth Anderson
VLA CTE MS Michele Williams
VLA Collaborative Studies Kimberly Davies
VLA Collaborative Studies Laura Fiorentino
VLA WL (French) Rhevyn Berry
VLA WL (Spanish) Donna Shahan
VLA PE Hassan Dubose
VLA PE Kendall Lybert
VLA 6th English & Social Studies Andrew Feigh
VLA 6th Math & Science Jenna Winthrop
Administrative Secretary Louanna Torrez
Registrar and Attendance Clerk Mavis Dixon
Lead Custodian Gaye Sinclair
Custodian Andy Andrews

VLA Newsletters

Virtual Education at Newport News Public Schools