how does online school work

San Diego Virtual School FAQs

San Diego Virtual School FAQs

San Diego Virtual School is an accredited online public charter school serving students in grades 6 through 12 from San Diego and neighboring counties, including Orange, Riverside and Imperial. Our Frequently Asked Questions section is designed to help you learn more our middle and high school program, which offers comprehensive, state-aligned curriculum and foreign language classes.

One of the most common questions we get is, “How does online school work?” With our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, we answer this question and more at San Diego Virtual School. Check out our online high school FAQs to find the answers to common questions and learn more about SDVS.

What is online school and how can it benefit your child? We at San Diego Virtual School are committed to providing your family with the education it deserves. Online school is an alternative to traditional school that allows students flexibility and the use of unconventional learning methods.

If you have any questions that are not covered below, don’t hesitate to send us a message. We will be happy to help you determine whether or not San Diego Virtual School or online schooling is right for your children.

Get the Answers to Your Questions About Online Schooling

What is a virtual school?

If you’re asking, “What is virtual school?” and are hearing about it for the first time, we’re here to help you understand the ins and outs of online schooling. A virtual school operates similarly to a traditional public school, except that that the majority of classes and education are done online through the use of videos, discussion forums, and online reading material.

Students can request access to teachers through email, phone, or instant messaging, or they may visit any of the physical locations for one-on-one tutoring.

How does online schooling work?

All of our courses are offered online and begin and end when you log in and log out, giving you the flexibility to work at your own pace. Our online middle and high school programs are rigorous and engaging, and our highly qualified staff of California-credentialed teachers teaches all of our courses.

Our teachers are available Mondays through Fridays between 8:00am and 3:00pm via instant message, phone, or email, so you can have comprehensive one on one interaction throughout the day. The teachers are also available for one to one tutoring at our site locations.

Why choose San Diego Virtual School over other online schools?

The San Diego Virtual School network has been built with your children’s needs in mind. We have multiple locations across San Diego to provide you with alternative education options for your entire family. Whether you need a school system that accommodates flexible schedules or want to utilize online education, San Diego Virtual School is the go-to for many families.

Do students need a computer at home?

It’s recommended that students do have a computer or other internet-enabled device to access coursework. However, a computer is not explicitly required as students may also request one-on-one tutoring from teachers during specific hours at the school. Libraries are another great alternative for families that do not currently have access to a home computer or the internet.

How does a tuition free virtual school exist?

San Diego Virtual School is considered a public school. It shares the same accreditation and must adhere to identical regulations as other public schools across San Diego. However, because San Diego Virtual School is considered a public school, there is no required tuition for most students.

Is San Diego Virtual School an accredited institution?

Yes, San Diego Virtual School has received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of six regional accrediting associations in the United States.

All San Diego Virtual School students are required to physically attend and take all CAASP and CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exams) assessments at one of our testing locations throughout the region in the spring.

Who will issue my diploma and will there be a graduation ceremony?

Once you complete all of the required credits for graduation and successfully pass the ELA and Math CAHSEE, San Diego Virtual School will issue the diploma. While our entire curriculum is online, the school can also operate similarly to a traditional school with graduation ceremonies and other student activities.

To learn more about additional virtual school information and to find out if you qualify for San Diego Virtual School, contact us today! (619) 713-7271

Click on a heading below to find answers to the most frequent questions.

Accredited Online High School Diploma and Graduation

San Diego Virtual School offers a customized and collaborative learning experience to achieve an accredited high school diploma online. Our WASC accredited school allows students to complete the requirements needed to graduate high school online and receive a diploma.

Is the San Diego Virtual School Program Accredited?

San Diego Virtual School is proud to offer a high school diploma program that is accredited by the Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC). Through our online high school program, we deliver a curriculum that is provided by and partnered with Advanced. This allows us to provide customized distance learning for our students to receive their accredited high school diploma online.

High School Diploma Programs: Who will Issue my Diploma?

Upon completing the requirements for a high school diploma through our accredited school, including the required credits for graduation and the passing of the ELA and Math CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exams) San Diego Virtual School will issue the accredited online high school diploma.

Will I attend a Graduation Ceremony?

San Diego Virtual School believes in recognizing our students who have worked hard to obtain the academic requirements needed for a high school diploma. As a result, we provide our students with a graduation ceremony to give them the recognition they deserve. Although we are an online school, we still provide many of the same benefits offered at traditional schools, including student activities and graduations.


How does this program exist?

The State of California, and many states across the country, has seen the need for more options in education. These options include charter schools, which are public schools, but are frequently run by their own individual school board. San Diego Virtual Schools have their own school board and their own unique set of rules, policies, procedures and program. San Diego Virtual School is a free program. Since this is a public school program, the same funding used for traditional students can be used for online students; therefore there is no fee for taking online courses for most students.

How does this online education work?

Because all of our courses are online, your class schedule is flexible; class begins when you login online and ends when you log out. Our online curriculum is rigorous, engaging, and self-paced. All of our courses are backed by our highly qualified staff of California-credentialed teachers who are available via instant message, phone, or email. We also offer a 24/7 student support environment so that you can get help when you need it.

When do I attend class?

Just as in a traditional school, students must engage in their coursework every day of the regular school week and show weekly progress. Students may log in to their courses any time of the day or evening. Failure to attend courses regularly may result in withdrawal from the program.

How quickly can I move through the course?

All of our courses are set up on a 120 calendar day schedule, similar to a typical semester. However, you move through the course at your own pace.

What is the schedule like?

Our courses are semester-length courses. You must complete your courses within the regular course term length to receive credit.

Online School Requirements

San Diego Virtual School offers a flexible and customized approach for students grades 6-12 to receive their high school diplomas. Through our WASC accredited online school programs, students benefit from customized courses that they are able to complete around their own schedule. To meet the online school requirements, all students need is access to the internet and a computer, where they are able to complete their course work and receive one-on-one help from certified teachers. Our virtual school is fully WASC accredited, delivering the highest quality of education to our qualifying students.

What grade levels does San Diego Virtual School serve?

San Diego Virtual School is able to accommodate the educational needs of students in middle school and high school– grades 6 through 12. Our comprehensive online programs for middle school provide students with the academic skills they need to move on to high school. Students attending our high school program will achieve their high school diploma after reaching their academic goals and online school requirements. In addition, students are equipped with the necessary educational and personal skills needed to succeed in the adult world.

Does it matter where I live?

San Diego Virtual School is able to serve a wide area with our online virtual academy. San Diego Virtual School serves students who are residents in the following counties: San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and Imperial counties.

Can I be involved in San Diego Virtual School and still participate in activities?

San Diego Virtual School is proud to offer a diversity of activities for our students. Our students are able to attend field trips, school sponsored events, student organizations, and much more. We strive to deliver as many extracurricular activities as possible to further enrich the success of our students.

At San Diego Virtual School, we are completely committed to the success of our students. We work directly with students to offer unmatched support to help students reach their full academic and personal potential. If you’re interested in benefiting from our free online school programs, contact San Diego Virtual School today to learn more about our online school requirements.


Who is my teacher?

Teachers for each online course is are California-credentialed, highly qualified, credentialed teacher who has extensive experience in teaching both in the traditional school system as well as teaching online courses. Site based teachers are also California-credentialed, High Qualified teachers. Each SDVS site-based teacher is assigned a group of 20-25 “advisee students” to supervise their overall educational program. Students are able to draw from the knowledge, support and help of numerous experienced and caring teachers and staff on-site and online.

How can I contact my teacher?

You may contact your assigned teacher instantly through our popular instant messaging service. Also, you may use e-mail, fax, or toll-free telephone to contact a course teacher. California credentialed teachers are on-demand via phone, email, or instant message. Teachers are available for 1:1 interaction 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM EST Monday through Friday, as well as 24/7 tutoring. And, our customer support team monitors the phones 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week to help you.

As an online student, will I still be required to take State Mandated Tests?

Yes. All students in the San Diego Virtual School program will be required to physically attend and take all STAR and CAHSEE assessments at one of our testing locations throughout the region in the spring.

What do I need to do to succeed in a San Diego Virtual School course?

When you take an online course you need to prepare yourself as you would for any course in a classroom setting. Key differences are that your teacher is online and not face-to-face, and your lessons are on a computer. In an online course, time management is critical to success because most activities can be accomplished asynchronously, which means you don’t necessarily have to be online at the same time as your instructor or other students. It is crucial that you take advantage of the numerous opportunities available to get help when you need it; online and your local teachers’ job is to make sure you receive the support you need to be successful. .

What materials are needed in order to take San Diego Virtual School courses?

All of the courses offered by San Diego Virtual School can be taken 100% online so there is very little need for any additional materials, except for some advanced courses. All you truly need to begin your coursework is Internet access and a computer.


San Diego Virtual School allows students to complete academic courses online. Although middle school and high school courses online are similar to traditional educational institutes, students complete their work online. All students need for our school is access to a computer and an internet connection to benefit from the same accreditations as traditional schools in an interactive and safe online learning environment.

What type of software or hardware will my computer need to take these courses?

Our school software and hardware requirements to complete the courses are basic requirements for most computers. Our online school software is compatible with Windows PCs and Apple Macintosh. The operating systems needed are also basic features on most computers. We do recommend you have a high resolution monitor, an audio adapter, and speakers.

Do I need a high-speed internet connection?

You can successfully access our courses and high school course outline with dial-up connections, but we recommend high-speed access for the best experience. When high-speed internet connections, even WiFi, are combined with the school software needed for the courses, completing work will be quicker and easier.

Do I need a special internet browser?

No. Our online courses are supported by common internet browsers. Courses can easily be accessed through numerous internet browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla browsers, and Safari.

Will I need special plug-ins or applications?

To promote the learning experience and to increase productivity, there are certain browser plug-ins and helper applications we recommend. For example, Sun Java Runtime Environment, Macromedia Flash Player, and a compatible media player will make the learning experience more enjoyable. In addition, Apple QuickTime Player and Real Player will be beneficial.

Should you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the technical specification for the school software, contact San Diego Virtual School to speak with our technical support team.