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Virtual Learning Academy Consortium

Special Populations

Program Overview and Procedures

VLAC is a home-based virtual learning program available to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. It is offered by Oakland Schools on behalf of participating local school districts and is an extension of the district’s educational options and offerings. VLAC utilizes asynchronous online learning so that students and families have the flexibility to engage the content at a time that is most convenient for them. Given the home-based nature of the program, a parent (or caregiver) is expected to devote 3-5 hours per day delivering instruction and guiding their child through the curriculum.

Students are assigned a mentor teacher who is available during designated office hours to meet with parents and/or students on an as-needed basis (to answer questions and support instruction). The mentor teacher provides one live lesson per week and meets with the student, at minimum, once per week for pupil count purposes. The instructor also assesses for course work completion and assigns grades based on student achievement of content standards.

Upon enrollment, VLAC offers the parent (or caregiver) the option to choose one of two curricula. Both curricula are aligned to the general content achievement standards. Therefore, the program is designed for students whose course of study is aligned with the Michigan Merit Curriculum and will lead to a district-approved high school diploma. Because VLAC does not offer an alternative curriculum, it may not be appropriate for students currently receiving instruction aligned to alternate content standards or who will require significant adaptations and/or modifications to the content, methodology and delivery of instruction needed to access the program.

While many universal accommodations are embedded in the program and are available to all students, these accommodations are not a substitute for any needed special education programs, services, or other accommodations that a student may require to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

These universal accommodations can be referenced through Lincoln.
Ultimately, it is the local school district’s responsibility to ensure that each eligible student who enrolls in VLAC receives a FAPE. This includes the provision of special education programs and services, progress monitoring of goals and objectives and progress reporting. If a student cannot receive a FAPE in the home learning program, then the IEP team will need to consider another option for the student along the educational continuum. This local district responsibility is outlined in the Intergovernmental Agreement between the ISD and participating districts.

Application and Enrollment Process

Families can apply online at VLAC website


  • District reviews program description and expectations with family to ensure awareness of the key program components
    • Home-based asynchronous learning modality
    • Learning coach (i.e., parent or caregiver) dedicates 3-5 hours per day of instructional support
    • Curriculum is aligned to general content standards
  • If student has an IEP or 504 Plan, district ensures student can receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), in accordance with IDEA/Section 504, in the home-based learning program; consider the following:
    • Can the special education needs of the student be met in a home-based virtual setting?
    • Can the child receive meaningful educational benefit in this setting? In other words, can the student:
      • Access and participate in the general education curriculum, and
      • Make progress in the general education curriculum?
    • What special education programs and services will be needed to ensure a FAPE? Consider the following:
      • Goals and objectives
      • Aids and services
      • Frequency, duration, location
      • Need for parent training
    • In order to address the issue of a FAPE, the district is highly encouraged to convene an IEP or 504 plan meeting, prior to enrollment, to include representation from VLAC (see contact information)
  • Complete and submit the District Enrollment Verification Form
    • For students with an IEP, a special education administrator must approve enrollment, via signature


  • Upon enrollment, VLAC requests records (IEP/504 if applicable)
  • For students with disabilities - if an IEP/504 Plan was not already conducted prior to enrollment, the district will convene IEP or 504 meeting to consider the home-based, virtual environment (see considerations above to ensure a FAPE)
    • Include representation from VLAC (see contact information)

Monitoring of Progress

VLAC Responsibility

  • Mentor teacher will monitor coursework completion, issue grades and assess proficiency of content standards.
  • Interact with students one per week, providing a live lesson and as needed per student/parent request.
  • Provide district staff with access to students learning management system.

District Responsibility

  • For students with IEPs, the district caseload provider is responsible for the following:
    • Ensure implementation of IEP programs and services
      • Per Intergovernmental Agreement between ISD and participating districts, the provision of special ed. programs and services is the responsibility of the local school district
    • Monitor progress of IEP goals and objectives
      • If access and progress cannot be achieved, convene IEP meeting to consider what additional aides or services may be needed or whether any changes to the educational environment may be needed.
  • Connect quarterly with VLAC mentor teacher.


Annual IEP/504 Plan Development

  • District ensures representation from VLAC at meetings, via invitation.
  • Consider progress in curriculum/program; determine continued benefit of VLAC participation and the provision of FAPE to the student.