California Virtual Academy (CAVA) and the K12 Program

by Victoria
(Palm Springs, CA)

CAVA + An Independent Learner = Not a Good Fit

CAVA + An Independent Learner = Not a Good Fit

My daughter used California Virtual Academy (CAVA), and the K12 program, for 7th grade. She is extremely gifted, and was very bored with the hours of what she called busy-work on the computer. She didn't feel like she learned anything during the year, and didn't enjoy doing her schoolwork at all. It was completely free, but we had to box-up and return all of the school materials after the year was over, which was kind of an ordeal. CAVA is great for a child who needs structure, but for an independent learner, it is likely to not be a good fit.

Thanks for sharing your CAVA/K12 experience, Victoria! I appreciate your input and am sure others will find it helpful. Blessings, Heather :)

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Aug 06, 2010
Try the K12 program without the public school option
by: Shari

I have begun using K12 for my son this summer, and the program is great. I chose the independent study program, rather than the teacher-led programs after I missed the deadline for submitting a piece of paper to the VAVA program. That situation really ticked me off, and I was pretty certain I was going to put aside the whole K12 program idea, but I ended up coming back to it. I learned that the virtual academies are still run my the public school system, so you have to conform to their rules. If, however, you use the program on your own, you can choose the courses that you want to use for your child. You can also change courses mid-semester, if your child finishes a class early. I also use the unit assessments to see if it's a lesson that my child might be able to skip in instances where the lesson material if familiar to him. I find the program helps me to organize, but leaves me as the amster of our fates. You might want to try it for your child.

Aug 14, 2010
CAVA is flexible....
by: Anonymous

The CAVA program is more flexible than described here. It is ok to skip to the assessment if you think your child already knows the material. You don't have to do everything - only the things that you feel your child needs in order to learn the material. Different activities are offered for the lessons, but you don't have to do every work sheet or project. You are supposed to pick the ones that your child needs. I think it is a very flexible program that has a good structure so you are sure that your child is getting to everything. The teacher can help you figure out what to skip and what is important.

Sep 10, 2010
by: c.overton

Cava is not as bad as some would say. I have encountered a few frustrations with the enrollment process, but once we tackled it, it was smooth sailing...When I look at the progress my girls are making and how far they were behind on some subjects, it just makes me feel grateful for them offering an interactive learning program. I am pushing for my girls to graduate as early as possible from high school. Hopefully, Cava will take them past their limitations and beyond the future of learning. CAVA IS THE FUTURE OF INDIVIDUALIZED,PRODUCTIVE LEARNING.

Dec 05, 2010
CAVA wasn't for us
by: Anonymous

Unfortunately we decided to enroll my daughter in CAVA for her 9th grade year, with the hopes she could breeze through her homework and complete credits rapidly, we soon learned that it was a slow and boring pace. No teacher support until her grades were struggling- her homeroom teacher was no where to be found to work with kids or even get to know them. We did our part but as for any 1 on 1 relationship; CAVA failed. I believe your program is lacking and would not recommend it to anyone I know. My daughter is now back in public school and 1/2 year behind. What a disappointment....

Mar 28, 2011
homeschooling with a bang
by: Anonymous

Hi, I have two children in (Cava)7th and 10th grader, they both love it and find it challenging. In public school they kept late hours because of sports and other outside activities and were up doing homework all night. Now they can focus on their education and have time to travel more and still do sports and go to the movies in the middle of the day. They talk about what they learn everyday instead of what people are wearing. They are excited everyday when they finish their lesson because they have the rest of the day to do something they enjoy.
Cava has turned them into independent leaners who now focus on education with out peer pressure.

Apr 27, 2011
CAVA High School and the CHSPE exam
by: Anonymous

My daughter was in CAVA from 3rd grade through 9th. She was feeling like she was missing out on the "high school experience" (mostly due to comments from relatives and other adults), so she begged us to go to one of the local high schools. She got tired of the drugs, profanity, apathy in students and some teachers, and mostly the jail-like atmosphere. She ended up taking the California High School Proficiency Exam(CHSPE)last summer, passed, and is now finishing up her first year at our local jr. college. She will complete next year then will be off to University two years ahead of her peers. She is so happy. We think the CHSPE exam is the state's best kept secret.

May 13, 2011
CAVA High school not so flexible
by: Anonymous

CAVA high school is not completely flexible as was described above. Every student must take every assessment in order to not get a zero on that assignment. The vast majority of students fail at least one of their courses. Many fail all their courses. CAVA's test scores are dropping hundreds of points every year, which indicates that students are not learning enough.

Jul 27, 2011
We Love it!
by: Anonymous

CAVA structure helps keep the kids focused,the teacher that is assigned to you is always available to help, lots of oppurtunitys for field trips, all curriculm is sent to you and a computer to use, and students are held accountable for work and effort. Its great!

Jul 31, 2011
Amazing -k12 ROCKS
by: waldenmom

This school year I will have all three of my boys in this program K, 1st and 6th. I first started with my oldest son in the middle of 4th grade year. We put him in this program because the learning in a brick and Mortar school was no more than 3 hours and I’m sorry that was not okay with us. We pulled him out of the previous school in the middle of the year so he had to start the 4th grade year from starch with Cava. It was really an eye opener for me because he didn’t know half the stuff from the k12 program and it really made me and my husband know that we made the best choice. We started January and he had to take the state test in May which is only 5 months with k12, we compared previous year test results and the proof was in the pudding. He was able to score above State level in reading and at state level for math when the previous year he was in the 300 range (very low)…To be honest, it was hard and frustrating the first time because I had to get him and I acclimated to being homeschooled (quitting my job of 10 years). Once I got a schedule down that better fit him I really saw him start to love the program and his subjects. I love k12 because I get so much support and I am able to do so much outside the home with my boys. With this program you as a parent have to be VERY involved and if you’re not willing to do that please don’t bother.

Aug 24, 2011
4th and final year
by: Anonymous

Wow, i think this program is by far the best! After the 1st semester where my son (Grade 9) thought he could just goof off, he worked hard thru xmas vacation and made up all the work and has been on honor roll since. This is his final year (12th) and then off to college. He has become an independent learner and has been taught how to seek out answers and ask lots of questions. All his teachers have been fantastic and have always responded immediately to any question or problem he may have. I am not sure I understand why parents think this is not a good program. The courses are Exactly what is offered at a traditional school. The instructors make the class engaging and fun. Although he does breeze through some classes (just like normal school), he does have quizzes and assignments every day that does log his work. If he doesn't complete it, he does have some flexibility to finish it up. The instructors are accommodating and I think that learning this way is the future. How can teachers teach with 30+ students in their class? Most of the day is crowd control and if you are not an "A" student, they tend not to be able to provide their time to help the "C" student? CAVA has integrated technology and a great product for the kids. Social? Well, quite frankly, drugs, sex, alcohol, cutting, cursing.....i would rather NOT have my kids exposed to this. And I do have a daughter who does attend a traditional school (charter) setting, but if she does not maintain her grades or i see negative behavior, she will be switched. The last 2 summers my son was chosen for Junior counselors at a camp, he volunteers in our community, at food banks and is completely social.

Oct 23, 2011
Fabulous if you're not lazy.. WE LOVE IT
by: Santa Clarita Mom

I enrolled my 3rd grader this year. I held two seats on PTA, was in school 2-3 times a week helping out everywhere. I knew teachers,students & principal well.I tell you this because it's important to understand we loved the people@ For my husband it was an easy decision. For me, not so easy. I loved my pedicure time hated the stressed out teachers. Our son received top grades in his classes, met every goal and achivement set forth for him. The problem, he was bored when finished with work and the teachers are so overwhelmed they hardly have the time to find extra curriculum. So, he would talk and get in trouble.(Ridiculous)I repeatly requested more work with a reward system.. Nope, no dice! They want every child to fit in a box, and don't you dare think outside of it!
We love K-12! NO, you can't sit your child down and expect them to teach themselves, nor can you leave them unattended on the virtual classes .. they need the parent (learning coach) to be involved. But, we can do as much as we want of the lessons and if he get's it, he get's it! We move on and tackle something else. I love the literature and the compostition books. All the lessons are tied together so it is reinforced learning. I can tell you that he is already writing 3 paragraphs and his buddies in school are still doing oral reports. Anyone that says this is a rotten program, etc. is obviously not very involved with their student. You can't "home school" and not be involved. You might as well go back to the public school setting. They are ignored daily there! Honestly, the more I learn about the "school house" learning system the more sad I have become for the children that are left there daily for a learning experience with baby sitters.If you really want to see you child flourish with learning, this is a wonderful program.My son will tell you, no homework but lots of reading and writing. It's a great basis if you really are driving your childs education. We vacation at the beach and practice vowel sounds for spelling words in the sand. He loves it!Don't get me wrong, I have my moments,but just listening to his vocabulary grow that his history lessons and geography is "sticking." He's getting it! The other day he told me he knew who the "Mona Lisa" was.. I was amazed he learned that at his old school. That was when he told me he see's her all the time on Scooby Do! It was a precious moment that was all mine... not a strangers! Don't pass this program up because of a handful of lazy parents whom didn't have the discipline and drive to watch their child accelerate! It's time we take our education back to the old school ways. School was never suppose to be political! Good Luck and be passionate! If we love teaching it.. they love learning it!

Dec 13, 2011
It was the right decision!
by: Anonymous

After a few frustrating years in elementary school, with teachers, and inconsistencies in policy, and principals dictating their agenda, I choose CAVA and K12 for my now 13 year old son.

The public school system was to him boring, and he was frustrated with the everyday homework, and school, and felt bad about asking questions in class in from of 30 others. My child is very kinesthetic as well, loving and caring and very centered but you cannot lock him in a class room for 6 hours and expect him to function.

Looking at K12 it seemed at the time to be an option as we went into middle school this year. I toiled about if this would work, was it the right decision, and talked to family and friend about it last year, while I thought about the possibilities. The answer didn't come quickly or easily. I finally made the decision to move forward, & to try it out this year.

It was, in fact, the right decision! Today, he will do his class online, and complete the book work with guidance by both of us (parents). He participates with online classes, and reads to other, and completes math problems live on line using their elluminate (spelled with an E) online live session class. He is doing extremely well.

The kit we were sent was all new material, books, and science projects, and reading material. He attends 2 online classes every day, and has book work and sheets to fill out, and on line questions / test on the subject everyday to verify comprehension. He calls his teacher about once a week, to check in and shows her art projects, or they have a live on line session when he has questions on a math subject. We have to hand in work every 8-12 weeks, and meet with the teacher.

He starts his day at 7am and school about 9am. It�s all completed by 2pm, which includes lunches, and the miscellaneous breaks. He is no longer stressed out, and we do the work at whatever pace we want to for the day. Sometimes we do extra work and then go to sea world, or another activity.

I see a lot of talk about socialization; K12 has meetings, clubs, and activities. My son attends outings, field trips and has met new friends that have school in common. He plays Football, Baseball, and we are very constantly active in sports. The fact is that my son socializes more now than ever before with friends and team members and is active in the community.

We are attending a food can drive today, while others are at school, we have time to make donations for this holiday season. I believe that K12 has helped us as parents show him that there is more to life.

K12 was the right decision, I wouldn't change a thing.

Feb 19, 2012
by: Anonymous

Waste of time and money, now our daughter will have to start the last grade over again at public school.

Feb 24, 2012
CAVA Student
by: Anonymous

This is coming from an 11 grade student perspective. I've been a student with Cava for 3 years now and for me, this was the best decision. I had read a comment saying the many of the students fail at least one subject and cava's test scores are dropping every year. To that I ask, how would you know that information? Did you read it somewhere and assumed it must be true? Did you ask every single student in cava whether or not they passed their classes? Obviously not because I wasn't asked and I am a student with cava. I'll be the first to admit, it's easy to fail a class if you do not complete and submit your work. Why would a student not submit their work? Many reasons including (1) not taking the opportunty to ask for help from the teacher over the phone, during an elluminate, or during office hours, (2) procrastination. Homeschooling takes a great deal of discipline and if your not self motivated and disciplined than more than likely cava high school will not work for you. My first year I failed math because I kept telling myself I'll do it later and that there's no rush because it's online. Well when I got my report card it was a reality check and I most definitely learned my lesson. I went into cava because my mom saw I wasn't getting getting what I needed in a classroom of 30 students.I'm from Bakersfield and with the latest budget cuts the class was bound to get larger. The teacher spent the majority of her time trying to calm down the students and soon just gave up and would sit at her desk eating. I would ask her about the assignment and she would tell me when the entire class settled down she'll teach. Last year I took an Anthropology class for an elective class and this year I'm taking a personal finance class: tell me a public high school that has those classes! I'm actually learning and not just getting by. The fact of the matter is this: cava may or may not be a good choice for you. However, if you're looking at a starting point for Homeschooling, cava is a good place to start. 

Mar 21, 2012
A great option
by: Anonymous

We started K12 at the end of January 2012 following disappointment and frustration with a private school. Our alternative options seemed to offer more of the same. Whilst K12 requires a lot of my time and effort it feels far less than the badgering I was doing to get my kids to do additional 2-4 hours of tedious homework in addition to their school day. Now they (and I) know they are done at 3pm and can enjoy the California sunshine! The curriculum is so much wider and varied than the mundane that was being literally drilled into them in a boring fashion. The teachers are far more positive and encouraging and my 7th grader is so much more motivated and independent in his far so good!

Mar 31, 2012
need help soon
by: Anonymous

my daughter is failing rapidly. it is not CAVA's fault. we have been going through immense family drama (divorce). I am hopeful that she will be able to catch up. If she were in traditional school I would not be saying this, the fact that she is able to replay lessons, submit work independently, will allow her to catch up. I think the system works, but like in any school students too have to be ready/able to do the work. At least with CAVA she will have the next two weeks to work hard and catch up. Thank you to all the entries that told the story of their student's struggle and how they in the end made it... you are giving me hope.

May 17, 2012
Cava does not grade student assignments
by: Anonymous

My daughter attended Cava and was going fine until her 9th grade year when her counselor sent horrible messages to her . Because she is medically disabled she was on an IEP they did not honor the IEP at all.. So when I put her in a Charter school everything was fine until the end of her junior year this year and they sent a transcript saying she did not pass 9th grade . I however have all of her grades and work she submitted that was never graded . I have contacted WASC to report how they hurt children by assigning over 400 students to a teacher
I despise Cava and I would advise anybody to stay away from this corrupt online school..

May 19, 2012
CAVA is Great
by: A Grateful Student

I have been a student with CAVA for 5 years, and while there are some teachers who are not very good, the school itself is very nicely organized and it gives student an advantage in curriculum.

It's structured enough for people who need a bit of structure, but flexible enough for people who need a lot of wiggle room. I have met several child stars who use CAVA, and I think it's a great fit for just about anyone.

The individual course teachers are sometimes a bit difficult to work with, but generally going to the Guidance Counselor or Homeroom teacher helps with that. Overall, CAVA is an amazing school for anyone.

Jun 30, 2012
CAVA school great
by: Anonymous

We have been with CAVA for 2years. And it has been great. My son needs a lot of face time and the teacher in the public school could not offer that services for him. We started with CAVA and at first it was stressful but after the first year we get it done pact.
The teachers are great also. What ever services my child needs they have offer it to us. It get to the point that I do not wont to opened my email because they were sending so much information for me to help my child. Which was great.
I have told many people about CAVA and they love it.
CAVA is great

Oct 20, 2012
great school
by: Anonymous

my daughter goes to cava k12 school and she will be able to finish a year early and it got her out of a bad school

Oct 27, 2012
by: Anonymous

Daughter one, a high achiever and self-motivated, did CAVA K12 high school for 9th grade. She learned very little. She was aghast at the low level of work from other students. I pulled her out and put her into a more challenging, academic high school where she could learn at her own pace.

Daughter two, a fourth grader, likes K12's literature, history, art, and science. While the math is good, it needs more reenforcement than the K12 program gives. We heavily supplement math, grammar, and writing.

My 4th grade student never receives comments on her work from her teacher, but I prefer it this way. Some lessons are nothing more than busy work, so I streamline lessons to meet the needs my child. It is very easy to fall behind at the beginning of the school year and struggle to keep up with the percentage of work that needs to be completed by deadline.

I would not recommend this program to a parent that expects their child to learn on their own via a computer. Parent participation is essential for success. This program takes 3-5 hours a day. We do not do Elluminate lessons.

Nov 27, 2012
Not a fan
by: Anonymous

Using CAVA for gifted Kindergartener and it has been a nightmare. I am basically skipping to the tests and he is currently finished with half of the Kindergarten program. I supplement such a ridiculous amount to keep him stimulated I am thinking of going back to my own curriculum. I think I signed up out of fear. The teacher is a nice person but way too inexperienced. They DO NOT accommodate advanced learners well. They do not understand gifted students. If this is your situation be prepared to fight tool and nail and teach them about things like asynchronous development.

Feb 14, 2013
2 years away and coming back
by: Anonymous

My son did 2 years with CAVA (1st and 2nd) and was then enrolled in a private school for 3rd and 4th. We are pulling him out of his current school and putting him back in CAVA. He really enjoyed the K12 courses and looked forward to learning. I noticed that decline just being away the time he was. I read the posts above and I think your experience has a lot to do with the teacher you get assigned. If you get a teacher that doesn't engage or requires you to finish a course your child knows rather than test out, ask for a new teacher. My child is Gifted and he tested out in several subjects and moved up very quickly. The flexibility is there you just might need to ask.

Apr 19, 2013
K12 to supplement public school
by: Jacqueline

I used K12's Kindergarten program and I loved it! My little one loved the program and blossomed academically. The next year, we put him in public school in anticipation that after a long hiatus, I would be returning to work. Unfortunately, while one son flourished, my other son continued to have problems with language arts (writing). We purchased the entire K12 language art program for fourth grade and my son was not happy! He didn't like doing class homework and certainly didn't want to do extra work on top of it. Fast forward a couple of months and a couple of hundreds of dollars later and the time and money have been well spent! My fourth grader has made vast improvements and we are impressed with the scope and span of the program. I knew that in public school my son would just be passed on to the next grade and would not receive the attention that he needed and so my husband and I made the time and money commitment to teach him at home! My son happily does his K12 work everyday (well most days anyways) and his grades and sense of accomplishment have skyrocketed! We'll complete the program in the summer and we anticipate that my son will be well prepared and more importantly feel capable when he heads to fifth grade in the fall.

Jun 11, 2013
Ranting About the Program - You Get What You Put In
by: Lenichi

Well then, I'm an actual 9th grade student in CAVA. I fell really behind this semester (wanted the experience so I left everything up to the last month) but got all A's last semester. You will get out of the program what you put in the program. By the time you are in high school you'd better know how to get by without a teacher's help. If you can't, you're screwed for all of your life. Your education now in this day and age is only something that you can get yourself.

CAVA is semi-difficult. It is above most public school standards. However, it's super easy to do the work. I mean, seriously, I finished the whole entire Health course in a day (I got a B, but that was because I didn't want to explain why I would need to use a contraceptive in the Sex Ed. Unit). Honors English took me about a week to finish a semester, but I ended up with a 101.29%. The weighted grade depends on your district.

You will get out what you put in. If you or your student fails miserably in class, it is no one's fault but yours or your student.

That might be a little bit harsh, but it's completely true. If your child is bored by the work DO IT ANYWAY. If your child is overwhelmed by the work DO IT ANYWAY! Seriously! It's an amazing program that you can learn so much from. And if you are bored with it, make it your goal to finish all the school work within the month and move onto the next grade! Not impossible, just stop screwing around!

At least stop complaining. If you want to try out the program, just do it. I'll reiterate, you get out what you put in.

Jun 13, 2013
CAVA fails most students
by: Anonymous

CAVA is only a way for K12 to take public tax dollars. Most students fail at least one class. Many fail most classes. Although it is "structured" in the worst sense of the word (deadlines, topics, and pacing controlled by K12 - not teachers), it also requires a huge amount of parental involvement in order to succeed. If you are going to spend all day everyday working with your kid, this could work. If you think that your kid will succeed in this when they failed at brick and mortar schools, you are sorely mistaken. How do you know your kid isn't on youtube, facebook, etc., when s/he should be studying? Avoid this terrible school.

Sep 25, 2013
Save your complaints
by: Anonymous

Many posts like the one above mine are ridiculous. "How do you know if your kid is on youtube or facebook, etc?" That's where the parents and the kids responsibilities are involved. If you do not have time to watch your kids progress and help them stay on track, this isn't the school for you. It doesn't make it a bad school, but not the school for your situation. If your kid is doing something else besides studying and they fail a course, who's fault is it? It's all about responsibility and knowing that they have to do their schoolwork. And if you feel like this isn't the right thing for your family, don't do it.

Oct 04, 2013
Moving Ahead!
by: Anonymous

I enrolled my children in 1st and 3rd grade CAVA because they want to advance in grade levels and love to have the flexibility of life so they can do sports and other fun activities.
The first month was crazy but now we are on a set schedule where I check their progress daily and work with them as well as utilize a private tutor for advance skill work. Within 8 weeks they are far beyond their peers academicaly and about 40 to 50 percent complete through their current grades. My son is setting up for promotion to 2nd grade in January.
My roommate is also enrolled. Her son takes advantage of the free time and is plays alot of online gaming. This program is for strong parents that want to take charge of their childrens future and their academic compass. Not for the lazy parents who allow their children to game and get away with the bare minimum of schoolwork. The children cannot teach themselves with the program.

Oct 06, 2013
Re: Moving Ahead
by: Heather (site owner)

Excellent post! Thanks for sharing how CAVA is benefiting your children and for reminding parents that they need to take responsibility for what their children do while completing their schoolwork with this program.

Mar 01, 2014
Cava makes me SICK...
by: Anonymous

I recently ask my child's general teacher Rebecca Stern for a verification letter that my child was in enrolled there in Cava. She informed me that, "I know I told you I was going to write you the letter, but since your child is missing a few assignments that I won't be writing you the verification letter."

I will be withdrawing my child from this program because this is not first time she has said something crazy to me. Don't waste your time with this school. Do not put your child in the hands of this school.

May 07, 2014
horrible school
by: Anonymous

My son has been here since 6th, now hes in 9th. Grades 6th thru 8th was great, but this year they didn't follow his iep one bit at all, and i had to email about it and it still never got followed. Its not work at your own pace, they have deadlines weekly and they expect you to do each class an hour a day. My son had 8 classes, so they got mad when he wasn't on for 8 hours. If i didn't do his attendance daily, his teacher was emailing me that i had to do it. Seriously, i could have gotten her for harrassment probably. Honestly, they seem to be like they are in control of you and what you do. They even went so far as to ask me to sign a paper so they could contact my child's doctor to discuss his handicap (he can't walk and no control of bowel or bladder) and i called an attorney and they are not allowed to even ask that of a parent. Think twice before sending your child here...

Jun 04, 2014
From an actual student
by: Anonymous

CAVA/K12 swears to have amazing teacher to student communication. That's honestly a huge lie. If your child gets distracted easily or isn't too responsible this is definetly not for them. Sure that's common sense but if you think that CAVA may help lower the distractions I can assure you that's not the case.

Feb 18, 2015
Not a bad school, but not for lazy kids.
by: 11th grade CAVA Student

In my opinion, I love CAVA. I love what they have to offer for those kids who cannot learn as well sitting in a cramped classroom. The teachers at CAVA are hands-on and interactive with students, especially those falling behind. I got straight A's my first semester, but my brother lacks in responsibility. He uses the time to play video games rather than work. His teachers would contact him and my mother regularly to reach out and offer any kind of academic help. Unfortunately, he resumed his foolishness and was kicked out of the school. But it is not the school's fault he didn't succeed and the administrators shouldn't be shamed for the laziness in certain kids. Likewise, if your kid doesn't show enough responsibility and independance, do not enroll him/her into a school that requires these traits. I attended another school powered by K12 called Academy of Arts and Sciences. I had expected it to be like CAVA because it was run by K12, but the teachers would not answer any of my emails, calls, etc. It was a horrid school and I now appreciate how communicative the staff at CAVA is. But PLEASE do not blame the school for your chidren's laziness. If the student puts in effort and communicates with teachers daily, they will strive. I am doing better than I ever was in a brick and mortar school.

Mar 23, 2015
need help!
by: Anonymous

Hi I am a 10th grader interested in joining cava.However I am a die hard athlete. After joining cava can I still pay water polo with the school I currently attend or can it only be a club sport activity? Any responses will be helpful!

Mar 24, 2015
Response to March 23, Need Help
by: Anonymous

You can not be enrolled at CAVA and continue to participate on your previous school's athletic teams. To be on an athletic team affiliated with a school, you must be attending that school. However, a HUGE benefit with CAVA, if you are motivated to do the coursework in a non-structured environment is, that you will have much more time to practice and improve on your skills so you will do well in a club environment. Good luck!

Apr 13, 2015
by: Anonymous

I was told that if the high school is under CIF then the student can play sports at the local high school.

Apr 21, 2015
CAVA is obsessed with testing
by: Sansa

I am the mother of an 8-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy. Both my children have only attended CAVA since they started school. CAVA WAS good when I started with my daughter. Both of my children have only been in CAVA for their school life. Unfortunately, the administrators that make decisions are turning CAVA into another bureaucratic school that only cares about standardized testing and every year they add new requirements that make very little sense. They burden the students with non-educational test taking practices that takes up too much of their time and eats into precious hours that should be spent on learning and other fun activities.

I have been with CAVA for 4 years now and I've decided that this will be my last year. When they made my young son (first grader) sit down to take some ridiculous math placement change assessment that was extremely long it became apparent to me that the administrators have lost track of what they are trying to accomplish and seem only concerned about testing. This was the first time in 4 years that we had to do this placement change assessment for math. I believe that this is because CAVA administrators have no clue about real education. Kids end up hating school with these types of requirements and restrictive practices. I suggest that the people that administer these checks and balances sit in the classroom for a month with diverse learning coaches to understand what can actually be accomplished with students that are of different ages, personalities, gender, ethnicity, etc.

Cava offers many outings; however, the workload is so great that they can never take a day off to go to these outings. When I started CAVA 4 years ago, CAVA used the "K-12" curricula in their courses and it was a great and flexible curricula. The next year they started adding mandatory "standardized testing" elements to the school. This is called "study Island" and one would think that this name should evoke an idea of fun activity for students. But it not the case. Children do not have to test until 3rd grade so why do they need to start practicing in kindergarten? Each year they add new practice tests for the children to do such as I-ready, Scantron, smarter balance assessment, etc. My son’s books are 3 times the size of the original books that I used in first grade for my first child. Administrators seem to believe that adding more information or "information cramming" makes better students.

The first year we joined CAVA my children were required to turn in one sample for each subject every quarter. Four years later they are now required to submit mandatory teacher samples every quarter. My third grader has to submit a 20 page Word document that is extremely long and tedious and the time allotted for this type of work is three hours. This assignment takes her at least 6 hours. In addition, many "Writing skills" 35-minute time allotments are insufficient for some writing assignments.

My advice to CAVA/k-12 is that "less is more" and kids need to love to learn and not just cram information in their brains, as they will not become lifetime learners this way. More and more material is just a recipe for student burnout. Unfortunately CAVA may lose more long-time families if this trend continues.

I would not recommend CAVA as it stands currently and the direction that this is headed. If parents wish to give their child a healthy homeschooling experience, they might want to consider other options. CAVA is now simply another public school with the same restrictions and requirements with the only difference being that the kids are at home when they study. Other than that, they are being subjected to standardized testing and programs that lowers their interest and intellect. Asking my kids over and over questions that they have clearly mastered only to satisfy some administrative need is beyond ridiculous. If you want your child to learn how to take standardized tests and cram information in their brains then any school will do, including CAVA. I am not even sure if I can opt out of these ridiculous tests. Why should they be mandatory? I am exercising my right as a parent to do what I must to remove my children from this type of an educational system that focuses on testing rather than learning. That said, I would warn any parent to consider that CAVA is not homeschooling. It is posing as a homeschooling program while shoving material down that is pointless and does not add any value to my kids' education.

Jul 29, 2015
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Aug 13, 2015
California Virtual Academy (CAVA) and the K12 Program NEW
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Aug 20, 2015
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Sep 16, 2015
Frustrated parents of k12 their is something better it their NEW
by: Anonymous

Previously enrolled I have never been under more stress being in this program. I had a lot of trouble with k12 cava not giving us an IEP fr my child . They give so much work for my child . We have quit. They advertise they help IEP they do not . Don't be mislead into enrolling . I want everyone to know about a new program Acellus. Parents of special need you pay a little but no more fighing to get your kid in a remiedial class or special ed. You pick the course you need . This is for all the parents out their whose child is struggling with Autism or another special needs we work hard enough everyday. This is a big shout out for Acellus thank you so much again for looking after our kids needs .

Sep 19, 2015
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Sep 25, 2015
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Oct 14, 2015
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Feb 06, 2016
Are all tests "Open Book?" NEW
by: Anonymous

How can CAVA kids expect to do well on a real test when all the tests in CAVA are open book? Does CAVA prepare kids to take timed exams like kids in regular schools? How well has CAVA prepared high schoolers for the SAT and ACT?

Mar 04, 2016
by: Anonymous

hey there just needed some new information on the program. What is the registration process like and the requirements? And since my kids are currently in public school do I have to let the school district know I am homeschooling them? Will they give me a hard time? Please any info would be appreciated. Also when does school start?

Nov 16, 2016
Horrible Experience NEW
by: Upset Momma

The school implemented new software before even testing it out(on the first day of school),and therefore they were not able to foresee the numerous problems it caused. It's mid- november and the software is still causing issues. My two children have completed and submitted their work with me watching, and the teachers constantly say that the kids never did anything so they give my kids 0 on assignments. My daughter is very smart, she's tested 3 grades ahead and now is so bored that she's literally not bothered to even work hard. On the other hand my son is severe ADHD and actually had a teacher tell him his work isn't good enough.Thats the type of situation that brings a child (especially one with a learning disorder and an old IEP and ko now a 504 plan) to the point that they should just give up. Now both my kids will be being taught either by me or local schools, and then supplemented with life experience and actual knowledge. I feel bad for the next parents who sign up there.

Feb 28, 2017
Admin NEW
by: Anonymous

The administration at cava and offices never seem to call or email back issues never resolved. After the year left the school my son went elsewhere

Mar 20, 2017
Parent NEW
by: Anonymous

I just want people to let parents know that it is not an easy program to get through. I have been put with four different teacher already this year. It say that they will customize the program to your child but that is incorrect. They only have one program per grade. The teacher cancel online classes with mo notice. When you confront them with this, they say they are to busy to send an email. Not sure if the school gives each teacher too many kids or if the teacher just don't want to work. I would not use this program unless you can do everything ob your own.

Mar 20, 2017
Parent NEW
by: Anonymous

I just want people to let parents know that it is not an easy program to get through. I have been put with four different teacher already this year. It say that they will customize the program to your child but that is incorrect. They only have one program per grade. The teacher cancel online classes with mo notice. When you confront them with this, they say they are to busy to send an email. Not sure if the school gives each teacher too many kids or if the teacher just don't want to work. I would not use this program unless you can do everything ob your own.

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Feb 23, 2018
This is public school at home, and it's common core. NEW
by: Doing all right

First: This IS COMMON CORE. You will not get around common core if you expect your child to get a government funded education. Also, most private schools are adopting common core components because the college entry tests are being converted to common core standards. Even religion-based private schools are adopting this. I decided that it would be easier to get her through this horrific time in education history if I could help her one-on-one. I won't start about how the DOE should stop experimenting on kids without proven testing.

Second, my fifth grader loves K12CAVA. Or rather, she loves the way I've implemented the program, and she and I get along very well. She wants to do this again, next year. Let me also say that sometimes, I do not have her do every single thing in every single lesson. I have the power to make decisions, and I use it. Do I think she needs to write an anti-cigarette ad for King Charles? NOPE! (Yeah, wonder about that from common core for a while.) They will provide you 8-9 hours of work, some days. Pick what works for you. Don't do extra practice on something that your child already has down pat. Dare I say it? Check off things that you don't need and soldier on, but do ALL of the assessments (which your child can retake if your he/she doesn't score 80% or over) and graded assignments. K12CAVA really does not expect that everyone will do every part of every lesson, but they can't say that, can they?

You need to be proficient on computers and BE HOME with your child to do this. This CANNOT work for you unless you meet these requirements to begin with. Don't expect to leave a teenager home all day and have them bother with doing school work (unless he/she is exceptionally responsible). That is simply not human nature. Humans are naturally play-loving slackers, and what you will get is FAILURE. I can't believe that some people sign up for this program, then head off to work, leaving their kids to educate themselves! SERIOUSLY? Then, they blame the program because they were absentee and didn't bother to supervise. You will have to log in and set up assignments, and log attendance, and supervise your child EVERY SCHOOL DAY.

The classes are more challenging than our local public schools, and more challenging than the private school she used to attend. This is NOT an easy curriculum. If you're looking for easy, look elsewhere. They have online classes to help kids that are struggling, and I have had great responses and help from her teacher.

Last year, our daughter was actually attending a private school, but was really tired of trying to get her questions answered, even in a small class environment. Private schools are also facing students whose parents don't care about discipline. More and more time is spent policing the kids, instead of learning. You would think that if somebody is paying for their child to attend private school, they might implement some consequences for bad behavior. Apparently, this is not true.

Math was a struggle for her. I decided that with some help, I could do better. I was right. Since I get to work with her one-on-one this year, she says that she doesn't fear math, anymore. She enjoys algebra (which I am having to relearn). If a problem stumps her, we use a blackboard that I originally bought for her when she was 5, just to draw on. We can both tackle the problem that way, and it's a nice change from writing on paper.

For those of you who want to spend 2 hours a day and call it school, forget it. She spends at least 5 hours a day, usually more, doing online work, book work, and science experiments. But, really, how long do we think school is supposed to last? I began telling her when we started this, "home school is NOT no school." She can be here at home to take breaks to play with our dogs or parakeets, have snack and lunch whenever she wants, go with me to the grocery store, go to her grandparents' house and take some book work, or take half a day off simply because she needs to get away from letters and numbers. As long as we are marking attendance for 2-3 classes per day, and keeping up with the expected progress for the week, we have had no problem adjusting the schedule.

Selecting K12CAVA does make it possible to adjust your daily schedule, but they get paid by the state of California just like any other public charter school: by days of attendance. It's public school, but at home.

Sep 14, 2018
iReady testing NEW
by: Anonymous

The iReady testing this year at CAVA K12 2018 has a new mandatory sessions enforcement. It wipes out any work or GPA a student earned. The test is long, and awful. Besides this new policy, Nazi card, it is a delightful experience for my son.

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