How It Works

How Online Middle School Works

Who can attend?

The Tennessee Virtual Academy (TNVA) junior high school program serves students in grades 7–9 who reside in the state of Tennessee.

What are the costs?

Because TNVA is a public charter school, there is no tuition. Families are responsible for providing some common household materials (such as printer ink and paper).

What’s my role as a parent?

Junior high school is a time when students become more independent, taking on more responsibility and ownership for their learning and working more directly with their teachers. But parent involvement is still critical to student success. As a parent, you (or another responsible adult you choose) serve as your child’s Learning Coach.

While teachers set the pace of instruction, the Learning Coach helps their student stay on track. Parent/Learning Coach involvement is essential for at least 20 hours a week and roughly 50–60 percent of this time is online. The initial 4–8 weeks can be intensive as your family settles into a routine.

Mother and her son doing homework image

Working with Your Teacher

Teachers provide individual and small group assistance via online synchronous sessions called “Class Connects.” Students are expected to attend all required Class Connects and meet with their teacher to receive course assistance, tutoring, and instruction. Class Connects vary by grade level and are scheduled by your teacher.


Attendance is logged Monday through Friday according to a traditional school calendar; however, academic progress can be achieved during the weekends as well. Junior high school students are expected to spend approximately 6–7 hours on schoolwork per school day.

Expectations for Completing Schoolwork

In junior high school, student learning changes to a semester-based approach where students are required to earn a passing grade on their assignments and online lessons. Due dates are assigned to lessons to encourage consistent, steady progress for academic success.

While online lessons can usually be completed at any time of day, students are required to attend teacher-led, direct-instruction, online synchronous Class Connect sessions. During Class Connects, students receive online instruction from teachers and have opportunities to interact virtually with classmates.

Attending Class Connects and completing coursework according to the assigned pacing schedule will help set up your student for success.


Email is the primary form of communication between the school and families. Learning Coaches and students are required to check and respond to emails on a daily basis.

State Testing

TNVA students must comply with all Tennessee-mandated testing requirements.