California Virtual Academies (CAVA), 10 independent online public schools, are currently accepting applications for the second semester of the 2016-17 school year for students in grades K-12. Families considering California Virtual Academies must submit an application before the open enrollment deadline of Feb. 8, 2017, for high school students or by Feb. 15, 2017, for grades K-8. Submitting an open enrollment application does not commit students to enrolling at CAVA for the second semester, but it provides them the option to do so. "California Virtual Academies provide students with a high-quality, tuition-free school alternative to the traditional brick and mortar school," said April Warren, California Virtual Academies Head of School. "The virtual school serves the needs of many students - those who are advanced learners, those who are seeking relief from bullying, and those who need a more accommodating schedule in order to nurture an extracurricular pursuit or balance their education with necessary medical treatment." Students with California Virtual Academies attend both live and recorded class sessions that are accessed online, enabling students and their teachers to engage and interact as if they were sitting together in a traditional classroom. Students also complete schoolwork using hands-on educational materials that are shipped to their home. Each student is supported by a California-credentialed teacher who monitors student progress while providing professional insight and instruction. Teachers communicate with students via phone, email and the online classroom technology in order to provide an individualized approach that helps prepare students for career or college success. Teachers aim to establish a partnership with parents, so the students benefit from a strong network of support. Families are encouraged to take the necessary steps to ensure they have access to an effective educational option for their students next school year. CAVA will host several online and in-person events to help parents learn more about the program.