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Virtual School is Here to Stay: A Kid's Guide to Online Learning

PrepNet Virtual Academy (PVA), a fully online school managed by National Heritage Academies (NHA), is offering an education experience that fuels student success in life, college, and beyond. Through the Early College Program, students can receive a kindergarten through associate degree education for free at PVA.
 Student participating in online education with PrepNet Virtual Academy (PVA)

An educator for 18 years, PVA Principal Melissa VanKlompenburg knows what it takes to make a virtual school tick and support student success. She has served in various roles ranging from teacher to coaching and learning consultant to school leader to school leadership development specialist. In her most recent position as remote learning lead, VanKlompenburg led a virtual collaborative group of 67 department leaders to develop, improve, and sustain virtual and remote instruction for over 29,000 students across NHA. This experience made her the ideal candidate to lead PVA.
Her tips for students are:
  1.  Make room. Create a dedicated learning space free from distractions. Edutopia recommends a learning space that is curved and open, comfortable, well lit, and has fresh visual displays relevant to your coursework, such as a chart or alphabet poster.
  2. Be prepared. Gather all your learning materials in one place and keep within arm’s reach before your school day begins. This might include pencils, paper, books, and ensuring your device is charged and connected to the internet, to name a few.
  3. Stay organized. Post your daily schedule, keep a list of assignments, check them off as you go, and use a planner or calendar.
  4. Ask questions. Not sure what to do or are you feeling stuck on or confused about an assignment? Ask your teacher for help!
  5. Take care. Eat well, drink water, take technology breaks when you can, and move whenever you are able. Springer Nature shares “healthy behaviors are associated with academic achievement in adolescents.”

Student taking notes during an online class with PrepNet Virtual Academy

Parents want nothing more than a high-quality education for their child. PVA provides the necessary resources to ensure student success. From implementing a traditional brick-and-mortar scheduling structure, to providing at-home learning materials, to classes taught by certified educators, to providing books and other necessary learning materials, students are able to excel academically from home.
For its West Michigan students, PVA will also offer a micro school option. Located in Grand Rapids, students can enroll in this individualized program that provides some of the flexible elements of virtual learning in a small in-person classroom environment. Core here, too, is the structure and support, plus the social interaction, that strengthens students’ moral character while building community.
 Student showing a chemical formula during an online science class at PrepNet Virtual Academy

The school will open its virtual “doors” and welcome students in September 2021. Apply online today at
About PrepNet Virtual Academy:
PrepNet Virtual Academy is a Michigan-based, free public charter online school serving students in grades K-12 with an early college program. For more information, visit