Our School

Message from the Principal

Photo of Karlin LaPorta

Our school is designed to offer families an alternative educational experience for our students. Now more than ever, students may choose a more individualized approach to learning while in the safety and comfort of their own homes. We believe our students should have a high-quality, student-centered online option that focuses on each individual student’s academic and social-emotional growth. 

Our diverse student population reflects the value we place on inclusivity and curating a sense of belonging. We are confident you will find our  Virtual Academy to be a place where student voice and choice are at the forefront of re-envisioning what school can be for each of our students.

We are looking forward to an exciting new year!

Karlin LaPorta

Our School-Wide Vision

The Downey Unified Virtual Academy is dedicated to creating an individualized, whole student-centered approach to learning where our students build their independence, confidence, and communication skills to prepare them for the future of college and careers in an ever-changing global society.

Our Purpose and Mission

Our new Downey Unified Virtual Academy promotes the mission and vision of our district where we are committed to developing all students to be self-motivated learners and productive, responsible, and compassionate members of an ever-changing global society. It is our district vision that all students graduate with a 21st Century education that ensures they are college and career ready, globally competitive and citizens of strong character. These statements are especially true of our new Virtual Academy where our students, staff, and families are embracing the future of education and redefining what it means to be a 21st Century learner.

In Downey Unified, we believe the right environment is vital to guiding and inspiring students to realize their individual potential. Our school provides an alternative to the traditional in-person school setting. The Downey Unified Virtual Academy is an online Independent Study school where students in grades seven through ten are able to take advantage of a more individualized, flexible learning environment while engaging in rigorous college-prep courses provided by a comprehensive online curriculum. It is our primary goal to support our students’ academic success while promoting opportunities for social-emotional well-being and growth.

girl standing in a classroom smiling

Student Lounge

Our students have access to a Student Lounge & Resource Center at Downey Unified’s Pace Education Center located in Bellflower. This space is staffed and provides a place where students can interact with peers and teachers in an environment conducive to their online learning experience.

Important Dates

Bell Schedule

Elementary (sample)

Morning Session 8:30 am – 11:30 am
Lunch 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Afternoon session 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Teacher Office Hours 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm


Blue Day Gold Day
8:30 – 9:59
Period 1
Period 2
9:59 – 10:15

10:15 – 11:46

Period 3
Period 4

11:46 – 12:26


12:26 – 1:55

Period 5
Period 6

1:55 – 2:01


2:01 – 3:30

Period 7
Period 8

School Directory

Karlin LaPorta

(562) 469-6655

Andrea Larios

Vice Principal

David Calderon

(562) 469-6500 x2751

Patricia Fuentes


Gabriel Santana

Office Clerk
(562) 904-3571


Suzanne Castanon 1st Grade scastanon@dusd.net
Angelika Wilson 1st Grade awilson@dusd.net
Deborah Gee 2nd Grade dgee@dusd.net
Lorraine Currier 2nd Grade lcurrier@dusd.net
Lance Maxwell 3rd Grade lmaxwell@dusd.net
Debora Sanders 3rd Grade dsanders@dusd.net
Magali’ Riancho Del Bueno 4th Grade mdelbueno@dusd.net
Alex Rocha 4th Grade arocha@dusd.net
Matt Boynton 5th Grade mboynton@dusd.net
Valeria Garcia 5th Grade vgarcia@dusd.net
Sarina Maline 5th Grade smaline@dusd.net


Middle School

Shelley Sanchez 6th Grade Combined Studies & Electives ssanchez@dusd.net
Jaime Valladares English javalladares@dusd.net
Isela Chan Science ichan@dusd.net
Meghan Moore PE & Academic Support mmoore@dusd.net
Alejandro Rios Math alrios@dusd.net
Russ Arnold Special Education rarnold@dusd.net
Arlene Baltazar Social Studies abaltazar@dusd.net
Julia Maldonado Art jmaldonado@dusd.net
Jonathan Melgar Spanish Elective jmelgar@dusd.net


High School

Karen Kozhaya



Meghan Moore



Derrick Moore



Nanette Johnson



Julia Maldonado



Matthew Ellis



Jonathan Melgar

Spanish Elective


Interventionists & Subs

Jessica Navichoque Kindergarden Interventionist jnavichoque@dusd.net
Angelica Gonzalez 2nd Grade Interventionist anggonzalez@dusd.net
Sarina Maline Tiered Re-Engagement & Intervention

Office Hours
7:30 am - 4:00 pm

Student Lounge and Classrooms
Open to students from 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

Contact Us

Technology Help Desk
(562) 469-6905

Program Administrator
(562) 469-6655


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