Everyone's Academic Journey is Different

Discover a solution that’s right for you.

Now serving 7th-8th and high school

Benefits of Virtually Independent Learning

Virtually Independent Learning students have the responsibility of managing and the freedom of designing their own schedules. They must attend brief daily synchronous meetings, but can then choose how to organize their day, when to complete assignments, and how quickly they move through their courses. Online learning requires dedication, commitment, and self-discipline, and those who meet the criteria for this model will thrive in our virtual environment.

Flexible Schedule


Some students need education options that free them from being on campus for seven hours a day and five days a week. Our Virtually Independent program allows students who are working, involved in demanding sports or performing arts activities, or those with other responsibilities to set their own schooling hours. They’ll still need to apply the same amount of time they would in a traditional high school setting, but they can spread their school schedule out throughout the week. Not to mention, students will save time by not commuting and going from class to class.

Individual Guidance

Unparalleled Guidance

With individualized guidance from our expert Downey Unified teachers, students can spend more time understanding a lesson and asking questions they may have been hesitant to ask in a traditional class. With self-paced learning, students decide when guidance is needed and when they can move through a lesson without additional help. For some students, this individualized assistance is key to their academic success.

Quality Curriculum

Quality Curriculum

Students enrolled in the Downey Unified Virtual Academy's Virtually Independent program receive the same level of high-quality, challenging education as those attending our traditional in-person campuses. They’ll receive a 21st-Century education that focuses on preparing them for life after high school in both college and career settings. In addition, students learn real-world skills they’ll need for the future such as time management, self-motivation, and communication.

Access to CoCurriculars

Access to Co-Curriculars

Students in 9th and 10th grade in the Downey Unified Virtual Academy have the ability to enroll in up to two courses at our partner school, Warren High School and can take part in the campus’ athletics and extracurriculars. Play football, star in a school play, or get hands-on industry experience through Downey Unified’ s various Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways. Our virtual students do not have to miss out on in-person extracurricular programs just because virtual learning is a better fit.

Enrolling in the Downey Unified Virtual Academy was one of the best decisions for my daughter! My daughter has grown so much through the support of all teachers and staff at the Virtual Academy. Everyone is truly invested in student success. The partnership between students, teachers, and parents is phenomenal.

Sincerely, a forever grateful parent of a sophomore student

Is Virtually Independent Right for Me?

Online learning isn’t for everyone. It requires a student to take ownership of their education and manage their time wisely.
Ask yourself these questions:
  • Do lessons in class move too slowly or too quickly?
  • Are you self-motivated?
  • Are you good with time management?
  • Do you get your assignments done without prompting from parents or teachers?
  • Do you enjoy learning and actively seek out knowledge?
  • Would it be beneficial to attend school during different hours than traditionally?

If you answered “yes” to the majority of these questions, independent learning may be right for you.

How it Works

No Tuition Costs

As part of a public school district, there is no tuition fee for the Downey Unified Virtual Academy. Enrolled students will receive a computer on loan from the district. Internet stipends can also be requested. All other types of office/school supplies are not provided.

Flexible Schedule

Downey Virtual Academy students attend self-paced independent study classes completely online. While their schedules are flexible with few synchronous meeting times, weekly lessons and assignments must be completed within each school week. As students work through their assignments, they can reach out to their teachers during virtual office hours for individualized guidance.

Support & Guidance

Though students enrolled in the Virtual Academy work independently, our team of teachers, academic advisors and counselors are committed to each student’s success. Students can request meetings and will receive guidance for graduation requirements, college preparedness, and more. Our team will check in regularly to ensure students are on track and excelling in our program.

boy and girl studying
girl standing in a classroom smiling
boy studying at a computer

On-Campus Hybrid Options

To allow for a more flexible option for those wishing to take a hybrid approach to virtual learning, high school students may enroll in up to two courses on Warren High School’s campus for in-person learning in electives, CTE, and AVID courses.

Downey MADE: Career Exploration

Virtual Academy high schoolers have the option to participate in Downey MADE, a career exploration program that is aligned to various Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways. Students choose a career path and take a sequence of classes related to that specific industry. MADE students develop relevant technical skills unique to their chosen pathway.

Student Lounge & Resource Center

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.

Application Process

Virtual Open House

Step 1:
Watch Informational Video

Complete Enrollment Packet

Step 2:
Complete and submit an application

Receive Email

Step 3:
Receive an e-mail notification

Submit Application

Step 4:
Complete an enrollment packet

Interested in the Downey Unified Virtual Academy?

Contact Downey Unified

For additional information, please call to speak with a representative.

Phone: (562) 469-6518

Email: virtual@dusd.net