NCVA Beacon Herald

November 2020

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Our Mission

NCVA is a community of students, families and educators dedicated to expanding educational choice through innovative and technology rich instructional practices, and accountable for developing each student's full potential for academic and post-secondary success.

A Message from our Head of School

NCVA Community,

Thank you all for another amazing month of learning and growth! Even though the weather keeps changing on us and the leaves are falling with brilliant colors, the academic process at NCVA is staying constant. Our teachers and students have established routines and procedures for classes and assignments. November is an important time for us all to reflect on the many blessings given to us. I am certainly thankful for the many blessings in my life, including working with the amazing students, learning coaches, teachers, and support staff at NCVA.

Every day, I am inspired by watching our students eager to learn with such enthusiasm and fervor. It takes all of us working together to create such an atmosphere and mindset. Thank you for entrusting us with your children. The collaboration between teachers, families, and students is what builds the solid foundation for our student’s educational success. I want to thank our Learning Coaches for their patience and grace this year. We are in this together as we educate our kids!

Finally, research has found that regular attendance is crucial to a student’s success, and even a minimal number of absences can have a serious impact on a student’s ability to achieve. When your child gets frustrated, please encourage them to continue to show up every day. Log into each class, complete daily assignments, and reach out for help when needed. Our teachers, advisors, and administrators are just an email or phone call away and are here to support our students and families.

Thank you for making NCVA a great place to work and learn.

In Partnership,

Lauren Acome

K12 Support 1-866-512-2273

Check out our full catalog of technical support resources at the bottom of this newsletter!

K12 Customer support is open 24/7 to provide assistance to our families.

Trouble Logging in?

  1. Clear cache and cookies weekly. Click HERE to find out how to use this common troubleshooting trick.
  2. Power off your computer nightly to allow for automatic system updates.

Important Dates

  • November 2nd-November 7th: Virtual B&N Bookfair

  • November 3rd: Election Day-Don't forget to vote!

  • November 5th: LC Mathematical Minds Event "Productive Struggle: It's OK to Make Mistakes"

  • November 6th: Virtual Adventure Day/Outing Events

  • November 11th: Veteran's Day-THANK YOU for your service! (School Closed)

  • November 13th: LC "College Readiness for MS Students"

  • November 13th: NHS Hosts HS Card Making Service Events

  • November 17th: LC Social Time

  • November 19th: HS Virtual Career Fair

  • November 20th: LC Speaker Event-"Addressing Various Learning Styles"

  • November 20th (Cont.): NHS Hosts K-8 Card Making Service Events

  • November 26th-27th: Thanksgiving Break (School Closed)

~Save the Date~

December 4th: Virtual Adventure Day/Outing Events

NCVA School Calendar SY 20-21

NCVA Spirit Store

Show your support by ordering some of the Official Merchandise of NCVA! New roll out of merchandise will occur in December 2020!

NCVA Family Directory SY 20-21

The NCVA Family Directory for SY 20-21 is here! This is a great opportunity for our families to socialize with one another in your local area. Participation is Optional.


Are you new to NCVA?

Week of Welcome (W.O.W.)

We have a number of families that will be joining us after the official first day of school. Our Student Support Team has some exciting activities planned to help you get on-boarded. Review school expectations, learn how to navigate the Online School , track/log attendance, and more

Log in early! W.O.W. sessions begin promptly on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. We look forward to meeting you!


  1. LOG-IN to the Online School-On your official start date (Wednesday @ 8:30 a.m.)
  2. Complete Online Learning Course (OLL)-All parts, 100%
  3. Attend W.O.W Sessions- REQUIRED for NEW families.
  4. READ all communication from Teachers and Advisors
  5. Complete NWEA Assessments as assigned on Thursday and Friday

*Working camera and microphone are required.

  • Read and review any course introductions or course syllabus
  • Organize your course materials
  • Set-up your workspace
  • Make contact with your Student Advisor

*See your Daily Plan for specific dates and times for W.O.W. Sessions and NWEA Assessments.

November Events

Virtual Bookfair 11/2-11/7

It's time again for our 3rd annual Barnes and Noble Bookfair! Visit BN.COM/bookfairs to support us online from 11/2/2020 to 11/7/2020 by entering Bookfair ID 12599577 at checkout or use the voucher at your local B&N store.

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National Honor Society Sponsoring...

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K12 Cares Service Project: Fighting Hunger

Did you know that over 16 million children and a total of over 48 million people in America struggle with hunger every year? We invite you to help bring awareness to this struggle with hunger and work together o bring an end to it. During these unprecedented times, students and their families can make a difference by collecting donations for a local pantry, making a meal for a neighbor, or hosting a food drive. Tell us how you are planning to make a difference this month on our NCVA Facebook Page using #FightingHunger #K12Cares

November is Native American Heritage Month

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NCVA Clubs SY 20-21

Though there is a brief delay with K12 National Clubs, NCVA has several school-based clubs. There is still time to join! Click this link to find out more about club offerings NCVA Clubs SY 20-21 . Please direct additional questions about school-based clubs to the appropriate Club Organizer listed.

K12 Clubs--Update 10/23/20

We're hard at work finalizing club offerings for the 2020–2021 school year. Please watch this page, school announcements, and newsletters for updates

Student and Family questions about K12 National Clubs & other National Programming may be directed to .

K12 National News

K12 National Newsletter

Please read the K12 Newsletter (November 2020) for updates from the National Team!

K12 Student ID Cards

Have you ever wanted to own a physical Student Identification Card for community discounts? The K12 site for ordering these has launched. Order yours today for a minimal fee that includes shipping at .

K12 Learning Liftoff Newsletter

For fun ideas for you and your children, subscribe to our Learning Liftoff newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Register here:

K12 "Walk to Class: Sessions

Walk to Class: "Set Up for Success" is a 60 minute session designed for new families to help prepare for the school year. Topics include expectations, involvement, sample schedules, veteran learning coach tips and organization.

Walk to Class: "Online School" is a 60 minute session designed for new families to introduce them to the Online School. Topics include resources in the Online School, features of the K12 App, accessing Class Connects, and the Introduction to Online Learning course.

Attendance Corner

Keys to Successful Attendance:

1. Attend all required LIVE Class Connect Sessions

2. Complete all lessons and assignments due for the day

3. Make up any over-due lessons

4. Manually log ALL attendance in the Learning Coach (LC) Account of OLS under the Attendance Tab

NCVA Annual Health Notification SY 20-21

Per NC State and K12 guidelines, NCVA is required to provide families important immunization and health information annually. Please review the NCVA Annual Health Notification SY 20-21 closely and save it for future reference.

Be sure to follow-up with your local health care provider or local health department with additional questions as it pertains to your student(s). We wish your family a happy and healthy school year!

Elementary School Updates

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We are so thankful for our NCVA community and their unique ability to inspire and teach our students. Every day, the learning coaches, teachers and staff create a culture of academic excellence! Together we will continue to do great things!


  • Check your email DAILY - This should be done multiple times a day.
  • Always check your class connect schedule in the morning when you log in.
  • Attend all "required" class connects. These are mandatory.
  • Log those PE/Health hours every week!
  • Participate – If you don’t like to talk on the mic, please answer in the chat box or use your polling tools. Let us know you are there and trying. If you will work for us, we will work for YOU!
  • Ask questions – Please, please ask questions. We need to know how we can help. For those of you that are shy about asking questions in class, please email us!
  • Keep that Tech Support number handy – If you have technical issues, call them! They’re available 24-7. Technical problems are not an excuse for not completing work. The number is 866.512.2273 – put it somewhere you can refer to it easily!
  • Save ALL of your passwords and important information somewhere you can find it. You MUST know your NCVA email, your Student ID Number, your Go Formative username and password (for this year, returning students!). Keep them all in one place so that you're not locked out when you have important things to do!
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Students are using IXL and enjoying it. IXL is a supplemental program that can be used for both Reading and Math. Teachers will be using IXL in class to support student learning, but we also ask that you encourage students to log in at home 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes. If you have not received your IXL log-in information, please reach out to your teacher immediately, as your students will not want to miss out on all of the fun!

You can now download the IXL app for Android phones and access the Continuous Diagnostic in the iPad app!

The IXL app makes learning even more immersive and intuitive, with interactive questions, handwriting recognition, and more. Download it today and help students expand their learning!

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Dates to Remember

  • November 2nd-5th: NC Check-In's / Interims
  • November 6th: Outing
  • November 11th: No School- Veteran's Day
  • November 26th and 27th- School Closed /Holiday

Middle School Updates

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November has arrived, and we are so thankful for each of our students, families, and staff at NCVA!

Below are a few tips we recommend for a successful month, some important dates for November, and a motivational quote from Katherine Johnson to help you succeed in this month of school! Be sure to also check out the Bitmoji classroom of the month: Ms. Oakley's 6th grade Math class!

Important Upcoming Dates

*See your Class Connect schedule in the Online School*

  • November 2nd-5th: NC Check-In's / Interims - Check your schedule for your Interim time(s). Be sure to have downloaded the App shared by Emily Brown via email.
  • November 6th: Virtual Outing/Community Building Day - No live classes, but you do have OMS work to complete!
  • November 11th: No School/Holiday - No live classes or required OMS work, but you have the option to use this day to catch up any missing work!
  • November 16th: NC Check-In's / Interims for Math I only- Check your schedule for your Interim time(s). Be sure to have downloaded the App shared by Emily Brown via email.
  • November 26th and 27th- No School/Holiday - No live classes or required OMS work, but you have the option to use this day to catch up any missing work!
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Tips for November:

  1. Establish a daily schedule - Set yourself a lunch break, PE & Health times, and time when you'll complete your independent work daily. Having a daily schedule beyond the times of your class connects will help you succeed as a student and later in your adult life! Check out this template to start a schedule that works for you!
  2. Volunteer in class - Raise your hand, write in the chat, or offer to help a classmate by volunteering your thinking. The more you participate and give your best effort, the more you will grow!
  3. Retake quizzes with low grades - Now that you've learned more in your classes, go back to previous quizzes to retake ones that have a retake available. Review the lessons, review your previous quiz attempts, and try again for a higher score! Check out this video that will help you navigate to finding low quiz grades & finding the quiz to retake.
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Bitmoji Classroom of the Month

Even though we don't have physical classrooms, many of our teachers have created virtual spaces that feel like a cozy, brick-and-mortar classroom. Check out Ms. Oakley's 6th grade Math classroom below!

Can you spot some of this teacher's favorite things by looking in her classroom?

-Ms. Oakley's old dog Tony Romo

-Her hot tea

-Pink, her happy color!

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Fall 2020 MS/HS Art & Talent Show

It's time again for our Fall event! Please see the attached pdf for details on how to enter.
  • Art & Talent Show: Friday, December 11th @ 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
  • SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Wednesday, December 9th @ 5:00 p.m.
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High School Updates


Please remember to check your email daily and to check your course plan and announcements every single day. This will help you to be successful.

Important Dates:

*Class Connections sessions will appear on the student's schedule in the Online School.*

  • No School Veterans Day November11th
  • No School 26th and 27th (Thanksgiving Break)
  • SAVE THE DATE: HS Career Fair on November 19th from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

National Honors Society Updates:

Potential candidates must maintain 3.5 GPA or better, be in 10th grade, and have been with us for at least 1 semester. Invites will be sent in mid-January. Any questions, contact Dr. Kourtsounis at


High School Counseling Team

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Special Programs Updates

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How long have you been with NCVA? 4 years

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Where do you live now? Winston-Salem, NC

Educational Background (degrees/years of experience): I am a second career teacher. I did not go back to pursue my teaching license until I was 40 years old. I obtained teaching degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education at Salem College and I have been teaching for 8 years (2 years as a teacher assistant in an EC classroom while completing my degrees and 6 years as an EC lead teacher).

What are you doing when you're not working? My husband and I have three children (Tyler - 18, Carson-17, Avery - 15) who keep us very busy. My boys play college and high school football at their respective schools and my daughter is a competitive dancer, as well as a member of the dance team at her high school.

What is your favorite food? Italian and Seafood

What is your favorite book? The Reason I Jump

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you travel and why? Croatia

What is your go to restaurant? Fratellis Italian Steakhouse (in Winston-Salem, NC)

What is your go to late at night snack? Ice Cream

Do you have a hidden talent? If so what is it? Unfortunately, no - but I really wish I did!

What is the best thing about working at NCVA? The privilege to work with the incredible students, families, and staff we have here at NCVA

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How long have you been with NCVA? 5 years

Hometown: Medina, OH

Where do you live now? Tega Cay, SC

Educational Background (degrees/years of experience): Bachelor's in Business Administration, Master's in K-12 Special Education, 7 years teaching special education.

What are you doing when you're not working? Working out, Activities with my family

What is your favorite food? Tacos!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you travel and why? Germany, because my husband is German and has family over in Germany.

What is your go to restaurant? Mexican

What is your go to late at night snack? Popcorn or Chocolate!

What is the best thing about working at NCVA? The ability to work with amazing teachers and students across the state of North Carolina.

NCVA Student Support Team

Strong Start...Strong Finish!

The Student Support Team would like to encourage all of our families to finish Quarter 1 strong! Student Advisors are reaching out to check-in on you. Please be on the look-out for our calls, e-mails, and texts. Be sure to reach out to us as well if you have questions. We are looking forward to connecting with you!

Meet your Student Support Team

Lea King, Student Support Administrator

Aimee Hanna, Student Attendance Specialist

Paige Adams, Student Resource Coordinator

Jillian Davenport, Community Engagement Specialist

Whitney Cress, K-8 Counselor

Student Support Advisors :

K-5: Amy Baker, Rebekah Logan, Allison Mosley, Nkechi Orabuchi-Fluker, Jevonda Perkins, and Katie Szostak

6-8: Brittany Bonardi, Tiffany Carson, Kristen Herd, and Danielle Smithers.

9-12: Marah Barrow, Debbie DeLoach, Karie Shuler, and Jennifer Triplett

NCVA Learning Coach Development

Check out the full list of activities planned just for Learning Coaches this fall! Don't forget to scroll down to the "Learning Coach Central" section of the newsletter for more details about offerings this month. We hope to see you there!

  • LC Speaker Series
  • LC Social Time
  • LC Mathematical Minds Series-Supporting your student in Math with confidence!
  • LC Support Group-Social Emotional Learning
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K-8 Counselor: Whitney Cress

Hello all! My name is Whitney Cress, and I am the Elementary and Middle School Counselor. Please never hesitate to reach out for support!

Your students will see me during our monthly Beacon Times, where we will focus on a Social Emotional Learning topic. I also offer counseling small groups throughout the school year, so be on the lookout for my emails! I am looking forward to an amazing year!

Also, take notice of our student services website packed with a tremendous amount of helpful community, academic, social and emotional resources.

Whitney Cress

919-346-0121 ext. 2113

Beacon Time!

Monthly Beacon Times are offered to further develop students' social and emotional skills. These assemblies will be offered each month during the school year. We look forward to seeing you there starting in September!

K-2 Beacon Time (Nov 2nd @ 2:00):

  • Thankfulness

3-5 Beacon Time (Nov 10 @ 2:00):

  • Thankfulness and Appreciation

MS Beacon Time (Nov 23 @ 2:00):

  • Problem-Solving

HS Beacon Time (Nov 17 @ 2:00):

  • Problem-Solving

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Social Emotional Groups

Middle School Groups

Light Keepers (Anxiety and Depression)

Offers a chance for students to connect and support one other around shared struggles with anxiety and depression. Groups will explore topics such as triggers, positive self-talk, distorted thinking, social connectedness, and conquering fears. Students will be given opportunities for discussion.

· Meets 1x a month Oct-April

· Sign-up here! LightKeepers Depression/Anxiety Group Sign-up SY2021

High School Groups

Light Keepers (Anxiety and Depression)

Offers a chance for students to connect and support one other around shared struggles with anxiety and depression. Groups will explore topics such as triggers, positive self-talk, distorted thinking, social connectedness, and conquering fears. Students will be given opportunities for discussion.

· Meets 1x a month Oct-April

· Sign-up here! LightKeepers Depression/Anxiety Group Sign-up SY2021

Learning Coach Support Group

Parenting Children with Mental Health Needs Support Group

Many parents never suspect their child would be struggling with mental health disorders and coaching their child through difficult symptoms. Many times, mental health can shape the family’s way of life. But—NCVA parents are not alone. Many of our students are diagnosed with a variety of mental health difficulties and are enrolled at NCVA because they are more comfortable and thrive in a virtual setting. Parents can benefit from the support and time to connect with other families undergoing the same hurdles and successes.

· Meets 1x a month for 45 minutes

· Times will be on your LC CC Schedule (no need to register)

· Dates:

o October 14 @ 9:00 am: Addressing & Managing Behaviors

o November 4 @ 9:00 am: Encouraging Healthy Social Connectedness

o December 2 @ 9:00 am: Self-Care/Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family

NCVA provides McKinney-Vento/Homeless support to qualifying students

You may be eligible for assistance through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Below is the definition of what qualifies a family to be considered eligible for supports and services.

According to section 725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11434a(2)), the term “homeless children and youths”—

(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and

(B) includes—

(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals.

(ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

(iv) migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

Children and youth are considered homeless if they fit both Part A and any one of the sub-parts of Part B of the definition above.

If you feel you may qualify or if you have any questions, please contact Paige Adams, Homeless Liaison & Family Resource Coordinator, at or at 919-346-0121 ext. 2030.


Check out various resources available as we transition through these critical times together. Both links are living documents featuring regular updates.

Specific by region, including assistance with food, finances, utilities, etc.

Social and educational resources for your children.

Crisis Support:

· Text support: Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime, about any type of crisis (including COVID19, self harm, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation) and get connected with a trained crisis counselor.

· National Suicide Hotline number is 800-273-TALK (8255), there is also a chat option on their website, .

· As always, call 911 with any life-threatening emergencies, including thoughts or plans of suicide and self-harm.

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Christmas Assistance

As the holidays approach, we recognize that this year may be exceptionally difficult for many families as they consider the financial burden of purchasing gifts. Several agencies throughout the state provide holiday assistance, however, most have applications and deadlines well in advance of Christmas. Please be thinking now about whether you would like to apply for help. Check out the links below to explore several agencies that offer support. Many operate their programs locally so reach out to your local agency office for more information about deadlines and how to apply.

Learning Coach Central

NCDHSS-Childcare Resource

Are you looking for childcare resources? Please read this flyer from the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Call 1-888-600-1685 to speak with a representative about care for a school aged-child. #StayStrongNC

LC Volunteers Needed!

Attention Learning Coaches

Want to get more involved? There are many exciting opportunities to participate and share your unique skills. Let us know more about your interests. Please complete the VOLUNTEER SURVEY to join our team.

*Background Checks are required for all school volunteers.

Social Media

Please take advantage of opportunities to connect with the K12 and NCVA communities online and social media, via:

NCVA Facebook:

If you have not already, take a few moments to review our school on the NCVA Facebook page. Share your experience with others by clicking on the "Review" tab. This is a great way to make friends and connect with other NCVA families.

NCVA Twitter:
NCVA Instagram:

K12 Learning Coach Cafe:

K12 Learn Latino FB Page (in Spanish):

K12 NEW Learning Coaches :

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Directions to Join a Regional Parent Group

Want to connect with other NCVA families near your area? Join an RPG today!

  1. E-mail the Regional Parent Group where you reside. Find your county on the map.
  2. Include your Name, County, Student(s)' Name(s), Grade Level(s), and Phone Number.

ATTENTION Returning Members:

To ensure all rosters are up to date, RPG Teams are requesting that RETURNING MEMBERS also contact them to update their current contact information. Thank you for your cooperation.

Region 1 Coming soon!

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5

Region 6

Region 7/8 *NEW*

PLEASE NOTE: The Regional Parent Groups are comprised of Learning Coaches. They do NOT have access to student information. Please contact your student's Homeroom or Content Area Teacher(s) for academic questions.

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Tallo: Digital Resume

Tallo is a unique digital resource that allows students to showcase their talents and skills. Share your accomplishments and even link videos. Find out more by reading the attachment below!

K12 Customer Support & Videos 1-866-512-2273

Do you need help installing a K12 printer or enabling Flash content in Firefox? Or do you need to know how to configure audio for a Class Connect? Check out our new easy-to-follow Technical Support videos that will walk you through these steps and more at:

  • K12 App: Download HERE

Having trouble logging in to the OLS? Is OLS navigation slow? Try clearing your browser cache and cookies.
As of July 2020, the recommended browser when using the K12 Online School platforms, for all grade levels, is Google Chrome.

If you are your online classes using Chrome, we recommend installing the Flash Enabler extension which will enable and save Flash settings for your classes. Please refer to Enabling Flash in Chrome for a step-by-step guide to enabling Flash in Chrome.

Zoom App

Sometimes, staff will schedule sessions in Blackboard, then re-direct students or Learning Coaches to a Zoom room for a more interactive experience. Never miss a Zoom session again! Be sure to download the Zoom app to your computer.


Box Tops for Education

As a public school, NCVA is able to participate in Box Tops for Education by General Mills. As you shop and purchase normal, everyday products such as food, storage, paper products, and cleaning supplies our school may now earn credit using Box Tops mobile app.

  • For a limited time, you may also bring physical box tops with you to an outing or mail them to the school address attention Carrie Daniel.

Please address any additional questions to our coordinator Carrie Daniel ( Thank you for your support!

UPDATE Your Contact Information

Please ensure your phone number and e-mail are up to date in the OLS under your LC Account.

  • Change of Address: Proof of Residence (utility bill, lease, home owner's statement) is required to update your physical address. Please e-mail the information to the Registrar at

Contact Information

North Carolina Virtual Academy

4220 NC HWY 55, Suite 130

Durham, NC 27713

Phone: 919-346-0121

Fax: 919-324-6597


K12 Customer Support: 1-866-512-2273