NCVA Beacon Herald

January 2021

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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

Greetings NCVA Community,

As we begin a new semester, I would like to wish a very Happy New Year from our NCVA Family! I trust you had a wonderful winter break. As we celebrate this new year, it is always a great time for looking back to the past, but more importantly, looking forward to the coming year. It is a time to reflect on the changes we want, or need, to make and resolve to follow through on those changes.

As you may have heard, the parent company of NCVA has recently changed its corporate name from K12 to Stride, Inc. This change reflects our company’s continued growth, regardless of a student’s age or location, and highlights our company’s commitment to lifelong learning from kindergarten through adulthood.

Whether you are just getting started with us or have been around for many years, please know that this name change does not change any of the education or support we provide for your child(ren) from the North Carolina Virtual Academy. Our school will continue to provide the same great education, curriculum, and materials you have received from us since your NCVA journey began. And because we support lifelong learning, we can strengthen our high school curriculum to better prepare kids for colleges and careers and give them options for learning beyond high school.

For now, there is nothing for you to do. Eventually, the brand and logo you see, and even our email address, may change. We will communicate those changes with you as they happen.

If you have any questions, please contact the school at (919) 346-0121. And thank you for all your continued support for NCVA.

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

  • December 21st-January 1st: Winter Break (School Closed)

  • *January 4th: WELCOME BACK! 1st Day of Spring Semester

  • January 4th: HS Spring Open House @ 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

  • *January 5th: Teacher Workday (Lessons due in Online School)

  • January 5th: HS NWEA Exams (Req. Camera & Mic)

  • January 6th: NEW Students begin W.O.W. Sessions

  • January 8th: LC Speaker Event: "Self Care"

  • January 15th: Virtual Adventure Day/Outing Events

  • January 18th: MLK Holiday (School Closed)

  • January 19th-January 20th: NWEA Exams K-8 (Req. Camera & Mic)

  • January 24th-January 30th: National School of Choice Week

*January 4th-January 5th are Teacher Workdays. Returning Students : Lessons are assigned in the Online School, but no live CCs. NEW students: Log-in, set-up workspace, and follow instructions from your Advisors. HS students will participate in Spring Open House and NWEA Testing. Please follow your OLS plan.

~Save the Date~

February 12th: Virtual Adventure Day/Outing Events

NCVA School Calendar SY 20-21

NCVA Spirit Store

Final Shirt Rollout will be happening in March 2021. Stay Tuned!

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.


NCVA Website

If you haven't already, please bookmark our NCVA website! There are many great resources for our families including a detailed staff directory. Check it out today!

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.

January Events

Stride Serves Service Project:

During the month of January, students and staff are invited to participate in a variety of service activities to honor the memory of Dr. King and to answer his question, "what are you doing for others?"

While the COVID-19 pandemic has made volunteering in a group-setting a little difficult, these are just a few ways that you can make a difference in your community.

•Help clean up a neighborhood park

•Deliver meals or groceries to vulnerable seniors

•Organize a used clothing/toy drive

•Find a local volunteer opportunity based on your interests

Use hastag #StrideServes

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NCVA Celebrates School Choice 2021!

*Thank the special individuals in your life for making your school choice a reality. Additional activities TBA via e-mail.*

Monday: Celebrate our Classmates

Tuesday: Celebrate our Learning Coaches

Wednesday: Yellow Day (Color of NSCW)

Thursday: Celebrate our Teachers/Staff

Friday: We are NCVA! -Wear School Shirt or Blue & White

Thank YOU for choosing NCVA!


NCVA Clubs SY 20-21

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

Check out the *NEW* K12 Clubs Smore HERE!

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

K12 National News

K12 National Newsletter *Update*

Please read the K12 Newsletter January 2021 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

Elementary School Updates

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Welcome Back

Happy New Year and welcome back! I hope each of you had a restful and meaningful time with your family and friends during the winter break. As we begin the new year together, we want all of our students to be successful. They can be successful by attending all CC sessions, perseverance, reaching out to their teachers for support and working hard! The staff at NCVA are thankful for the opportunity to work with your family. You are the reason we are here.

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Progress Reports

Progress Reports will be sent out soon. Please be on the look out for your student’s progress reports in the emails we have on file for you. If you do not receive a copy by January 15th, please reach out to your homeroom teacher.

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Dates to Remember

· January 4th: Quarter #3 begins

· January 4th and 5th Teacher Workday

· January 6th: Curriculum Night will be a recording. Please look for this on your daily plan on 1/6

· January 15th: Progress Reports Sent Home

· January 15th: Virtual Outing

· January 18th: No School- MLK Jr. Day

· January 19th-22nd: NWEA Testing


  • 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!

Middle School Updates

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Below are a few tips we recommend for a successful start to second semester, some important dates for January, and a motivational quote from artist Frida Kahlo to inspire you to succeed this month of school!

January has arrived, and with it comes a new semester, and fresh start to most OMS courses!

Below are a few tips we recommend for a successful month, some important dates for January, and a motivational quote from artist Frida Kahlo to help you succeed in this month of school! Be sure to also check out the Bitmoji classroom of the month: Ms. Womble & Ms. King's 8th grade ELA class!

Important Upcoming Dates this Month

· January 4th: Quarter #3 begins

· January 4th and 5th Teacher Workday- No live CCs, but OMS work may be assigned

· January 15th: Progress Reports Sent Home

· January 15th: Virtual Outing

· January 18th: No School- MLK Jr. Day

· January 19th-22nd: NWEA Testing

*See your Class Connect schedule in the Online School for daily schedule*

~Save the Date~

February 4th: Mini-Career Explorations Fair

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Begin working in Part B of your courses in January (excludes electives & 8th Science)!

With a new semester, most of your courses will start fresh. Use this time to have a strong start to a new semester by following the tips below.

  • Plan ahead: Check your CC schedule & OMS work for the week so you can plan when you will complete your OMS assignments after attending classes. This video helps you see how to view your schedule in week view to make a plan:
  • Attend and Participate in all live Class Connect Sessions: These are required, per our school handbook. Be sure to let your teacher know that you are present by using the polling tools, chat box, or speaking on the microphone.

  • Ask Questions: Students and Learning Coaches are encouraged to ask questions in class and/or send an e-mail to their teachers if you need clarification on directions for assignments. It's better to ask for help right away then wait until it's too late!
  • Know Your Info: SAVE school information in a safe place for easy access. Know your NCVA e-mail address, Your Student ID Number, and passwords for various accounts. Don’t forget to write down the names of your student’s Homeroom Teacher and Advisor in case you need to contact the school.
  • K12 Customer Support: 1-866-512-2273 SAVE this number in your phone and keep it visible on your refrigerator or in your work area for quick reference. We all need technical assistance from time to time!

Motivational Figure of the Month

Frida Kahlo overcame adversity and dark periods in her life to be a successful artist and later activist. Read the motivational quote below to inspire you for a new semester!

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Want to know more about Frida Kahlo? Search her name in the Big Universe Library from your OMS homepage for the great biography, "Frida Kahlo: Artist & Activist," or click here to learn more about (readings, videos, paintings, & photos).

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. Womble & Ms. King's 8th grade ELA Bitmoji classroom below! Can you spot the 8th grade readings in their classroom? What other fun things do you notice?

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National Junior Honor Society

Invitations for qualifying students to apply will go out in January. Minimum qualifications to be invited to apply are as follows:

  1. Current 6th or 7th grader
  2. 3.0 GPA
  3. Student has attended NCVA at least one full semester

Additional questions may be directed to Ms. Crystal Shepherd at .

High School Updates

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January 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.*

  • January 4th-1st Day of Semester & Spring Open House
  • January 18th no school -Holiday

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 Year Book Update

2021 Essay Contest Now Open

The BJCs 2021 Annual essay contest is now open to High School Juniors and Seniors. "The annual Religious Liberty Essay Scholarship Contest engages high school students in church-state issues by directing them to express a point of view on a religious liberty topic."

The submission deadline is March 26, 2021 for those interested in participating.

Click HERE for more details.

High School Counseling Team

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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!

Special Programs Updates

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How long have you been with NCVA? 1 year

Hometown: Hatboro, Pennsylvania

Where do you live now? Concord, North Carolina

Educational Background (degrees/years of experience): Bachelor's of Science in Elementary and Special Education/6 years

What are you doing when you're not working? Enjoying family time with my husband, my son and our two dogs.

What is your favorite food? French Fries

What is your favorite book? Tuesdays with Morrie

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you travel and why? Europe as I would love to see where my ancestors came from.

What is your go to restaurant? Chick-fil-A

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

Do you have a hidden talent? If so what is it? I danced from the time I was 2 through 20.

What is the best thing about working at NCVA? The support that is given to teachers from families and school staff.

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How long have you been with NCVA? 1 year

Hometown: Kings Mountain

Where do you live now? Blacksburg SC

Educational Background (degrees/years of experience): Bachelor's Degree/ 6 Years

What are you doing when you're not working? When I'm not working you can find me with my family enjoying some quality time or with a camera in my hand running a wedding photography business.

What is your favorite food? Steak

What is your favorite book? This is a hard one... so many. My favorite lately is probably Where the Crawdads Sing

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you travel and why? Alaska! I really want to see the Northern Lights.

What is your go to restaurant? Sake

What is your go to late at night snack? Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you have a hidden talent? If so what is it? umm I can juggle... sort of..

What is the best thing about working at NCVA? The people. I have never felt so supported. It has also pushed me to be a better teacher!

NCVA Student Support Team

Strong Start...Strong Finish!

Happy New Year! The first day of the Spring Semester is Monday, January 4th. Be sure to check your Class Connect schedule for any updates. Also, read your class announcements for instructions from your teachers. Be on the look-out from a check-in from your student's Advisor as well. The Student Support Team would like to wish each of our families a great start to the new year. Please reach out if we may assist you!

Meet your Student Support Team

Lea King, Student Support Administrator

Laura Zuber, 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, Brittany Carson, Rebekah Logan, Allison Mosley, Nkechi Orabuchi-Fluker, Jevonda Perkins, and Katie Szostak

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

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

NCVA Learning Coach Development

Be on the look-out for more activities planned just for Learning Coaches this Spring! Don't forget to scroll down to the "Learning Coach Central" section of the Beacon Herald Newsletter for more details about offerings this month. We hope to see you there!

  • LC Speaker Series
  • LC Support Group-Social Emotional Learning

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 by our school counselor and student resource coordinator. We look forward to seeing you there!

K-2 Beacon Time (Jan 7th @ 2:00):

  • Dealing with Feelings

3-5 Beacon Time (Jan 14th @ 2:00):

  • The POWER of Positivity!

MS Beacon Time (Jan 18 @ 2:00):

  • Motivation

HS Beacon Time (Jan 19 @ 12:30):

  • Motivation

LC Beacon Time (Podcast released the first week of January via email)

  • Is it Time to Ask for Help?
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Social Emotional Groups

Middle School Group(s)

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 Group(s)

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)

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.

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!


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.

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 :

*New* LC Community via the K12 App

Connect with NCVA families directly from the K12 app! Learn about the LC Community HERE. Join the NCVA LC Community by downloading the K12 App to your mobile device and log-in with your LC credentials.
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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.

NCVA LC Speaker Events (Recordings)

It's been a busy school year! Perhaps you are new to NCVA or missed some of our earlier LC events. Check out the LC seminars that we offered earlier in the year. Click HERE to access recordings!


· “Mathematical Minds” Series

· “Supporting Exceptional Learners”

· “Addressing Various Learning Styles”

· “Social Media & Online Safety” and more…

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. Thank you for your support!

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

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