The Sage Oak Blog: Personalized Learning Academy vs. Virtual Learning Academy

The Sage Oak Blog: Personalized Learning Academy vs. Virtual Learning Academy

Sage Oak proudly offers two learning programs to all students in grades K-12. The Personalized Learning and Virtual Learning Academies provide unique educational experiences for Southern California students and families offering a balance of flexible student schedules and an academic standard of excellence. Sage Oak is a non-classroom-based, tuition-free public charter school.

What are the differences between the Personalized Learning Academy and Virtual Learning Academy and which one is the best fit for your family? 

Read below to find out more about the two academies offered here at Sage Oak.

What is Sage Oak’s K-8 Personalized Learning Academy?

Meet Chelsey Anema, Sage Oak K-8 Personalized Learning Principal

Sage Oak uniquely developed the Personalized Learning Academy (PLA) with flexibility in mind. The PLA follows an independent study model and offers a variety of curriculum options for K-8 students. Students can learn at their own pace with the guidance of our credentialed teachers. Within this academy, teachers partner with parents to provide a personalized learning plan for each individual student that best suits their educational and emotional needs.

How do our teachers serve our students? 

Students are guided by credentialed teachers who meet with them regularly in person, one-on-one to assign and collect work, assess progress toward grade-level standards, and offer further personalized guidance to ensure academic excellence.

What engagement opportunities are available? 

Personalized Learning Academy students are able to attend field trips locally throughout Southern California to art and history museums, science centers, California missions, and many more educational places! 

Sage Oak offers both in-person socials, a Living History Day, and virtual events such as STEM Day, a talent show, a spelling bee, and more where they can interact with other Sage Oak students, families, and staff.


What does the Personalized Learning Academy provide to enrolled students? 

Instructional funds can be used to attend classes with our community providers. New in 2022-23, credentialed Sage Oak teachers will teach core subject courses and enrichment courses for students in grades K-8 through our Oakschool platform. Course schedules, information, and sign-ups will be announced this August!

What is the K-8 Virtual Learning Academy?

Meet Lana Gadea, K-8 Virtual Learning Academy Principal

In the 2021-22 school year, Sage Oak expanded our program offerings by piloting our Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) for K-8 students as a way to bridge the gap between classroom-based and independent study schooling. In 2022-23 the VLA program seeks to double enrollment. 

Our VLA program offers students three days of virtual instruction and two days of independent study. Students are assigned a credentialed, grade-level teacher who is responsible for assigning work and grading. Students meet with their grade-level teachers in a virtual classroom setting with other students in their grade three days each week. Teachers offer office hours during independent study days if needed. The VLA is a perfect option for families new to an independent study, virtual learning program, or families interested in more hands-on, interactive, and daily guidance for their students.

How do teachers serve our students? 

Credentialed VLA teachers teach live classes three days a week, offer optional live, virtual enrichment clubs, live office hours during independent study days, and assign and grade work while tracking student progress. Teachers use a variety of grade-level-appropriate curricula and project-based learning techniques to encourage student collaboration.

What engagement opportunities are available? 

There are many engagement opportunities within the VLA. Aside from meeting virtually with their teacher and students within their grade three days a week, virtual academy students also have the opportunity to attend monthly virtual assemblies and virtual academy enrichment classes. Each year, the VLA also offers in-person grade-level field trips. New in 2022-23, students will have the opportunity to participate in Oakschool enrichment courses alongside PLA students. 


What does the VLA provide to enrolled students? 

Our Virtual Learning Academy is a dynamic blend of hands-on, project-based learning and digital curriculum. Students are provided with all the necessary curriculum, technology, and materials at no cost. Instructional funds are not provided to students enrolled in the VLA.

Sage Oak’s High School Program

Meet Traci King, Sage Oak High School Principal

Sage Oak High School students in grades 9-12 are provided with bountiful opportunities to prepare them for college and future careers. Our credentialed Education Advisors prepare a four-year learning plan for their students to keep them focused and on track for graduation with the ultimate goal being to help students find their passion while preparing them for life after high school.

The Personalized Learning Academy for high school offers an independent study model. Students have the opportunity to take courses with a textbook and syllabus at home or with approved community providers. In addition, students can take virtual Sage Oak High School courses a la carte. The High School Virtual Academy program offers live online courses for students in grades 9-12. Live courses meet once a week (twice a week for Algebra). 

While the typical day-to-day schedule may look different for high school students, depending on individual needs and personalized learning plans, all high school students are given tailored support for college and career readiness. This includes the opportunity to participate in a College and Career Seminar Series which offers college tours, counseling services, career-focused field trips, virtual job shadowing, guided support for the FAFSA and scholarship application processes, college applications, and life after high school.

Join us at our Prospective Parent 101 Webinar to learn more about Sage Oak’s Personalized Learning Academy and Virtual Learning Academy. Chat live with our principals and ask your questions about enrollment and more! Click here to register.