Vlacs Benefits

Jesse Court, PaperClip Staff/Writer

Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, VLACS, is becoming a new way for students to earn the credits that they need to graduate, by offering flexible schedules, different courses, and more. Portsmouth High School utilizes VLACS in the learning lab, which is in the school library. 

Tom Peiffer is in charge of the learning lab and views his role as more of a coach than a teacher, as he keeps everyone on track, and helps them not forget to do assignments. 

Peiffer says that he sees many people take VLACS to get out of the “block system”, or to have a freer schedule. He says that “VLACS requires a lot of focus and discipline” and also thinks that many kids have trouble staying focused and on track.

VLACS opened to students in January 2008, and 700 students were enrolled. Last year there was an average of 141 students enrolled from PHS in VLACS each quarter. This year so far an average of 135 students are enrolled. 68 of the current students that are enrolled in VLACS use the Learning Lab to take their VLACS classes, while the others take VLACS off campus.

Renee Martin, a junior at PHS, says that she retook a class that she had already taken in school because she knew she could get a better grade in that class. Isabella Price, another PHS junior, has no room for a math class in her schedule because she just transferred here, so she had to take it through VLACS.

VLACS is a flexible and new way of learning and “offers over 300 K through 12th grade and adult education level courses of which many are not available at PHS,” according to Peiffer. VLACS also grants students access to college level courses “by the likes of the Community College System of NH, SNHU or UNH” continued Pieffer.