About Us

About iHigh Virtual Academy

iHigh Virtual Academy is a tuition-free public high school offering students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma primarily online. All core courses and many elective courses are University of CA a-g approved for UC/CSU Admissions. Credentialed teachers are on campus daily to provide student assistance and progress monitoring, either face-to-face or online. Students complete coursework in a much more flexible, self-directed manner than in a traditional classroom. For student athletes, all core courses are NCAA-approved for Division I and Division II eligibility.

Program Pathways:

Self-Paced Program - this is our traditional independent study blended/online program that focuses on students in grades 9-12.

Live Instruction Virtual Program - this is our new independent study blended/online program that includes live virtual instruction everyday with in-person learning opportunities, and focuses on students in grades K-12.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is blended/online learning? 

Blended/online learning refers to courses offered via the Internet, some of which include a face-to-face component due to state or district requirements. The main difference between online and traditional courses is the delivery format - not the content. iHigh's online courses follow a rigorous curriculum, are Board-approved, and are taught by highly-qualified, credentialed iHigh teachers who are specially trained in online teaching and learning. Here are a few highlights of online learning:

Is online learning right for you? 

Students learn in different ways and at different rates. Some students enjoy listening to lectures, others enjoy working in small groups. Some students learn best working independently, while others learn best within the interactions of a traditional classroom. Online/blended learning tends to work best for the following types of students:

Where is iHigh located? 

Our campus is located in the Old Town area of San Diego. Our address is: 3939 Conde Street, San Diego, 92110. We are located on the lower level of Ballard Parent Center (formerly Fremont Elementary), in the former Old Town Historical Program buildings. The entrance to our parking lot is at the intersection of Congress and Conde streets. The Old Town transit center (bus and trolley) is about a three-block walk from our campus. 

Is iHigh Virtual Academy a charter school? 

No. iHigh is a blended/online independent study high school within the San Diego Unified School District. We are a regular district high school with the same graduation requirements and accreditation requirements. What makes us different is that the curriculum delivery is a combination of online and face-to-face, and the format is independent study (rather than required daily seat time). 

Is iHigh Virtual Academy a "school of choice"? 

Yes. iHigh is a school of choice, meaning that interested students must submit an application and attend an admissions interview in order to be accepted. We accept student throughout the year, not just between Nov. 15 and Feb. 15. The admissions process allows applicants to understand the CA Education Code requirements for independent study, as well as to discuss important factors related to successful online learning and student goals. If students are accepted to iHigh but then fail to meet the program requirements (as outlined in the iHigh Admissions Agreement), they will be referred back to their schools of residence, as per CA Ed Code requirements. iHigh does not currently have a waiting list for fulltime students. 

Are iHigh courses offered 100% online? 

Some yes and some no. iHigh is a blended/online program, which means that certain courses require a face-to-face component in order to meet state, district and University of CA requirements. For example, science courses require weekly hands-on labs. Courses such as Theatre, Journalism, Art, and Student Government meet weekly or bi-weekly on campus. Intervention programs for students testing below grade level also require weekly campus attendance. Some courses (e.g., English, history, and some electives) are completed mostly online. All online courses require at least two proctored exams, which must be taken on campus. 

Is fulltime iHigh enrollment open to any high school student? 

Legally, fulltime iHigh enrollment is open to any high school student (grades 9-12) who resides in San Diego, Imperial, Orange or Riverside counties. Logistically, because students need to come to campus for certain courses and proctored exams, most of our students reside within San Diego County. About 90% of fulltime iHigh students reside within San Diego Unified District boundaries. About 10% of fulltime students attend iHigh on an interdistrict transfer from another school district. Please note: An admissions interview is required to determine whether online independent study is an appropriate option for each student applicant. 

Is part-time iHigh enrollment available? 

Part-time enrollment (called "dual enrollment") is only available to students who are currently enrolled in a San Diego Unified high school. San Diego Unified students who are interested in dual enrollment should initiate this process with their high school counselor. No application is needed for SDUSD students seeking dual enrollment. Part-time enrollment (inpidual courses) is not available for charter school or other out-of-district students, due to legal considerations. 

Does iHigh accept special needs students for fulltime enrollment? 

Yes, when appropriate for the student.

IEPs: For current SDUSD students with active IEPs, there are legal requirements related to independent study programs. An IEP meeting must be held with an iHigh staff member in attendance, to determine whether the iHigh program is an appropriate option for the student. The IEP team must consider whether the iHigh program has the capacity to meet the student's needs and accommodations, given that there are no special education teachers or school nurses on the iHigh staff. The student's case manager needs to be retained at the student's school of residence. Services such as Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI) need to be arranged at the school of residence. Some accommodations may not be available within the limitations of an online independent study program. If the IEP team agrees that the iHigh program is an appropriate option for meeting the student's needs, then the IEP document must reflect approval for independent study, as per CA Education Code requirements.

Students with active IEPs who are new to the district must first enroll at their school of residence for a 30-day interim assessment prior to consideration for enrollment in the iHigh program.

504 Plans: 504 plans are typically reviewed with the family as part of the iHigh admissions interview. In most cases, we are able to accommodate student needs related to 504 plans. iHigh does not have a school nurse or health technician, so certain accommodations (such as administering medications) may not be possible.

Does iHigh accept special needs students for part-time (dual) enrollment? 

The school counselors make enrollment decisions for dual enrollment students. The counselors should consider each student's ability to be successful in an online independent study program. Success factors include being self-directed, self-motivated, able to follow a pacing guide (calendar of due dates), able to read/write at least at a ninth-grade level, and proficient enough using email to maintain ongoing online communications with the iHigh teacher. The school counselor should provide a copy of a student's IEP or 504 plan to the iHigh counselor. 

How much does it cost to attend iHigh? 

Since iHigh is an SDUSD public high school, there is no charge for students to attend. Textbooks and other required equipment are available via checkout. As with most public schools, families are legally responsible for the cost or replacing lost or damaged textbooks or equipment. Some senior graduation activities are optional and may incur an extra cost. Advanced Placement and PSAT exams are optional and incur a registration fee. 

Is transportation available to the iHigh campus? 

There is no district transportation (e.g., SDUSD bus service) available for iHigh. However, the iHigh campus is located about three blocks away from the Old Town transit center (bus and trolley), making our campus accessible via public transportation from many neighborhoods throughout San Diego County. Free parking in our campus parking lot is available for students/parents who drive to campus. 

Are iHigh courses UC a-g approved? 

All iHigh core courses and many iHigh elective courses are UC a-g approved, which means they are accepted for University of CA (UC) and CA State University (CSU) admissions. iHigh's UC a-g list is available on the UC a-g web site. 

Are iHigh courses NCAA approved? 

Most iHigh core courses are approved by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to meet NCAA eligibility requirements. iHigh's NCAA course list is available at: http://www.eligibilitycenter.com

Is iHigh WASC-accredited? 

Yes, iHigh is WASC-accredited through spring 2025. The iHigh program participated in a comprehensive WASC/CDE self-study and campus visitation during the 2018-19 school year. We received the full 6-year term of accreditation as a result of the WASC Committee review. (WASC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges; CDE: California Department of Education) 

What if a student gets stuck in doing the coursework or needs to talk to a teacher? 

iHigh teachers are actively involved in student instruction. Teachers are available on campus from 8 AM to 3:05 PM each school day. Students may "drop in" to the iHigh classroom during school hours, to get assistance or to take proctored exams. Students who wish to meet with a specific teacher are encouraged to make an appointment, to ensure that the teacher is available. Students also have access to iHigh teachers and support staff through phone, email and sometimes instant messaging. 

Does iHigh provide an official transcript for courses taken? 

Upon completion, iHigh courses are automatically posted to the student's San Diego Unified transcript. Non-SDUSD students who complete iHigh summer courses must request an official transcript, if needed. 

Does iHigh offer summer courses? 

The San Diego Unified School District offers credit recovery courses during the summer program, with options for attending 5-6 district, high school campuses to conduct face-to-face, proctored exams. Information on each year's selected high schools is usually available in mid-February. 

Additional questions? Please email us at: ihigh@sandi.net