About Overview

Video Introduction to iHigh - See what students and teachers are saying about the iHigh program. (6:30)

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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 pision I and pision II eligibility.

Who May Apply?

  • Fulltime students in grades 9 through 12 who live within San Diego Unified School District boundaries
  • Fulltime students in grades 9 through 12 who live outside San Diego Unified district boundaries but obtain an interdistrict transfer permit from their current district office. Due to the blended/online nature of the iHigh program, most iHigh students reside in San Diego County. iHigh may legally enroll fulltime students who reside in San Diego, Orange, Imperial or Riverside Counties.
  • Students in grades 9-12 who currently attend a San Diego Unified high school and wish to take an online course through dual enrollment. No application is required for dual enrollment. Approval must go through the student's counselor.
  • Students with IEPs who currently attend a San Diego Unified high school may be eligible, pending approval by the IEP team.
  • Students currently attending high school outside of San Diego Unified district are not eligible to enroll in single iHigh courses. An interdistrict transfer and application for fulltime enrollment would be needed.

Advantages of iHigh's blended/online structure include:

  • Option to work from home
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Access to curriculum any time and any place there's an internet connection
  • Potential to check out an Internet-enabled device.

While most interaction takes place online, students do meet on campus for weekly classes that require a face-to-face component due to state or district requirements, such as science labs, P.E., and certain electives. iHigh teachers are on campus Monday through Friday to provide inpidual and smallI-group instruction. In addition to providing inpidualized learning, iHigh provides the structure, administrative support, oversight, accountability and state testing required of all public schools.

Method of Instruction

The method of instruction used at iHigh is blended/online independent study. Each student is assigned a content teacher for each online class. The content teacher grades the teacher-scored assignments, providing instructional support and meaningful feedback.

All students have a Supervising Teacher, who provides the student orientation, distributes instructional materials, monitors student progress across all courses, collects student work samples, determines attendance credit, and serves as the student's main advisor and parent liaison. The parent(s), student and Supervising Teacher sign the independent study contract prior to each semester start date, which outlines the courses that will be taken and when the work is due.

Students must report to campus for proctored midterm and final exams for each core subject-area class.

Roles and Expectations

The roles and expectations for iHigh students, parents/guardians and staff are outlined in the enrollment form (found on the APPLY page). Parent involvement and collaboration are key factors in helping students to achieve and be successful in the iHigh program.


iHigh offers over 80 blended/online courses to suit a student's unique interests and educational goals. The iHigh curriculum is mostly comprised of UC-approved core courses from a leading online provider, Edgenuity. Course offerings include online Advanced Placement and elective courses, as well as on-site science labs, P.E. class, and visual/performing arts classes.


Most students enroll in six iHigh courses per semester. Students who wish to accelerate may work on a faster pace for many courses: English, history/social science, math, Spanish, French and many electives. Certain courses rely on face-to-face class sessions for pacing and must be taken for the full semester: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Art, Theatre, Student Government, and Physical Education.

Social Interactions

Unlike some online schools where students are isolated in their bedrooms in front of their computers, iHigh students have a wide variety of opportunities to collaborate with their peers. Weekly science labs, math labs, and P.E. classes provide students with face-to-face, collaborative, hands-on learning to supplement their online studies. Elective courses such as Student Government (ASB), Art and Theatre promote teamwork, leadership, and creativity in planning student activities and building communications skills. Extracurricular activities such as spirit days, art projects, local college tours, school picnics, Habitat for Humanity, and food drives provide opportunities for social interaction and community service.

Who Attends iHigh?

Students who attend iHigh are typically self-motivated, self-directed, and able to manage their time independently in order to successfully follow the pacing guide for completing their courses on schedule. Many are students who activities require a flexible school schedule, or whose needs were not being met in their traditional high school program. Our students come from a variety of geographic neighborhoods (e.g., south bay, east county, and north county), and are from a broad range of backgrounds, ethnicities and abilities. Students who might be interested in attending iHigh Virtual Academy fulltime include students who:

  • are frustrated with the time-and-place restrictions of a classroom and want to proceed at their own pace.
  • need a more flexible schedule due to job, sports or other extracurricular activities.
  • want to accelerate their high school progress to graduate early or make up needed courses to graduate on schedule.
  • have personal challenges that make them good candidates for a small-school learning environment.
  • have short-term medical issues that require them to be homebound or in treatment for a defined period of time
  • have short-term travel plans away from the district and need to take their studies with them
  • want an opportunity to take Advanced Placement classes that may not be offered at their local high school.

What iHigh Students Are Saying

  1. What do you like best about the iHigh program? The flexibility to work at home on my own schedule.
  2. What most surprised you most about the iHigh program? The online courses are more rigorous than I expected!
  3. What do you like least about the iHigh program? The stress I feel if I procrastinate and then need to work overtime to finish my coursework by the end of the grading period.

You may also wish to visit our Frequently Asked Questions.

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