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Michigan Charter School Network Fills a Need with Fully Virtual School

NHA Communications Team  |  June 22, 2021
To meet a need that was evident following the COVID-19 pandemic, National Heritage Academies (NHA) took a different approach to education and opened their first fully virtual school: PrepNet Virtual Academy.
PrepNet Virtual Academy (PVA) is a Michigan-based, fully online, free public charter school serving students in grades K-12 with an early college program. PVA combines the best elements of virtual education with the social interaction of in-person learning that builds community and strengthens connections.

Girl writing on tablet.
This unique educational experience provides Michigan families with the educational choice that fuels student success in life, college, and beyond. PVA is an option for families that may not live near an NHA school, but know and want to receive an NHA education. It is a long-term, 100% fully online learning option that will employ certified educators to support student learning.
“At PrepNet Virtual Academy students are ready for college and prepared for life,” said Melissa VanKlompenburg, principal at PVA. “PVA impacts the trajectory of every student that enters its virtual classrooms. Creating lasting connections in a strong, supportive environment that is rooted in character education is a game-changer for the virtual world and makes our school a great example of what it means to enter into uncharted territory and push the boundaries for what access to high-quality education looks like.”

Melissa VanKlompenburg smiling.
PVA is taking a structured yet flexible approach to its learning environment, which mirrors the instructional model currently offered to more than 27,000 virtual learners across NHA’s network.
While learning will take place virtually, the school day will resemble a traditional brick-and-mortar structure. For example, instructional days for kindergarten through sixth-grade students will include class check-ins, small groups, all subjects, student support, and daily specials, such as art and music. Learners in grades seven to 12 will follow a schedule similar to what would be found in a brick-and-mortar education structure, including an early college program where students earn an associate degree tuition-free while still in high school.

Child on a computer smiling.

“Through advanced placement and acceleration of curriculum, PVA is offering each student the ability to graduate prepared for life-long success,” said VanKlompenburg. “Coupling that with the early college associate degree, I see PVA as the steppingstone to a meaningful and fulfilling career.”
Also offered through PVA will be an online micro-school, located in Grand Rapids. This will provide virtual and in-person learning to West Michigan families in a small, safe environment for those seeking individualized attention, structure, and support plus the social interaction.

The school is set to officially open its virtual “doors” and welcome students September 2021.

Prepnet Virtual Academy logo.
About PrepNet Virtual Academy:
PrepNet Virtual Academy is a Michigan-based, fully online, free public charter school serving students in grades K-12 with an early college program. For more information, visit