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Virtual High Schools: Are There Other Requirements/Limitations?

Statewide virtual high schools vary in terms of the specific limitations and requirements that are put in place. These policies contribute to the overall program structure by setting guidelines that students and teachers must follow.

Why does it matter?

  • Requirements such as online training for an on-site facilitator potentially contribute to a better program structure.
  • Some requirements, however, risk posing roadblocks to student access and success.

    Highlights:
  • Nineteen states have requirements or limitations; nine states have no requirements or limitations.
  • California requires teachers to reach out to students who have not shown activity in the course. They typically must reach out within three school days.
  • Hawaii does not offer home school and private school students the opportunity to register during the regular school year.
  • Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agencies, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Sources for all data points are available through this link.

    Last updated: December 3, 2007

    Research conducted by Melodye Bush and Michael Colasanti. Please contact Melodye Bush (303.299.3631 or mbush@ecs.org) with comments or questions about this database.

    Are there other requirements/limitations? (i.e., local staff must have taken training for a student to be able to access free coursework, students are able to enroll in on-line course only if the course is NOT available at their home school, etc.)
    Alabama Student must take an online course during a regularly scheduled class period. State class size regulations apply to online classes.  An onsite mentor must be present.
    Alaska
    American Samoa
    Arizona No
    Arkansas An adult facilitator must be present when student achievement assessments used to determine a student's final grade are administered in a required course.
    California Teachers must reach out to students who have not shown activity in the course, typically within three school days.
    Colorado No
    Connecticut
    Delaware
    District of Columbia
    Florida Funding received only if course is completed and passed.
    Georgia Public school students are given priority.
    Guam
    Hawaii Home school and private school students are not offered the opportunity to register during the regular school year.
    Idaho Established by local school district.
    Illinois All teachers are assigned a mentor (experienced IVHS teacher) and mentor/instructor interactions are required throughout the year.
    Indiana
    Iowa No
    Kansas
    Kentucky No
    Louisiana Teachers must complete an online course in "Online Course Design and Delivery."
    Maine
    Maryland No
    Massachusetts
    Michigan Online learning experience required for high school graduation effective with class of 2011.
    Minnesota
    Mississippi No
    Missouri No
    Montana
    Nebraska
    Nevada
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico Student requests to participate in distance learning courses are evaluated by the site coordinator following guidelines established by the local school board.
    New York
    North Carolina The reasons to take an online course through NCVPS include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • students wanting to take courses not available locally
  • students wanting to take courses whose sections at the local school are already full
  • students who are home bound or hospital bound due to illness or injury
  • students who already have a full load and wish to take additional courses
  • students whose schedule does not permit taking certain courses during the school day
  • students whose special circumstances cannot be addressed locally
  • students who want to graduate ahead of schedule from school
  • suspended students or for those students in need of remediation
  • North Dakota All students under the age of 16 must attend their local school districts and must study their distance learning lessons under the supervision of a local supervisor.
    Ohio
    Oklahoma
    Oregon Enrollment eligibility is determined by local district.
    Pennsylvania
    Puerto Rico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina No
    South Dakota Professional development for instructional staff must be offered by the distance learning provider.
    Tennessee
    Texas A student may enroll full-time in courses provided through the virtual school only if he/she was enrolled in a public school in Texas in the preceding school year or is a dependent of a member of the U.S. military and was previously enrolled in a high school in Texas but does not reside in Texas due to a military deployment or transfer.
    Utah There are no grade or age restrictions for Utah students to enroll in electronic high school courses.
    Vermont
    Virgin Islands
    Virginia Course offerings must include subject areas that are not available in all schools.
    Washington
    West Virginia Courses are approved when there's a shortage of personnel, a need for low-incidence courses, a need for course delivery while an instructor renews course-related skills, or any other valid student need to access technology-delivered courses.
    Wisconsin No information available
    Wyoming


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