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Policy 624 - Online Learning Options

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to recognize and govern online learning options for students enrolled in the school district for purposes of compulsory attendance and address enrollment of students with an online learning provider for supplemental or full-time online learning. This policy applies to students enrolling with an external online learning provider or through the Princeton Online Academy. This policy includes parameters for the establishment of procedures relevant to this policy.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

A. The school district shall not prohibit an enrolled student from applying to enroll in online learning. 
B. The school district shall grant academic credit for completing the requirements of an online learning course or program. 
C. The school district shall allow an online learning student to have the same access to the computer hardware and education software available in the school district as all other students in the school district.  The District shall determine procedures and parameters for this access.
D. The school district shall continue to provide non-academic services to online learning students. 
E. Online learning student MSHSL activities eligibility is determined on the same basis as other enrolled students and will follow MSHSL guidelines, policies, bylaws and ISD477 Policy 510: Activities Program and other relevant district policies and Student Handbook procedures.
F. The superintendent shall be responsible for the development of procedures that ensure appropriate implementation of this policy.

III. DEFINITIONS

A. “Enrolling district” means the school district or charter school in which a student is enrolled under Minn. Stat. § 122A.22, Subd. 4, for purposes of compulsory education.

B. “Full-time online provider” means an enrolling school authorized by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to deliver comprehensive public education at any or all of the elementary, middle, or high school levels.

C. “Online course syllabus” is a written document that an online learning provider transmits to the enrolling school district using a format prescribed by the Commissioner of MDE (Commissioner) to identify the state academic standards embedded in an online course, the course content outline, required course assessments, expectations for actual teacher contact time, and other student-to teacher communications, and the academic support available to the online learning student.

D. “Digital learning” is a learning facilitated by technology that offers students an element of control over the time, place, path, or pace of their learning and includes blended and online learning.

E. “Blended learning” is a form of digital learning that occurs when a student learns part time in a supervised physical setting and part time through digital delivery of instruction, or a student learns in a supervised physical setting where technology is used as a primary method to deliver instruction.

F.“Online learning” is a form of digital learning delivered by an approved online learning provider.

G. “Seat-based learning” is a traditional form of learning delivered in a course taught by a teacher in a general school building classroom. This may include digital or blended learning.

H.“Supplemental online learning” means an online course taken in place of a seat-based course period during the regular school day at a local district school in conjunction with other seat-based learning courses.

I. “Student” is a Minnesota resident enrolled in a public school, a nonpublic school, church or religious organization, or home school in which a child is provided instruction in compliance with Minnesota Statute.

J. “Online learning student” is a student enrolled in an online learning course or program delivered by an authorized online learning provider.

K. “Supplemental Online Student” is an online student enrolled in less than or up to 50% of online courses per term.

L. “POA” means Princeton Online Academy.

M. “Resident Student” means a student who resides within the boundaries of ISD 477.

N. “Nonresident Student” means a student who does not reside within the boundaries of ISD 477.

O. “District” means ISD 477.

P. “MDE” means The Minnesota Department of Education.

Q. “Enrolling district” means the district that is providing the online learning course and content.

IV. DISSEMINATION AND RECEIPT OF INFORMATION
  1. The District shall make available information about online learning to all interested people. The school district may utilize the list of approved online learning providers and online learning courses and programs developed, published, and maintained by MDE.
  2. The District will receive and maintain information provided to it by online learning providers.
  3. The online learning provider must report or make available information on an individual student’s progress and accumulated credit to the student, the student’s parent, and the resident district in a manner specified by the Commissioner unless the enrolling district and the online learning provider agree to a different form of notice and notify the Commissioner.
  4. The District must designate a contact person to help facilitate and monitor the student’s academic progress and accumulated credits toward graduation.
V. STUDENT ENROLLMENT

A. A student may apply for full-time enrollment in an approved online learning program. The student must have the written consent of a parent or guardian to do so if the student is under eighteen (18) years of age.

B. The student and the student’s parents/guardians must submit an application to the online learning provider and identify the student’s reason for enrolling. An online learning provider that accepts a student under this section must notify the student and the resident district according to MDE requirements and procedures Nonresident students enrolling in POA will complete the online enrollment process found on the Princeton Public Schools website

Residents of ISD477 enrolling in POA will follow procedures found in the Princeton High School Handbook and Registration Guide.

Residents of ISD 477 enrolling in online learning from an external provider will follow enrollment procedures of the provider.

C. For resident students enrolling with an online learning provider other than POA and for nonresident students enrolling in POA:

  1. A resident online learning student may enroll in supplemental online learning courses equal to a maximum of 50 percent of the student’s full schedule of courses per term in a single school year.
  2. To enroll in more than 50 percent of the student’s full schedule or courses per term in online learning, the student must enroll in an approved full-time online learning program consistent with this policy.
  3. A nonresident student may enroll in POA as a full time online learning student after the term has begun up to the mid-term date of the term. The student’s schedule may be adjusted to support course completion within the remaining academic term.

D. An online learning student may complete coursework at a grade level that is different from the student’s current grade level.

VI. CLASSROOM MEMBERSHIP AND TEACHER CONTACT TIME

A. The district will reduce a resident student’s regular classroom instructional membership in proportion to the student’s membership in online learning courses. 
B. The district will reduce the course schedule of a resident online learning student in proportion to the number of online learning courses the student takes from an online learning provider other than the school district. 
C. A teacher with a Minnesota license must assemble and deliver instruction to enrolled students receiving online learning from POA. The delivery of instruction occurs when the student interacts with the computer or the teacher and receives ongoing assistance and assessment of learning. The instruction may include curriculum developed by persons other than a teacher holding a Minnesota license. 

VII. ACADEMIC CREDIT; GRADUATION STANDARDS OR REQUIREMENTS

A. The district shall apply the same graduation requirements to all students, including online learning students. 
B. The District will only recognize online learning credits towards graduation from online learning providers approved by MDE.
C. The school district shall use the same criteria for accepting online learning credits or courses as it does for accepting credits or courses for nonresident transfer students under Minnesota law. 

  1. The school district may challenge the validity of a course offered by an online learning provider. Such a challenge will be filed with MDE.
  2. The school district shall count secondary credits granted to an online learning student toward its graduation and credit requirements.
  3. If a student completes an online learning course or program that meets or exceeds a graduation standard or grade progression requirement at the school district, that standard or requirement will be met. 

     

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.22 (Compulsory Instruction)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.24 (Reporting)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.42, Subd. 1 (Curriculum; Electronic Components)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.03 (Enrollment Options Program)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.09 (Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Act)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.095 (Online Learning Option Act)

Cross References:

Adopted: May 22, 2007
Revised: April 22, 2008
Revised: August 9, 2011
Revised: September 2, 2014
Reviewed: February 16, 2016
Revised: January 17, 2017
Revised: February 18, 2020