2024 Procedure – Online Learning

A. Definitions

  1. Online courses or “grade level coursework” means a course in which:

a. more than half of the content is delivered online;

b. more than half of the instruction is delivered online by a teacher from a different location than that of the student;

c. a certificated teacher has the primary responsibility for the student’s instructional interaction. Instructional interaction between the teacher and the student includes, but is not limited to, direct instruction, review of assignments, assessment, testing, progress monitoring, and educational facilitation; and
d. Students have access to the teacher synchronously and/or asynchronously.

2. Online school program means a school program that offers a sequential set of online courses or grade-level coursework throughout the school year in a manner that could provide a full-time basic education program if so desired by the student.  The student may enroll as a part-time or full-time student.

3. Online provider means any provider of an online course or program, including multidistrict online providers, all school district online learning programs, and all regional online learning programs.

4. The Online Learning Support Team includes district/school staff who will provide assistance to the student in accessing courses, understanding coursework and maintaining successful progress in the course.

 

B. Student Access to Online Courses and Online School Programs
The district will facilitate access to the following types of online learning opportunities:

  1. Online courses:

a. District-created and taught online courses;

b. District-taught online courses created by a third-party contracted provider; and

c. Courses created and taught online by OSPI-approved online providers.

 

2. Online school programs:

a. District-created and -taught online school programs;

b. District-sponsored programs created and taught by OSPI-approved online providers;

c. District-sponsored programs created by third-party course providers and taught by district teachers; or

d. Out-of-district online school programs accessed through an interdistrict transfer.

C. Types of Online Courses Available
The district will facilitate access to the following types of online courses:

  1. Credit recovery courses allowing students to make up failed credits needed for graduation;
  2. Advanced Placement courses;
  3. World language courses;
  4. Courses which may already be offered in the student’s school but are inaccessible to the student due to scheduling or other factors;
  5. Courses not available at the student’s school that meet four-year college entrance requirements;
  6. Elective and Career and Technical Education courses;
  7. Standard-level courses meeting high school graduation requirements;
  8. Grade level coursework for K-8; and
  9. A course from a provider that is not approved by OSPI that meets the criteria for district use.

D. Student Eligibility Criteria
When appropriate, the district will facilitate access to online learning courses and programs for students enrolled in grades 9-12. Students taking an online course or participating in a district-created online school program must adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Have completed any required prerequisites and provide teacher/counselor recommendations to confirm that he/she possesses the academic level needed to function effectively in an online learning environment;
  2. Comply with existing district policies for registering/enrolling in a course or district program; and
  3. Students interested in attending an online school program in another district must follow the interdistrict transfer procedures in policy/procedure 3141 prior to entering that program.

 

E. Supporting Student Success
The district will attempt to provide the following support to students to help ensure a successful online learning experience:

  1. All online students will receive assistance from the local online learning support team;
  2. The registrar will advise students in selecting and registering for online learning options to which the district facilitates access;
  3. The local advisor will meet regularly with online students to ensure they are connecting to the online coursework and the online teacher and are making satisfactory progress in their online coursework;
  4. The district will offer a dedicated class period during the school day in which the student may connect to an online course and to their local advisor; and
  5. The district will offer access to online computers during the school day.

F. Costs/Fees

  1. Courses offered to students for which the district claims state education funding, or that are included as part of the regular school day, will be paid for by the school district. Students/families may be responsible for fees as specified by the district fee schedule.
  2. Courses offered to students for which the district claims no state education funding and that are not included as part of the regular school day will be paid for by students/families.  Students/families may also be responsible for fees as specified by the district fee schedule.
  3. Students/parents enrolling on their own volition in other online programs that are not provided or approved by the district are responsible for any tuition, fees, etc. associated with the online course.  Also, refer to “G. Granting of High School Credit for Online Courses” below.
  4. The final decision on all costs/fees will remain with Bellingham Public Schools.

G. Granting of High School Credit for Online Courses

  1. School districts will award credit and grades for online high school courses successfully completed by a student that meet the school district’s graduation requirements and are provided by an approved online provider. Credit for online courses will be granted in the same manner as other course offerings in the district;
  2. Currently enrolled students should notify the district prior to enrolling in an online course provided outside of the district. The student and/or parent will be informed, in writing, whether or not the course is eligible for academic credit from the district;
  3. For students transferring credit from online courses or programs taken while enrolled outside of the district, credit will be granted according to the district transfer credit policy; and
  4. For eligible courses, if course credit is earned, the course will be recorded on the transcript using the standardized identifier for online courses provided in the Comprehensive Education Data Research System (CEDARS).
  5. Prior to enrollment, students and/ or parents will be informed in writing whether a course is eligible for academic credit.

H. Information to Students and Parents or Guardians
The district will use a variety of methods to provide information to parents/guardians and students regarding online learning opportunities.

Information will be provided through the district’s website, counseling office, newsletters, the student handbook and/or other appropriate district communication resources.

Information provided will include descriptions of online courses or online school programs, enrollment information, potential fees, a description of credit awarded for courses, student eligibility requirements, and methods the district will use to support student success.
I. Criteria for District Use of Non-OSPI Approved Online Courses

  1. The district may offer courses to students from providers not on the OSPI approved list only after ensuring that they meet the criteria for district use of non-approved providers as posted on the OSPI website.
  2. The district will ensure proper documentation when using non-approved online providers.

 

J. Student Responsibilities

  1. Adhere to the district’s code of conduct for academic integrity;
  2. Comply with course/program participation and completion requirements;
  3. Maintain high academic involvement;
  4. Notify the district if participation in an online course/program ceases or changes;
  5. Maintain agreed-upon levels and kinds of communication with the local advisor throughout the term of the online course; and
  6. Participate in an online course/program orientation.
  7. Student agrees to do their own course work and to follow all school rules and expectations.  Failure to do so will constitute a violation of policy and subject student to discipline up to and including expulsion. Please see policies/procedures 3200/3200P and 2313/2313P.
  8. Student will seek prior approval before enrolling.

 

K. Parent or Guardian Responsibilities

  1. Parents or guardians are responsible for costs/fees as outlined above in the Cost/Fees section; and
  2. Parents or guardians are responsible for seeking appropriate technology – per district recommendations – for student participation in coursework outside of the school day or designated online learning period.

L. District Responsibilities:

  1. Inform parents/guardians prior to student enrollment in any online course or program;
  2. Inform staff, parents/guardians and students of the online courses and programs that are available to them;
  3. Inform staff, parents/guardians and students of the online course/online school program prerequisites, technology requirements, course outlines, syllabi and possible fees;
  4. Provide online students who remain enrolled in the district and who participate in the online course or program during the school day, with computing hardware and connectivity required for participation in the online course or online school program;
  5. Inform staff, parents/guardians and students of how to seek and access technology resources and technological requirements beyond the school day;
  6. Provide online students with an online learning support team;
  7. Ensure communication between the student’s local advisor and parent/guardian;
  8. Ensure online courses are appropriately identified with CEDARS coding; and
  9. The district will inform students and their parent/guardian of rescheduling options or grade impacts in the event a student withdraws from an online course or online school program prior to completion.
Adopted: 3/15/14
Revised: 09/06/17