Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 22.1. Education
10/31/2020

Article 1.4. Establishment of Virtual School Programs.

§ 22.1-212.23. Definitions.

As used in this article:

"Multidivision online provider" means (i) a private or nonprofit organization that enters into a contract with a local school board to provide online courses or programs through that school board to students who reside in Virginia both within and outside the geographical boundaries of that school division; (ii) a private or nonprofit organization that enters into contracts with multiple local school boards to provide online courses or programs to students in grades K through 12 through those school boards; or (iii) a local school board that provides online courses or programs to students who reside in Virginia but outside the geographical boundaries of that school division. However, "multidivision online provider" shall not include (a) a local school board's online learning program in which fewer than 10 percent of the students enrolled reside outside the geographical boundaries of that school division; (b) multiple local school boards that establish joint online courses or programs in which fewer than 10 percent of the students enrolled reside outside the geographical boundaries of those school divisions; (c) local school boards that provide online learning courses or programs for their students through an arrangement with a public or private institution of higher education; or (d) local school boards providing online courses or programs through a private or nonprofit organization that has been approved as a multidivision online provider.

"Online course" means a course or grade-level subject instruction that (i) is delivered by a multidivision online provider primarily electronically using the Internet or other computer-based methods and (ii) is taught by a teacher primarily from a remote location, with student access to the teacher given synchronously, asynchronously, or both.

"Virtual school program" means a series of online courses with instructional content that (i) is delivered by a multidivision online provider primarily electronically using the Internet or other computer-based methods; (ii) is taught by a teacher primarily from a remote location, with student access to the teacher given synchronously, asynchronously, or both; (iii) is delivered as a part-time or full-time program; and (iv) has an online component with online lessons and tools for student and data management.

An online course or virtual school program may be delivered to students at school as part of the regularly scheduled school day.

2010, cc. 537, 817.

§ 22.1-212.24. Approval of multidivision online providers; contracts with local school boards.

A. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop, and the Board of Education shall approve, (i) the criteria and application process for approving multidivision online providers; (ii) a process for monitoring approved multidivision online providers; (iii) a process for revocation of the approval of a previously approved multidivision online provider; and (iv) an appeals process for a multidivision online provider whose approval was revoked or whose application was denied. The process developed under this subsection shall require approvals and revocations to be determined by the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and either the denial of an application or revocation of approval may be appealed to the Board of Education for review. The approval of a multidivision online provider under this section shall be effective until the approval is revoked, for cause, pursuant to the terms of this section. Any notice of revocation of approval of a multidivision online provider or rejection of an application by a multidivision online provider shall state the grounds for such action with reasonable specificity and give reasonable notice to the multidivision online provider to appeal. These criteria and processes shall be adopted by January 31, 2011.

B. In developing the criteria for approval pursuant to subsection A, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall (i) require multidivision online providers to be accredited by a national, regional, or state accreditation program approved by the Board; (ii) require such courses or programs, pupil performance standards, and curriculum to meet or exceed any applicable Standards of Learning and Standards of Accreditation; (iii) require any educational objectives and assessments used to measure pupil progress toward achievement of the school's pupil performance standards to be in accordance with the Board's Standards of Accreditation and all applicable state and federal laws; (iv) require such courses or programs to maintain minimum staffing requirements appropriate for virtual school programs; and (v) publish the criteria for approval of multidivision online providers on its website, including any applicable deadlines, fees, and guidelines.

C. The Department of Education may charge a multidivision online provider applicant or a local school board requesting to offer a course through Virtual Virginia a fee not to exceed the costs required to ensure proper evaluation and approval of such requests. The Department shall establish and publish a fee schedule for purposes of this subsection.

D. Local school boards may enter into contracts, consistent with the criteria approved by the Board pursuant to this section, with approved private or nonprofit organizations to provide multidivision online courses and virtual school programs. Such contracts shall be exempt from the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.).

2010, cc. 537, 817; 2014, c. 436.

§ 22.1-212.25. Information regarding online courses and virtual programs; report.

A. The Department of Education shall develop and maintain a website that provides objective information for students, parents, and educators regarding online courses and virtual programs offered through local school boards by multidivision online providers that have been approved in accordance with § 22.1-212.24 and courses offered through the Virtual Virginia Program. The website shall include information regarding the overall instructional programs, the specific content of individual online courses and online programs, a direct link to each multidivision online provider's website, how to register for online learning programs and courses, teacher qualifications, course completion rates, and other evaluative and comparative information. The website shall also provide information regarding the process and criteria for approving multidivision online providers. Multidivision online providers shall provide the Department of Education the required information for the website as a condition of maintaining Board approval.

B. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall develop model policies and procedures regarding student access to online courses and online learning programs that may be used by local school divisions.

Nothing in this article shall be deemed to require a local school division to adopt model policies or procedures developed pursuant to this section.

C. Beginning November 1, 2011, and annually thereafter, the Board of Education shall include in its annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly information regarding multidivision online learning during the previous school year. The information shall include but not be limited to student demographics, course enrollment data, parental satisfaction, aggregated student course completion and passing rates, and activities and outcomes of course and provider approval reviews. The November 1, 2011, report shall be an interim progress report and include information on the criteria and processes adopted by the Board and outcomes of provider applications.

D. By July 1, 2011, local school boards shall post on their websites information regarding online courses and programs that are available through the school division and Virtual Virginia. Such information shall include but not be limited to the types of online courses and programs available to students through the school division, when the school division will pay course fees and other costs for nonresident students, and the granting of high school credit.

2010, cc. 537, 817; 2014, c. 436.

§ 22.1-212.26. Teachers and administrators of online courses and virtual programs.

A. Teachers who deliver instruction to students through online courses or virtual school programs shall be licensed by the Board of Education and shall be subject to the requirements of §§ 22.1-296.1, 22.1-296.2, and 22.1-296.4 applicable to teachers employed by a local school board.

B. The administrator of a virtual school program shall hold an advanced degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education with educational and work experience in administering educational programs.

2010, cc. 537, 817; 2012, c. 170.

§ 22.1-212.27. Students enrolled in online courses and virtual programs.

A. Any student enrolled in any online course or virtual program offered by a local school division shall be enrolled in a public school in Virginia as provided in § 22.1-3.1.

B. A student's parent or guardian shall give written permission prior to the enrollment of the student in any full-time virtual program offered by a local school division.

C. A student shall not be charged tuition for enrolling in any online course or virtual program offered by the school division in which he resides, pursuant to § 22.1-3. However, tuition may be charged to students who do not reside within the boundaries of the school division offering such course or program, pursuant to § 22.1-5.

2010, cc. 537, 817.

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