Virtual School Meanderings

October 10, 2011

Online Learning Graduation Requirements

Note the additions made to this entry after the fact in red below.

A few weeks ago I was asked about online learning graduation requirements by a jurisdiction that is considering implementing one (or at least exploring the idea).  In the response that I sent back, I directed them to previous entries on this blog that outlined the ones that I was aware of:

I also promised a follow-up blog entry that would ask others to provide information.  I guess the best way to do this is to describe each requirement, as I understand it, and then ask others to provide any additional information:

State of Michigan

Students must:

  1. take an online course;
  2. complete 20 hours of online learning within a traditional face-to-face course; or
  3. include technology-infused lessons in all required Michigan Merit Curriculum courses.

See http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/Online10.06_final_175750_7.pdf

State of New Mexico

Students are required to earn one credit in an advanced placement course, an honors course, a dual credit course or a distance learning course.

See http://www.ped.state.nm.us/HighSchoolRedesign/dl09/HS%20Grad%20Requirements%20MARCH%2016%20_2_.pdf

State of Alabama

A student may satisfy the online requirement for graduation through one or more of the following options:

  1. Take an online course.
  2. Participate in online experiences incorporated into courses used to fulfill requirements for graduation.

See http://www.mtnbrook.k12.al.us/Images/Users/9/Technology/Alabama%20High%20School%20Online%20Experience%20Graduation%20Requirement.pdf

State of Florida

Beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, each school district shall provide eligible students within its boundaries the option of participating in a virtual instruction program.

See http://flsenate.gov/statutes/index.cfm?App_Mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch1002/Sec45.htm&StatuteYear=2008

Further, “Beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2011-2012 school year, at least one course within the 24 credits required in this subsection must be completed through online learning. However, an online course taken during grades 6 through 8 fulfills this requirement. This requirement shall be met through an online course offered by the Florida Virtual School, an online course offered by the high school, or an online dual enrollment course offered pursuant to a district interinstitutional articulation agreement pursuant to s. 1007.235. A student who is enrolled in a full-time or part-time virtual instruction program under s. 1002.45 meets this requirement.

See http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=46852&SessionIndex=-1&SessionId=66&BillText=&BillNumber=7197&BillSponsorIndex=0&BillListIndex=0&BillStatuteText=&BillTypeIndex=0&BillReferredIndex=0&HouseChamber=H&BillSearchIndex=0

State of Idaho (proposed)

Having difficulty finding the actual wording of the proposed amendment that was accepted by the State Board of Education, but the gist of it is that students have to complete two online courses to graduate from high school. One of the two must be “asynchronous,” which they have defined as taught remotely, without a teacher present in the classroom with students, and with students and the teacher participating on their own schedule.

See http://www.boardofed.idaho.gov/meetings/board/current_year/09_09_11/index.asp (note this is the website given by the Idaho State Department of Education, but all it does is provide a title for the proposed amendment – there are no supporting materials at the time this entry was posted)

State of Indiana (proposed)

Information is limited at this time, but based on news reports “local school districts would decide specifics such as what types of courses to offer online, Bennett said, and whether students would complete online assignments at home or during regular school time.”

See http://www.indystar.com/article/20110912/NEWS/110912033/Kids-may-go-online-graduate

Sugar Salem School District

Interesting that I wasn’t able to find any information about this graduation requirement on their website, but the initial press release did state that “in partnership with Idaho Digital Learning (IDLA), all students graduating in 2013, or later, must complete one online credit to graduate.”

See http://www.idahodigitallearning.org/Portals/0/Files/News/Press%20Releases/2010%20February/4.4.3%20Sugar%20Salem%20presserV2%5B1%5D.pdf

Memphis City Schools

Again, unable to find any information about this graduation requirement on their website, but I was able to find this statement using Google.  “Beginning with the ninth grade class entering high school during the 2009-2010 school year, all Memphis City School students shall be required to take at least one online course during high school.

See http://www.mcsk12.net/SCHOOLS/hamilton.hs/site/documents/TeacherTalk6.pdf

Putnam County School Board

For all students entering 9th grade in 2009-2010 and thereafter, the required one-half (.5) credit of Personal Finance necessary to meet the Tennessee Ready Core requirements must be earned by successfully completing the course online.

See https://sites.google.com/a/pcsstn.com/vital/courses-1/vital-personal-finance

Note that the blog entries that I have listed at the beginning of this e-mail also includes an entry about New York. This entry is incorrectly titled (I used the title that was used by the source I took the information from). The actual regulation simply make K-12 online learning more accessible and easier for students to take advantage of regardless of their school or school districts desires/efforts – it does not require K-12 online learning of any student.

If anyone has additional jurisdictions to add to this list or have better links to reference some of the existing requirements, I’d welcome them.

5 Comments »

  1. Just to be clear, Michigan does not require that you take an online course. You left out an “or” in the first statement…

    The Michigan Merit Curriculum guidelines for online learning require that students:

    • Take an online course, or
    • Participate in an online experience, or
    • Participate in online experiences incorporated into each of the
    required credit courses of the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

    Comment by Jay Bennett — October 10, 2011 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

    • Jay, the first “or” should be implied. Similar to the way the New Mexico one is written, a bunch of options with the last one being preceded by an or.

      But thanks for the clarification Jay!

      Comment by mkbnl — October 10, 2011 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

  2. The information you have about Florida is correct that all school districts must provide students with the opportunity to participate in a virtual instruction program but Florida students also have the right to choose Florida Virtual School for individual courses. In addition, beginning with the current 9th grade class, students must take one online course in order to graduate although the course can be taken any time between 6-12 grades. See http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h7197er.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=7197&Session=2011 for the specific text. It is at the top of page 33 of the PDF

    Comment by Matthew Wicks — October 11, 2011 @ 12:22 am | Reply

    • Thanks Matt! I knew I was missing some of their requirement, but couldn’t find the reference online (so the link is much appreciated).

      I missed another district based one, so I’ll add those above in red to denote the additions after the fact.

      Comment by mkbnl — October 11, 2011 @ 7:41 am | Reply

  3. Online Learning Graduation Requirements « Virtual School Meanderings…

    Online Learning Graduation Requirements « Virtual School Meanderings: “A few weeks ago I was asked about online learning graduation requirements by a jurisdiction that is considering implementing one (or at least exploring the idea). In the response t…

    Trackback by Teaching and Developing Online — October 25, 2011 @ 9:32 am | Reply


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