Virtual School Meanderings

September 6, 2009

IVHS Final Statistics

ivhsI received this note about a week ago about the final semester of Illinois Virtual High School (IVHS) – which was actually the first semester of Illinois Virtual School, run under contract by the former IVHS administration…

I know that many of you are getting ready to start the Fall 2009 term with IVS and I wish you the best of luck.

The last Summer 2009 grade came in today and I wanted to share some data with you.

There were 861 enrollments and the completion rate was 88.3%. This is the 2nd highest in IVHS/IVS history. Only Summer 2008 was higher was a 88.7% completion rate.

For the 2008-2009 academic year (Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Summer 2009) the completion rate was 80.4%, breaking last year’s record of 80.0%.

As a reminder, the Illinois Virtual High School no longer exists and has been replaced by the Illinois Virtual School (see Guest Blogger: Changes In Online Learning In Illinois and IVS Preview for some good summaries of the history behind this decision).  Anyway, I just wanted to share this final bit of good news from IVHS history…

April 28, 2009

Illinois Virtual High School – The End Of An Era

I had the chance to review the recording from our last online faculty meeting from the Illinois Virtual High School (IVHS).  As I think I’ve mentioned before in the past, the IVHS will cease to exist on 30 June 2009.  The following day the Peoria Regional Office of Education will begin the operation of the Illinois Virtual School (IVS).  During this final online meeting, the IVHS Director went over some of the statistics for the time that the IVHS was in existence.

From Spring 2001 to Fall 2008

  • 17,995 semester course enrollments
  • 17,854 enrollments taken for credit (141 taken for enrichment)
  • 13,620 credit courses completed with passing grade
  • 4,217 credit courses not completed
  • 17 grades were still pending
  • Current Completion Rate: 76.4%

The Growth of the IVHS

  • Pilot (Spring 2001): 12 courses / 33 schools /97 students
  • 2001-02: 58 courses / 76 schools /412 students
  • 2002-03: 90 courses / 162 schools /1232 students
  • 2003-04: 98 courses / 195 schools / 1960 students
  • 2004-05: 94 courses /227  schools /3249 students
  • 2005-06: 95 courses / 217 schools /2739 students
  • 2006-07: 99 courses / 226 schools /2935 students
  • 2007-08: 106 courses / 227 schools /4314 students
  • 2008-09 (only Fall & Spring): 115 courses / 221 schools / 3024 students

As the IVHS will continue to manage the Spring 2009 semester on behalf of the Peoria Regional Office of Education, there are an additional 1700+ enrollments for the Spring 2009.  Over the years there have been 516 unique public and private schools served by the IVHS, homschooled students from 27 counties, and adult students from 2 counties.  This represents enrollment from 85% of the counties in Illinois.

When you look at this record over the time the IVHS has been in existence, it is quite an impressive eight years of work.  I can recall back in the Fall 1999 when I first met Jim Kinsella, the IVHS Co-ordinator of Instructors, when we were both just teaching European History – him in a face-to-face fashion at U High and me in an online format with the Vista School District.  Jim was asked to be involved with the initial IVHS pilot, and shortly after that we were tasked with building  IVHS‘s first owned course (i.e., our European History course that we had been developing online through out earlier work together).  Since those early days and that first course, I’ve co-taught that course with Jim (and others with other IVHS teachers), I’ve conducted research and evaluations with IVHS, I’ve done course reviews for IVHS, and I’ve delivered professional development to IVHS teachers and taken other sessions with my colleagues.  More recently, I’ve started to write with administrators at the IVHS (see eCollege and IVHS: Preparing virtual school teachers and a second manuscript that will be coming out in a special issue of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education later this year).  It has been a great eight years!!!

Anyway, the Illinois Virtual School will begin operations during the Spring 2009 semester and will assume independent operations in Fall 2009.  I hope that my involvement with this new group will be just as fulfilling (and mutually valuable).  For those interested, the temporary website for the new Illinois Virtual School is available at:

March 2, 2009

Legislative Update In Illinois

As I mentioned this past week, there are a couple of items moving through the Illinois House of Representatives dealing with K-12 online learning in the state (see Illinois Legislation Related To Online Learning).  Anyway, you can follow the legislation’s progress by clicking:

Also note that I am travelling to Charleston, South Carolina today (via Atlanta) for the SITE conference (see SITE Presentations On Virtual Schooling for more on the K-12 online learning stuff happening at that conference).  I have some cotent ready to go today, but will pretty much be offline until later this evening.

February 27, 2009

Illinois Legislation Related To Online Learning

As you may recall, this past weekend I attended the Winter professional development meetings of the Illinois Virtual High School (see State of Illinois Virtual High School for the summary).  This morning I received the following e-mail providing the latest update on that legislative situation.

The first bill that was introduced is  HB 2448 which is sponsored by Rep. David Miller (D) Dolton. This bill would amend the school code so that schools could count students taking qualified online learning courses away from the physical school could still be counted as students with respect to the General State Aid formula. This bill has been assigned to the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee and there will likely be a hearing on this bill either March 4 or March 11. Co-sponsors of this bill are Rep. Darlene Senger (R) Naperville, Rep. Robert Pritchard (R) Sycamore, and Rep. Jerry Mitchell (R) Rock Falls.

The second bill is HB 3743 which is sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D) Aurora. This bill would create the Illinois Virtual School as an independent state entity. It was just introduced yesterday and is still in the rules committee waiting for committee assignment but will most likely be assigned to the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee.

There is another bill, HB2591 that was also sponsored by Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia that has been assigned to the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee. This is a very broad bill related to online learning but is being tabled by Rep. Chapa LaVia in favor of her pursuing HB3743.

February 25, 2009

VHSM Vodcast: Designing Effective Asynchronous Course Content

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