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Data & Information

Oregon

Oregon has fully online schools, district-level part- and full-time online programs, and the Oregon Virtual School District (OVSD), a state program. New legislation passed in 2013 provides for teacher resources and introduces Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) legislation for SY 2014-15.

Fully online schools

Twelve fully online charter schools served 6,637 students statewide in SY 2012-13;  several fully online single-district programs and other providers offer supplemental courses statewide.  The largest fully online schools are Oregon Connections Academy with 3,268 students, Oregon Virtual Academy with 1,164 students, and Clackamas Web Academy with 459 students in SY 2012-13. The Molalla Online High School is a district-based full-time virtual school that opened in fall 2010-11 with curriculum provided by Aventa Learning. Insight School of Oregon, now part of the K12 Inc. network of schools, operates as a private alternative school; this allows it to contract with approximately 40 districts to serve 350 alternative education students from throughout the state.

State virtual school

OVSD is a state-led initiative that provides a platform of supplemental courses, content, and teaching applications and Google Applications for Education Implementation support; in SY 2012-13, almost 300,000 user accounts were created, and approximately 75,000 users from 132 districts and education service districts used OVSD course materials consistently. Oregon State University (OSU) partners with the (OVSD) by developing online courses and hosting the OVSD open source course management system through the OSU Open Source Lab. It does not offer courses directly, but sources them from private providers. The OVSD Repository offers teachers access to 150 middle and high school course templates, interactive learning objects, and streaming video lessons for instruction. The OVSD does not register students, but schools use OVSD to supplement their classes and provide student ePortfolios. Teachers have used the portal to create 6,500 customized teaching units to supplement their curriculum. OVSD received $970,000 from the State School Fund to fund operations and teacher training.

District programs

In SY 2012-13 there were 2,017 course enrollments across the Portland, Hillsboro, Astoria, Fossil, Beaverton, and Southern Oregon ESD districts using Florida Virtual School (FLVS) courses through OVSD. Based on the successes of this exploratory program, for the 2013-15 biennium all public schools statewide  will have unlimited use of 35 FLVS Courses and 46 National Repository of Online Courses (NROC) high school courses;282 teacher training and support will be freely available to all district teachers providing courses. All courses are available at no charge to public and homeschool students statewide. Teachers have used the portal to create 6,500 customized teaching units to supplement their traditional curricula. In SY 2012-13 OVSD also provided free online Advanced Placement® exam prep review courses in 12 subjects to 4,500 students. OVSD receives $900,000 annually from the State School Fund.

In SY 2013-14 Lebanon Community Schools launched the fully online iOregon using multiple vendor curricula, and many schools are opening blended programs through OVSD. OSU Extension, Portland State University Independent Study, and Chemeketa Community College Early College offer dual credit early college programs for high school students.

Online learning policy history

SB 1071 (2005) created OVSD. In 2009 SB767 (Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 342.173) passed and created restrictions on virtual charter schools. The bill placed a two-year moratorium on the growth of existing schools by restricting them to the student counts enrolled on May 1, 2009. Schools are allowed to enroll students above the cap if 50% of the students in the online school are resident in the district in which the school is chartered. While this rule had existed previously, several online schools had the rule waived due to having been in operation prior to the original rule’s creation. The bill also created additional minimum standards that apply to virtual charter schools. In addition, the law created a task force to study online charter schools and report back to the legislature.

The following policies are from Section 8, Enrolled Senate Bill (ESB) 767 (2009) and Oregon

Revised Statute (ORS) 342.173.

  • Teachers in virtual charter schools and school districts must be licensed and highly qualified. Teacher licensing and professional development requirements are done by the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.
  • Student/Teacher Ratio: Online learning providers are required to have guidelines in place for reasonable student to instructor ratios that allow for regular, individualized interaction with instructors.
  • Student Teacher Interaction: Online learning providers are required to have guidelines in place for reasonable student to instructor communication that allow for individualized interaction with instructors as needed. Communication includes, but is not limited to, electronic mail, online discussion groups, telephone interaction, and face-to-face discussions between teacher and student.
  • Timeframe for Teacher Response to Student Questions: Online learning providers are required to have guidelines in place for the time and process that teachers will provide prompt response to student inquiries and requests for assistance.
  • Online learning providers are required to have policies for teacher professional development. Teachers need to have appropriate training for the delivery of online instruction. Providers receiving public support must maintain Oregon teaching licensure for all teachers consistent with TSPC professional development requirements.
  • Courses must meet academic content standards. Courses offered are governed by individual school district guidelines, including, but not limited to, courses meeting requirements for high school diploma, electives, as well as supplementary instruction.

HB3660 (2010) implemented the recommendations of the Online Learning Task Force, which directed the State Board of Education to develop a proposed governance model for virtual public schools and virtual charter schools; to review appropriate levels and methods of funding for such schools; to identify which virtual public schools and virtual public charter schools enrolled students with disabilities; and to review participation rates of students with disabilities. HB3660 also contained the following provisions:

  • Required meetings twice weekly between teachers and students, either in person or through the use of technology; six meetings a year must be face-to-face.
  • Outlined record-keeping requirements when a student transfers.
  •  Required that online schools must use budget and accounting systems compatible with their physical counterparts in the sponsoring district.

HB2301 took effect July 1, 2011 and allows:

  • Students to choose at the course level.
  • Students to enroll in virtual charter schools without approval of the school district where the student resides prior, unless more than 3% of the students who reside in the district are enrolled in virtual charter schools. If more than 3% of a district’s students enroll in a virtual charter not sponsored by the district, then the student must receive permission from the district. While that permission is not guaranteed, the student can appeal to the State Board of Education.
  • Up to 5% of a virtual charter school’s instructional hours to be taught by teachers who are not licensed in Oregon.
  • Repeals the SB767 enrollment cap and 50% residency requirement.
  • Requires that at least 95% of instructional hours be taught by Oregon-licensed teachers.
  • Requires the online charter school to notify a student’s resident district of the enrollment.
  • Prohibits an online charter school board from having a school employee or third-party entity with which the school contracts.
  • Requires that a school district release up to 3% of students to online charter schools.
  • Provides student assessments in a manner that ensures that an individual student is being assessed and that the assessment is valid.
  • Requires a plan to provide equitable access to the education program of the school by ensuring that each student enrolled in the school has access to and use of computer and printer equipment as needed; is offered an Internet service cost reimbursement arrangement under which the school reimburses the parent or guardian of the student, at a rate set by the school, for the costs of obtaining Internet service at the minimum connection speed required to effectively access the education program provided by the school; or has access to and use of computer and printer equipment and is offered Internet service cost reimbursement.

SB994 also passed in 2011, creating the Task Force on Virtual School Governance to make recommendations to the 2012 legislature on new governance standards for online schools.

HB2426 (2013) requires that, effective SY 2014-15, each district school board “adopt policies for the use of personal electronic devices in the schools of the school district” to “support academic activities and independent communications.”

HB3232284 and HB3233,  passed in July 2013, are designed to “help turn around under-performing schools and improve student outcomes statewide.”286 This includes the Network for Quality Teaching and Learning, which will receive $33 million every two years287 in addition to one-time grant money of almost $13 million. The network provides an online dashboard for teacher networking, professional development, and course development in line with Common Core standards.

last updated October 22, 2013

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