Virtual Coursework Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. Purpose of Report: To inform the Board of the progress of the virtual coursework pilot.

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1 Virtual Coursework Report EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Purpose Report: To inform the Board the progress the virtual coursework pilot. In August 2007, Sioux Falls School District students began using online courses when scheduling conflicts, credit recovery or placement at alternative sites required obtaining course credit outside a traditional classroom. completed 223 online courses through APEX Learning Inc. and the South Dakota Virtual High School to earn high school credit. Of the students who completed courses, 78% earned A s and B s. These grades were earned in classes ranging from Algebra to U.S. History, and Skills in Health to AP Psychology. Because was the first year for the program, the District has developed recommendations for the future. Additional courses will be explored as will strategies for increasing student completion rates. Administrative Recommendation to School Board: Acknowledge the review the virtual coursework pilot. Report Prepared by: Curriculum/Assessment, Technology and Information Services August 11, 2008

2 Virtual Coursework Report Purpose Report: To inform the School Board the progress the virtual coursework pilot. District Priority Area: Student Achievement Goal/Strategy: Programs will support improved student achievement across the curriculum. SA8.4 Evaluate virtual coursework pilot. Explanation: In February 2007, the School Board approved a virtual coursework pilot to be implemented during the school year with the following goals: to create an online classroom at Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Joe Foss high schools to hire a certified teacher at each high school and Joe Foss to manage the online learning environment to purchase an online curriculum such as the APEX comprehensive curriculum for students who need an open entry/open exit option to facilitate South Dakota Virtual High School courses to provide training and information to counselors to help match students with appropriate online options The virtual coursework pilot was implemented at Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Joe Foss high schools beginning August, One FTE certified teacher was allocated to teach and coordinate the courses at each high school. High school teachers, counselors and administrators were trained in the registration process and online delivery. Two separate teacher roles were needed in implementing the pilot. An online teacher facilitated the class and assisted students to keep them on track for completing their coursework. An online teacher coordinator communicated with the online providers, kept student records, and facilitated communication with parents/guardians, high school counselors, and the high school registrar. Each high school distributed their 1.0 FTE teacher differently to ensure students were successful. The virtual coursework pilot targeted students seeking an alternate method advancing their coursework due to scheduling conflicts, credit recovery, and placement at alternative sites. who registered for courses as a part their 3.0 semester credit load reported to the online classroom as a part their daily schedule. registered in online courses as an overload reported to the online teacher coordinator for course assessments outside their daily schedule. The Sioux Falls School District serves students at the following auxiliary sites: Volunteer America North, Volunteers America South, Juvenile Detention Center (JDC), Report Prepared by: Curriculum Services/ATI 1 August 11, 2008

3 Summit Oaks, Success Academy, and FLEX. The Volunteers America and JDC auxiliary program sites fered online math courses. The JDC teacher reported that some students earned math credit and others completed lessons toward math credit by studying for a concentrated amount time. Transitions between the home attendance center and JDC were seamless, with no break in service. Volunteers America North students experienced success with the online math instruction although inadequate Internet access limited their service. Teachers at Volunteers America South were satisfied with Internet access and students responded positively to the difficulty level and graphics approach online math. The agency programs at Summit Oaks, Success Academy and FLEX fered online courses in mathematics and language arts. who were motivated and had higher level skills could succeed with the online courses. Providers and Online Offerings Providers for online courses included APEX Learning, Inc. and the South Dakota Virtual School. APEX Learning, Inc. digital curriculum uses audio, video, graphics, images, and animations to address students learning styles and it is used for credit recovery, remediation, intervention, and alternative school programs. The online courses available for Sioux Falls School District students through APEX Comprehensive included: Math: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Precalculus Science: Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry English: American Literature, British and World Literature Social Studies: US History, US Government and Politics, US and Global Economics, Geography and World Cultures World Language: French I & II, Spanish I & II Skills for Health The Advanced Placement (AP) APEX online courses available for District students through the South Dakota Virtual School included: Math: AP Calculus AB, AP Statistics Science: AP Biology, AP Chemistry, AP Physics B English: AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition World Language: AP French, AP Spanish Social Studies: AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP Psychology, AP US Government and Politics, and AP US History Student Data The data in the following tables represent a duplicated count, indicating students could have taken one or more online courses. High school counselors, registrars, and online coordinators adapted practice in keeping track course registrations and completions by using Infinite Campus for second semester. Table A shows the number and percent students who registered for online courses, who completed online courses, who did Report Prepared by: Curriculum Services/ATI 2 August 11, 2008

4 not complete, or who were currently in progress completing the course at the end the school year. completing courses received high school credit. not completing courses received online instruction and transferred into a traditional classroom, an alternate placement, or dropped. in progress had the choice continuing either in the summer or waiting until school begins in August TABLE A and Online Washington High Roosevelt High School School Lincoln High School Enrolled in Online Courses Completed % % % In Progress 1 3.3% 4 7.7% % Not Completed % % % Completed or In Progress 56.7% 73.1% 59.8% Joe Foss School DISTRICT Enrolled in Online Courses Completed % % In Progress % % Not Completed % % Completed or In Progress 53.2% 56.5% Table B shows the completed online courses chosen by students across the District. chose 25 different online course options to complete. Eighteen students chose to take online courses outside the school day. As the end the school year, the online teacher coordinators indicated that 9 courses were completed with 5 courses pending and 5 courses were dropped. Report Prepared by: Curriculum Services/ATI 3 August 11, 2008

5 TABLE B Online Courses Completed Courses DISTRICT ( Completed) Courses DISTRICT ( Completed) Algebra IA 12 Economics 5 Algebra IB 5 Part 1A 21 Algebra IIA 6 Part 1B 21 Algebra IIB 9 Part 2A 19 American Literature 4 Part 2B 11 AP French 1 Geography & World Culture 2 AP Macro Economics 4 Geometry A 30 AP Psychology 1 Geometry B 28 AP Statistics A 2 Skills in Health 9 US Government & AP Statistics B 1 Politics 11 AP US Government & Politics 7 US History A 6 Biology 1 US History B 3 British & World Literature 4 TOTAL 223 Table C indicates 100% the students receiving a passing grade in an online course experienced success by earning high school credit. TABLE C Grades Earned for Completing Online Courses Grades Earned A % B % C % D 7 3.1% F 0 0.0% Report Prepared by: Curriculum Services/ATI 4 August 11, 2008

6 Recommendations: Virtual Coursework Action Plan 1. Review the virtual coursework policy to identify potential changes. 2. Develop a uniform procedure for collecting student data at District alternative sites and for students who do not finish online courses. 3. Determine suitable Internet access for students at Volunteers America North. 4. Explore additional APEX courses. 5. Re-assemble the virtual coursework committee to explore the following: What can be done to give students access to online coursework? What can be done to increase student completion rate online coursework? What are our future directions with online coursework? Costs: 1 st Year Implementation FY08 $199, FTE, one at each high school $28,000 - APEX online comprehensive curriculum 2 nd Year Implementation FY09 $208, FTE, one at each high school $37,200 APEX online foundations, core, comprehensive, Advanced Placement curriculum FY08 Student options and costs APEX online courses outside the school day, in addition to their 3.0 semester credit load, for a fee $130 per semester credit. (Policy IJNDB/IJNDB-R) APEX AP Online courses through the South Dakota Department Education with a $350 fee kept in the high school Trust and Agency account. The $350 is refunded if the student completes the course with a C or higher. If the student does not complete the course with a C or higher, the $350 is sent to APEX Learning, Inc. South Dakota Virtual School courses with costs ranging from $200 to $350 determined by the provider. Committee Participation: Not applicable Summary: The Sioux Falls School District implemented a virtual coursework pilot at each high school throughout the school year. Two separate teacher roles were needed in implementing the pilot. An online teacher facilitated the class and assisted students to keep them on track for completing their coursework. An online teacher coordinator communicated with the online providers, kept student records, and facilitated communication with parents/guardians, high school counselors, and the high school registrar. Report Prepared by: Curriculum Services/ATI 5 August 11, 2008

7 The virtual coursework pilot targeted students seeking an alternate method advancing their coursework due to scheduling conflicts, credit recovery, and placement at alternative sites. and teachers reported independent study, individual pacing, concentrating on one subject, and response to mathematics graphics as factors which motivated and engaged students to learn. Approximately 57% the students who enrolled in an online course have completed or are in progress completing the online courses. Student success resulted in high school credit for 100% the 223 students completing virtual coursework. An expectation will be to continue to fill the program to capacity. The District recommends exploring additional course ferings through virtual coursework that fulfill high school graduation requirements and meet the learning needs for students at District high schools and alternative sites. Administrative Recommendation to School Board: Acknowledge the review the virtual coursework pilot. Report Prepared by: Curriculum Services/ATI 6 August 11, 2008

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