State Virtual School Survey SREB Educational Technology Cooperative 2009 Maryland Virtual School (MVS)

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1 Maryland Virtual School (MVS) Organization What is your program s organization type? To whom is the SVS accountable? Run by a state agency Maryland State Department of Education See MVS organization chart. What semester and year did your program first have students? Fall 2003 Choose which description best fits your online program: X fully online, at a distance. te: However, some local school systems use the content from the online HSA courses as well as courses that MVS leases to supplement blended courses or as classroom based resources. mostly at a distance but with a blended component (defined as having a required face to face component on a regular basis) classroom based with a significant online component What grade levels does your program serve? Does your program offer dual enrollment specifically for college credit? Course grade levels: Grades 9 12 Student grade levels: Middle grades Grades 9 12

2 Do you have a summer school program? With whom and for what purpose does your state virtual school partner in your state? (e.g., postsecondary education, public television, state IT agency, etc.) What are your program s sources of funding? State Virtual School Survey Yes Funding and Tuition At this time, MVS does not have any external partners. Public FTE funds State appropriation X Course fees Course fee costs incurred by MVS are passed on to the local school system; MVS does not receive any revenue from course fees. Fees vary based on the course provider and instructor: from $15/student to $800/student; the average is normally $650. X Federal funds $20,000 Private grants X Other MSDE Channel Capacity Leasing Funds $150,000 What was the total amount of funding received for 2008? Does your school offer courses for tuition? If yes, what is the charge for a half credit course? If yes, what is the charge for a whole credit course? $170,000 Yes Ranges from $15 to $400 per half credit depending on the course and the course provider Ranges from $15 to $800 per half credit depending on the course and the course provider All courses require tuition; there is not a statewide appropriate for course

3 If yes, under what circumstances do students take courses on a tuition basis? If yes, who pays for tuition? State Virtual School Survey enrollment fees. Local school systems are charged tuition. The local school system can pay for the course or pass the cost of the course to the parent/guardian based on local school system policy. The SREB survey has adopted the same definitions used in the Keeping Pace survey. Courses A unique course is the equivalent of a half credit of content delivered in one semester, regardless of the number of sections. One course enrollment is one student taking one semester length course after a pre determined drop date; therefore, one student taking two semester length courses or one course over two semesters counts as two course enrollments. MVS courses What is the number of unique courses in your program with at least one student in 2008? 51 What % of these courses are licensed or purchased from an outside source? Which best describes the timing of your courses? 5%. The majority of unique courses are contracted through a third party vendor using the vendor instructor; there are four full credit courses that MVLO developed and six courses that we have either purchased or are currently leasing. ( MSDE provides an instructor.) Courses are self paced. Courses have set start and end dates; students progress through courses as a cohort. X Both

4 Are your courses primarily : State Virtual School Survey Synchronous X Asynchronous What is the actual number of course enrollments for each semester? What was your program s approximate change in number of course enrollments from the previous academic year? If there were a decrease, what are the primary factors? What types of courses does the SVS offer? Please insert the number of each type. Credit recovery courses are courses that are denoted as credit recovery courses in the course catalog or are somehow different (e.g., delivery method, design, etc.) than general education courses. MVS courses Both Summer Fall Spring 60 Total 710 Decline 10 25% Lack of funding from the local school systems. MVS charges each school system for the student enrollment since the program does not receive any dedicated funding for tuition. 21 Advanced Placement 76 90% Approx. percentage of course enrollments that are AP. 0 Credit recovery courses 23 Core academic courses 12 n core elective courses 0 Dual credit enrollment 5 Technical courses How many course enrollments did your program have in other types of courses (non credit) such as ACT test prep? ne. All of the courses in the MVS catalog are credit bearing courses. What was your course completion rate in 2008? 93%

5 Do you have a plan or schedule for upgrading or revising courses? (The scale represents 1 5 years; please indicate your schedule by changing a number to an x, as 1 2 x 4 5.) Please provide an explanation of the revision process. The SREB survey has adopted the same definitions used in the Keeping Pace survey. State Virtual School Survey Students and Related Issues The Online HSA courses that MVS uses are updated on an ongoing basis. Most MVS courses are provided by a third party vendor, and therefore the revisions are made by the provider. All MVS courses are reviewed on a three year cycle. One course enrollment is one student taking one semester length course after a pre determined drop date; therefore one student taking two semester length courses or one course over two semesters counts as two course enrollments. A unique student enrollment is defined as one student taking one or more courses across one or more semesters. For example, one student taking two courses in fall and one in spring is counted as one unique student enrollment. See Policies, Procedures and Tools. How many unique students did you have in one or more for credit courses in 2008? 366 What reasons are given by students for taking an online course? Please estimate a percentage of students who took courses for these reasons. (Your answers do not need to total 100 %.) Course unavailable in my school Schedule conflict To graduate on time To graduate early Credit recovery Enrichment To make room for an elective To just try an online course Home school student te: MVS does not collect this information. The local school system adopts its own policies for approving student enrollments. Students may not take an MVS course without local school system approval. Approval policies vary based on the school system and include many of the reasons listed in the question.

6 Do you have any students taking all their courses through your program? Teachers and Professional Development Who provides the teachers for your SVS? SVS School district Vendor How many full time teachers were employed by your program in 2008? What is the average number of students for which a full time teacher is responsible? How many part time teachers were employed in your program in 2008? 7 (Each part time teacher taught one course section.) ne NA What is the average number of students a part time teacher has in one course section? What is the maximum number? How is the number of courses/students a teacher may teach determined? Describe teacher training process for new teachers The number of courses/students is not defined. Generally, most teachers teach one or two course sections, with a course section not to exceed 20 students. New teachers must complete a course in online facilitation. Program staff provides an orientation to the program and meets with new teachers one onone to provide an overview for their courses as well as the LMS. New teachers participate in all other professional development opportunities described below. The MVS coordinator has a scheduled weekly phone update with new

7 teachers. Are any or all online professional development requirements mandated by your state? If yes, please explain. Briefly describe professional development opportunities provided for online teachers in your SVS. Briefly describe how teachers are evaluated and list evaluation tools used. Does your program have any formal teacher communication requirements? (e.g., teacher to student, teacher to parent) If yes, please explain.. Teachers who are contracted for MVS must have completed formal training or course work in online teaching and facilitation. Teachers have the opportunity to complete a course in online facilitation (three continuing professional development credits) if they have not completed training in the past. MVS provides face to face training and Webinar training on teacher procedures and policies, using the LMS features, and teacher expectations. Teachers are provided support through monthly Web conference meetings (via Elluminate) and are provided mentoring on an as needed basis. There is not a formal evaluation process. Program works with assigned teachers on a weekly basis as part of a mentoring process. Teacher Standards are located here. Yes: Communications with Maryland Virtual School Administration; check and respond to e mail from MVLO at least daily (Mon. Fri.); notify MVLO if a student s participation is less than satisfactory; regularly visit the MVLO Faculty community; provide feedback on courseware; submit information on factors impacting student participation; participate in MVLO authorized evaluations; provide information on students who do not complete the course to assist with future retention strategies by midterm; declare interest in teaching during future semesters; communications with students and their parents/guardians; check from MVLO students at least daily; respond to MVLO student within 24 hours; quickly direct students who need help with software, hardware, or computer access issues to the appropriate e mail or phone number for help; be available to schedule Webinar or telephone conferences with MVLO students, school level MVLO facilitators, parents or others as needed by appointment; create and maintain a positive, active online classroom community; return student work and assessments in a timely fashion; maintain an accurate and up to date student grade book; find, provide, or refer out requests for information or resources from MVLO students; use the Maryland Department of Education e mail account provided by MVLO when

8 communicating with students and schools; communications with local high schools; make contact with each MVLO school level facilitator early in the class; provide final grade information to the MVLO school level facilitator by the required date; advise MVLO school facilitator about progress of individual students as requested; alert MVLO school level facilitator when students are not responding to , completing assignments, or participating in class discussions so that appropriate intervention can occur; and communications with others. How many persons (in addition to teachers) are employed by your SVS? MVLO teachers represent a statewide initiative lead by the Maryland Department of Education. As such, the program will be held and expected to conform to the highest standards of professionalism. 1 Full time (and share one support staff person between three MVLO programs) Instruction, Accountability, Intellectual Property and Other Issues Do you provide guidance services to students enrolled in SVS courses? Does your SVS address 21 st century skills students will master as part of the instruction? Do you include information literacy skills in instruction Do you provide access to digital library resources? Does your SVS have a SIS for management of student records? How does the SVS ensure quality course content and alignment with state academic standards? See Policies, Procedures and Tools. Yes Course content is pre approved by the MSDE. Courses are reviewed for instructional design and content. Courses are monitored to ensure quality implementation. Course standards and review resources are found here.

9 Who is responsible for insuring this quality of course content? Do you produce an annual accountability report? What metrics are collected to measure the success of the state virtual school? How often is this information collected? Does your SVS have a strategic plan or long term goals? Do you use external evaluators to measure success of your SVS? Do you use external benchmarks (i.e, comparison with other virtual schools)? Does your SVS have an intellectual property policy? If yes please provide any additional explanation and include the link to the URL Identify key issues that are facing your SVS. On a scale of 1 5, please note level of importance of these issues. (Insert an x to replace a number; example: 1 2 x 4 5) MVS staff members organize and conduct online course reviews. This information is posted on the Web site and published for distribution to school systems. A variety of measures are used including: student performance (grades, completion, related assessments scores); and surveys of students, parents, mentors, district level staff, teachers, and focus groups. (Surveys used are available for others if requested.) Annually. Yes. It is included in the MVS Academic Integrity and Ethics Agreement, in the contract for teachers and developers and in the RFP for vendors. See MVS Practices and Procedures Guide Demand for courses vs. funding for courses X Budget reductions X Funding or per pupil expenditure X Legislation/policies 1 X Teacher availability 1 2 X 4 5 Sustainable funding model X Demand for new delivery models (blended, credit recovery, full time, etc.) 1 2 X 4 5 Core score comparisons with face to face and other virtual programs X 5

10 Please identify which SREB publications your SVS has adopted. X Standards for Quality Online Courses X Checklist for Evaluating Online Courses Cost Guidelines for Evaluating Online Courses X Cost Guidelines for State Virtual Schools X Standards for Quality Online Teaching Guidelines for Professional Development of Online Teachers Contact Information Please provide detailed contact information for your SVS. Bob Cole Instructional Technology Specialist Maryland State Department of Education c/o Division of Instruction 200 West Baltimore Street Baltimore, MD Voice: (410) Fax: (410) E mail:

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