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Lawson R-XIV's Preferred virtual course provider for MOCAP.  
 

Lawson R-XIV Virtual Course Guidelines

 

In late 2018, the Lawson R-XIV School District entered into an agreement with the Springfield (MO) Public School District (SPSD) to select its LAUNCH program as our preferred course provider.  Currently there are over 200 public Missouri school districts partnering with the SPSD’s LAUNCH program.  The SPSD guarantees that all of their course offerings are developed by Missouri educators and align to the Missouri Learning Standards.  In fact, they even hire teachers from partner districts across the state to ensure that students have access to local educators!

 

Online classes will be considered like any other class offered by the school district.  When courses are purchased from an outside vendor, per Section 162.1250, RSMo., Lawson R-XIV School District must ensure that they are aligned with the show-me curriculum standards and comply with state requirements for teacher certification, among other things. 

 

The Lawson R-XIV School District will provide access to virtual (online) coursework for students. Students and families that are interested in virtual coursework should contact the student’s school counselor and inquire about the Missouri Course Access and Virtual Schools Program (MOCAP).  MOCAP offers virtual online courses for students statewide. Students can take an entire course from any Internet-connected computer, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

In concert with MOCAP’s mission to offer Missouri students equal access to a wide range of high-quality courses and interactive online learning, the Lawson R-XIV School District desires to offer virtual, online learning for courses not offered locally in the traditional setting and for students for whom virtual education is appropriate.  The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the State Board of Education oversee administration and quality assurance activities. For more information, visit the MOCAP website.

 

Best Educational Interest

If a student in the Lawson R-XIV School District meets eligibility requirements, the district is required to approve a student’s request to enroll in MOCAP courses, unless doing so is not in that student’s “best educational interest.”

 

Specifically, the District will ensure a student meets eligibility requirements in that (1) the student is enrolled full time in the district and (2) has, for at least one semester prior to requesting to enroll, attended public school or was prevented from attending by reason of a medical or psychological condition or disability. Once a student meets eligibility requirements, the District needs to then consider whether the course or program is in the student’s “best educational interest.”

 

To determine “best educational interest,” the District will follow the District’s MOCAP policy in responding to a virtual course enrollment request. This “best educational interest” determination is based on whether the course or program is in the student’s best interest, from an educational standpoint only, and is made in light of the student’s individual circumstances and the specifics of the course or program in which the student is requesting to enroll.

 

Multiple MOCAP Providers

There are multiple MOCAP providers approved by DESE, however, only the Springfield Public School District’s LAUNCH program has an agreement in place with the Lawson R-
XIV School District.  There are a few for-profit MOCAP providers which are based in other states, such as Arizona and Virginia.  While they are approved MOCAP providers, the Lawson R-XIV School District has not yet been able to determine that their virtual online courses are taught by Missouri Certified Teachers.  These for-profit providers from out-of-state are promoting MOCAP enrollment as tuition-free and that “best educational interest” determinations are made by the parents.  These two statements are false. 

 

In fact, there are reports of grave concerns with prior performance and success of one of the for-profit providers, K12, operating within the state as “MOVA,” which is also a program of the Grandview R-2 School District of Missouri.  To see the report, use the following link: <http://debsedstudies.org/k12-inc-virtually-failing-our-students/> published in 2017. The concluding paragraph of this study provides a synopsis of the author’s concerns with K12, Inc.


“Policymakers should be mindful of K12 Inc.’s abysmal track record of failing its students, recruiting only a narrow selection of students while accepting government dollars, lying to shareholders, and serving monetary interests before students. K12 has done everything within its power to increase profits while mismanaging public education resources taken away from district schools.” (Roberts, 2017)

 

While courses taken by Lawson R-XIV School District students are developed and operated by MOCAP providers, the MAP and End-of-Course results are still attributed to the Lawson R-XIV School District.  As a result, the District strongly encourages parents and students considering virtual online courses to review the offerings of the LAUNCH program first, which the District has been able to ensure prepares students for success on Missouri MAP and end-of-course assessments.

 

Full-Time Equivalent Student

Per Section 161.670, RSMo., a "full-time equivalent student" is a student who successfully has completed the instructional equivalent of six credits per regular term. In no case shall more than the full-time equivalency of a regular term of attendance for a single student be used to claim state aid.  Therefore, the Lawson R-XIV School District will not approve enrollment to be paid by the District in more than six virtual online courses per term.  Nothing in this section shall prohibit students from enrolling in additional courses for which the student’s parent(s) or legal guardian(s) pay the tuition or course fees. 

 

Enrollment Procedures

Enrollment requests shall result in the District convening a determination of “best educational interest.”  “Best Educational Interest” is determined solely by the District. If the District approves a student’s enrollment in a MOCAP course, the enrollment process may include consultation with the school's counselor and may include parental notification or authorization. School counselors shall not be required to approve or disapprove a student's enrollment in MOCAP.

 

The enrollment window shall close upon the fourth day of each semester of the school calendar.  Enrollment requests made on the fourth day of each semester and beyond shall be denied for that semester.  Open enrollment windows for the upcoming semester shall open no earlier than thirty days prior to the beginning of the semester.  Students may enroll in MOCAP courses for summer school, but the District, per statute, will not pay for the course as MOCAP doesn’t currently apply to summer school.

 

Other Items to Consider with Virtual Course Enrollment
  1. The District will pay for virtual courses taken on-site, during the normal school day, but not beyond the equivalent of full-time enrollment.
  2. The District will provide supervision for students who take virtual courses in district facilities.
  3. For students taking virtual courses on-site in district facilities, the District will provide computer equipment, internet access, and an appropriate setting designed for student success.
  4. For students taking virtual courses off-campus, the District will NOT provide computer equipment nor internet access for the student, unless doing so is required to comply with federal law for an eligible student with a disability.
  5. Students taking virtual courses are subject to district policies, procedures, and rules applicable to students enrolled in traditional courses.
  6. Open enrollment shall be conducted no earlier than one full month prior to the semester in which the student shall take the virtual course.  Example: Open enrollment for semester beginning on January 4th shall begin no earlier than December 4th.
  7. The registration deadline shall be no later than the third day of a semester.  Example: If a semester starts on a Thursday, the final day of registration shall be at the end of the school day on the following Monday. 
  8. Per Board Policy I-160-P, the District may refuse student enrollment in a virtual course when the course enrollment is not in the student’s “best educational interest.”  Examples of good cause for enrollment denial include, but are not limited to:
    1. Virtual enrollment may be refused for a course the District offers in a traditional setting that is taught by a properly certified teacher, if it’s determined to be in the student’s “best educational interest” to take the course in a traditional on-site setting.
    2. Other factors that may constitute good cause for enrollment denial on an individual basis include the student’s ability to work independently, operate technology, the student’s attendance, and prior virtual course success.

 

Miscellaneous

 

Student Skills Necessary for Success in Virtual Courses:

  1. Student has demonstrated time-management skills that indicate the student is capable of submitting assignment and completing course requirements without reminders.
  2. Student has demonstrated persistence in overcoming obstacles and willingness to seek assistance when needed.
  3. Student has demonstrated verbal or written communication skills that would allow the student to succeed in an environment where the instructor may not provide nonverbal cues to support the student’s understanding.
  4. Student has the necessary computer or technical skills to succeed in a virtual course.
  5. Student has access to technology resources to participate in a virtual course.
  6. Consideration of the student’s previous success (or struggle) in virtual coursework.   
Notice:

The District will accept all grades and credits earned through district-sponsored virtual instruction and MOCAP. The district will pay the costs of a virtual course only if the district has first approved the student's enrollment in the course, or in the case of transfer students, if the course has been approved by a previous Missouri school district or charter school. If a student or his or her parents/guardians pay the costs for a virtual course, the student or parents/guardians should meet with the principal or designee prior to enrollment to ensure that the course is consistent with the student's academic and personal goals.


The District is not required to provide students access to or pay for courses beyond the equivalent of full-time enrollment. The District will provide supervision for students who take virtual courses in District facilities but will not provide supervision for students taking virtual courses off-site.


Students taking courses virtually are subject to District policies, procedures and rules applicable to students enrolled in traditional courses including, but not limited to, the district's discipline code and prohibitions on academic dishonesty, discrimination, harassment, bullying and cyberbullying.


 

 

Board Policy I-160-P

 

Virtual Courses I-160-P Students residing within the District who are under the age of 21 and in grades Kindergarten through twelve may be eligible to enroll in the Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP) and other virtual courses at District expense.

 

Enrollment Process

1. Prior to enrolling in MOCAP, the student must be enrolled full-time and have attended public or charter school for at least one semester immediately prior to enrolling in MOCAP, unless the student has a documented medical or psychological condition that prevented attendance, or unless otherwise approved by the Superintendent.

2. The enrollment process will be substantially similar to the District’s current enrollment process for other than virtual courses.

3. The District’s designee must approve a student’s request to enroll prior to the student’s enrollment in a MOCAP course or full-time program.

4. Students who transfer into the District while enrolled in a MOCAP course or program will continue to be enrolled in the course or program upon enrollment in the District.

5. Transfer students who have previously gained credits through successful passage of approved courses under MOCAP shall be accepted by the District.

 

Approval

1. The District will approve an enrollment request as long as the student meets the eligibility requirements, enrollment occurs within the standard enrollment period, and enrollment in the requested course or program is the in student’s best educational interest.

2. Parents, counselors and others may be consulted to determine whether MOCAP or other virtual courses serve a student’s best educational interest. The “best educational interest” determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and will include facts and circumstances regarding an individual student’s situation

3. In general, students with disabilities may enroll in MOCAP and other virtual courses using the same process applicable to other students. However, for students with disabilities served under the provisions of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 (504), the student’s individual education program (IEP) or 504 team may need to consider whether virtual courses or virtual school would serve the student’s best educational interest, and if so, whether supports and services or accommodations are necessary in order for the student to participate.

4. Enrollment in MOCAP courses or full-time virtual school will not exceed full-time enrollment in the District.

5. Information regarding MOCAP and District-sponsored virtual courses will be included in parent/student handbooks, student registration materials, and on the District’s website.

 

Denial, Appeal, Removal

1. Refusal to grant approval for a student to enroll in MoCAP courses will be for good cause and a determination that it is in not in the student’s best educational interest.

2. The District shall provide written notice to the family regarding the reasons for denial and the family’s right to appeal to the Board and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). The written notice to the family will detail the appeal process. 3. If a student is approved to enroll in a virtual course or program, the District will monitor a student’s progress. If the course is not meeting the educational needs of the student enrolled in the course, the District may remove the student from the course. Recommendations from the course provider and/or DESE regarding the student’s continued enrollment in the program will be considered before a student is removed.