sed seal                                                                                                 

 

signature of John KingTHE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234

TO:

EMSC Committee

FROM:

John B. King, Jr.

SUBJECT:

Virtual High School Initiative

DATE:

November 9, 2009

STRATEGIC GOAL:

Goals 1 and 2

AUTHORIZATION(S):

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Policy Issue for Decision

Does the Board of Regents wish to develop a virtual high school initiative in New York State?

Policy Recommendation

              The Regents should endorse the development of a virtual high school initiative to provide approved rigorous courses that are aligned with objective assessments of college readiness. 

Background Information

        Last month, the Board of Regents approved a policy on making up course credit that will include digital learning (online study) as one of several options available to students for making up course credit.  During that discussion, the Regents suggested the possibility of expanding the use of virtual learning to provide all students greater access to rigorous, content rich instruction, aligned to NYS Learning Standards. 

The New York Comprehensive Center has undertaken some preliminary research on virtual high schools for the Department.  At present, approximately thirty-eight states offer some type of virtual learning option to students.  These options range from a limited number of online courses to full virtual high school diploma programs.  A review of the literature suggests that there are at least four types of virtual high schools, which include:

 

 

In addition, students in traditional high schools in New York State are currently participating in both in-person and distance learning courses that incorporate varying degrees of on-line learning provided by districts, BOCES, and private vendors.

There are benefits and risks related to the creation of virtual high school initiatives.

Benefits include:

 

 


Risks include:

 

 

              If the Regents agree, staff will develop a proposal for the creation of a virtual high school initiative in New York State for the Regents consideration.