Because virtual instruction can be an effective education option for some students, the district may offer virtual courses to students through district staff or by contracting for those services as part of the district-sponsored curriculum. In addition, eligible students may enroll in virtual courses offered through the Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP). The district will accept all grades and credits earned through district-sponsored virtual instruction and MOCAP.

Enrollment in virtual classes will align with the districts academic calendar and assessment schedule.  All enrollment will be approved by principal or designee prior to the student enrolling in the classes.  Classes must be appropriate for the student.  Students wishing to take multiple classes must have each one evaluated and approved prior to beginning the course(s).

The principal or designee will inform the student how virtual instruction is provided and the key differences between virtual and in-person instruction. The principal or designee will discuss the virtual course options available to the student, determine which course or courses interest the student and how the course or courses will assist the student in meeting his or her academic and personal goals. The principal or designee will also inform the student of any prerequisites the student must complete prior to taking a particular course and whether any of the prerequisite or other requested courses are offered by the district.

The principal or designee, in consultation with the student's parent/guardian and other relevant staff, such as the school counselor or the district's special education director, will determine whether the course is in the best educational interest of the student. The student or parent/guardian may ask the superintendent or designee to review the decision. Unless the course was taken through MOCAP, the superintendent's or designee’s decision will be final.

If a student receives special education services, the student's individualized education program (IEP) team may determine that a virtual course is not appropriate for the student in accordance with the requirements of federal law, even if the course has otherwise been approved by the district.

The district will pay the costs of a virtual course only if the district has first approved the student's enrollment in the course as described in this policy. Even 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 offsite.

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 cyber-bullying.

Student Skills Necessary for Success in Virtual Courses
As part of eligibility for enrollment in virtual courses, school officials and parents/guardians will consider the following factors:

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.

Board Policy:

Click on the link in the left side-bar to access the DESE website for more guidance on virtual courses.