09.28.10 Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium Announces Plan to Help School Districts Meet Online Requirement
Public Act 10-111, which went into effect on July 1, 2010, requires schools in Connecticut to implement online learning options for all students. The requirements will be phased in during a three-year period.
In 2011, all school districts with dropout rates of 8% or greater to establish an online credit recovery program for students in danger of failing to graduate. Each school in the district must designate, from existing staff, an online learning coordinator.
Starting July 1, 2011, PA 10-111 requires local and regional boards of education to provide all high school students with opportunities to take advanced placement courses. This can be achieved through online courses.
The Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium unveiled plans to help school district meet the new requirements.
07.06.10 Connecticut contracts with Florida Virtual School for Summer Courses
Connecticut's the virtual school movement gained additional momentum in June when state education officials announced a partnership with a Florida company to offer online summer courses for students who need to make up credits in courses they failed.
The State Department of Education, using federal funds, will pay the $150 course fee for each of the first 300 students who sign up for the summer programs offered by Florida Virtual School.
"The response has been overwhelming. Clearly, this is a huge area of need and interest," said Karen Kaplan, educational technology director for the State Department of Education.
Instead of requiring students to take entire courses over again, the program uses placement tests to determine where students need help and tailors the instruction to focus on those specific deficiencies, Kaplan said.
A state law that took effect this month requires schools districts with high dropout rates to offer online programs to students who need to make up credits.
Connecticut does not have a state-led virtual school.
However, in 2008, the Connecticut Virtual Learning Center (CTVLC), a state online education initiative was created by the Connecticut Department of Education. This serves as the state-led virtual school in Connecticut. The center offers virtual learning courses to public high schools. In the fall of 2009, the center offered 25 courses.
Initially, the Connecticut legislature provided two years of funding for the Virtual Learning Center. But in order to close a state budget gap, money for the second year was eliminated. Without that appropriation, the center was forces to charge $295 per semester to public school students and $320 per semester to private school and home-schooled students.
An estimated 2,500 students were enrolled online courses in the 2008-09 school year.
In 2010, Connecticut approved its first online learning legislation. It was part of the High School Reform Act, Public Act 10-111. The high school reform policies includes online learning as an option for earning credits toward graduation. The legislation also requires district with a dropout rate of 8% or higher to establish an online credit recovery program.
Connecticut does not have a virtual charter school that offers courses for the entire state.