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Digital Education


The HCPSS Digital Education Program enhances traditional instruction with digital content, encourages blended and online instruction to promote anywhere, anytime learning, and provide students with the option to extend learning through advanced and college-level courses. Policy 8200 Digital Education outlines the implementation of digital learning in Howard County public schools.

Original Credit Courses

Original credit online courses are taken during the school year with school approval to increase access to low enrollment, advanced courses, or addresses a specific student need. Original credit courses mirror the rigor and depth of content covered in traditional face-to-face courses. While original credit online courses differ in their delivery method and pace, students are expected to meet HCPSS content standards.

Courses may be delivered as self-paced or cohort-based models. In a self-paced model, students work through a class independently and may enroll outside of the traditional class start/end dates. In a cohort-based model, students pace together through a class over the course of a traditional school year. Students requesting permission to take an online course should schedule a formal meeting with his/her school counselor to discuss the appropriateness of taking an online course and the appropriateness of the specific course to be taken.

Synchronous Video Instruction

Synchronous video instruction utilizes web-based and synchronous video technology to provide options for expanded course access to low-enrollment advanced math and less commonly taught courses. A video camera is set up in the primary classroom to allow for real-time video streaming of instruction to remote sites.

Through personal technology devices, students at remote sites participate in classroom activities. On-site and remote students communicate via an online community and submit assignments using email. Digital recordings of the classes are available for students to review. Please contact the Digital Education Program office for more information.

Blended Summer School Courses

Blended summer school courses are offered to students with reliable access to a computer and Internet connection. Students should be an independent, competent reader and motivated to learn in alternative formats. These courses are designed for self-motivated students who may already be enrolled in an original credit course in the morning or who might otherwise be prevented from enrolling in the face-to-face course due to other scheduling conflicts.

Courses are available in Career and Technology Education, English, Health Education, Science, and Social Studies. Please visit the Summer School page for more information.

Alternative Education

The HCPSS uses blended and online courses with the Home and Hospital Teaching program, Homewood Center, and the Evening School program. These programs are generally offered outside of the school day and use existing HCPSS staff and third party content and communication tools. This strategy leverages digital education resources and technology to improve student retention and performance as well as provides an individualized approach to promote and foster each student’s potential.

Site-Based Credit Recovery Courses

Site-based credit recovery courses for students who have previously attempted but did not succeed in earning academic credit towards graduation (and failing more than two quarters). Credit Recovery courses are mastery-based; this means that students will pre-assess at the beginning of each unit, and this pre-assessment will help teachers to determine which assignments from that unit are required for the student to complete for mastery.

Participating schools have a designated point of contact (POC) who identifies eligible students, provides course and student data to the Digital Education Program, and assists with scheduling supervision, logistics, training, etc. Please contact the Digital Education Program office for more information.


Digital Education Office
Applications and Research Lab (ARL)
10920 Clarksville Pike
Room B48
Ellicott City, MD 21042
(410) 313-5334