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Digital Education

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The HCPSS Digital Education Program enhances traditional instruction with digital content, encourages blended and online instruction to promote anywhere, anytime learning, and provides 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.

Fully Online Instruction

Current HCPSS students who are interested in enrolling in a non-HCPSS fully online class, other than an HCC JumpStart or other college level course, during the school year should review the following information to ensure the course(s) meet MD COMAR and can be awarded high school credit. Policy 8200 eligibility criteria includes:

  1. The school does not offer the course.
  2. There is a scheduling conflict which prevents the student from taking the course when it is available and there is no accessible alternative in future academic years.
  3. The student has been approved for early graduation or early college access demonstrated through their four-year plan.
  4. Home and Hospital Teaching Program.
  5. Administrative placement (must be approved by a HCPSS Community Superintendent).

Students seeking to enroll in a course should meet with their school counselor to:

  1. For students enrolling in a Self-Pay fully online course option, ensure the course enrollment takes place beyond the school day.
  2. Determine if the student has met the course prerequisites listed in the HCPSS Catalog of Approved High School Courses.
  3. Ensure that the course(s) and course provider are approved by the HCPSS and can be awarded high school credit.

Parents/guardians who enroll HCPSS students in a fully online course(s) without the approval of the school counselor are not guaranteed that the course(s) taken will be awarded high school credit. HCPSS does NOT allow students to take credit recovery courses through fully online instruction.

Fully Online Enrollment Guidance – MS/HS

To help ensure that the course(s) taken will be accepted for high school credit, review the request with the school counselor before enrolling a student in a fully online course with a third-party provider.

Synchronous Video Instruction

Synchronous video instruction is a course taught in real-time by a HCPSS teacher from a “home” school to students at both “home” and “remote” schools. Teachers and students utilize web-based and video technologies to interact with each other in real-time. Students use personal technology devices (tablet or laptop), or HCPSS-provided devices, to participate in classroom activities. Students access and submit assignments through the Canvas learning management system.

Synchronous Video Instruction Overview – 2022-2023

2022-2023 Synchronous Courses

  • AP U.S. History
  • Chinese
  • Differential Equations
  • German
  • Linear Algebra

Students enrolled in synchronous video instruction will be notified via Canvas in August. Please contact your school counselor to request changes to your course enrollment (enroll/withdrawal).

Blended Instruction

HCPSS provides blended instruction, a combination of in-person and virtual instruction, for students seeking to recover or accelerate learning. The following programs offer blended instruction both during and outside of the school day, use a combination of HCPSS and contracted teachers, and utilize digital content and communication tools. Blended instruction can provide an individualized approach to help each student reach their potential.

Credit Recovery Courses

Credit recovery courses are available to 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 designed to be mastery-based; this means that teachers will use student data to determine which assignments from that unit are required for the student to demonstrate mastery.

Credit recovery courses may be offered during the school day as part of the student’s traditional schedule or outside the school day through the Evening or Summer program. HCPSS does NOT allow students to take credit recovery courses through fully online instruction.

High School Evening Courses

The high school evening program courses are taught using an in-person or virtual instructional model with an HCPSS teacher one to three days per week (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) with additional online coursework completed outside of class time. The IP Evening Program schedule, which includes two periods per night and semester, allows students to access more than one course per academic school year.

Please visit the Innovative Pathways page for a more detailed overview of the Evening Program.

High School Summer Courses

The high school summer program offers high school credit-bearing courses in a variety of content areas and levels to support academic achievement and acceleration for diploma-bound students. Students have either in-person or virtual (synchronous) instruction pending the instructional delivery method of their selected course. The summer program meets five days per week (Monday-Friday) over six weeks with both morning and afternoon courses available.

Subjects Available:

  • Art
  • Career and Technical Education
  • English
  • Health and Physical Education
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • World Languages

Please visit the Summer School page and review the section for the Innovative Pathways High School Summer Program for more information.


For more information about the Digital Education Program:


Call 410-313-5334

NOTE: Email messages will receive a faster response. Phone messages will be returned after reviewing voicemail messages within 24 hours during the school week.