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Policy 8200 - Digital Education

The purpose of this policy is to specify criteria for the HCPSS for digital education courses which will provide students equitable access to instructional resources and utilize technology to individualize learning.

Policy Document

I. Policy Statement

The Board of Education of Howard County recognizes the value of digital education throughout the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS). The Board values the need for expanded access to learning options through supplemental digital education. Digital education provides the opportunity to access education that might otherwise not be available or provides an alternative academic option for the student.

II. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to specify criteria for the HCPSS for digital education courses which will provide students equitable access to instructional resources and utilize technology to individualize learning.

III. Definitions

Within the context of this policy, the following definitions apply:

  1. Digital Education – Learning facilitated by technology that offers students an element of control over the time, place, path, or pace of their learning.

  2. Digital Education Program Office – The department designated to implement digital education in the HCPSS.

  3. Digital Education Student – A student enrolled in a digital education course delivered by an HCPSS teacher or another online learning provider.

  4. Fully-Online Learning – A form of digital education delivered when 80 percent or more of the instruction is conducted online, the teacher and student are separated by distance, time, or both, and two-way communication is required between teacher and student.

  5. Non-HCPSS Employed Teacher – A certificated teacher provided by an online learning provider to teach fully-online courses to HCPSS students.

  6. Online Learning Provider – A third-party vendor, institute of higher education, or school district that provides digital education to students.

IV. Standards

  1. Development, design, and review of digital education courses will implement national, state, and local best practices.

  2. Digital education courses will be aligned with HCPSS academic standards.

  3. HCPSS digital education eligibility requirements and course availability will be made available through the formal course scheduling process.

  4. The HCPSS will use HCPSS employed teachers who meet established criteria for digital education to teach fully-online courses. When a qualified HCPSS employed teacher is not available, the HCPSS may contract an online learning provider to secure a non-HCPSS employed teacher.

  5. Priority for digital education course enrollment will be given to HCPSS students.

  6. The HCPSS will provide a fee schedule for HCPSS and non-HCPSS digital education students.

  7. Digital education students are subject to the grading, reporting, and eligibility guidelines outlined in Policy 8020 - Grading and Reporting: High School with necessary modifications.

  8. All schools participating in digital education will provide school-based staff members who serve as liaisons to the Digital Education Program Office.

  9. All HCPSS schools will provide supervision for students while enrolled in a digital education course at a physical school during the traditional school day.

  10. Alternative programs will provide supervision for students outside of the traditional school day as appropriate.

  11. The HCPSS will report the status of digital education annually.

V. Responsibilities

  1. The HCPSS will establish criteria for course instruction for digital education courses.

  2. The HCPSS will assist digital education students to access the required hardware, software, and Internet connectivity that are available to other HCPSS students.

  3. The Superintendent/Designee will use program data to plan future course offerings and course delivery models available to HCPSS students, consistent with the standards outlined in Policy 8000 - Curriculum.

  4. The Superintendent/Designee will publish eligibility requirements and digital education course availability annually.

  5. The Superintendent/Designee will communicate information annually regarding digital education courses to all students, parents, and staff.

VI. Delegation of Authority

The Superintendent is authorized to develop procedures for the implementation of this policy.

VII. References

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §7-901, et seq., Technology for Education

  • The Annotated Code of Maryland, Education Article, §7-1002, Maryland Technology Academy

  • COMAR 13A.04.15, Digital Learning

C. Relevant Data Sources

VIII. History

ADOPTED: January 12, 2017

REVIEWED:

MODIFIED:

REVISED:

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2017