Van Buren Public Schools

Section 21F Online Learning Introduction


The State of Michigan under Section 21F of the State School Aid Act has expanded learning options for students so that parents can request to have their student(s), in grades 6-12, be enrolled in up to two online courses during an academic term in place of traditional courses.


Van Buren Public Schools offers a variety of opportunities for students to engage in online learning experiences. Embedding technology skills in student coursework is one of our many efforts to ensure that students are well-prepared for the college and the workforce.


It is important that parents, along with their student, assess whether or not an online course is ideal for their child, knowing that the student will be missing out on face-to-face classroom instruction and support. Online learning is substantially different from face-to-face instruction and parents should consider the qualities of their student as a learner to determine if an online course is right for him or her.


These qualities include:

 

Self-motivation:  Can your student establish and maintain a work and study schedule and that will allow them to learn the material and complete the assignments in the course?

Independence: Is your student able to learn without direct, real-time feedback from an instructor?

Well-developed skills: Does your student have the reading, writing, and technology skills to successfully complete the course without the immediate support and feedback provided in a direct-instruction setting?

Self-advocacy: Will your student have the ability to self-advocate and seek help in an online environment?


Additional information, including an online learning checklist, can be found in the parent guide at: http://www.mivu.org/Portals/0/GD_Parent2013_Final.pdf


Student eligibility to participate in an online course is based on prior academic performance, behavior, and attendance. Courses can be selected from the statewide catalog of online courses available at http://micourses.org. However, not all courses will meet the level of rigor of the curriculum at Van Buren Public Schools. Therfore, all courses are subject to administrative approval. In addition, courses have limited class sizes, so students are not guaranteed a seat.


Should you choose to enroll your child in an online course, please be advised of the following:


  1. The teacher providing the content for the course will only be available remotely via email or phone and will not be a VBPS employee.

  2. The student will be required to do coursework independently outside of the traditional classroom setting.

  3. District personnel will not be providing instructional support for the course.

  4. The student will be required to check in routinely with their school-assigned mentor.

  5. Once enrolled in an online course, students may not withdraw from the course to enroll in a different online course or course in their home school.

  6. The student must complete the online course on or before the last day of the semester in which they are enrolled.


To express interest in enrolling your student in a course, please fill out the Online Learning Course Interest form below and return it to your student’s counselor.


Section 21F Important Forms & Documents

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