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Digital Learning Providers

Grants to Arkansas Education Service Cooperatives and
School Districts to Develop Distance Learning Programs

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Arkansas Department of Education

Deadline Date:

01/15/18 - Application Deadline; 02/16/18 - Course Approval Request Form Deadline

Description:

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Grants to Arkansas education service cooperatives and public school districts for the development of digital learning resources. Funding will support the acquisition of equipment and telecommunications services to ensure that school districts are able to provide distance learning services.

Distance Learning Grants - Rules:

The following grant standards are hereby developed to provide grants to education service cooperatives for acquiring equipment and receiving telecommunications services necessary for each school district to have distance learning availability.

The grants shall be used to assist school districts that do not have distance learning capabilities and to assist school districts in upgrading existing distance learning capabilities.

The grants shall also be used by the education service cooperatives to provide technical assistance to the school districts in implementing and maintaining distance learning as an educational tool.

Each school district shall have adequate connectivity to provide quality of service for distance learning.

Distance learning technical protocols shall be in alignment with technical standards set by the Director of the Department of Information Systems.

Education service cooperatives and school districts shall coordinate with the Department to seek to obtain the benefits of the Federal Communications Commission’s E-Rate discount program.

Requirements for the Administration of Distance Learning in Elementary and Secondary Schools
Note: These rules provide minimum distance learning educational supervision requirements only and are not designed to replace legal or other student supervision responsibilities schools have to properly protect and supervise students.

Courses offered through distance learning shall include, without limitation:

College preparatory courses, including, without limitation, calculus, physics, Arkansas history, foreign languages, and computer science; and

Technological courses, including, without limitation, advanced math and science courses, advanced computer skills courses, and advanced courses in the arts.

Any distance learning course must be approved by the Department of Education or by the Department of Career Education before the course is offered or taught by any public school district or open-enrollment public charter school unless:

The distance learning course content is aligned with the appropriate content standards and curriculum frameworks developed and approved by the State Board of Education or Department of Career Education; or

The course is not offered for credit.

All distance learning courses shall have an appropriately licensed or approved primary instructor.

Each receiving site shall have an adult facilitator to:

Supervise any instructional activity where students meet as a group; and

Administer all student achievement assessments used to determine a student’s final grade.

Student achievement assessments shall be designed to assess the degree to which a student masters the approved content standards and curriculum framework for the distance learning course.

Documentation of student achievement assessments shall be maintained and shall be available for review at the receiving site for a minimum of five (5) years after the final grade for the student has been issued. Documentation shall include the assessment questions, student responses, and the grade for each student assessment and grading period.

Distance learning that is purely supplemental instruction shall be considered an enhancement to the teacher’s regular instruction and shall not be subject to the restrictive provisions of these rules. This includes any incorporation of digital resources that does not provide the student some element of control over time, place, path, and/or pace in the delivery.

Distance learning courses shall be considered large group instruction courses for the purposes of the Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools and School Districts.

Any public school district or open-enrollment public charter school offering distance learning courses shall abide by the policies adopted by the distance learning provider or supplier of courses in such a way that students taking distance learning courses are able to participate in the courses without falling outside of established attendance policies.

Attendance in distance learning courses shall be determined by the online attendance and time the student is working on the course as monitored by the school district or open-enrollment public charter school to ensure the student progresses toward credit attainment for the course.

Participation in Distance Learning Courses

A public school district or open-enrollment public charter school may offer and teach distance learning courses to a student enrolled in a private school or a home school if:

The student resides in the public school district where the public school or open-enrollment public charter school is located;

The student agrees to physically attend the public school or open- enrollment public charter school for the purposes of taking state tests and assessments required for the particular course or courses taken by the student;

Section 8.01.2 shall not be construed to require a home- schooled student or private school student to take any test or assessment not specifically required for completion of the course for which the student is enrolled.

The distance learning course is approved by the Department of Education, or is aligned with the appropriate content standards and curriculum frameworks developed and approved by the State Board of Education or Department of Career Education.

A public school district or open-enrollment public charter school that teaches or offers a distance learning course to one (1) or more home-schooled or private school students who meet the conditions of 8.01 shall be entitled to an amount equal to one-sixth (1/6) of the state foundation funding amount for each course taught to a private school student or home-schooled student.

A public school district or open-enrollment public charter school shall not be entitled to more than the equivalent of state foundation funding for one (1) average daily membership per student regardless of the number of distance learning courses received by a particular home-schooled or private school student.

A student may take all courses virtually through a public school district or open- enrollment public charter school.

Once a student who formerly was home-schooled or attended a private school accesses all courses virtually through a public school district or open-enrollment public charter school, the student is a public school student accessing courses at a distance.

All laws pertaining to public school students shall pertain to a public school student accessing courses at a distance.

Digital Learning Environment

A digital learning environment shall be composed of:

Access to quality digital learning content and online blended learning courses;

Tailored digital content designed to meet the needs of each student;

Digital learning content that meets or exceeds the curriculum standards and requirements adopted by the State Board of Education that is capable of being assessed and measured through standardized tests or local assessments; and

Infrastructure that is sufficient to handle and facilitate a quality digital learning environment.

Digital Learning Courses

All public school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools shall provide at least one (1) digital learning course to their students as either a primary or supplementary method of instruction.

All digital learning courses provided by public school districts and open- enrollment public charter schools shall:

Be of high quality;

Meet or exceed the curriculum standards and requirements established by the State Board of Education; and

Be made available in a blended learning, online-based, or other technology- based format tailored to meet the needs of each participating student.

Digital learning courses shall be capable of being assessed and measured through standardized tests or local assessments.

Each high school student shall be required to take at least one (1) digital learning course for credit to graduate.

The State Board of Education shall not limit the number of digital learning courses for which a student may receive credit through a public school district or open-enrollment public charter school and shall ensure that digital learning courses may be used as both primary and secondary methods of instruction.

A public school district or open-enrollment public charter school that offers a digital learning course through an approved digital learning provider shall ensure that each digital learning course offered has been approved by the Department.

It is not necessary for a public school district or open-enrollment public charter school to seek approval from the Department for courses that have previously been approved by the Department.

For courses not previously approved by the Department, a public school district or open-enrollment public charter school that offers a digital learning course through an approved digital learning provider shall obtain approval for the course from the Department prior to offering the course to students. A public school district or open-enrollment public charter school may seek course approval

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177666

Term of Contract:

Providers and courses will be approved for the 2018 - 2019 academic year.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following grant standards are hereby developed to provide grants to education service cooperatives for acquiring equipment and receiving telecommunications services necessary for each school district to have distance learning availability.

To become an approved digital learning provider a digital learning provider shall submit proof that the provider:

Is nonsectarian and nondiscriminatory in its programs, employment practices, and operations;

Demonstrates or partners with an organization that demonstrates successful experience in furnishing digital learning courses to public school students as demonstrated by student growth in each subject area and grade level for which it proposes to provide digital learning courses; and

Provides digital learning services that meet or exceed the minimum curriculum standards and requirements established by the State Board of Education and ensures instructional and curricular quality through a curriculum and accountability plan that addresses every subject area and grade level for which it agrees to provide digital learning courses.

The Department of Education or State Board of Education shall not require as a condition of approval of a digital learning provider that the digital learning provider limit the delivery of digital learning courses to public schools that require physical attendance at the public school to successfully complete the credit for which the digital learning course is provided.

Public school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools that provide digital learning courses to their own students without the assistance of an external digital learning provider are not required to seek approval as a digital learning provider pursuant to these rules.

Public school districts and open-enrollment public charter schools that provide digital learning courses to students other than their own students without the assistance of an external digital learning provider are required to seek approval as digital learning providers pursuant to these rules.

Digital learning services may be procured from both in-state and out-of-state digital learning providers.

Pre-Application Information:

The Digital Learning Provider application deadline is January 15, 2018. At least one digital course must be submitted with the digital provider application and approved to achieve provider status.

The 2018-2019 Digital provider Course Approval Request Form is due February 16, 2018.

For the Current Digital Provider and Course Listing, visit:
http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/learning-services/digital-learning-providers/approved-digital-providers-course-list

Current Arkansas Academic Standards - all digital courses must be fully aligned for approval:
http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/learning-services/curriculum-and-instruction

All science courses approved in the past are void July 1, 2018. For 2018-19 school year, all science content courses must be aligned to the new Arkansas K-12 Science Standards courses published on the ADE website:
http://www.arkansased.gov/divisions/learning-services/curriculum-and-instruction/curriculum-framework-documents/science

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Ernie Huff, Information Systems Coordinator
501-683-4228
ernie.huff@arkansas.gov

Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arkansas