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Guidelines

The following guidelines regarding NCVPS and Apex Learning are referenced from Board Policy 3101/3101-R: Options to Earn Course Credits for Graduation. 

In its effort to provide a rigorous expanded curriculum that will adequately prepare students for future educational and workplace endeavors, the board will support the following requirements for students enrolled in the school district who also wish to enroll in classes taught by a college, university, community college, or other approved entity, or to take online or independent study courses in accordance with the requirements of this policy, state law and State Board of Education policy. Approval of alternative options to earn course credits may be requested for credit recovery, fulfillment of graduation requirements, courses not available at our high schools, and/or for acceleration.

OTHER COLLEGE COURSES AND OPTIONS TO EARN HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION CREDIT

The superintendent shall develop procedures and requirements for awarding high school credit toward graduation upon request to students who self-enroll in courses taught by a college, university, community college or other approved entity, including online and independent study courses.

1. Credit towards graduation shall be granted only for courses that are consistent with policies and standards of the school district and State Board requirements, including the requirements of State Board policy GCS HSP-M-001, “Course for Credit.”

2. State Board policy GCS HSP-M-001 states the following courses, including the honors versions, must be taken at the high school or middle school where indicated and may not be taken through alternative third-party course providers. 
· English I, II, III, IV 
· Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and any higher level mathematics course with Algebra II as the prerequisite that will be used to fulfill the fourth mathematics requirement or Integrated Mathematics I, II, III (May be taken at middle school) 
· Biology, Earth/Environmental Science, and a physical science course that is used to fulfill the third science requirement 
· Civics & Economics, US History, World History 
· First year of World Language or second year of the same language (may be taken at the middle school) 
· Healthful Living 

State Board policy regulations and guidance also allows LEAs to grant high school credit for graduation courses taken through North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS). 

3. To receive credit toward high school graduation, the provider from which the course is offered must provide such essential information as is generally included in official transcripts of school records. In the case of independent study credit, it will be the responsibility of the designated teacher to provide the information. This information includes:
a. identification of content of subject matter covered;
b. expected time required to complete course objectives;
c. the student's achievement or performance level in the course; and
d. a syllabus that includes course goals, objectives, course activities, and grade requirements must be provided.

4. Alternative course providers must be approved by the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services. Approved providers will be listed in the Policy Regulations 3101-R. Schools may request approval by the Assistant Superintendent for additional providers. Parents may request approval of additional providers through the principal who will forward the request to the Assistant Superintendent.

5. The course must be approved by the principal or principal designee in advance of the student’s enrollment. Prior to granting approval, the principal shall determine whether the course qualifies for credit toward graduation in accordance with procedures and requirements developed by the district.

6. The parent or guardian of the student must give permission for enrollment in an alternative option course and the student must complete any forms required by the school district.

7. Except as provided elsewhere in this policy, all fees, charges, and transportation required of the student are the responsibility of the student and the parent or guardian.

8. Enrollment of a student in an alternative option course, including a university, college course, dual enrollment course, or online course is the responsibility of the student and his/her parent or guardian.

9. School counselors will provide guidance to students on alternative options to earn course credit for graduation and ensure they select the appropriate courses.

10. The school Online Learning Facilitator is responsible for coordinating enrollment, monitoring progress, and administering tests for students enrolled in online courses, as well as supervising students enrolled in school-based credit recovery courses.

11. A highly-qualified teacher is responsible for supervision, instructional support, and assessing learning for students enrolled in independent study.

12. Students may not enroll in alternate options for courses that require an End-of-Course (EOC) test unless the curriculum is the NC Standard Course of Study. If students enroll in such a course they are required to take the EOC test immediately after having completed the semester-long, year-long, or summer course. The principal must notify the district testing coordinator at the time of enrollment so that testing materials will be available. The approved alternative options (providers) are listed in Policy Regulations 3101-R.

13. Students can enroll in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses through dual enrollment at community colleges that are not offered at a high school in the district. If the course has a VoCATs test, the student will be required to take the test at their high school upon completion of the course. The CDC must notify the district testing coordinator at the time of enrollment so that testing materials will be available.

14. High school credit, grade, grade point average, and class rank will be awarded in accordance with state and local procedures and requirements (Local Board policies 3400, 3450, and 3460; State Board policy GCS-L-004).

15. The alternative options to earn course credits described in this policy are limited to high school courses. If parents/guardians of middle school students would like their child to enroll in a high school course for which the student has met the prerequisites, they must request prior approval from the principal. Middle school students who take high school courses for which there is an EOC test are required to take that test and score a Level III or above to receive high school credit. The principal must notify the district testing coordinator at the time of enrollment so that testing materials will be available. The grade received for a high school course completed in middle school will not be used in the calculation of the student’s high school grade point average. Middle school students may only enroll in math and world language high school courses that are aligned with the district’s curriculum, or high school courses that are needed to fulfill the Individual Differentiated Education Plan (IDEP). Students who have completed 8th grade (rising 9th graders) will be considered to have equal status to high school students beginning with the summer prior to 9th grade.

NORTH CAROLINA VIRTUAL PUBLIC SCHOOL AND THIRD-PARTY COURSE PROVIDERS
The superintendent shall develop procedures and requirements consistent with State Board of Education policy and this policy for students enrolling in the North Carolina Virtual Public School. To the extent these courses are made available, they shall be provided at no cost to the student or the student’s family.

The following procedures apply to enrollment in NCVPS courses. Students are considered “high school” beginning with the summer prior to ninth grade.
1. High school students may enroll in NCVPS courses only under the following conditions:
a. the course is not offered in the district’s curriculum;
b. or the course is offered in the district’s curriculum, but not at a student’s school;
c. or there is a scheduling conflict. Scheduling conflicts are defined as any conflict that prevents a student from graduating on time or prevents a student from being promoted to the next grade level.

2. High school students may enroll in a NCVPS course as part of their academic course load or in addition to their academic course load with principal approval. The administration will create and enforce regulations that include measures to protect the academic integrity of online courses. High school students shall not enroll in more than seven (7) courses during the regular instructional year, including NCVPS courses, courses taken on-campus, independent study, online courses by third-party providers, and/or dual enrollment courses. In addition to the seven (7) courses students are allowed to take during the regular instructional year, high school students may enroll in one (1) NCVPS course during the summer academic session. Rising 9th grade students are eligible to enroll in one NCVPS summer course.

3. Middle school students may enroll in a NCVPS high school course if the principal gives prior approval because the course is required to continue a sequence in math or world languages or the course is needed to fulfill the Individual Differentiated Education Plan (IDEP); and the course is an approved course for the district middle schools but is not available at the school in the specific year.

4. Schools will administer End-of-Course (EOC) tests, VoCATs tests, or Advanced Placement examinations for students enrolled in NCVPS courses. Students are required to take the appropriate tests. Students taking a NCVPS summer course must take any associated EOC/VoCATs test at their home school during the designated August EOC test administration. Rising 9th grade students enrolled in NCVPS summer courses will take the EOC/VoCATs test at the high school they will attend the following year.

5. Access to a computer and internet access outside of the school day should not be a limitation for students who wish to take advantage of NCVPS courses.

Legal References: G.S. 115C-36, -47, -81; 115D-1.1, -1.2, -5(b), -20(4); 16 NCAC 6D.0503; 23 NCAC 2C.0305; State Board of Education policy GCS HSP-F-016; GCS HSP-L-004; GCS HSP-M-001; GCS HSP-N-004; GCS HSP-T-000

Cross References: Curriculum Development (Policy 3100), Time for Learning (policy 3300), Student Evaluations (Policy 3400), Class Rankings (Policy 3450), Graduation Requirements (Policy 3460), Extracurricular Activities, Co-curricular Activities, and Student Organizations (policy 3620), Attendance (policy 4400)

Adopted:
Revised: June 6, 2002, November 3, 2005, October 25, 2007, December 20, 2007, May 20, 2010, May 5, 2011, March 2012, May 17, 2012, July 2013