Virtual school planning: Tips for policy-makers
- By Daniel Keegan
- Aug 07, 2000
* Funding: Consider funding implications early on, including the cost/benefit
to local districts for participating and the most sustainable funding mechanisms
in your state.
* Technology: Consider all technology options before choosing your initial
platform, and think strategically and flexibly about technology.
* Curriculum: In deciding on course licensing and development parameters,
consider the main purpose of your curriculum in terms of specific needs
and the likelihood of future external course sharing.
* Student services: Consider forming alliances to provide student services
such as information resources and involve local school districts in decisions
about the extent of local responsibilities.
* Professional development: Consider a mix of on-site and virtual methods
for teacher training, leveraging existing resources and creating incentives
* Access/equity: Prioritize access/equity concerns most relevant to
your state and create strategies for reaching at-risk populations and providing
Advanced Placement access.
* Assessment/accountability: Create an internal process-improvement
structure for your virtual school. If receiving state funds, use external
evaluation with reports timed to fit the state legislative cycle.
* Marketing and public relations: Develop a comprehensive marketing
strategy that includes enrollment management and public relations for stakeholders,
funders and opinion leaders, while working to keep stakeholder expectations
in line with achievable goals.
* Policy and administration: Adopt and adapt from the policies and procedures
of existing virtual schools, while seeking to ensure a good fit with your
state's unique circumstances.
Source: "Virtual High Schools: State of the States"