WSR 12-11-094

PROPOSED RULES

SUPERINTENDENT OF

PUBLIC INSTRUCTION

[ Filed May 21, 2012, 9:35 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 12-08-014.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: Chapter 392-502 WAC, On-line learning -- Approval of multidistrict on-line providers.

Hearing Location(s): Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Old Capitol Building, 600 Washington S.E., Policy Room, 2nd Floor, Olympia, WA 98504-7200, on June 26, 2012, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: June 26, 2012.

Submit Written Comments to: Karl Nelson, 4507 University Way N.E., Suite 204, Seattle, WA 98105, e-mail karl.nelson@k12.wa.us, fax (206) 616-4595, by June 26, 2012.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Wanda Griffin by June 24, 2012, TTY (360) 664-3631 or (360) 725-6133.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed changes:

(a) Add a definition for a "single district" on-line provider.

(b) Add a definition for an "affiliate" provider.

(c) Add a streamlined approval process for single district and affiliate providers.

(d) Provide a mechanism for a single district provider to transition to a multidistrict provider when the program's annual average headcount exceeds ten percent nonresident student enrollment.

(e) Provide for immediate approval of single district and affiliate providers who meet the stated criteria.

(f) Clarify course requirements that relate to chapter 392-410 WAC.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: ESHB 2065 (2011) broadened the approval requirements from "multidistrict" on-line providers to include all on-line providers. The proposed revisions add a "single-district" provider approval option. Those programs that aren't multidistrict, and who are not wholly adopting an approved provider's program, will be able to be approved using a streamlined process. This new process reduces the burden on districts and OSPI, while still maintaining the proper oversight and accountability, as these programs must agree to the provider "assurances" and are subject to rescindment.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 28A.250 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapter 28A.250 RCW.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: OSPI, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting and Implementation: Karl Nelson, 4507 University Way N.E., Suite 204, Seattle, WA 98105, (206) 616-9940; and Enforcement: Peter Tamayo, 600 Washington Street S.E., Olympia, WA 98504-7200, (360) 664-3631.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Not applicable.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. Not applicable.

May 21, 2012

Randy Dorn

State Superintendent

of Public Instruction

OTS-4790.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 12-03-067, filed 1/12/12, effective 2/12/12)

WAC 392-502-010   Definitions.   As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) "Multidistrict on-line provider" means:

(a) A private or nonprofit organization that enters into a contract with a school district to provide on-line courses or programs to K-12 students from more than one school district;

(b) A private or nonprofit organization or a school district that enters into contracts with multiple school districts to provide on-line courses or programs to K-12 students from those districts; or

(c) Except as provided in (c)(i) and (ii) of this subsection, a school district that provides on-line courses or programs to students who reside outside the geographic boundaries of the school district.

(i) "Multidistrict on-line provider" does not include a school district on-line learning program in which fewer than ten percent of the students enrolled in the program are from other districts under the interdistrict student transfer provisions of RCW 28A.225.225.

(ii) "Multidistrict on-line provider" also does not include regional on-line learning programs that are jointly developed and implemented through an interdistrict cooperative program between two or more school districts or between one or more school districts and an educational service district, unless the annual average headcount of students who reside outside the geographic boundaries of those school districts and who are enrolled in the regional on-line program is ten percent or more of the total program enrollment headcount. Any agreement establishing such a program must address, at minimum, how the districts share student full-time equivalency for state basic education funding purposes and how categorical education programs, including special education, are provided to eligible students.

(2) "On-line course" means a course in which:

(a) More than half of the course content is delivered electronically using the internet or other computer-based methods; and

(b) More than half of the teaching is conducted from a remote location through an on-line course learning management system or other on-line or electronic tools.

An on-line course may be delivered to students at school as part of the regularly scheduled school day. An on-line course also may be delivered to students, in whole or in part, independently from a regular classroom schedule. On-line courses delivered to students independently of a regular classroom schedule must comply with RCW 28A.150.262 and WAC 392-121-182 to qualify for state basic education funding.

(3) "On-line school program" means a school program that:

(a) Offers courses or grade-level course work that are delivered primarily electronically using the internet or other computer-based methods;

(b) Offers courses or grade-level course work that are taught by a teacher primarily from a remote location using on-line or other electronic tools. Students enrolled in an on-line program may have access to the teacher synchronously, asynchronously, or both;

(c) Offers a sequential set of on-line courses or grade-level course work that may be taken in a single school term or throughout the school year in a manner that could provide a full-time basic education program if so desired by the student. Students may enroll in the program as part-time or full-time students; and

(d) Has an on-line component of the program with on-line lessons and tools for student and data management.

An on-line school program may be delivered to students at school as part of the regularly scheduled school day. An on-line school program also may be delivered to students, in whole or in part, independently from a regular classroom schedule. On-line programs delivered to students independently of a regular classroom schedule must comply with RCW 28A.150.262 and WAC 392-121-182 to qualify for state basic education funding.

(4) "On-line provider" means any provider of an on-line course or program, multidistrict on-line providers, all school district on-line learning programs, and all regional on-line learning programs.

(5) "Accrediting organizations" means the designated bodies identified by the superintendent of public instruction after consultation with the Washington council for on-line learning and published on the superintendent of public instruction web site. Accrediting organizations are for providers to use to satisfy the accreditation qualification for being an approved on-line provider.

(6) "Affiliate provider" means a school district that:

(a) Provides on-line courses offered by one or more approved on-line provider that provides the course content, the technology platform, and the instructional component of the courses; and

(b) Does not modify the content or instruction of the approved provider's offerings. An affiliate provider may not offer to its students any on-line course or courses that are provided by a nonapproved on-line provider.

(7) "Single-district provider" means a school district on-line provider that is not a multidistrict on-line provider or an affiliate provider.

(8) For the purposes of this section, "primarily" is defined as more than half.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 28A.250 RCW. 12-03-067, 392-502-010, filed 1/12/12, effective 2/12/12. Statutory Authority: 2009 c 542. 10-01-099, 392-502-010, filed 12/17/09, effective 1/17/10.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 12-03-067, filed 1/12/12, effective 2/12/12)

WAC 392-502-020   On-line provider approval process and timeline.   (1) This section sets forth the process that on-line providers must follow to be approved in accordance with RCW 28A.250.020. On-line providers must be approved by the superintendent of public instruction for districts to collect state funding, to the extent otherwise allowed by state law, for courses offered by those providers in accordance with WAC 392-502-080.

(2) ((Any multidistrict on-line provider that was approved by the digital learning commons or accredited by the Northwest accreditation commission before July 26, 2009, and meets the Washington state teacher certification requirements is exempt from the initial approval process until August 31, 2012, but must comply with the process for renewal of approvals and must comply with approval requirements including the approval assurances and criteria.

(3))) If at the end of the 2011-12 school year, the annual average headcount for that school year of students who reside outside the geographic boundaries of a school district or regional on-line learning program and are enrolled in a school district on-line program or regional on-line learning program increases to ten percent or more of the total on-line program enrollment headcount, the program:

(a) Must seek approval prior to November 1, 2013.

(b) May continue operating during the 2012-13 school year, but not the following school year unless approved as a multidistrict on-line provider.

(((4))) (3) Prior to the 2012-13 school year, multidistrict on-line providers seeking approval must submit an application for approval. The application form is outlined on the superintendent of public instruction web site. The superintendent or his or her designee will review submitted applications for compliance with the assurances and designated approval criteria set forth in WAC 392-502-030 and must meet or exceed the acceptable defined score.

(4) Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, all on-line providers seeking approval must apply to the superintendent of public instruction for approval as follows:

(a) Multidistrict on-line providers must submit an application as outlined on the superintendent of public instruction web site which will be reviewed for compliance with the ((requested assurances and)) designated approval criteria and must meet or exceed the acceptable defined score. Multidistrict on-line providers must comply with the superintendent of public instruction's required assurances.

(b) Affiliate providers must submit an affiliate provider application as outlined on the superintendent of public instruction web site. Affiliate providers must also comply with the superintendent of public instruction's required assurances.

(c) Single-district providers must submit a single-district provider application as outlined on the superintendent of public instruction web site. Single-district providers must also comply with the superintendent of public instruction's required assurances.

If, at the end of a school year, the annual average headcount for that school year of students who reside outside the geographic boundaries of a single-district provider and are enrolled in an on-line program offered by the single-district provider increases to ten percent or more of the total program enrollment headcount, the program shall be required to apply as a multidistrict on-line provider in the next approval cycle. The program may continue operating the year of the required approval review, but not the following school year unless approved as a multidistrict on-line provider.

(5) The superintendent of public instruction makes decisions regarding approval of multidistrict provider applications submitted pursuant to this chapter no later than November 1st of each year. ((An)) A multidistrict on-line provider's approval status takes effect the beginning of the school year following the date of the superintendent's approval of the on-line provider's application. Single-district and affiliate providers may apply at any point, and, subject to the requirements of approval, can be approved immediately by the superintendent of public instruction.

(6) For the 2011-12 school year, final modifications to the conditions for approval, required assurances, approval criteria, and application forms will appear on the superintendent of public instruction's web site by February 15, 2012.

(7) Beginning with the 2012-13 school year, any proposed modifications to the conditions for approval, required assurances, approval criteria, and application forms will appear on the superintendent of public instruction web site by October 1st of each year. The superintendent will accept feedback from on the proposed modifications from any interested parties prior to November 1st of each year. Any final modifications to the conditions for approval, required assurances, approval criteria, and application forms will appear on the superintendent of public instruction's web site by January 1st of each year.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 28A.250 RCW. 12-03-067, 392-502-020, filed 1/12/12, effective 2/12/12. Statutory Authority: 2009 c 542. 10-01-099, 392-502-020, filed 12/17/09, effective 1/17/10.]


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 12-03-067, filed 1/12/12, effective 2/12/12)

WAC 392-502-030   Approval assurances and criteria.   (1) This section sets forth the assurances and criteria that on-line providers must meet to be approved under this chapter.

(a) To be approved, on-line providers must provide the following assurances to the superintendent of public instruction:

(i) The on-line provider is accredited through an accrediting body as defined in WAC 392-502-010 and agrees to maintain accredited status for the duration of the approval period.

(ii) Each course and program the on-line provider offers is aligned with at least eighty percent of the current applicable grade/subject area of Washington state standards. For courses with content that is not included in state standards, the on-line provider's courses are aligned with at least eighty percent of nationally accepted content standards set for the relevant subjects. On-line providers must submit information to the superintendent regarding the standards alignment and the standards aligned.

(iii) All instruction delivered to Washington state students is delivered by Washington state certificated teachers who are assigned to instruct courses in a manner which meets the "highly qualified" definition under the No Child Left Behind Act and in a manner which meets the requirements set forth in chapter 181-82 WAC.

(iv) For on-line providers that offer high school courses, the courses offered by the on-line provider must be eligible for high school credit pursuant to WAC 180-51-050.

(v) All of the on-line provider's current and future courses in the ((following)) applicable areas meet the credit/content requirements ((as provided for in WAC 392-410-120 (Washington state history and government requirements), WAC 392-410-135 (Physical education -- Grade school and high school requirement), and WAC 392-410-140 (Sexual health education -- Definition -- Optional course or subject matter -- Excusal of students))) in chapter 392-410 WAC.

(vi) All advanced placement courses offered by the on-line provider have been approved in accordance with the college board advanced placement course audit. For advanced placement courses not yet offered at the time of application, the on-line provider must assure that those courses will be approved by the college board prior to offering those courses to students.

(vii) The on-line provider's data management systems ensure all student information remains confidential, as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended.

(viii) The on-line provider's web systems and content meet accessibility conformance levels specified in the list of approved provider assurances on the office of superintendent of public instruction's web site.

(ix) The on-line provider provides all information as directed or as requested by the office of superintendent of public instruction, the secretary for the department of education, and other federal officials for audit, program evaluation compliance, monitoring, and other purposes and to maintain all records for the current year and three previous years.

(x) The on-line provider informs the office of superintendent of public instruction in writing of any significant changes to the program including, but not limited to, changes in assurances, program description, fiscal status, or ownership.

(xi) The on-line provider upholds any pertinent federal or state laws, rules or regulations, in the delivery of the on-line courses or programs.

(xii) The on-line provider retains responsibility for the quality of courses and content offered, regardless of any third-party contractual arrangements, partnerships or consortia, contributing to the content or delivery of the on-line courses or programs.

(xiii) The on-line provider complies with the state assessment requirements including, but not limited to, the requirements of chapter 28A.655 RCW and WAC 392-121-182, as applicable.

(xiv) All of the provider's current and future career and technical education (CTE) courses are aligned to Washington state CTE program standards and have been approved by the office of superintendent of public instruction's CTE office. CTE courses must be taught by a Washington certificated teacher who is also CTE-certificated in the subject area of the course.

(xv) The on-line provider agrees to abide by any additional assurances required by the superintendent of public instruction.

(b) Multidistrict on-line providers must meet the following approval criteria by a preponderance of evidence submitted with the on-line provider's application:

(i) Course content and instructional design incorporating course goals and outcomes, materials and content organization, and student engagement.

(ii) Classroom management incorporating grading and privacy policies, internet etiquette, and expectations for communications.

(iii) Student assessment incorporating various types, frequent feedback, and appropriateness for the on-line learning environment.

(iv) Course evaluation and management incorporating strategies for obtaining feedback about the courses/programs and processes for quality assurance and updating content.

(v) Student support incorporating policies and systems to enhance the students' learning experience and their success.

(vi) School-based support incorporating strategies and systems to allow school-based staff to support student success.

(vii) Technology elements, requirements and support including descriptions and ease of navigation.

(viii) Staff development and support including training and on-line instructor performance reviews conducted on a planned and regularly scheduled basis.

(ix) Program management including timeliness and quality of teachers' responses to students, handling of fees, prompt distribution of materials and processing of enrollments, and handling fees and payments.

(x) The superintendent may require additional approval criteria pursuant to WAC 392-502-080.

(2) After review by the on-line learning advisory committee, the approval criteria with explanations and suggested supporting evidence will be posted on the superintendent of public instruction web site on or before the date the application is made available.

(3) On-line provider's application will be reviewed by reviewers selected by the superintendent of public instruction for their experience and expertise. The reviewers will be provided orientations and training to review and score the on-line provider applications using the approval criteria and scoring protocols.

(4) ((Prior to the 2013-14 school year, when developing local or regional)) Single-district provider on-line ((learning)) programs((, school districts)) must incorporate the approval criteria developed by the superintendent of public instruction into the program design.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 28A.250 RCW. 12-03-067, 392-502-030, filed 1/12/12, effective 2/12/12. Statutory Authority: 2009 c 542. 10-01-099, 392-502-030, filed 12/17/09, effective 1/17/10.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office