Utah’s Statewide Online Education Program

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an event at the Colorado Department of Education sponsored by The Education Policy Center and hosted by Dr. Debora Scheffel. The Topic: Utah’s new Statewide Online Education Program Senate Bill 65.

The guest speaker was Robyn Bagley, Chairman of the Board, Parents for Choice in Education, a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to ensuring every child has equal access to a quality education. Robyn is also the Board Chair for the Open High School of Utah, an online charter school and she served on the 2010 Digital Learning Council among a diverse group of leaders with some of the best minds in the country to define the policies that will need to integrated into public education to provide a high quality education for all students.

Utah is the first state to turn The 10 Elements of Digital Learning into policy.

Utah’s Statewide Online Education Program will provide public, private, and homeschool students with additional educational options in grades 9-12. In their first school year 2011-12, students will have the option to take 2 online courses while still being enrolled in their public high school.

It’s a statewide public school so anyone in grades 9-12 is eligible to enroll and since it’s a public school there’s no cost. Currently there are 3 Course Providers and students may choose any Course Provider for each course they select and they will have Utah state certified and highly qualified teachers available to them. Courses are fully accredited and include a broad offering of core subjects, AP and IB Courses.

This program which will launch in the fall of 2011 will have funding follow the student. When the power point presentation becomes available I’ll share that so you can see how the backpack funding exactly works.

Currently there are 500-600 students already pre-registered for the Statewide Online Education Program. This program will afford students the opportunity to individualize learning while mastering a subject (no “seat time”) with the flexibility to learn anywhere, anytime using cutting edge technology.

Online schools like Utah’s Statewide Online Education Program meet the needs of today’s students who are digital learners. Students will benefit from how education is delivered and accessed, and it will prepare students for a lifetime of success. Utah’s Statewide Online Education Program offers yet another option in the public education system for students to choose from in order to best meet their individual learning needs.

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