UA Policy (amended and board approved 1/28/20): Virtual Instruction
Students wanting or needing additional opportunities to learn outside of the regular classroom may earn credits through online, virtual courses sponsored by University Academy, or through the Missouri Course Access Program (MOCAP). University Academy will accept all grades and credits earned through MOCAP and through University Academy sponsored curriculum.
University Academy is designed to prepare students to succeed in an institution of higher education and to become leaders in society, and readiness for college hinges upon students mastering University Academy’s programs and curriculum. Virtual courses are encouraged for students deficient in credit so that they are able to complete graduation requirements in a timely manner. However, a student who is on track to graduate but who wishes to supplement their coursework with a virtual course in addition to their full, daily schedule may request permission to take a virtual course from a University Academy Counselor. University Academy is not required to provide access to or pay for virtual courses beyond the equivalent of full-time enrollment. In the event a student/parent/guardian wishes to pay for a virtual course on their own, the student/parent/guardian should meet with University Academy counselors and/or teachers to ensure that the coursework is consistent with the student’s academic and personal goals.
Enrolling in Virtual Courses
Enrollment periods for virtual courses shall be the same as with the enrollment periods for traditional courses. These enrollment periods will be strictly enforced unless the superintendent or designee determines that an exception is warranted due to circumstances such as a change in student’s health or the long-term suspension of a student. A student/parent/guardian must notify the student’s principal or designee before the student may enroll in a virtual course. The student will be enrolled unless the principal or designee, in consultation with the student’s parents/guardians and relevant staff, such as a counselor or special education director, determines that there is good cause to refuse the student enrollment in the course.
Students/parents/guardians who disagree with the principal’s or designee’s determination about enrollment in a MOCAP course can appeal the decision to the Board of Directors and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as detailed later in this policy. For all other virtual courses, students/parents/guardians may appeal the decision to the superintendent or designee, and the superintendent’s or designee’s decision will be final. The superintendent or designee is authorized to consult University Academy’s attorney prior to making a decision.
Students enrolled in a virtual course remain subject to University Academy Board policies, procedures, and rules, the same as students enrolled in traditional courses including, but not limited to, University Academy’s discipline code and prohibitions on academic dishonesty, discrimination, harassment, bullying, and cyberbullying.
University Academy will develop an individual career and academic plan (ICAP) for students enrolled in three (3) or more virtual courses or for students enrolled in full-time virtual school. If a student already has an ICAP, the plan will be reviewed and modified as necessary.
University Academy Sponsored Virtual Courses
University Academy’s online, virtual course offerings do not fall under the classification of MOCAP courses. If a University Academy counselor determines that it is not in the best educational interest of the student to enroll in a virtual course, the student/parent/guardian may appeal the counselor’s decision to the superintendent or designee. The superintendent or designee’s decision shall be final and no further appeal shall be available.
If a principal or designee determines that it is not in a student’s best educational interest to take a MOCAP course, the student/parent/guardian will be notified in writing. In cases of denial, University Academy shall inform the student and the student’s family of their right to appeal to University Academy’s Board of Directors. For the appeal to the Board, the principal or designee will provide the Board written reasons for denying the student’s enrollment, and the student/parent/guardian will provide written reasons the student should be allowed to take the course. Both documents will be retained by the Board and will be incorporated into the Board minutes. In addition, the student/parent/guardian and the principal or designee will be allowed to present their arguments at a Board meeting. The appeal to the Board shall be held in a closed session. The members of the Board shall issue their decision in writing within thirty (30) calendar days of the appeal hearing. The student’s final recourse will be an appeal to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which shall provide a final decision within seven (7) calendar days of the appeal hearing.
Students with Disabilities
In general, students with disabilities may enroll in virtual courses using the same approval process applicable to other students. However, in accordance with federal law, if a student receives special education services, the student’s individualized education program (IEP) team may determine that a virtual course is not appropriate for the student even if the course has otherwise been approved. Any appeal of that decision must be made through the special education process rather than to the superintendent or designee or the Board.
If a student who is receiving accommodations for a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) is enrolled in a virtual course, the student’s Section 504 team will determine whether any additional accommodations are necessary for the student.
Attendance and Completion
Students who enroll in any virtual courses are expected to actively participate in those courses with the goal of completing the course. If a student does not actively participate in those courses with the goal of completing the course, University Academy may remove the student from the virtual course and refuse to enroll the student in a virtual course in the future. Additionally, students are required to meet the rigorous standards established by University Academy in the completion of virtual courses. If students are not achieving mastery at a level of 80% or higher, they may be removed from that virtual course.
Students enrolled in virtual courses are expected to complete all course requirements in the time allotted for the course. Extensions of time to complete a virtual course will be permitted only in situations where completion of the course in the allotted time would be impossible due to factors beyond the control of the student.
Students enrolled in virtual courses will be considered in attendance for state aid purposes in accordance with law. A completed virtual course shall be counted as no less than 95 percent attendance for purposes of A+ eligibility.
University Academy will inform students and parents/guardians in handbooks, registration documents, and on the homepage of University Academy’s website of the option to enroll in virtual courses, including courses offered through MOCAP, as required by law.
End-of-Course (EOC) Examinations
Students are required to take state-required EOC examinations administered by University Academy regardless of whether the course for which the examination is required was taken virtually or in the traditional classroom.
MOCAP costs will be paid by University Academy in accordance with state law, as long as:
- The student is enrolled full-time and has attended a charter school or a public school, for at least one (1) semester immediately prior to enrolling in the course. However, if the reason for the student’s non-attendance in the prior semester is a documented medical or psychological diagnosis or condition which prevented attendance, such non-attendance will be excused; and
- Prior to enrolling in the course, the student has received University Academy approval in accordance with this policy; and
- The student resides in and is enrolled at University Academy on a full-time basis; and
- Has received a University Academy Principal or designee’s approval.
PaymentVirtual Course Request FormMO Department of Education MOCAP Site
University Academy will pay MOCAP course providers a monthly pro rata amount based on a student’s completion of assignments and assessments, subject to cost limitations in state law. University Academy will stop making monthly payments if a student discontinues enrollment. The superintendent or designee is authorized to negotiate lower course rates with MOCAP course providers, wherever possible.
Monitoring and Reporting
University Academy will monitor the progress and success of students enrolled in MOCAP courses. University Academy may remove a student from a course if it does not meet the educational needs of the student, or if they are not achieving at the 80% threshold noted above. University Academy may terminate access to a course or refuse a student’s enrollment in a MOCAP course if University Academy determines that the course is not meeting the educational needs of the student.
All concerns regarding the quality or delivery of a MOCAP course will be reported to DESE. University Academy may consider concerns regarding the quality of a course when making approval decisions for other students. In addition, University Academy will consider recommendations made by DESE regarding continued or future enrollment in MOCAP courses.
University Academy will accept transfer credits students earned by successfully passing approved MOCAP courses, if the course provider gives University Academy an official record of the completed course and the grade earned. Students who transfer to University Academy while enrolled in MOCAP courses will be allowed to continue enrollment in those courses even if the course provider is not one used by University Academy.