What It Means to be a TxVSN Receiver
In anticipation of receiving courses through the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) statewide catalog, a district or open-enrollment charter school should examine its students' current or potential online course needs. Courses through the TxVSN may provide credit recovery or advancement for students, as well as allow a district to expand local high school course offerings.
Equally important is a review or creation of local policy related to online courses. For example, how many transfer credits are allowable for local high school students? How does an online course affect class rank for a student? How will TxVSN course availability be articulated to students? To ensure local policies and procedures are up-to-date, review Texas Education Code 26.0031. The section, for example requires adoption of a policy that provides students enrolled in the public school district and open-enrollment charter school with the opportunity to register in courses provided through the TxVSN statewide course catalog.
Designate Staff for Student Support
District/Campus Administrator Role
The District/Campus Administrator makes sure all campus members understand school policies regarding the availability of course offerings, the eligibility of students to take them, and the onsite support required for their participation. Each TxVSN participating local school must identify contact people that are responsible for providing TxVSN course services at the local school.
Site Coordinator Role
Each public school district or open-enrollment charter school enrolling students in TxVSN courses must provide an individual employed by the school/organization to serve in the capacity of TxVSN Site Coordinator.
The responsibility of the Site Coordinator is to:
- advise students and finalize course enrollment;
- monitor and mentor student progress;
- proctor or arrange proctors for exams; and
- serve as a liaison, or arrange for a liaison, between the student and online instructor.
While it is not required that a professional counselor serve as the TxVSN site coordinator, counselors do have the knowledge and skills to effectively fulfill the role. It is possible to have a single district site coordinator, a site coordinator per campus, or multiple site coordinators per campus.
Campus Mentor Role
The TxVSN courses rely on mentors to monitor student progress. Campus mentors are very important to the success of the online student as well as to the communication between the online instructor, the student and the school.
The responsibilities of the campus mentors include:
- guide and support student independence;
- motivate; and
- support technological needs in online coursework.
Research indicates that having a local campus mentor for students taking online courses has a positive impact on student passing rate and overall success.
School/Building Technology Support Role
It is strongly recommended that the local campus or district technology staff be included in coordination of online course support . Usually technology support is needed at the beginning of each term to make sure any course-specific plug-ins or technology requirements are addressed.
This person should be:
- Prepared to coordinate with the school's Site Coordinator on issues such as course technology requirements and downloadable materials (once a student has been registered for a course).
- Prepared to offer ongoing technical support to students and campus mentors throughout, or at least through the first month of the online term.
Student Expectations and Readiness
Students should have an understanding of what online learning is and the readiness skills necessary to be a successful online learner. TxVSN courses are very rigorous. TxVSN CLUE IN is an orientation to online learning which
- aims at acquainting the student and parent with
- the online instruction process,
- possible technological tools used within an online course, and
- basic online communication skills,
- let's students earn badges based on real world activities,
- is flexible so the local district determines level of proficiency, and
- is completed in 15 minutes for a Level 1 badge and more time if a student wants to earn badges at higher levels.
Student Course Access
Students must have consistent access to an Internet-connected multimedia computer. A time and place for students to connect to their online courses should be designated and students will most likely need to work on courses at home and school. Knowing when, where, and how to connect to the online course helps students plan and strategize for productive work time whether during the school day or at home.
Student Enrollment Priorities for the Statewide Catalog
Please review the following information before enrolling students in TxVSN courses. Students must meet these criteria:
- Students currently in grade 8-12 in a Texas public school district or open-enrollment charter school are eligible to enroll in TxVSN courses.
- Students must have been enrolled in a Texas school district or open-enrollment charter school the previous school year, unless the student is in substitute care in Texas.
- Students enrolled in Dual Credit courses must meet The Higher Education Coordinating Board's (THECB) enrollment priorities. THECB's FAQ page.
- Each college or university that offers dual credit courses through TxVSN will have an additional registration process to complete for each student. Please refer to the information page of the college or university offering the course for more information.
- Students must successfully complete the TxVSN course for the time to count toward the Average Daily Attendance calculation of the school district or open-enrollment charter school in which the student is currently enrolled.
TxVSN Receiving District or Open-Enrollment Charter Agreement
The TxVSN Receiving District or Open-Enrollment Charter Agreement outlines the roles and responsibilities of the receiving district, provider LEA, and the TxVSN. This agreement should be completed annually. While the agreement does not obligate a district or open-enrollment charter school to take a course through the TxVSN, having a signed agreement in place will expedite the enrollment process when courses are needed for a student or campus.
TxVSN 2012-2013 Receiving District or Open-Enrollment Charter Agreement