State School Aid Act – Section 21f: Online Courses
The State of Michigan has taken action to expand digital learning options implementing Section 21f of the State School Aid Act. These options allow families to request their child, in grades 6-12, to be enrolled in no more than two (2) online courses in place of a currently scheduled course.
It is imperative that families assess whether or not an online course is ideal for their child. This learning environment is a non-traditional setting and lacks face-to-face classroom instruction and support. The research shows that not all students are well-suited for this style of learning. Consequently, families should carefully consider the following:
- Can your child create and maintain a study schedule without face-to-face interaction with a teacher?
- Can your child self-advocate and seek help within a virtual setting?
- Does your child possess the independent study habits and motivation needed to complete an entire course online without direct supervision?
- Does your child have the reading, writing, math, and computer literacy skills to succeed in a class that is completely online?
- Additional information is contained with the parent Guide to Online Learning at: http://media.mivu.org/institute/pdf/parentguide.pdf.
This option is limited to online classes the district offers or that are listed within the state online course catalog available at https://micourses.org. While all of these classes have been reviewed from each sponsoring local district, in many cases, courses may not meet the rigor of courses for Okemos Public Schools from a credit or our graduation requirements; thus they are subject to administrative approval.
Should you choose to enroll your child in an online courses, please be advised of the conditions listed below:
- The highly qualified teacher providing the content for the course will only be available remotely via email or possibly phone and will not be an Okemos Public School employee.
- The assigned mentor does not replace the role of the teacher.
- Your student will be required to work independently outside of the traditional classroom setting and will not be present with an OHS teacher or classmates during that subject.
- Students will be expected to take their online class in their building. OHS seniors are permitted to work off-campus if they are scheduled for an MVU course during their last period of the day.
- If approved, both parent and student must complete the 21f Online Learning Course Contract to verify their understanding of the expectations.
- Once enrolled in an online class, students may not withdraw from the online course to enroll in a different online class or a course in their home school.
- The student must complete the online course on or before the last day of the OPS semester/trimester in which they are enrolled.
- It is strongly recommended that students do not plan on taking one semester of a course virtually and then one semester of a course traditionally. Students can miss out on important curriculum topics depending on the order of the units online vs. in school. For example, students should not take Virtual Biology A and then take traditional Biology B in school.
Kinawa School (6) or Chippewa Middle School (7-8): The approved online course(s) must be one of the student’s seven required classes per trimester. The district will pay up to 1/18th of the district’s per pupil foundation allowance toward the cost of the course. The student/parent will bear any cost above that amount. The student/parent will bear the cost of any online course taken in addition to the student’s full-time class schedule.
Okemos High School (9-12): The approved online course(s) must be one of the student’s six required classes per semester. The district will pay up to 1/12th of the district’s per pupil foundation allowance toward the cost of the course. The student/parent will bear any cost above that amount.
Middle level (6-8) courses taken through 21f will be included on the report card and designated as such, including the letter grade earned. Students may elect to apply credit from these courses to their high school transcript as credit only, indicated by a “G”, and having no impact on the grade point average.
Okemos High School (9-12) courses taken through 21f will be included on the OHS transcript and designated as such, including the letter grade earned. If a student wishes to take the course for credit only, refer to the Credit/No Credit policy.
Prerequisites for Courses
Successful completion of a 21f course will be accepted for continued progression in the student’s learning.
Example: A student passing MVU Algebra I will continue in the math sequence to Geometry.
Courses taken through 21f for which the prerequisite is less than that for a similarly titled OPS course do not qualify as a prerequisite for a later OPS course. In these situations a student must also test out via the testing out procedure.
Example: The prerequisite for OHS Chemistry is Algebra 2, while the prerequisite for MVU Chemistry is Algebra I. A student seeking enrollment in OHS AP Chemistry and who took MVU Chemistry must earn the testing out score required for OHS Chemistry (90%).
Honors Pathway Prerequisites
The MVU course catalog does not offer Honors courses. Past experience has shown that high acceleration of the math pathway through virtual courses may result in future challenges when students are in higher level math courses, beginning with Algebra 2 and continuing through Calculus. Therefore, it is HIGHLY recommended that students on the Honors Pathway do not take MVU courses in substitution of OPS Honors classes.
If a student completes a virtual course and wants to remain on the Honors pathway, the student will need to complete the OHS Testing Out process in June for the Honors version of the virtual course.
Kinawa School (6) or Chippewa Middle School (7-8): Students enrolled in 21f courses must report to their mentor/teacher of record’s classroom daily. In rare circumstances, students may be permitted to complete the course off-site if permission is granted by administration and parent/guardian. It is important to note that the semester/trimester start and end time may differ from the OPS calendar. Days off and holiday breaks may also differ depending on the provider.
Okemos High School (9-12): All students enrolled in 21f courses must report to their mentor/teacher of record’s classroom daily. Exception: Okemos High School seniors who are enrolled in a 21f course may only leave the building if their 21f course is scheduled during their last hour of the day and permission is granted by the parent/guardian. Students are required to take their final exams at Okemos High School with the assigned mentor/teacher of record. It is important to note that the semester/trimester start and end time may differ from the OPS calendar. Days off and holiday breaks may also differ depending on the provider.
Parents/guardians of students enrolled in 21f must create an account in Michigan Virtual (MV) to
monitor their student’s progress and receive progress checks from MV instructors. Instructions for doing so are included within the 21f application. At the end of each grading period, 21f grades are posted in PowerSchool and will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
Parents should use the Online Class Enrollment Form found on the district website. Deadlines for requesting enrollment in this will be consistent with the established Okemos Public Schools course selection timelines. These deadlines are important as online enrollment impacts staffing and schedule considerations.
If a student is denied enrollment in a virtual course by the District, the school shall provide written notification to the student and parent which indicates the reasons for denial. The reasons for denial are as follows:
- The pupil is enrolled in any of grades K to 5.
- The pupil has previously gained the credits that would be provided from the completion of the virtual course.
- The virtual course is not capable of generating academic credit.
- The virtual course is inconsistent with the remaining graduation requirements or career interests of the pupil.
- The pupil has not completed the prerequisite coursework for the requested virtual course or has not demonstrated proficiency in the prerequisite course content.
- The pupil has failed a previous virtual course in the same subject during the 2 most recent academic years.
- The virtual course is of insufficient quality or rigor.
- The cost of the virtual course exceeds the amount identified in subsection (9), unless the pupil or the pupil's parent or legal guardian agrees to pay the cost that exceeds this amount.
- The request for a virtual course enrollment did not occur within the same timelines established by the primary district for enrollment and schedule changes for regular courses.
- The request for a virtual course enrollment was not made in the academic term, semester, trimester, or summer preceding the enrollment. This subdivision does not apply to a request made by a pupil who is newly enrolled in the primary district.
(Subsection quoted from: THE STATE SCHOOL AID ACT OF 1979 (EXCERPT) Act 94 of 1979,
388.1621f, Virtual courses; definitions)
A student may appeal a denial for enrollment in a virtual course to the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and must do so in writing, including the reasons why the enrollment was denied and the reason why it should be approved. The school district has five days to respond to the appeal after it is received. If it is determined that the denial does not meet the criteria above, the District will enroll the student in the virtual course.
(Language based on THE STATE SCHOOL AID ACT OF 1979 (EXCERPT) Act 94 of 1979, 388.1621f, Virtual courses; definitions)