Friday, January 11, 2008

Board of Education Approves Temporary Rules for Online Programs

The Board of Education this week adopted nine pages of detailed rules for the administration, certification and oversight of the state's growing number of online schools and programs.
The rules adopted this week are temporary and are effective immediately. The process of adopting permanent rules begins next month.
The new rules set quality standards, spell out application criteria for multi-district online programs, provide procedures and timelines for submitting annual reports, and detail a standardized process for documenting enrollment, among other elements.
The rules were prompted by the passage of Senate Bill 07-215, sponsored by Sen. Sue Windels and Rep. Terrance Carroll. Senator Windels attended the board meeting this week to provide guidance and insight on the legislative intent of the new law as board members questioned a number of proposed definitions and made a number of changes before voting on a final version.
Senate Bill 07-215 created a Unit of Online Learning within the Colorado Department of Education. The unit is charged with improving accountability for online learning and ensuring that online schools offer curriculum that follows state standards.
The final rules as amended by the state board will be posted on the division's Web site
In other action, the state board:
  • Approved the request from the Colorado Talking Book Library for approval of expenditure from the Mary Jones Trust Fund.
  • Approved a series of emergency authorizations and disciplinary proceedings.
  • Approved a series of teacher/special service provider induction programs and principal/administrator induction programs submitted by Fremont Re-2, Mountain BOCES, Strasburg School District No. 31-J, Briggsdale RE-10J, Aguilar Reorganized 6 School District, Garfield County School District No. 16, Wray School District RD-2, Manzanola School District 3J, and Landmark Academy.
  • Approved the Northeast BOCES Alternative Teacher Preparation Program.
  • Approved the Colorado Department of Education's School Nurse Induction Mentor Program.
  • Approved payments of $7.2 million to school districts as detailed in English Language Proficiency Act (ELPA) Program – School Year 07/08.
  • Approved notice of rule-making for longitudinal analysis of student assessment as required by HB07-1048.
  • Approved an appointment to the Educational Data Advisory Committee.
  • Certified amounts payable to school districts for December and January pursuant to the Public School Finance Act of 1994 (as amended).
  • Approved the waiver request for Imagine Charter School at Firestone (St. Vrain Valley School District).
  • Voted Wednesday (Jan. 9) to affirm a decision by the Ridgway Schools Board of Education that denied the Owl Creek Community School charter school application. The vote was 6-1 with board vice-chairman Bob Schaffer casting the lone dissent. Board members indicated concerns with the proposal's budget, curriculum, and size (30 students), among other issues.