Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQs below will be updated to reflect House Bill 1926 changes as soon as final guidance is received from the Texas Education Agency.
1. What is the Texas Virtual School Network?
During the 80th Texas Legislative Session, Senate Bill 1788 established a state virtual school network to provide online courses for Texas students. The legislation also set forth the operational, course evaluation, and professional development requirements. Region 10 Education Service Center, in collaboration with Harris County Department of Education, operates the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) through a contract with the Texas Education Agency. It coordinates student enrollments, ensures the eligibility of virtual school providers and their courses, provides an online catalog of approved courses, and handles data reporting requirements.
The Texas Virtual School Network first offered courses to students in Texas districts and open enrollment charter schools beginning January 2009. The inaugural catalog offered courses for students in grades 9-12 that were reviewed to ensure 100% alignment with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, as well as, the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses. Initially all courses offered through the TxVSN statewide catalog were provided by public school districts, open-enrollment charter schools, institutions of higher education, or education service centers, but effective with the 2014 school year private and non-profit entities, corporations, and higher education institutions as defined by 20 U.S.C. Section 1001 may be course providers. All high school courses are taught by an instructor who is Texas-certified and has completed TxVSN-approved professional development on effective online instruction. A cadre of providers has been identified to offer TxVSN-approved professional development so that instructors can meet this requirement.
The TxVSN provides courses to supplement the instructional programs of public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. Through regular review of student needs, schools will find that TxVSN online courses provide useful instructional options for students. To participate in the TxVSN, a district must complete an annual TxVSN agreement as well as provide designated “TxVSN site coordinators” to register and approve student course enrollments.
2. Is the state virtual school network the same as the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN)?
Yes. There are two programs authorized under Texas Education Code Chapter 30A. The first is TxVSN statewide catalog, often referred to as “The Network”. This website and FAQ address this program. The second program is TXVSN Online Schools, a program operated by The Texas Education Agency.
3. What is TxVSN Online Schools?
Formerly called The Electronic Course Program (eCP), TxVSN Online Schools is a full-time virtual program. The program is operated by the Texas Education Agency and currently serves students in grades 3-12. See http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=4826 for information on this program.
4. If my district participated in the Texas Virtual School Network last year, is that same agreement acceptable or must a new agreement be completed each school year?
In order to be aware of annual changes and updates, districts and open-enrollment charter schools must complete a new agreement each fall.
5. Public Information Requests (PIR) What is a Public Information Request and how do I submit one?
A Public Information Request (PIR) is a request for documents or other information that is already in existence, but not readily available in the TxVSN Data Center or other location on this website.
The TxVSN is a Texas Education Agency (TEA) contractor; as a result, requests for documents or information not found on the TxVSN website must be directed to the TEA. Only written requests trigger a governmental body's obligations under the Public Information Act. For information as to how to submit a written PIR/Open Records Request to the TEA , please visit http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=3769.
It is recommended that one review the TxVSN website thoroughly before making a PIR request.
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1. What students are eligible to participate in the TxVSN?
A student is eligible to enroll in a course provided through the state virtual school network only if on September 1 of the school year, the student:
- is younger than 21 years of age; or
- is younger than 26 years of age and entitled to the benefits of the Foundation School Program under Section 42.003;
- has not graduated from high school; and
- is otherwise eligible to enroll in a public school in this state.
2. Which students are eligible to enroll full-time in TxVSN courses?
A student is eligible to enroll full-time in courses if the student:
- the student was enrolled in a public school in this state in the preceding school year;
- the student has been placed in substitute care in Texas, regardless of whether the student was enrolled in a public school in this state in the preceding school year; or
- the student is a dependent of a member of the United States military; was previously enrolled in high school in this state; and no longer resides in this state as a result of a military deployment or transfer.
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1. Who are the TxVSN course providers?
Providers are Texas school districts or open-enrollment charter schools, Education Service Centers, or higher education institutions meeting Texas Education Code Chapter 30A criteria. Also, private and non-profit entities, corporations, and higher education institutions as defined by 20 U.S.C. Section 1001 may now be statewide catalog course providers. The catalog provider application process for private and non-profit entities, corporations, and higher education institutions as defined by 20 U.S.C. Section 1001 will be available in fall 2014.
2. How do I know which provider or course to use?
There is a variety of data available in the TxVSN Data Center to assist stakeholders in making an informed choice. The Course Demos provide students and parents a look into a provider’s course design and organization. The Snapshot link offers success, drop, and attrition rates for each provider by semester and year. Finally, the course catalog itself provides detailed information about each course offered by a provider.
3. Do course providers work with vendors?
Yes, some course providers (Texas school districts or open-enrollment charter schools, Education Service Centers, or higher education institution) have established partnerships with vendors.
4. How does an eligible entity become a provider to the statewide catalog?
Potential providers must complete an application, as well as, submit courses for review prior to inclusion in the statewide catalog. See the Getting Started section under the Provider Menu for details. The TxVSN and the Texas Education Agency are in the process of updating statewide catalog agreement, processes, and systems for course providers that are private and non-profit entities, corporations, and higher education institutions as defined by 20 U.S.C. Section 1001. It is anticipated that those processes will be in place for the spring 2014 semester.
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1. Do I have to provide a certified teacher to mentor the students taking TxVSN courses?
No. The Provider district’s online instructor is the certified teacher of record for the course. The mentor should be a responsible adult designated by the district with the skills to encourage and support the students.
2. Can I build TxVSN courses into my master schedule?
TxVSN courses may be used to address individual student schedule conflicts, to expand campus course offerings, and as a way for students to recover credit or to accelerate work on graduation requirements. Some campuses report scheduling lab periods for students to access courses and/or to give the assigned mentor time to monitor student progress.
3. Can students drop a course during the semester?
Yes. Students may drop a TxVSN course at any time during the semester. However, the course drop window determines if a student’s district or open-enrollment charter school is responsible for the course cost. The drop window is contingent on the type and pace of the course, as well as the instructional start date. Refer to the annual TxVSN agreement for details on course drops, but in general:
- For a non-continuous enrollment course, students may drop within 14-school days after the instructional start date, without academic or financial penalty.
- For an accelerated course, students may drop within 4-school days after the instructional start date, without academic or financial penalty.
- If a student joins a continuous enrollment course (flexible enrollment) after the instructional start date, the course may be dropped 14-school days after the enrollment date.
- Students taking dual credit courses follow the college or university drop policy as noted on the dual credit webpage maintained by the higher education institution.
A student’s district or open-enrollment charter school is responsible for the course cost after the course drop window closes.
4. Do I have to let my students take TxVSN courses and is the district responsible for the course cost?
Amended by the full session of the 83rd Texas Legislature, Texas Education Code 26.003, “Rights Related to State Virtual School Network”, states that a school district or open‐enrollment charter school may deny a request to enroll a student in an TxVSN statewide catalog course if:
- a student attempts to enroll in a course load that is inconsistent with the student's high school graduation plan or requirements for college admission or earning an industry certification;
- the student requests permission to enroll in an electronic course at a time that is not consistent with the enrollment period established by the school district or open‐enrollment charter school providing the course; or
- the district or school offers a substantially similar course.
A school district or open-enrollment charter school may decline to pay the cost for a student of more than three yearlong electronic courses, or the equivalent, during any school year. This subsection does not:
- limit the ability of the student to enroll in additional electronic courses at the student's cost; or,
- apply to a student enrolled in a full-time online program that was operating on January 1, 2013.
5. May a school district select the provider when a parent requests that his/her child takes a TxVSN course?
A school district or open‐enrollment charter school from which a parent of a student requests permission to enroll the student in a TxVSN statewide catalog course has discretion to select a course provider approved by the network's administering authority based on factors including the informed choice reports in the Data Center.
6. What must a school district or open-enrollment charter school tell parents about the TxVSN statewide catalog?
At least once per school year, it must send to a parent of each district or school student enrolled at the middle or high school level, a copy of the written policy adopted that provides students with the opportunity to enroll in electronic courses provided through the state virtual school network. A district or school may send the policy with any other information.
7. How is successful course completion defined?
The Texas Education Agency Student Attendance Accounting Handbook defines successful completion as earning credit for the TxVSN semester course.
8. How is a TxVSN course recorded in PEIMS?
On the PEIMS Campus Record, use the Non-Campus-Based-Instruction Code for a TxVSN course. This code indicates that a course was offered for class credit or student achievement, but was not taught by a school district/charter school employee or a contracted teacher. For further information on the 300 Course Section Data Campus Record, see the 2011-2012 PEIMS Data Standards at www.tea.state.tx.us/peims.
9. What are attendance accounting rules for the TxVSN?
Refer to the current Texas Education Agency Student Attendance Accounting Handbook for detailed guidance. The document is located at http://www.tea.state.tx.us. Key concepts include:
- Enrollment in courses taken through the TxVSN may apply toward ADA eligibility status regardless of whether or not the student is physically present at the school when taking the online course, provided a student successfully completes a TxVSN course
- Successful completion is defined as earning credit for the online semester course.
- One TxVSN course is considered to be 55 minutes of daily instructional time.
- Five or more TxVSN courses equals full-time enrollment in the TxVSN.
- A student enrolled in a TXVSN online semester course who did not successfully complete the course, is no longer considered to have been scheduled for and receiving instruction for 55 minutes each day for that course. If the student does not successfully complete a TxVSN course, the district must adjust the student’s ADA eligibility code and attendance accordingly and report this adjusted information in the third PEIMS submission.
10. Who awards credit for courses taken through the TxVSN?
The student’s district or open-enrollment charter school awards credit based on the final grade supplied by the selected course provider.
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1. Do students taking dual credit courses through the TxVSN have to meet the same eligibility requirements as student taking face-to-face-dual credit courses?
2. If a student is taking two face-to-face dual credit courses this semester, may he/she take additional online dual credit courses from the TxVSN at the same time?
No, per Texas Administrative Code 4.85, a student may take only two dual credit courses per semester regardless of face-to-face or online environment unless both the principal of the high school and the chief academic officer of the college approve additional courses.
3. Can freshmen or sophomores take dual credit courses though the TxVSN?
A high school student is eligible to enroll in dual credit courses in the eleventh and/or twelfth grade if the student demonstrates college readiness by achieving the minimum passing standard(s) on a qualifying assessment instrument. Also, a student must meet all the college's regular prerequisite requirements designated for that course (e.g., minimum score on a specified placement test, minimum grade in a specified previous course, etc.) For a high school freshman or sophomore to be considered for dual credit, the student must have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and capability (as evidenced by grade-point average, PSAT/NMSQT scores, PLAN or other assessment indicators) and be approved by both the principal of the high school and the chief academic officer of the college.
4. Are all dual credit courses offered through the TxVSN tuition-free?
The catalog course cost must be paid.
5. My district’s service area college is not listed in the TxVSN catalog. Why not?
Higher education institutions interested in offering their courses through the TxVSN must respond to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) that involves having dual credit courses reviewed and agreeing to participate in the statewide catalog as required by the TxVSN. Dual credit provider participation is expected to expand. Districts and open-enrollment charter schools are encouraged to continue working with their local higher education institutions to plan online and face-to-face dual credit programs for their students.
6. Are the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills covered in the dual credit courses in the TxVSN catalog?
Yes, but because the student taking a dual credit course must be college ready, content and instruction will be advanced beyond, or in greater depth than, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
7. Are the dual credit courses in the TxVSN catalog aligned to the iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses?
8. How many dual credit courses may a student take through the TxVSN?
Texas Administrative Code 4.85 requires that high school students not be enrolled in more than two dual credit courses per semester whether offered face-to-face or through the TxVSN. Exceptions to this requirement for students with demonstrated outstanding academic performance and capability (as evidenced by grade-point average, ACT or SAT scores, or other assessment indicators) may be approved by both the principal of the high school and the chief academic officer of the college.
9. Must a district or open enrollment charter school have an agreement with the TXVSN dual credit provider selected or is that covered in the agreement with the TxVSN?
The Texas Administrative Code, 4.84 and 9.144, requires that any dual credit partnership between a secondary school and a public college include a written agreement (often referred to as an articulation agreement, an institutional agreement, or a partnership agreement) approved by the governing boards or designated authorities of both institutions. The TxVSN Agreement does not replace the agreement between the higher education institution and the secondary school.
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1. What is the best way to find out about TxVSN Site Coordinator responsibilities?
Webinars are regularly scheduled and listed on the TxVSN website under Upcoming Events and short videos are available in the site coordinator workspace. Site coordinator trainings may be offered at your local Service Center or in your local school district or open-enrollment charter school if requested and staff is available. To request a custom webinar or presentation email the Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Are final grades from TxVSN courses calculated into a student’s Grade Point Average (GPA)?
GPA calculation is subject to local district or open-enrollment charter school policy.
3. Are final grades from Advanced Placement courses taken through TxVSN already weighted?
Upon completion of an Advanced Placement course taken through TxVSN, the Provider will transmit the student’s unadjusted final grade to the Receiver district. It is a local decision to weight a grade for an Advanced Placement course taken through the TxVSN.
4. Do students have to take the AP test after taking an Advanced Placement course through TxVSN?
TxVSN does not require students to take the AP exam after completing an Advanced Placement course offered through the TxVSN. Students should refer to their local district or open-enrollment charter school local policy concerning AP exams.
5. How many TxVSN courses may a student take?
Districts or open-enrollment charter schools may register their students in the number of TxVSN high school courses advisable for individual students. However, Texas Administrative Code 4.85 requires that high school students must not be enrolled in more than two dual credit courses per semester. Texas Education Code Chapter 30A requires that a private school or home school student (not currently enrolled in a Texas school district or open-enrollment charter school as a full-time student) may only enroll in two courses per semester.
6. How does the TxVSN site coordinator or mentor monitor student progress?
Student progress is monitored through regular communication with the course instructor and the student. The TXVSN site coordinator or mentor must communicate with the online teacher regularly on topics such as status of the student’s completion and submission of assignments; participation in group projects; and contributions to discussion boards or other classroom discussions. They should also discuss whether or not the student needs any additional assistance such as a proctored exam, access to hard copy materials, or monitoring during a science lab or field investigation. After receiving feedback from the course instructor, the site coordinator or mentor should follow up with the student to see if the online teacher’s report matches the student’s perception of his/her standing in the course. Mentoring students is very important and the time involved in mentoring is individual to each student. Ongoing encouragement, technical support, and open communication, especially during the initial stage of the course, supports student success.
7. How will the student find out their final grade?
The Provider district will send a final grade report to the student and the designated receiving district contact, often the counselor. This grade report should be sent to the registrar so that the grade and associated credit may be posted on the student’s Academic Achievement Record (AAR).
8. What is the definition of ‘successful completion’?
Successful completion is defined as earning credit for the TxVSN semester course.
9. Is a campus allowed to have only one TxVSN site coordinator?
A campus may designate as many site coordinators as necessary to satisfactorily serve students.
10. What about state assessments?
TEC Chapter 30A requires that each student enrolled in a course offered through the TxVSN must take any assessment instrument under TEC 39.023 that is administered to students who are provided instruction in the course in the traditional classroom setting. The administration of the assessment instrument must be supervised by a proctor.
1. Does "un-enrolled student” or “student who is not enrolled in a Texas school district or open-enrollment charter school as a full-time student” mean home school or private school students?
Yes. Both phrases refer to eligible students not currently enrolled in their attendance zone public school district or open-enrollment charter school. It also means students who have dropped out of a Texas public school or open-enrollment charter school.
2. May a student, who is not enrolled in a Texas school district or open-enrollment charter school as a full-time student, enroll in online courses through the TxVSN?
Yes; however, such a student:
- may not, in any semester, enroll in more than two electronic courses offered through TxVSN;
- is not considered to be a public school student;
- must obtain access to a course provided through the TXVSN through the school district or open-enrollment charter school attendance zone in which the student resides;
- is not entitled to enroll in a course offered by a school district or open-enrollment charter school other than an online course provided through the TxVSN; and
- is not entitled to any right, privilege, activities, or services available to a student enrolled in a public school, other than the right to receive the appropriate unit of credit for completing an electronic course.
- After verifying that the student is eligible to attend high school, the attendance zone school district or open-enrollment charter school must (TEC 30A.107):
- register the student for the online course through the TxVSN system
- collect course cost fees from the student and pay the TxVSN when invoiced
- provide the appropriate unit of credit for completing the course to the student.
3. Must the student who resides in this state, and is not enrolled in a school district or open-enrollment charter school as a full-time student, enroll with the school district or open-enrollment charter school in order to take courses through TxVSN?
No. However, they must obtain access to a course provided through the TXVSN by working with the school district or open-enrollment charter school in the attendance zone in which they reside.
4. If a school district or open-enrollment charter school is not participating in the TxVSN, may it decline to assist a private school or home school student residing in its attendance zone with enrollment in courses provided through the TXVSN?
No. Texas Education Code Chapter 30A directs that private school or home school students access the TxVSN through the attendance zone school district in which the student resides.
5. May students who have been expelled from their district or open-enrollment charter school access TxVSN courses using the “resides in this state and is not enrolled in a school district or open-enrollment charter school” definition?
A student must be eligible to participate in a Texas public school district or open-enrollment charter school district. If Expulsion (TEC §37.007) is without placement in another educational setting as a result of a formal expulsion hearing [TEC §37.009(f)], then the student would not be eligible for online courses through the TxVSN.
6. If a district or open-enrollment charter school must provide registration assistance for a private or home school wanting to register for a TxVSN course, should the district complete the TxVSN participation process (annual agreement, needs assessment, etc.)?
Yes, it is recommended that all district or open-enrollment charter schools do so in order to minimize any delay in processing course requests.
7. How does a district or open-enrollment charter school verify that a student resides in its attendance zone?
The current Texas Education Agency Student Attendance Accounting Handbook provides recommendations on ways to document residency.
8. May a school district or open-enrollment charter school set up appointments or local TxVSN registration windows to assist private school or home school students to register for online courses offered through the TxVSN?
Yes. However, those enrollment windows or appointments must be consistent with the enrollment windows offered by the TxVSN and allow reasonable opportunity for the students to register within TxVSN course provider deadlines.
9. May a school district or open-enrollment charter school charge a course fee for enrollment in a course provided through the TxVSN to a student who resides in this state and is not enrolled in a school district or open-enrollment charter school as a full-time student?
Yes, the Texas Education Code Chapter 30A states that a school district or open-enrollment charter school shall charge a fee (course cost and nominal administrative fee). The amount of the fees charged may not exceed the cost of providing each course or $400 per course, whichever is less.
10. May a private school or home school student pay the TxVSN directly?
No. The TxVSN may only accept payments from Texas public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools.
1. May summer courses be used for credit recovery?
Yes. However, please note that TxVSN courses are rigorous and are intended for students needing recovery of an entire semester course. In order to take summer TxVSN courses, students must have been enrolled in a Texas high school during the 2011-2012 school year and meet the eligibility requirements for continued enrollment. The summer course curriculum is not abridged and the student must be prepared to work consistently throughout the summer.
In order for students to participate in summer courses, districts and open-enrollment charter schools must:
- Complete the TxVSN Agreement and steps as outlined at www.txvsn.org. Districts currently participating in the TxVSN do not have to complete a renewal agreement until fall 2012.
- Provide ongoing support throughout the summer in order to maximize the probability that the student will be successful, including, but not limited to:
- Ensuring that the district-designated TxVSN site coordinator has access to e-mail and other tools to receive grade reports and final grades, as well as to process enrollment changes such as drops throughout the summer.
- Assigning staff to actively mentor and monitor all students to ensure progress is made in the course, that supplemental materials are available, and to communicate with the provider district’s online instructor at regular intervals. The district-designated site coordinator may fulfill this role or other personnel may be assigned to do so.
- Ensuring that district facilities and examination proctors are available during the summer to accommodate student examinations. Examinations may require access to a computer lab and the rights to upload or download files to computer workstations and must be proctored by a responsible adult not related to the student.
- While it is not required for the district to provide home computer or internet access for students, a district may do so as a service to its students. However, prior to enrolling any student in a summer course, a district must ensure that each student has reliable computer and internet access at home, school, other secure location.
Districts and open-enrollment charter schools must provide summer support for their students; those unable to do so should not plan to participate.
2. Is a mentor recommended for students in summer courses?
Yes. A mentor is recommended for students in all semester courses. However, it is particularly important in the summer. Research suggests that the success rate for students with a mentor is significantly higher than for those without a mentor. In addition, when the superintendent or designee signs the TxVSN Agreement, the district is assuming the responsibility to assign a local mentor for students taking courses through the TxVSN.
3. We charge our summer school students enrolled in face-to-face classes a fee. May we charge students taking TxVSN courses a fee?
Yes. Per Texas Education Code, §30A.155, a school district or open-enrollment charter school may charge a student a fee for enrollment in an online course provided through TxVSN during the summer. The TxVSN suggests that districts and open-enrollment charter schools review their face-to-face summer school fees prior to establishing fees for courses offered through the TxVSN. Once established, fees should be communicated to students, parents, and the community. In addition, it should be stated in your communication that while the instructor and curriculum costs are borne by the TxVSN Provider District, the students’ district provides additional services such as mentoring/proctoring by staff (outside of their contract period for the regular instructional year), courses transcripts, and on-going support. School districts may also provide access to computers in the summer.
4. Our district cannot provide support in the summer. May our student take summer TxVSN courses?
No. Providing support to students is required for all semesters: fall, spring, and summer. Districts and open-enrollment charter schools must provide summer support for their students; those unable to do so should not plan to participate. The TxVSN will offer webinars to assist with planning, answer questions, and share summer support strategies. All webinar dates and times are listed on the TxVSN website at www.txvsn.org under Upcoming Events. To discuss various ways to provide summer support, please do not hesitate to contact the TxVSN staff at 866.938.9876 or email email@example.com.
5. We want the TxVSN to be our summer school solution. How can we be guaranteed that our students get the courses that they need or want?
Enrollments are on a first come, first served basis based on the published enrollment schedule. Priority is given to high school seniors in need of courses to graduate.
6. May home school or private school students take TxVSN courses in the summer?
Yes. Please refer to the FAQ section titled “Students Not Enrolled in a District”.
7. Can rising 9th graders (former 8th grade students and 8th graders take high school courses during the summer through TxVSN?
Yes. These students may advance into high school courses in the summer through TxVSN provided when there is documented mastery of the middle school essential knowledge and skills prerequisite to the high school course. Additionally, there must be coordination between the middle school and the high school guidance and counseling staff to verify the need to advance in order to meet the requirements of either the Recommended or Distinguished Achievement graduation plans.
8. Is there additional information available pertaining to summer courses?
Yes. TxVSN has regularly scheduled webinars available. The webinar schedule is located under "Upcoming Events" on the TxVSN home page.
1. How can I get TxVSN certification?
The successful completion of TxVSN-approved professional development does not confer a Texas endorsement or certification from the State Board of Educator Certification, but does fulfills a TEC Chapter 30A professional development requirement.
2. Where can I find the iNACOL National Standards of Quality for Online Teaching?
First, direct your browser www.inacol.org then select Resources on the horizontal navigation bar. Select the National Standards link.
3. Once TxVSN professional development is completed, when can I teach an online course over the network?
After successful completion of TxVSN approved professional development, an online instructor could be available to teach a course if he/she is employed or contracting with a TxVSN course provider district. This is contingent on the provider district having a need for an instructor matching an individual’s subject area certification.
4. What documentation of TxVSN professional development is needed?
Each provider of TxVSN approved professional development will supply a “document of completion” noting an individual’s successful completion of training. Each participant should retain a copy of the “document of completion” as well as give a copy to the course provider district upon request.
5. Do I get SBEC Continuing Professional Education (CPE) hours for completing TxVSN professional development?
Some providers of TxVSN approved professional development do offer CPE hours.
6. The timeline, pacing, and cost for TxVSN approved professional development is not the same for each provider. Why?
Each provider of TxVSN professional development establishes its own course cost, pacing, and timeline. This allows districts or individuals the flexibility to select the program best meeting their needs.
7. Who pays for TxVSN professional development?
It varies. Some course provider districts may pay professional development fees for instructors while others do not.
8. Can a course provider district specify the provider of TxVSN professional development a teacher must use?
A course provider district may specify a preferred provider of TxVSN approved professional development for its online instructors.
9. I am an experienced online instructor. Do I need TxVSN professional development?
All teachers need professional development to remain current in the rapidly changing world of online teaching and learning. However, online teachers with two or more years of experience teaching online academic courses for high school students and/or have a graduate degree in online or distance learning, do not have to take the TxVSN approved professional development. Prospective online teachers should be aware that a course provider district may still require experienced teachers to complete TxVSN professional development as well as have additional policies and requirements for its’ online teachers.
10. Once I have completed professional development, is that all I am required to do?
All teachers must have continuing professional development every three years to continue to meet the statutory requirements to teach a course offered in theTxVSN catalog. Teachers may meet the 3-year renewal by completing professional development approved by the TxVSN for experienced online instructors, or by participating in professional development on effective online instruction offered and/or approved by the TxVSN provider that employs or contracts with them.
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1. Who pays for TxVSN courses?
The student’s school district or open-enrollment charter school pays for courses. The TxVSN collects payment from the student’s district and then pays the course provider. If the student successfully completes the TXVSN course, then the student is eligible to generate FSP funding for the district in the same manner as a student who receives instruction in a traditional classroom generates FSP funding. This funding can be used to by the school district or open enrollment charter school to recoup the course cost. See the current Texas Education Agency Student Attendance Accounting Handbook for details or participate in a webinar on this topic.
2. What happens if the student does not successfully complete the TxVSN course?
A student who was enrolled in an online semester course through the TxVSN, but did not successfully complete the course, is no longer considered to have been scheduled for and receiving instruction for 55 minutes each day for that course. If the student did not successfully complete a TxVSN course, the district must adjust the student's ADA eligibility code and attendance accordingly and report this adjusted information in the third PEIMS submission.
3. It was my understanding that TXVSN courses were “free” in the past?
TxVSN courses were not free, but were state-funded through the state virtual school allotment. The Texas Education Agency used the allotment to pay for all successfully completed courses. The state virtual school allotment was repealed effective
September 1, 2011.
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If you have additional questions please send an email to the TxVSN central mailbox at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Help Desk at 1-866-938-9876