Administrators LEAD & MANAGE MY SCHOOL
Innovations in Education: Connecting Students to Advanced Courses Online
December 2007
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This part of the guide has presented some crosscutting elements from strong online course providers and the districts and schools with which they have partnered. Like Gary Pascal from the introduction of this guide, a school or district can begin the process of implementing a successful online program for delivering advanced course work by conducting a needs assessment to identify students' needs for and interests in advanced course work. Once the decision has been made to move forward, the Suggested Practices for the School-Provider Partnership table at the beginning of this section may be used to help guide the site coordinator through next steps for implementing a successful program. The checklist in Appendix A (Online Learning Program Implementation Checklist for District or School) is also a useful resource that can be adapted to address district and school needs.

Clear roles and responsibilities should be established at the school and district levels. Many online course providers recommend identifying a site coordinator who will serve as the link between site and provider and as the primary contact for students and their parents. To help ensure a positive learning experience for students, a district or school should look for a course provider with a well-developed student support system in place. If the provider is new, it should, minimally, have plans for evaluating its support system and making improvements as it grows toward being a mature system. Partnering schools will want to help their course provider evaluate its student support program by supplying any requested data or completing surveys, for example. Both the districts and schools and the providers featured in this guide agree that the more support a student receives, both online and on-site, the more likely it is that the student will succeed with advanced online courses. It is the responsibility of the site to choose a provider with a high-quality coursedevelopment process and with courses that are delivered through high-quality instruction. Choosing providers that monitor and evaluate online teachers will ultimately benefit students. After entering into a positive partnership with a provider, the site coordinator can begin recruiting, counseling, and enrolling students.

A successful site-provider partnership and the online program it supports must be sustained through iterative evaluation and continuous improvement. Schools and districts can contribute to the evaluation efforts by participating in client-satisfaction surveys and, if necessary, supplying the providers with student achievement and demographic data. By establishing a strong partnership and networking with other sites and programs, districts, schools, and providers are furthering the online learning field and creating an environment that gives today's students more opportunities to succeed in high school and beyond.

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Last Modified: 10/05/2009