Frequently Asked Questions about Wyoming Virtual Education
What is virtual education?
Virtual education in our state is considered to be K-12 courses taught and delivered primarily through technology (W.S. 21-13-330(f)(i)). In these courses, the physical separation of the virtual education teacher and student(s) substantially limits or even prohibits the teacher from providing a preponderance of the course instruction in person. A course is considered virtual education even when a student is in a supervised brick and mortar setting if the teacher instructing the course isn’t available to provide in person, direct instruction as needed by the student.
How is average daily membership calculated for virtual education courses?
Average daily membership is now measured by students meeting course participation requirements that result in an attendance equivalence. Participation measures include activities recorded in the learning management system, such as submission of required coursework, and items verified by the virtual education teacher, such as a log of communication between the teacher and student or the teacher and the learning coach.
What is a virtual education teacher?
A virtual education teacher is the person who provides course instruction, facilitates student learning, monitors student progress, provides and grades assignments, and provides qualitative feedback to students through technology outside of the physical classroom. The virtual education teacher is not able to provide in person instruction a preponderance of the time due to the student and teacher being in separate locations.
Why do virtual education teachers need to be certified in Wyoming?
The requirement for teachers to be certified can be found in Wyoming statutes W.S. 21-7-303(a) and W.S. 21-2-202(a)(xxxi)(A). Any public funds being used to pay for instruction of a course, including purchased online courses taught by a K-12 teacher, require Wyoming certification. Assigning a Wyoming certified teacher to a student to provide instructional support doesn’t not alleviate the requirement for the online teacher to be state certified.
Does the virtual education teacher need to be employed by a Wyoming school district?
No. It is no longer a statutory requirement that virtual education teachers be employed by the school district providing the course.
What is a virtual education program?
Virtual education programs in Wyoming may only be delivered through a school district approved by the WDE to provide courses through distance delivery. School districts may opt to deliver virtual education courses part-time or full-time and they may elect to provide courses only to students in their district, a selection of districts or statewide.
What are district responsibilities related to virtual education?
Any district providing virtual education courses, whether purchased through a vendor or developed within the district, must submit an application to the WDE for program approval. Districts providing virtual education must adhere to all statutory and Chapter 41 Virtual Education Rules requirements including ensuring the courses are aligned to Wyoming Content and Performance Standards and taught by Wyoming certified teachers. Districts must also track participation in virtual education for the purposes of recording and reporting an attendance equivalent measure for average daily membership.
Are Distance Learning Plans (DLP) still required for virtual education courses?
No. It is no longer a statutory requirement to complete a distance learning plan for students participating in a virtual education course. Tracking participation in virtual education courses has replaced the DLP requirements.
Are online dual enrollment courses part of the K-12 virtual education program?
No. Distance delivery dual enrollment college courses taught by faculty employed by an appropriately accredited postsecondary institution are not part of the K-12 virtual education program. Faculty teaching dual enrollment courses are not required to have a Wyoming PTSB teaching license (W.S. 21-7-303(b)(i)).
What is the role of the Virtual Education Advisory Committee?
The advisory committee recommends modifications to rules, policies, practices and procedures and serves in an advisory capacity to school districts to improve the delivery of virtual education courses across the state (W.S. 21-2-202(a)(xxxi)(F)).
Which district receives ADM for students taking virtual education courses?
ADM goes to the school district that provides more than fifty percent (50%) of a student’s education. If more than fifty percent of a student’s education is being provided by a single district’s virtual education program, that district will have primary enrollment for the student and receive full ADM (W.S. 21-13-330(g)(11)).