NCVPS Update, Sept 25

North Carolina Virtual Public School may have jumped out of the gate this summer and fall with irrational exuberance. Imminent challenges soon surfaced. Many schools and students were left scrambling. NCVPS is making decisive moves to correct the course.

Today, we had our first advisory board meeting under the new administration of NCVPS. The challenges of the rollout were addressed head-on. I left the meeting with renewed confidence in NCVPS as an alternative education delivery resource for North Carolina students.

State Superintendent June St. Clair Atkinson released a memo on NCVPS today. In it, she reaffirms the commitment of NCVPS to provide 24/7 learning opportunities. She alludes to the evolving course catalog and the fit of NCVPS with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. She reiterates that local schools will be responsible for textbooks.

NCVPS is a service to North Carolina Public Schools. At the moment, NCVPS has 5700 students taking 46 courses. The spring course catalog is scheduled for release in early November.

To ensure quality in the future, NCVPS is building in department chairs and content specialists. It is working to streamline its communication and grade monitoring processes. It hopes to be textbook-free in two to three years.

Students and parents alike must be made aware of the risk and reward of on-line classes in general. It may be a good idea for schools to have a sign-off sheet for NCVPS students in the future.

I am envisioning a sheet that speaks up front to drop dates, grade monitoring, cheating, materials and textbooks, rigor, and credit recovery. Students, parents, and schools have responsibilities in these areas. Not addressing and signing off on these responsibilities up front will yield consequences down the road.

Superintendent Atkinson summed it up rather neatly in today’s meeting:

NCVPS is trying to promote independent learning in a somewhat dependent school culture. It is aiming for flexibility in a rigid public school structure. It is begging for 21st century processes and policies in a system mired in the twentieth century.

Folks, NCVPS is not only here to stay . . . it is here to flourish.


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