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RULE §70.1005Texas Virtual School Network Course Requirements

(a) All electronic courses to be made available through the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN) shall be reviewed and approved prior to being offered.

  (1) Each electronic course approved for inclusion in the TxVSN shall:

    (A) be in a specific subject that is part of the required curriculum;

    (B) be aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) approved for implementation in a given school year for a grade level at or above Grade 3;

    (C) be the equivalent in instructional rigor and scope to a course that is provided in a traditional classroom setting during:

      (i) a semester of 90 instructional days; and

      (ii) a school day of at least seven hours;

    (D) be led by a teacher who meets the requirements of §70.1027 of this title (relating to Requirements for Educators of Electronic Courses);

    (E) be designed specifically for an online learning environment, including instructional tools, assessment features, and collaborative communication tools as appropriate;

    (F) be aligned with the current International Association for K-12 Learning (iNACOL) National Standards for Quality Online Courses;

    (G) meet accessibility requirements established by the U.S. Rehabilitation Act, §508, and TxVSN accessibility guidelines; and

    (H) ensure that each student enrolled in a TxVSN electronic course takes any applicable assessment instrument required under the Texas Education Code (TEC), §39.023, according to the standard administration schedule and that each assessment is supervised by a proctor.

  (2) Secondary (Grades 6-12) science courses shall include at least 40% hands-on laboratory investigations and field work using appropriate scientific inquiry as required by §74.3(b)(2)(C) of this title (relating to Description of a Required Secondary Curriculum).

  (3) An Advanced Placement (AP) course must have documented approval from the College Board as an AP course prior to submission for TxVSN course review.

  (4) If the TEKS with which an approved course is aligned are modified, the course provider shall be provided the same time period to revise the course to achieve alignment with the modified TEKS as is provided for the modification of a course provided in a traditional classroom setting.

  (5) An online dual credit course to be offered through the TxVSN shall be submitted to the administering authority for review and approval prior to being offered.

  (6) If the administering authority does not approve an electronic course, a course provider may appeal to the commissioner of education.

    (A) A TxVSN course provider must obtain support from the local governing body, as applicable, in order to appeal to the commissioner regarding the administering authority's refusal to approve an electronic course.

    (B) If the commissioner determines that the administering authority's evaluation did not follow the criteria or was otherwise irregular, the commissioner may overrule the administering authority and approve the course.

    (C) The commissioner's decision under this section is final and may not be appealed.

(b) A course approved to be offered through the TxVSN shall be required to be renewed for approval under one of the following circumstances, whichever period of time is shorter:

  (1) in accordance with a schedule designed to coincide with revisions to the curriculum under the TEC, §28.002(a); or

  (2) not later than ten years from the anniversary of the previous approval.

(c) A Texas public school district or charter school may apply to the commissioner for a waiver of the course review requirement if the school district or charter school certifies that courses they will offer meet all of the requirements of subsection (a)(1) of this section.

  (1) A school district or charter school that receives a waiver of this requirement shall ensure that students enrolled in online courses that have not gone through the course review process perform at a rate at least equal to that of the district or charter as a whole.

  (2) A school district or charter school that does not maintain student performance at least equal to that of the district or charter as a whole may be required to submit courses for review as a condition of continued participation in the TxVSN.

Source Note: The provisions of this §70.1005 adopted to be effective February 27, 2013, 38 TexReg 1163; amended to be effective April 7, 2015, 40 TexReg 1967

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