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According to a Missouri law signed into effect last summer, every public school student in Missouri has the right to take virtual education courses at no cost to them or their family.
Courses can be taken in the format of a single course that is not offered by their local district, like an advanced placement course or foreign language course, or a full-time program of virtual courses which allow the student to take the classes at their own pace from the comfort and safety of their own home.
But how many Missouri students and parents actually know about the options this great program offers?
According to state law EVERY district and charter school in the state is supposed to be actively working to make sure their students know about these options. The law states that: “Availability of the program shall be made clear in the parent handbook, registration documents, and featured on the home page of the school district or charter school’s website.”
Sadly that does not seem to be happening, meaning that many students may miss out on this opportunity.
A quick review of the home pages of the school districts in the St. Louis City/County region shows that not a singe district is featuring the ability for students to access virtual education on their home page.
Of the 23 district homepages visited (see the full district-by-district breakdown below) only four provided any information about virtual education on their homepage and that was just a single text link to either “MOCAP” (short for Missouri Course Access Program) or “Virtual Learning” with no description of what is offered — a far cry from the law’s requirement to feature virtual education on their home page.
Four other districts seem to be trying to comply with the law by doing even less and simply burying a link to “MOCAP” or “Virtual Education” in a drop down menu.
The other 15 districts can’t even seem to do that. They provide no information on virtual education or MOCAP on either their home page or in their menu system.
It is time that school district across the state comply with a state law that has been in effect for almost a year and let their students know they have access to virtual education.
Districts and MOCAP also need to do a better job of letting parents and students know about all of the virtual education options available to them including the full-time program offered through the Missouri Virtual Academy.
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