Online Schools Program (TxVSN OLS)
The Texas Virtual School Network Online Schools Program (TxVSN OLS) is the component of the Texas Virtual School Network that provides full-time virtual instruction to eligible Texas public school students in grades 3-12 through approved public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools. These online public schools offer 100-percent virtual instructional programs to students who are not physically present on campus during instruction.
Courses comprising the TxVSN OLS program are reviewed to ensure they meet the state curriculum standards, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), and national standards for quality online courses. Teachers are required to be Texas-certified in the content area and at the grade level they are teaching and must be trained in best practices in delivering online instruction.
The TxVSN OLS program, formerly known as the Electronic Course Program (eCP), currently has three schools providing full-time online instruction to public school students in Texas.
• Texarkana ISD Virtual Academy (outside source)
Texarkana Independent School District
Established in 2011-2012
2011-2012 student enrollment: 81
Approved to serve grades 3-7
• Texas Connections Academy (outside source)
Houston Independent School District
Established in 2007-2008
2011-2012 student enrollment: 2,463
Approved to serve grades 3-12
• Texas Virtual Academy (outside source)
Responsive Education Solutions
Established in 2007-2008
2011-2012 student enrollment: 3,665
Approved to serve grades 3-12
Authorized by Texas Education Code (TEC) Chapter 30A , the TxVSN OLS program is administered by the Texas Education Agency under the leadership of the commissioner of education.
New Commissioner’s Rules for the Texas Virtual School Network
The new 19 TAC Chapter 70, Technology-Based Instruction, Subchapter AA, Commissioner's Rules Concerning the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN), has been adopted under the commissioner's rulemaking authority and is effective beginning February 27, 2013. The new rules provide guidance for school districts, charter schools, and other entities participating in the TxVSN, in accordance with the Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 30A. Rule text is available at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=2390.
TxVSN OLS Program: Student Eligibility Requirements
The full-time virtual TxVSN OLS program is available to students who meet eligibility requirements defined in TEC, §30A.002. A student is eligible only if the student
- was enrolled in a public school in this state in the preceding school year;
- has been placed in substitute care in this state, regardless of whether the student was enrolled in a public school in this state in the preceding year; or
- is a dependent of a member of the United States military, was previously enrolled in high school in this state; and does not reside in this state due to a military deployment or transfer.
TxVSN OLS Courses
Courses comprising the full-time virtual TxVSN OLS instructional program are provided by Texas public school districts and open-enrollment charter schools that meet eligibility requirements. Courses are reviewed through the course review process to ensure they meet the TEKS and other quality standards set by the commissioner of education.
TxVSN OLS Students
Students in grades 3-12 who are eligible to attend public school in Texas and meet the other eligibility requirements of the TxVSN OLS program may enroll in the full-time virtual instructional program provided through an eligible district or open-enrollment charter school participating in the program.
TEC, Section 30A.107, allows students who reside in Texas but who are not enrolled in a public school in this state to enroll in no more than two courses offered through the state virtual school network per semester.
TxVSN OLS Teachers
TxVSN OLS program teachers are required to be Texas-certified in the content area and at the grade level they are teaching. They must meet the TxVSN OLS program professional development requirements for teaching online based on mastery of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) National Standards for Quality Online Teaching. TEA-approved training is offered by a number of professional development providers for new and experienced online teachers.
TxVSN OLS Funding
Portions of Senate Bill 1 (82nd Texas Legislature, First-Called Session, 2011) now codified in Texas Education Code Chapter 30A created provisions that enable eligible independent school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to earn Foundation School Program (FSP) funding for a student enrolled in course(s) offered through the TxVSN OLS program in the same manner that the district is entitled to earn funding for a student who is enrolled in a traditional classroom setting, provided that the student successfully completes the course(s).
Texas Education Code Chapter 30A—State Virtual School Network
2010 Progress Report on the Long-Range Plan for Technology, Electronic Course Program (eCP) section beginning page 59, (PDF, 4.3MB)
Interim Report on the Electronic Course Program, 2006
Student Attendance Accounting Handbook
For additional information, contact:
Kate Loughrey, Statewide TxVSN Coordinator
Texas Education Agency
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701-1401