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Vol. 44, No. 56

July 14, 2010

MoVIP Registration Opens July 15

State program moves to tuition model, increases course selection

Students and school personnel looking for online course options this school year may want to thumb through the new catalog offered by the Missouri Virtual Instruction Program (MoVIP). State education officials have announced MoVIP’s online registration will open July 15 for the 2010-11 school term.

Now in its fourth year, MoVIP is a program of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that offers credit-bearing, online courses for students in grades K-12. Last year, almost 3,000 Missouri students took at least one online course – whether for credit recovery, accelerated learning or access to special-topic courses not offered locally.

Due to recent state budget cuts, the nearly $7 million program has transitioned to a tuition-based model. The exception is approximately $100,000 set aside by the state for tuition for medically fragile students.

Despite the now out-of-pocket costs to school districts and some participants, many students, parents and school personnel can find great value in strategically utilizing MoVIP as part of a student’s education plan, said Curt Fuchs, DESE’s coordinator of educational support services.

“The program provides convenient access to in-demand or hard-to-obtain courses and delivers the flexibility often needed for homebound or busy students,” he said.

As in prior years, the MoVIP program is available to Missouri students in public, private and home-school settings.

Fuchs announced a number of program enhancements this year. For instance, classes in six foreign languages are now available. German and Japanese have been added to the current offerings of Chinese, Latin, Spanish and French.  Many languages are now available at advanced levels.  American sign language and world language survey courses also are available at the middle school level.

For the first time, MoVIP is offering 10 foundation classes for students who struggle in core subjects and might need an online course for credit recovery.

At the high school level, MoVIP also has expanded its Advanced Placement courses to 19.

“Unfortunately, Missouri is currently ranked near the bottom of the list nationally in number of students earning Advanced Placement credit,” Fuchs said. “We hope MoVIP can help more students take advantage of the chance to earn college credit while in high school.”

Also new this year is the option for school districts to offer MoVIP virtual courses in combination with their own teachers. Fuchs believes nearly half of all instruction could be delivered in a combined online and in-class format by the year 2014.

The benefits of virtual instruction have been recognized by the state legislature. State statutes now allow school districts the option of offering instruction in a virtual setting and receiving state aid for the classes. The statutes also give parents of students enrolled in unaccredited or provisionally accredited Missouri school districts the right to request enrollment in MoVIP at the district's expense.

Naturally, the MoVIP course catalog is available online. Information about more than 170 courses can be viewed at www.movip.org.