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Learning Technology > Maine Online Learning Program > Approved Online Learning Providers > K12 Inc.'s Application


K12 Inc's Application for the Maine Online Learning Program


1. The online learning provider must be nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices and operations.

Demonstrate how your organization meets this requirement and provide documentation that confirms this. URLs linking to supporting evidence are also acceptable.

K12 is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and operations. K12’s mission is to maximize a child’s potential by providing licensed access to an engaging and effective education, regardless of geographic, financial, or demographic circumstance. Our admission policies, for both our public and private programs, preclude exclusion of pupils on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, immigrant status, English-speaking status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal or state law.

K12 provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship status, pregnancy, disability, age, genetic information, military status or status as a Vietnam-era or special disabled veteran, marital status, civil union or registered domestic partner status, gender (including gender identity) sexual orientation or bankruptcy in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. In addition, K12 complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which K12 has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

2. Each course offered for a unit of credit must correlate with applicable state-adopted academic standards prior to being offered. All courses must include assessments.

Demonstrate how your organization meets this requirement and provide documentation that confirms this. Provide an example of a correlation report that demonstrates how a course offered by your organization aligns with state standards. Upon request, within 5 business days an approved Online Learning Provider must be prepared to provide either the Department, or the school administrative unit, a correlation report for any online course being offered.

K12 will offer our complete curriculum of grades K through 12 courses which are aligned to the Maine academic standards to ensure that Maine students will meet or exceed Maine’s standards and performance indicators. K12 has developed courses that incorporate standards, parameters, and characteristics outlined by a host of leading sources including: the National Academy of Science; American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages; Chinese Language Teachers’ Association; National Art Education Association; International Association for K–12 Online Learning; National Association for Sport and Physical Education; National Council on Economic Education; National Council for History Education; National Council of Teachers of English; National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The quality of the K12 courses and learning management system along with a track record of academic success has been documented.

The K12 curriculum has been aligned to Maine standards across all grade levels and subject areas. The alignment process is overseen by our curriculum support and alignment department. External Subject Area Specialists document alignment of the curriculum to the state standards. The alignments identify for the teacher all of the units and lessons where each standard is addressed in the curriculum. All of the alignments are thoroughly reviewed to prepare teachers for student instruction. To ensure full coverage of the Maine academic standards, teachers will use supplementary curriculum resources as needed including: educationally appropriate web resources, hands-on activities, project-based activities, additional images and artifacts and exploratory activities for demonstration of understanding and application of knowledge. We have emailed David Patterson correlation reports for our high school math and science courses that demonstrate how well our curriculum aligns with Maine state standards. Document titles… (K12 ME High School Math alignment May 2009.xls and K12 High School Science alignment May 2009.xls)

3. A teacher employed by the online learning provider and providing instruction to students must hold a valid teaching certificate in each content area being taught or receive approval from the commissioner to teach the course.

Demonstrate how your organization meets this requirement and provide documentation that confirms this. Provide a list of those teachers who teach Maine students that includes: the name of the certified teacher, the content areas in which they are certified, the State in which their certification was obtained, and the expiration date of the certification. This list must be updated June 30th and December 30th of each year for which the online learning provider is listed, to reflect changes following the initial application and approval.

K12 will employ certified teachers who are experienced educators, and are highly qualified under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). Teachers will have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, teacher certification, and demonstrate competency in either elementary education or in a secondary subject area depending on the grade level or subject they will teach. Depending on the students enrolled, teachers and other staff with bilingual skills will be recruited and hired. The faculty will include regular and special education teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Upon approval and as requested, K12 will provide a current list of teachers who will teach Maine students.


Teacher Job Description (K-12)

As part of their regular teaching responsibilities, teachers are expected to fulfill duties in the following areas:

Planning and Preparation

  • Learn the curriculum in its entirety for assigned grade levels.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the state standards and how both align with the K12 curriculum.
  • Understand overall diversity of assigned families and individual characteristics of students/parents; specifically, how this impacts support needed.
  • Utilizes asynchronous and synchronous tools to augment course content according to prescribed policies and procedures.

Instruction and Student Achievement

  • Orients students to course and communicates course requirements.
  • Maintains regular office hours and conducts instructional sessions.
  • Sets and enforces deadlines for student work.
  • Support parents with student curricular and instructional issues.
  • Responsible for student academic progress
  • Balance flexibility of the K12 curriculum with policies and procedures.
  • Conduct conferences with students and parents/responsible adult.
  • Individualize instruction to help each student achieve K12 curricular objectives.
  • Grades student work and maintains grade book.
  • Communicates high expectations and shows an active interest in student’s achievement.
  • Alert administrators to any concerns about student performance and progress.
  • Recommends promotion and retention.
  • Maintains regular contact with students and families

Virtual Classroom Environment

  • Create and manage home office.
  • Establish and maintain a positive rapport with assigned families.
  • Support students with set-up and maintenance of their teaching environment.
  • Support students through basic computer troubleshooting.

Professional Responsibilities

  • Collaborates with peers.
  • Participate in staff meetings and professional development sessions.

Grade K-6 Teacher Qualifications

  • 3+ years teaching experience
  • Bachelor’s degree and/or professional experience
  • Appropriate teacher certification
  • Meets state’s NCLB’s Highly Qualified Teacher requirements
  • Proficient in MS Excel, Word, and Outlook
  • Experience in a customer service environment
  • Experience using search engines (Internet)
  • Strong written/verbal communication skills
  • Very self-motivated
  • Flexible schedule
  • Valid fingerprint and national criminal history record check

Grade 7-8 Teacher Qualifications

  • All of the K-6 requirements, plus:
  • Masters and/or professional experience in subject area
  • 3+ years teaching in middle school

Grades 9-12 Teacher Qualifications

  • All of the K-6 requirements, plus:
  • Masters and/or professional experience in subject area
  • 3+ years teaching in high school

The ideal teacher candidates will also have:

  • Experience working with the proposed age groups
  • An ability to learn new technology tools quickly (e.g., database and web-based tools)
  • An ability to support and guide adults as well as students

4. A teacher employed by the online learning provider must receive appropriate preservice and in-service training pertaining to the organization of the online classroom, programs and courses, the technical aspects of online education, the monitoring of student assessment and other pertinent training.

Describe the pre-service and in-service training, as outlined above, that is provided to teachers in your organization.

K12 fully appreciates the benefits of and supports the need for ongoing professional development for all teachers and other staff, particularly in the areas of curriculum and instruction. K12 has the capability to provide the professional development our teachers will need. Professional development opportunities will be a combination of K12’s best practices and training along with required annual professional development for all teachers and other staff. Professional development will be a year-long pursuit focused on providing teachers with the skills and competencies to meet the needs of students and their families. Each teacher will have an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that is a combination of required professional development as deemed appropriate by their tenure or as identified by an administrator as an area where development is needed, and other optional offerings particular to their areas of interest. Teachers and staff will receive professional development on these and other topics, at various points throughout the year.

Professional development will begin with Intake Training for new teachers and continues with Ongoing Training monthly for new and experienced teachers. The responsibilities of the teachers are communicated through weekly staff meetings, monthly Professional Development sessions, and the teacher handbook.

K12 fully appreciates the benefits of and supports the need for ongoing professional development for all teachers and other staff, particularly in the areas of curriculum and instruction. K12 has the capability to provide the professional development our teachers will need. Professional development opportunities will be a combination of K12’s best practices and training along with required annual professional development for all teachers and other staff. Professional development will be a year-long pursuit focused on providing teachers with the skills and competencies to meet the needs of students and their families. Each teacher will have an Individual Development Plan (IDP) that is a combination of required professional development as deemed appropriate by their tenure or as identified by an administrator as an area where development is needed, and other optional offerings particular to their areas of interest. Teachers and staff will receive professional development on these and other topics, at various points throughout the year.

Professional development will begin with Intake Training for new teachers and continues with Ongoing Training monthly for new and experienced teachers. The responsibilities of the teachers are communicated through weekly staff meetings, monthly Professional Development sessions, and the teacher handbook.

Intake Training (two weeks)

Intake training is designed with one goal in mind: that on day 1, teachers are ready to teach. Each school year, virtual teachers undergo intake training that is based on an effective model developed for virtual academies and customized to meet the needs and goals of the program. Professional development goals are aligned with the program’s educational philosophy and instructional techniques.

The program’s intake training will include coverage of the following topics:

  • Philosophy and Instructional Techniques
  • Curriculum
  • Online Program
  • The Job of a Virtual Teacher
  • Measuring Student Progress
  • Special Education
  • Communication in a Virtual Setting
  • Standardized Testing
  • Working at A Distance
  • The Virtual Community

New teacher training for teachers will be a multi-day, synchronous and asynchronous event. Virtual National Teacher Training (VNTT) is the initial training offered by the K12 Academic Services Division to all teachers new to teaching using the K12 program. Successful virtual teaching takes a very different set of skills, knowledge, and competencies than those used in a brick and mortar setting. This 40-50 hour synchronous and asynchronous training course immerses new teachers in the platform, tools, and activities they will use every day in their new role. This course is designed to emphasize the first 30 days in the program. Our research shows this time to be the most challenging for new students and families. VNTT teaches and develops skills to guide and support families and students when virtual teachers are most needed. Hundreds of teachers from around the nation (and now the world) will come together with the K12 Academic Services Division to not only learn new skills but also collaborate as professionals and pioneers on a journey to hone their practice and develop into the best virtual teaching professionals in the world. It is a three-week process each year.

During the first week, teachers meet synchronously, covering topics included in the list above. During the second week, teachers work from their home environments, practicing the skills learned in the first week including familiarizing themselves with the tools of the Online School such as lesson planning and tracking student progress. In the final and third week, the teachers convene synchronously again as a group to review progress made, successes, challenges, and to address questions raised. At the end of the intake training each new teacher is also assigned a veteran teacher as a mentor to help support them as they transition to teaching in the virtual environment.

Ongoing Professional Development (monthly)

Teachers enjoy the benefit of monthly online workshops which provide the opportunity for sharing best practices and team building as well as hearing presentations from curriculum experts. Topics covered include assessment, technology, instructional strategies, and content, for example, professional development sessions around student and even teacher misconceptions by subject. An online real-time presentation tool is used to facilitate professional development. This tool allows professional development to happen at a common time for everyone but eliminates travel costs in some cases as teachers can log in, interact with each other, and view presentations in a collaborative online environment.

The flexibility of virtual teaching will allow the program’s teachers to participate extensively in PD offered through K12 Academic Services division. Teachers will be sent the schedule of available PD sessions each month, and department chairs will be required to attend subject-specific professional development sessions on a regular basis, in addition to all program and state provided professional development.

Formative evaluations of teachers are conducted at least twice a year by K12 administrative personnel. Teachers are evaluated based on four domains:

1) Planning and Preparation

  • Gaining and using knowledge of K12 curriculum content
  • Gaining and using knowledge of Maine academic standards and state assessments
  • Gaining and using knowledge of students
  • Gaining and using knowledge of and skill with Learning Coaches/Mentors
  • Gaining and using knowledge of resources

2) Instruction and Student Achievement

  • Communicating effectively with students and Learning Coaches
  • Communicating effectively with program staff
  • Feedback to students and Learning Coaches/Mentors
  • Flexibility and responsiveness
  • Working with students to increase achievement
  • Selecting appropriate instructional progress goals

3) Virtual Classroom Environment

  • Creating an environment of respect and rapport
  • Managing classroom procedures
  • Organizing physical and virtual space
  • Gaining and using knowledge of technology

4) Professional Responsibilities

  • Developing the program community
  • Growing and developing professionally
  • Showing professionalism
  • Reflecting on teaching
  • Time with Mentor
  • Other

Teachers are rated as Unsatisfactory, Basic, Commendable, or Distinguished in these domains and recommendations for improvement are discussed. At that time, renewal or non-renewal of a teacher contract is determined. Special Education teachers’ evaluations also include a focus on issues related to special education compliancy issues.

K12 will employ growth plans and intervention plans to assist struggling teachers. These plans would have measurable goals for teachers to achieve to change their intervention status.

5. The online learning provider must verify ongoing student attendance and progress and performance in each course as documented by ongoing assessments in a proctored environment and provide examples of student course work.

Describe how attendance, progress and performance are assessed, and also the level to which assessments are typically proctored online and/or locally.

Students, parents, teachers, and administrators may continuously measure and receive reports on student attendance and achievement gains during the school year using the program’s learning management and student information systems. Using these systems, K12 will deliver the curriculum to its students and permit teachers and parents to see, at every moment, how the student is progressing. These systems provide each student with an individualized learning experience. The program will be using the following management tools which are components of the education program that K12 will provide to the program:

Learning Management System (LMS)

The LMS is an intuitive, web-based software platform. It provides access to more than 22,000 online lessons and courses; lesson/unit/term assessments; hands-on activities; alternative learning approaches; classroom collaboration tools; and optional and supplemental lessons and activities, as well as lesson planning and scheduling tools and progress tracking tools. Students, parents and teachers can access the LMS with an Internet connection at any time.

Lesson Planning and Scheduling Tools

The K12 lesson planning and scheduling tools enable K12 teachers and parents to establish a schedule for completing lessons. These tools are designed to update the plan as a K-8 student progresses through each lesson and course, allowing flexibility to increase or decrease the pace the student moves through the curriculum while ensuring that the student progresses towards completion in the desired time frame. Changes can be made to the schedule at any point and the remainder of the student’s schedule will automatically adjust. For grades 9-12 students, teachers use these tools to establish assignment dates. They are designed to provide student and parent visibility into upcoming assignments and course progress.

Progress Tracking Tools

Once a master schedule has been established for K-8 students, the LMS delivers lessons based upon the schedule. Each day, a student is initially directed to a screen listing the syllabus for that day and selects one of the listed lessons. As each lesson is completed, the student returns to the day’s syllabus to proceed to the next subject. If a student does not complete a lesson during the session, the lesson will be rescheduled to the next day resuming at the point where the student left off. The progress tracking tool allows students, parents and teachers to monitor student progress. In addition, information collected by the progress tracking tool regarding student performance, attendance and other data is transferred to the management system for use in providing administrative support services.

Once a master course schedule has been established by a high school teacher in the LMS, content units and assignments are delivered to students based upon the schedule. Each day, a student is initially directed to a screen listing the upcoming assignments for the course, as well as specific teacher-created announcements that assist in guiding the student’s activities for the day and/or week. As each lesson is completed, the student returns to the day’s assignment list to proceed to the next activity. The progress tracking tools allow students, parents and teachers to monitor student progress in each course.

Student Administration Management System (SAMS)

SAMS, the master digital database, captures raw student data, stores it, organizes it, and integrates with other systems. SAMS collects and provides all of the information required to manage student enrollment and monitor student performance. TotalView School and MyInfo are two sides of SAMS. They are applications for administrators, teachers, parents, and students to use that display the information stored in the SAMS database. TotalView School serves the program—teachers, administrators, and other staff—by providing a secure, internal communications tool, an overview of their students’ current progress and history, and the status of the shipment of curriculum materials. It allows teachers to interact one-on-one with students. Parents and students use MyInfo as a secure communications tool to track students’ course progress, grades, and attendance history, and to check the status of course material shipments.

Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS)

Students enrolled full time in the K12 online learning program will be required to participate in the applicable components of the Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS) and Advanced Placement tests (as applicable). The K12 online learning program will meet the individual testing accommodations of students as designed in students’ Individual Education Plans (IEPs).

K12 will ensure student participation in MeCAS in a variety of ways. As part of the enrollment process, K12 will make clear to parents and students that MeCAS participation is required as part of enrollment in the program. Parents will also be asked to sign an enrollment acceptance form acknowledging that enrollment includes participation in state testing. Second, a testing schedule, including MeCAS assessments, will be made available to parents and students as part of the school year calendar, which will be available on a K12 Maine online learning program website as well as in the Parent/Student Handbook. The Handbook will also include a section on state standardized assessments and student participation in the MeCAS. Finally, prior to the scheduled MeCAS assessment dates, teachers will be in contact with parents and students about upcoming assessments, their required participation, and information on where students will take the assessments.

Students will not be permitted to take the MeCAS in their homes. K12 will request permission for our full time students to take these exams and tests in school facilities in their resident district. Parents will be responsible for getting students to and from testing sites.

If it is not possible for our full time students to take these exams and tests in their resident district’s school facilities, K12 teachers and administrators will administer and proctor MeCAS assessments to students at facilities in classroom style settings (local schools, local libraries, etc.) within reasonable driving distance of students’ home, maximizing student accessibility to test sites. Parents will be responsible for getting students to and from testing sites. K12 will inform the Maine Department of Education of the locations in which testing will take place before the testing occurs. Testing facilities will be in compliance with applicable building codes, health and safety laws and regulations including the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

MeCAS will follow the guidelines established by the Maine Department of Education for proper test administration and security. Testing site coordinators, proctors, and other staff involved in test administration will receive training in proper test handling procedures so that test security is not compromised. K12 will ensure that all appropriate staff have knowledge of ethical testing practices and procedures and understand how to secure, administer, and handle the MeCAS tests while in their possession.

K12 will work with the resident districts of our part time online learning program students to ensure that these students are participating in the applicable components of the Maine Comprehensive Assessment System (MeCAS) and Advanced Placement tests (as applicable), preferably in their resident districts.

Curriculum Assessments

K12 curriculum assessments are embedded into the curriculum. As extensive research shows, good feedback and assessment are critical to efficient and successful learning. Because K12 is committed to student learning, assessment is an integral part of the curriculum. Assessments help the parent, teacher, and student to see that the student is achieving important learning objectives. Assessments show growth and progress, as well as any specific standards that might need remediation. The assessments also help K12 to improve the program by providing information on the effectiveness of specific instructional activities and the curriculum overall.

The K12 program makes use of a variety of formative and summative assessment instruments:

  • K12 Lesson Assessments are used to verify mastery of the objectives for that lesson, and to determine whether a review of some, or all, of the lesson is advisable.
  • K12 Unit Assessments show whether or not the student has retained key learning objectives for the unit, and identify specific objectives students may need to review before moving on.
  • K12 Semester Assessments verify student mastery of key learning objectives for the semester.
  • Scantron Performance Series tests in reading and math are administered each fall and spring to full time students to measure growth within each academic year, and to identify students who may need additional instruction before taking the state assessment.
  • Scantron Achievement Series will be utilized throughout the year to assure each full time student has mastered each state standard. Each test focuses on a key subset of relevant state standards. Achievement Series assessments will be used to identify gaps in learning, adjust instruction, and most importantly measure yearly academic growth.

K12 ensures the validity of its formative assessments by employing a process that results in assessments that explicitly reflect and measure course objectives. The starting point for K12 course development is clearly-stated behavioral learning objectives, which are designed to capture varying depths of knowledge, e. g., recall of factual information, deep understanding of concepts, strategic application of concepts and skills, and metacognitive knowledge. After course objectives are finalized, assessment items are written to capture the depth and breadth of each objective. Instructional activities are built directly from the objectives and related assessment items, ensuring coherent alignment of objectives, instruction, and assessment.

K12 assessments employ a variety of formats, allowing students to demonstrate what they have learned in a variety of ways. Some assessment items are presented, answered and computer scored, and others are short or extended constructed responses that are evaluated by the teacher. Item types include multiple choice, matching, short answer, and constructed response items. Multiple choice, matching, and short answer items are most frequently used to assess recall of factual information and understanding of concepts, although some have been designed to address higher knowledge levels. Extended response items are generally used to assess strategic application of concepts and skills, and metacognitive knowledge.

K12 has chosen to use the Scantron suite of tests for some of its assessments.

  • Performance Series: In the fall these tests are used for prediction of intervention needs for full time students, as a basis for measuring growth, and as an initial formative assessment to identify areas of weakness. The tests in the spring for full time students are used to analyze growth, and to continue the identification of areas of weakness. This series of assessments is widely regarded as a valid and reliable measure of student performance. Scantron offers an extensive technical report that describes the analyses and procedures used to demonstrate validity and reliability. Some key points from that technical report are:
  • Reliability is expressed through the standard error of measurement, and Scantron’s goal is a standard error of measurement of less than 0.30 logits for each test taker (equivalent to a .91 Chronback’s alpha).
  • Scantron examines content validity through item and sampling validity. Scantron ensured item validity by creating objectives that represent the content in state and national standards documents, having trained writers develop items directly assessing those objectives, and employing a rigorous review process. Scantron ensured sampling validity by employing an item selection algorithm that requires test takers see items from all of the sub-content areas that make up each domain. Lastly, Scantron examined the correlation of test takers’ scores between the subcontent areas in each domain, and those correlation coefficients are generally .65 or greater.
  • Achievement series: These tests cover a very narrow range of content and are used for diagnostic purposes. Achievement series assessments are developed on the Maine academic standards. Each assessment will address a set of strands within standards. Results from these assessments are used to provide additional remediation for individual full time students based on their area of weakness within that specific assessment.

How Data Improves Instruction

K12 assessments can be used to measure student achievement in various ways: electronic multiple-choice and true-and-false quizzes that measure the retention of facts; written responses that require critical thinking; hands-on laboratories that mimic real-world application; and through real-time interactions with teachers that reflect all of these. Students show accumulated knowledge and skill both through testing and project- or portfolio-based work. Students using K12 curriculum learn to express themselves to their teachers and their peers through written and spoken word as well as through visual media, one-on-one and in small groups. Students can choose from many courses that consist of multiple units, lessons and activities that instruct, provide practice to, and evaluate students. Within these courses, students complete assignments, lessons, and assessments that teachers post to their course calendar. Students submit assignments to teachers on or before the due dates posted on the calendar. Once teachers grade and return assignments to students, they read the feedback listed from their teachers. Teachers are available during live office hours or in online discussions. Students can also get help during optional live sessions or by watching recordings of these sessions. Students always know where they are in a course and how they are doing, and can continually monitor their progress.

Student achievement gains will be continuously measured and reported to students, parents, teachers, and administrators during the school year. Throughout the year, students demonstrate their acquisition of course objectives by completing various assignments, participating in synchronous discussion activities, and taking quizzes, tests and exams. While some assessments and assignments are scored by the LMS, assessments accounting for the majority of course points and those addressing higher-level thinking skills are submitted by students directly to our teachers for grading through the Learning Management System's electronic dropbox. Teachers grade these assignments and provide direct instructional feedback on each assignment before returning the graded assignment to the student.

During the semester, students can view grades in MyInfo or the student gradebook sections of the Learning Management System. One of the many features afforded by the Learning Management System is a current report of a student‘s academic progress and attendance information. Teachers, administrators, and parents also have access to graded information online at any time of the day or night. Conference calls with families of K-8 students are conducted on a monthly basis. At that time student progress and attendance are discussed. High school course teachers provide ongoing office hours. Detailed progress reports for K-12 students can also be created as needed, for instance, by a student’s school.

K-8 students must demonstrate their abilities to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, and apply their knowledge by a minimum of 80% mastery on lesson assessments. High school graded activities are assigned points and a student's final grade will reflect the actual points earned compared with the total points possible. A percent grade can be calculated using these points and the school will then assign letter grades according to the grading procedures for that course. Grades will be issued to students shortly after the end of the course for one semester courses and twice a school year (after the end of the first semester and again shortly after the end of the course) for two semester courses.

Elementary and Middle School

Each K-8 student will be instructed by a team including certified teachers and learning coaches or other designated responsible adults who are the students’ learning coaches. A healthy working relationship between the student and the assigned teacher and between the learning coach and the teacher will be essential. It is the teacher’s personal responsibility to ensure the academic success of each individual student in his/her class. They engage students in the coursework and continually motivate them, monitor student progress in the course, as well as grading and providing instructional feedback on assignments. Students learn from this feedback and then revise their efforts for future assignments. Teachers set the pace of the course through defining daily assignments and setting due dates, and support students through the use of asynchronous and synchronous methods.

Lesson plans will appear daily for each K-8 student in the student’s online school. This will update daily as students progress and master the content in each course. Teachers will provide both synchronous and asynchronous instruction and support to students and their learning coaches by phone, email, and web conferencing. The teacher will lead academic conferences with the learning coach, but will also be available to answer questions the student and/or learning coach have as they progress through the lessons. The teacher will also provide direct instruction based on the students’ individualized learning plan through Elluminate, a web-based conferencing platform. Students will attend classroom sessions by logging in on Elluminate Live!, using chat, an interactive whiteboard, Voice-Over IP (VOIP), and other features to further explore and discuss lesson topics synchronously with teachers and fellow students.

Teachers of K-8 students will monitor individual student progress by setting goals, grading assignments, giving support and advice, and drawing on their years of experience and training. This approach, integrated with assessments and a comprehensive learning system will provide learning coaches and teachers with the support needed to deliver an unparalleled education. Teachers can proactively track individual student academic progress through ongoing lesson and unit assessments tracked in “real time” through the Learning Management System. Students who master lessons ahead of schedule can progress seamlessly into the next unit. Students who need additional instructional time can continue working on lessons until they master the lesson objectives.

High School

While the K¹² K-8 curriculum is self-paced, our high school courses will make use of a weekly schedule of activities and assignments. The student has the flexibility to decide what work gets done during the week. Each week, however, there are due dates, and assignments and mandatory online discussion sessions designed into the program to:

  • Allow a class to move through material at the same time or in close proximity;
  • Enable teachers to run online group activities as needed for each section of students, helping many students to overcome the same often complex obstacles at the same time;
  • Free parents from detailed academic support burdens at the high school level;
  • Encourage students, with help from family and teachers, to acquire the experience of planning their work and lives day by day, which is a key skill for later in life.

While providing students with the needed flexibility for work, extracurricular activities, and hobbies, the high school program’s weekly schedule permits the teacher to ensure that each student is moving along at a reasonable pace, and enables state-of-the-art distance learning techniques to be used, such as conducting a full-class meeting online. The most successful online learning environments are those in which groups form a “community of learners” with their teacher. Students come to know each other, respect each other’s differences and contributions, and work together. In the program, students will participate in online, teacher-monitored discussions providing students with both practice and confidence in the underlying concepts of a particular topic, as well as practice in communicating. Teachers can both coach one-on-one, privately, and provide direction to the whole group at once. Teachers and students get to know each other during these discussions.

Data and Reporting

K12’s Online School is a robust learning management system that gives students the tools to schedule lesson times, plan lessons, and track attendance and progress. There is also a separate interface with a suite of tools for teachers. Student progress and attendance is updated daily.

Mentors and teachers can track progress through an account assigned to them and program administration will be able to access reports that can be shared with schools and parents throughout the award of the contract.

The following types of reports can be accessed via the K12 Online School or K12’s Expanded Student Information System (TotalView/SAMS):

  • Progress and Performance – Students, learning coaches and teachers have access to student progress and performance including student assignment status (To Do, Overdue, Submitted and Graded). Administrators can also view teacher performance in addition to every student record assigned to the teacher.
  • Attendance – K12 provides reports that show every active student, every course they’re enrolled in, and the number of attendance hours logged to date for the school year. The attendance reports also include the first and last dates of every learning coach and login and the total number of logins.
  • Enrollment - If a school chooses to use K12’s enrollment processing service, all staff with teacher, administrator, and enrollment advisor accounts have access to this functionality. This reporting functionality mainly benefits schools with large enrollment numbers, as it makes managing new applicants much easier.
  • Communications - Through K-Mail, K12’s internal messaging system, school staff, students, and Learning Coaches have access to a permanent record of electronic messages and notes regarding phone conversations between the teacher and learning coach or student. Messages sent to any student are automatically visible to the parents/guardians. Full search functionality as well as tagging allows users to quickly find the messages for which they might be searching. K-mails can be personalized for lists of students using a mail merge-like technology. K-mails and notes can all be exported to a printable format permitting a written record of all communications and notes relating to any given student. See Figure 1: Communications Tab for an example of this reporting functionality.
  • Material Shipments – These reports keep track of all course- and technology-related shipments.

The existing hierarchy of accounts within the K12 OLS ensures that students, parents, teachers, and administrators have only the level of access appropriate to their roles in the school/program. Reports can be exported as needed. Administrators and teachers have additional drill-down functionality for quick troubleshooting and issue identification:

  • Administrator reporting functionality - Administrators have the ability to drill-down from summary reports on course, classroom and teacher performance to specific student performance data. Administrators are presented with reports that compare overall student performance between courses and classrooms within the school. See Figure 2: Administrator Reports Screen for an example of an administrator course view.
  • Teacher reporting functionality – Teachers are presented with a summary of the number of students in each grade “decile” (0-9, 10-19, 20-29…80-89, 90-100). By clicking on each number, the user is presented with the list of students comprising that number and can contact and/or drill-down into each student’s individual data. All reports are exportable to spreadsheet format.

The program has an equivalent “reports” capability that is provided via a centralized landing page. These reports are compiled based on data such as student information, courses, course progress and attendance. Information can be inputted daily (from a variety of sources such as SAMS, EPR, TotalView, OLS, LMS and even vendors such as UPS) and is updated daily. School rosters, attendance, and enrollment reports are examples of available reports. Special reports can be requested and customized. A list of possible standard reports, data fields and frequency is below.

  • Omnibus Report
  • Login Report
  • Withdrawal Report
  • Line Item Tracking Report
  • Aggregate Attendance Report
  • Aggregate Progress Report
  • Student Progress and Achievement Report
  • Enrollment Tracking Report
  • Logistics Management Tracking Report
  • Attendance Report
  • Student Registration
  • Change Report
  • All Students Report
  • Enrollment Info Tab Report

6. Administrators, teachers and other educational staff employed by the online learning provider must comply with the fingerprinting and national criminal history record check requirements as set forth in section 6103.

Provide evidence of the protocol your organization uses to meet national criminal history record checks. Demonstrate how your organization meets this requirement and provide documentation that confirms this.

K12 employees (including teachers) undergo a criminal background check prior to an offer of employment and teachers are fingerprinted at the state level. Background checks include

  • National Address Locater (SSN Trace)
  • 7 year County Criminal Search (F/M) in each county applicant lived based on the SSN Trace, employment history, and education history
  • National Criminal Database (includes National Sex Offender Registry)
  • Name submitted plus up to 3 aliases searched
  • Education Verification (highest level)
  • Employment Verifications (past 3 employers)
  • Professional License Verification (for teachers)

7. The online learning program must comply with the State's information technology accessibility policies and standards. Maine’s information technology accessibility policies and standards can be found here:

a. Web accessibility
b. Software accessibility

Describe how your organization complies with these standards and/or provide a copy of the organization’s policy document that demonstrates evidence of this.

K12 has been serving students with disabilities in our state wide virtual academies since 2001. Currently about 10% of students attending K12 virtual academies are students with exceptionalities. Students with specific learning disabilities are the biggest proportion of those students. Other disabilities in order of magnitude are speech/language, other health impaired, Autism, emotionally disturbed, cognitive disability, orthopedically impaired, multiple disabilities, hearing impaired, visually impaired, and traumatic brain injury. K12 virtual academy students with disabilities are served in accordance with federal and state regulations including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (and amendments thereto, at 29 USC Section 794 et seq. and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR Section 104), and the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (“IDEA” at 10 USC Section 14010 et seq. and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR section 300). A free and appropriate education is provided to such students in accordance with their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), as required by the IDEA and 504 plans as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the most recent, Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act (ADAA) in the K12 virtual academies.

K12’s experience making web-based content more accessible to students with disabilities includes incorporating audio and video enhancements into the courses and using equivalent alternatives to accommodate various disabilities, such as using text equivalents and various forms of assistive technology. All K12 materials published after August 2006 meet the requirements of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standards (NIMAS)

K12’s Learning Management System meets the W3C standards for HTML, CSS, and XML validation. We can confirm that our Web application works with major browsers on both on PCs and Macs, even when it is not possible to be 100% compliant with W3C’s standards (e.g., due to browser implementation differences).