Public K-12 Education Delivery Model Flexibilities

Ohio has a variety of flexibilities available to address the learning needs of students. The Department’s Data Insights report from 2020-2021 shed light on student enrollment, attendance and performance on assessments. While the Data Insights report shows that students who participate in face-to-face instruction tend to perform at higher levels, there is a population of students who thrive in blended or online settings using digital tools to demonstrate learning in their respective schools. The education delivery model flexibilities available are described below.

Blended learning is the delivery of instruction more than 50 percent of time in a supervised physical location away from home and online delivery whereby the student has some element of control over time, place, path or pace of learning. Blended learning requirements are different between community schools and traditional public schools. A completely school building-based educational experience is not a blended education delivery model, nor is a completely  online educational experience. A blended learning declaration is needed when the district’s or school’s plan for the educational experience of its students in all or part of a school building includes the delivery of instruction in a combination of time primarily in a supervised physical location away from home and online delivery whereby the student has some element of control over time, place, path, or pace of learning. A district or school must file a blended learning declaration with the Department, which should be accompanied by all appropriately adopted policies and procedures for implementing the model.
Credit flexibility gives students a way to be in charge of their learning. For some students, they see more value in school (“Why do I have to learn this?”) when they can connect learning with real-world situations and future jobs. Credit flexibility is one way to increase students’ interest in school and increase their motivation to learn. The key to this option is the student drives the request, as well as the plan to earn credit. A specific interest or credit need of the student should be the basis for the request, and the family and school should start by listening to the student. Educators and families also may work with students to initiate a plan for credit flexibility. A credit flexibility plan may be used to incorporate a nontraditional learning pathway for students. Credit Flexibility plans  must be personalized for each student.
Online learning schools may be created by local, city, exempted village or joint vocational school districts requesting to use an online learning model. This is a permanent option in statute. The requirements for an online school include additional items, such as providing students with a free computer and internet access and using a learning management system to track student participation in online learning activities. Schools also need to track student offline learning opportunities and have those opportunities checked and approved by teachers.
Competency-Based Learning or “competency-based educational program" means any system of academic instruction, assessment, grading and reporting where students receive credit based on demonstrations and assessments of their learning rather than the amount of time they spend studying a subject. A competency-based educational program encourages accelerated learning among students who master academic materials quickly while providing additional instructional support time for students who need it.

Districts are encouraged to consult with their legal counsels to ensure compliance with Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code upon implementation.

Last Modified: 12/4/2023 4:33:37 PM