Parent notice to district of students intent to attend a Virtual Charter

OAR 581-026-0305, 2. A parent must provide notice to the school district in which the parent resides that the parent intends to enroll a student in a virtual public charter school.

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Upon receiving the notice, a school district may choose to do nothing further until receiving notice the student is enrolled in the school or if more than three percent of the students who reside in the school district are enrolled in virtual public charter schools not sponsored by the district, the district must provide notice to the parent.

Best practice would be to give this notice to districts via email and CC the virtual charter. This notifies both schools and provides a record of the beginning of the timeline relating to enrollment. Virtual charters are allowed to provide guidance to parents in this manner when they are approached by families interested in enrolling. 

District 3% Cap of students to outside Virtual Charters

OAR 581-026-0305, 2, (b) Does not approve the student for enrollment in the virtual public charter school and provide a copy of this rule and OAR 581-026-0310 to the student and a list of two or more other online options available to the student.

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District are  REQUIRED to give two  virtual options to families, and a lack of doing so would fall under grounds for accepting the appeal. In strict legal terms districts cannot deny a student access to a virtual education, they can only have a say in which virtual options the family may choose from once they have reached 3%. If a district has their own virtual school and a full-time program, they could restrict it to those, but they have to have two options they will allow the family to attend in their denial to the parents.

To deny student enrollment based on the 3% cap districts must adopt policy on how they determine their percentage in non-district virtual charters. If they do not have a policy adopted they must have one prior to denying students. The policy must set a consistent time schedule. it is only required annually, but may be determined more often as long as it is consistent.  For instance districts may choose October 1st yearly, or the first week of each month as long as it is stated in the policy. They need to determine the number of students that reside in the district and are not registered as homeschooled, or in private schools. Only if the number of students currently enrolled in virtual charters outside the district is greater then 3% of the total residing in the district may they choose to deny further enrollment.

Notice of disapproval to attend Virtual Charters & appeals

OAR 581-026-0305, 3. If a parent does not receive a notice of approval or disapproval from a school district under subsection (2) of this rule within 14 days of sending the notice of intent to enroll to the district, the student shall be deemed approved for enrollment by the district.

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Parents may appeal the districts decision through the state charter school specialist Kate Pattison within 10 calendar days of the denial. Information on appeals can be found here on ODE’s web page. Schools may inform families of their right to appeal and guide them on required information needed, as well as responsibilities of denying district.

List of students attending Virtual Charters

OAR 581-026-0305, 6. A virtual public charter school shall send a list of students to each school district in which a student who is enrolled in the school resides.

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The list shall be sent monthly when the virtual school is in session. These lists should be sent on a consistent timeframe and serve as notification that students have maintained enrollment in the school. These should be maintained as information for appeals, or as part of the ADM error correction process should they be needed. Districts need to assign a responsible party to receive these lists, or they are to be submitted to the superintendent if they have not assigned staff. These lists do not replace the notice to resident districts of unenrollment which is required separately when a student is unenrolled.

Special education for children with disabilities attending Virtual Charters

581-022-0103 (5). School districts and public charter schools must provide services for students who experience disability in accordance with IDEA and applicable Oregon Administrative Rules.

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It is the responsibility of the district that sponsors the virtual charter to provide services under IDEA. The district may agree to transfer services to the charter under contract, but they will remain the LEA of record. If districts elect to have the charter provide services funds from the weighted ADMw should be allotted to the charter. Either way these services are better served by staff imbedded in the school with relationships and a working knowledge of virtual instruction.