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Data & Information


Oklahoma has four fully online charter schools, the Oklahoma Supplemental Online Course Program (OSOCP), and two supplemental online programs operating statewide, as well as several district programs.The Oklahoma Department of Education reports 6,336 unique students who took courses through 16 approved OSOCP providers; this number includes credit recovery and alternative education students. In addition, 7,010 students were served by four fully online schools in SY 2013-14.  

Fully online schools

The Statewide Virtual Charter School Board is the sole authorizer to renew and approve statewide virtual charter schools; it approved four schools SY 2014-15. Two of the virtual charter schools were grandfathered in: Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy served 2,818 enrollments, a 1% increase from the previous year, and Epic One Charter School reported 2,916 enrollments in SY 2013-14, a 30% increase from the previous year. There are two new charter schools approved by the board for SY 2014-15: Insight School of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Connections Academy, which served 620 enrollments in SY 2013-14 as a fully online non-charter school. Oklahoma Virtual High School (OKVHS), operated by Advanced Academics in partnership with Hanna Public Schools, Stidham Public Schools, and Epic Charter Schools served 656 students in SY 2013-14. As of SY 2014-15, OKVHS is a program offered by Epic Charter Schools, which is an approved statewide virtual charter school. Tulsa Public Schools also offers a full-time virtual school to its students. Supplemental online programs include the University of Oklahoma Independent Learning High School and Oklahoma State University K-12 Distance Learning Academy.

State virtual school

While Oklahoma does not have a state virtual school, students statewide have access to supplemental courses. Supplemental online programs include the University of Oklahoma Independent Learning High School and Oklahoma State University K-12 Distance Learning Academy. The University of Oklahoma had a diploma-granting arm known as OU High School, which closed in 2011. Students can transfer across districts during the state’s annual Open Transfer period of January 1 through April 1. State funding is paid to the school district based on standard state per-pupil public school funding.

District programs

Students from districts that do not provide online courses can transfer into a district that does during the state’s annual Open Transfer period of January 1 through April 1. State funding is paid to the school district based on standard state per-pupil public school funding.

Online learning policy history

2009: SB604 created a seven-member legislative task force “to study the efficiency and accountability of the state’s Internet-based instruction program.” The Report of the Internet- Based Instruction Task Force was submitted on November 5, 2009. A follow-up state study by the Statewide Virtual School Task Force was authorized in the 2010 legislative session in SB2129 and planned to report to the Legislature in December 2010, but was only partially presented due to an administrative change.

According to State Board of Education regulations, local school board policy must address “monitoring of student progress, graded assignments, and testing.” Students in an online program must be “regularly enrolled” in the school district of the online program through the state’s open transfer or emergency transfer processes; however, a district may make exceptions to that process for students who have dropped out or have been suspended if they were Oklahoma public school students at any time in the previous three years.

  • Teachers for web-based courses “shall be provided in-service training” in distance learning technology and methodology of instructional delivery.
  • Each school must designate a staff member to serve as a local facilitator for students.
  • The school must formally approve each student’s participation in an online course.
  • Teachers may be certified in another state, or may be a faculty member at a postsecondary institution.
  • Students in online courses must participate in state assessments at “the school site at which the student is enrolled.” SB2318 (effective November 1, 2010) allowed students enrolled in online courses to take assessments at an alternative testing location approved by the State Board of Education.
  • Local school boards must set a policy for the number of students each instructor may be required to supervise in an asynchronous course; in a synchronous course, the number of students per class and per day is the same as in traditional courses taken on school campuses.

2010: SB2319  confirmed that students should be counted by their school for attendance when students are participating in online courses approved by the district board of education. The law also directed the State Board of Education to adopt additional regulations for online courses addressing specific issues defined in law related to admissions, enrollment in appropriate courses, and mastery of competencies “rather than Carnegie Units.”

Oklahoma has a formal policy that requires local school board policies for online courses and provides guidelines for those policies. Internet-based programs offered for instructional purposes and/or high school credit shall be approved by and under the supervision of the local board of education where the course is offered, though the State Board of Education may request “information and materials sufficient to evaluate the proposed course(s).”

2011: SB280 directed the State Board of Education to adopt rules to provide “a process by which students are not denied the opportunity to enroll in educationally appropriate courses by school districts.” In June 2012, board rule2 created the Oklahoma Supplemental Online Course Program (OSOCP) to establish a framework for school districts to offer supplemental online courses. That rule allows students to take up to five hours of supplemental online instruction at no cost to the student; funding is prorated to the prior year’s per pupil expenditure. The original legislation was further clarified in SB419 (2013), which defined “educationally appropriate” to mean, “any instruction that is not substantially a repeat of a course or portion of a course that the student has successfully completed, regardless of the grade of the student, and regardless of whether a course is similar to or identical to the instruction that is currently offered in the school district.”

Under the OSOCP, the board has approved 17 providers and seen an increase in unique students taking an online course. While each school district must adopt its own rules regarding the OSOCP, those rules must not deny a student the opportunity to enroll in supplemental online courses, although the district does have the final say in regard to choosing a provider. While each school district is responsible for paying each course provider, “payment to the provider will be based upon continued course enrollment and subsequent course completion.”

The rule also allows students to earn one required or elective course credit by demonstrating “mastery of Oklahoma’s PASS and/or CCSS in one-credit courses without specified instructional time.”

2013: SB1816 (2012) created the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board; SB267 (2013) amended the original legislation as follows:

  • The Statewide Virtual Charter School Board offers oversight of the operations and becomes the sole authorizer of all statewide virtual charter schools.
  • The board establishes policies and procedures for accepting, approving, disapproving, and renewing statewide virtual charter school applications. By 2014, all existing virtual charter schools must be approved by the board.
  • SB267 prevents a school district from offering a fully online education to students who reside outside the district, which will force two of the current fully online schools to seek a charter with the board in order to continue operations.

Students can transfer across districts during the state’s annual open transfer period of January 1 through April 1, or apply for an “emergency” transfer, which must be approved by both the sending and receiving districts. State funding is paid to the school district based on standard per-pupil public school funding regardless of the delivery method or authorizer.

last updated October 8, 2014

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