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Granting Credit Toward High School Graduation For Courses Taken Through Internet-Based Delivery

Section 605.11 | Board Report 23-0524-PO1 | Date Adopted May 24, 2023

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That the Chicago Board of Education adopt the amended “Policy on Granting Credit Toward High School Graduation For Courses Taken Through Internet-Based Delivery.” The policy was posted for public comment from March 17, 2023 to April 17, 2023.


High school learning over the Internet is an emerging educational model that the Chicago Public Schools (“CPS”) embraces. Internet-based delivery of high school classes can supplement and support the regular curriculum leading to a high school diploma. The technology available in our high schools gives students opportunities to pursue on-line learning experiences for high school credit that will enhance and expand the current course offerings.Virtual high school courses currently are available and widely accepted within the educational community. For the purpose of this policy, a “virtual high school course” is defined as a state approved and/or regionally accredited school that offers high school credit courses through distance learning models that include Internet-based delivery. CPS is strongly committed to expanding educational opportunities via Internet-based delivery to students by providing school on-line access to these resources. It is recognized that the development of virtual high school learning is a collaborative and cooperative endeavor that must be based on partnerships and linkages within our city and state that work to strengthen the existing educational program.

1). Equity Statement

Virtual high school courses will be grounded in equity and deliver a high-quality education to all enrolled students. Guidelines will be developed to ensure an equity lens is used during planning and implementation. CPS will support schools through fair and equitable resource allocation with a focus on most impacted schools in order to successfully implement this policy.

2). Benefits to Students

Virtual high school courses can benefit student learning by:

  • making instruction available at any time on and off the school campus;
  • allowing students to learn at their own pace, focus on areas of need, and move quickly through content easily mastered;
  • giving students with different learning styles the opportunity to excel outside the traditional classroom;
  • providing access to diverse curricular offerings generally not available in all schools, including advanced placement courses;
  • providing learners who are over or under achievers with unique and innovative learning experiences beyond the standard classroom setting; and
  • providing accelerated and enriched learning opportunities.

3). Academic Integrity

Students must accept the terms of the CPS Acceptable Use Policy and the CPS Student Code of Conduct when granted permission to take an Internet-delivered course for credit toward high school graduation. Students will also be required to take final course exams under the supervision of a proctor at the local high school. On-line teachers or the local high school can require students to perform other tasks or assessments connected with an Internet-delivered course in a proctored situation. To ensure appropriate curriculum counseling, students must obtain permission from the principal of the local high school before enrollment in any virtual high school course. Schools are required to have the appropriate school counselor and/or teacher adviser review the student’s current educational plan and transcript before selection of and enrollment in any virtual high school course.

4). Virtual High School Classes

A student who successfully completes courses from an approved virtual high school vendor that is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations or CPS may receive high school credit provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • prior written approval for enrollment is obtained from the principal;
  • the principal will appoint a staff member from the school to act in the role of a Mentor to oversee the student progress and provide support;
  • the student completes a tutorial/orientation to virtual high school classes prior to class enrollment;
  • the student works under appropriate supervision of the mentor provided by the local school;
  • any student taking a virtual high school class as part of the student’s regular school day must work under appropriate direct supervision for at least 45-50 minutes daily as would be the case with any scheduled class;
  • the grading scale used fits within the CPS standards;
  • all courses taken meet the same standards of traditional CPS courses;
  • minimum completion time for virtual high school courses must reflect the current semester timelines with extensions granted by the online teacher/district program manager with final approval of the principal;
  • enrollment in a virtual high school class, when part of the student’s regular school day, should be limited to a course(s) that was/were previously failed, a course not available at the school, a scheduling conflict that prevents the student from taking the course, or a course needed as an elective credit; and
  • parents or guardians receive written notification from the local high school when their student is enrolled into a virtual high school course that grants credit towards graduation.

Policy References

Amends/Rescinds Adopted 02-0828-PO02, Amends 04-0428-PO1
Cross References  
Legal References  
Public Comment Pursuant to Board Rule 2-6 this Policy was subject to Public Comment from 3/17/23 – 4/17/23 and adopted at the May 24, 2023 Board Meeting [Board Report 23-0524-PO1]

Policy Managed By Office of Teaching and Learning

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602