Research shows nearly one-third of all college students took part in online classrooms in 2010. To help prepare Milwaukee Public Schools students for the shift toward online learning, district administration began revising the high school graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2015.
Students must now complete at least one of three course-embedded options: online learning, service learning, or community service. Since 2010, the Board has approved the use of District funds to purchase software licenses for online credit recovery.
MPS currently uses Education 2020® (e2020) courses for online curriculum. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction has approved a menu of e2020 courses. Available offerings include credit recovery courses for students who have failed a course attempted by traditional means, as well as courses for credit attainment, not available at the student’s school, including foreign language, AP and other advanced courses.
Courses are taught by instructors with the corresponding content area licenses, who have also completed an online teaching certification.
Depending on available programs and facilities, schools offer online courses in a variety of ways.
- Project Direct Graduation (PDG): After-school credit recovery programs offered in addition to a student’s regular schedule at 19 high schools to help students who have failed a traditional course to get ‘back on track,’ with licensed teachers on-hand to guide students through their online coursework.
- Virtual PDG: Fully online classes targeted to students at schools without after-school programs. These classes are taken outside school hours and are in addition to a student’s regular schedule. Drop-in support from the program teachers is available at the MPS TEAM UP College Access Centers.
- Daytime Courses: Several schools have opportunities for online learning lab periods to be part of the student’s regular day schedule with licensed teachers on-hand to guide students through their online coursework. Offerings include both credit recovery and first-time courses.
Online high school courses require a high level of motivation and a minimum 8th grade reading level. The school counseling department should assist in identifying appropriate students.
For each student who successfully completes an online course, two entries will be made in eSIS Credit Detail by a School Counselor or Data Entry Staff Member. The first entry will contain the course code, credit value of the course, and grade. The second entry will be course code AAONL with credit value of 0.1 and a passing grade, “P”.