I'm the technical lead on the ORVSD project. ODE has contracted with us here at OSU to handle the hosting and development of the ORVSD tools and content. I think there are some misconceptions here that I can address.
The Oregon Virtual School District is somewhat mis-named (we were assigned the name, we didn't choose it) - it's neither a school or a district. ORVSD is not "the state sanctioned virtual school". ORVSD doesn't employ teachers, grant credit or enroll students.
I expect the impression you received that ORVSD is "operating at limited capacity" is rooted in the fact that its services are in no way intended to be a complete virtual school. It offers a set of free tools and content for teachers. We're doing exactly what our mission directs us to do: help Oregon teachers use more technology. We're giving resources away to Oregon teachers for free so that they can enhance their existing classrooms.
The services of the ORVSD are available to any Oregon public school - including charters like ORCA, AllPrep, etc. - free of charge. For example, Estacada Web Academy (an AllPrep school) is delivering courses right now from a server hosted in the ORVSD architecture. The project is in no way intended to suppress or compete with any of the incumbent virtual schools. If anything, the project is supporting the arguments made here that traditional schools should be learning from the online schools. ORVSD is bringing the tools the virtual schools are using into the hands of traditional classroom teachers and training them how to use those tools to enhance their classes, thereby blurring the lines between"virtual" and "B&M" schools.
The state isn't "stalling" ... there aren't any nefarious motives here. The goal of the ORVSD project is to increase the use of technology in Oregon's public schools in general - nothing to do with the current debate that's bouncing back and forth between the Legislature and the Oregon School Board.
posted 3 years, 2 months ago
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