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Memphis Virtual School, Shelby County Schools, 2014–2015

Shelby County Schools’ Virtual School program provides middle and high school students the opportunity to participate in online courses to earn credits needed to avoid retention, to earn credits needed to meet graduation requirements, or for academic enrichment.

Dr. Thompson developed and lead this evaluation by analyzing the outcomes of the 8,671 6th through 12th grade students who participated in the program in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 academic years. The analysis explored whether differences existed in course completion and/or passing rates based on course type. The types of courses included in this analysis were Standard, Credit Recovery, Vocational/Technical, AP, Honors, and Extended Year.

The results of the analysis allowed program personnel and district decision-makers to identify which courses were most needed and for what purposes, the types of courses that were best-suited for online learning based on student performance, as well as the courses in which students needed additional supports to successfully complete.

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