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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title XLVIII
EARLY LEARNING-20 EDUCATION CODE
Chapter 1002
STUDENT AND PARENTAL RIGHTS AND EDUCATIONAL CHOICES
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F.S. 1002.334
1002.334 Innovative Blended Learning and Real-Time Student Assessment Pilot Program.
(1) There is created within the Department of Education the Innovative Blended Learning and Real-Time Student Assessment Pilot Program. The purpose of the program is to develop and measure innovative blended learning and real-time weekly student assessment educational models that improve the educational progress of this state’s students and help close achievement gaps for this state’s traditionally underserved students.
(2) As used in this section, the term “innovative blended learning” means:
(a) A mode of learning where in-person and remote students are combined in one classroom environment where the education, instruction, and engagement occurs at the same time with the teacher and other students physically present in the classroom; and
(b) For a given course, students learn in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace and in part at a traditional supervised classroom location away from home.
(3) To be eligible to work with the program, an applicant must be:
(a) A high-performing charter school under s. 1002.331;
(b) A high-performing charter school system under s. 1002.332; or
(c) An academically high-performing school district pursuant to s. 1003.621.
(4) A program applicant must submit an application to the department in a format prescribed by the department. The application must include all of the following:
(a) A plan for the synchronous technological and resource design, curriculum, classroom operation, school or district management, privacy protection and teacher professional development, and at least weekly progress monitoring of real-time student performance in innovative blended learning programs.
(b) A plan to reduce achievement gaps through innovative blended learning.
(c) A requirement that distance learning will always be at the choosing of the student or the student’s parent or guardian and that a family will never be coerced to choose distance learning.
(d) A requirement that a participating classroom may not be fully virtual such that at least two-thirds of the students in a class must be present for in-person learning on any regularly scheduled school day.
(e) A requirement that any struggling student who is participating in this program and who, according to progress monitoring data, is on pace to learn less than a year’s content in a year’s time must return to learning in person.
(f) A requirement that any student can choose to switch learning modalities, in person or distance, on any given day, without notice and therefore a seat must always be available for every student registered to take any participating course.
(g) A requirement that the applicant provide all requested student-level data from participating schools, including, as necessary, benchmark historical data for up to the prior 3 school years, to the department upon request.
(5) Applications may be considered only for synchronous innovative blended learning programs.
(6) The Commissioner of Education shall select applicants to participate in the program.
(7) Districts and schools may not begin approved synchronous innovative blended learning programs until October 1, 2021.
(8)(a) Applicants approved by the commissioner shall receive funding based upon the number of full-time equivalent students being educated under the pilot program, as if each student were being educated full-time in person at his or her respective school.
(b) The commissioner may remove an approved applicant from program participation if the applicant fails to maintain the designations listed in subsection (3) or the applicant fails to meet any of the requirements listed in subsection (4).
(9) This section expires July 1, 2024.
History.s. 2, ch. 2021-157.