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Remote Learning

Background and Purpose of ODE’s Online and Remote Learning Work

Remote learning programs have expanded across Oregon for well over a decade in the form of specialized courses available to students in rural communities, hybrid and virtual options for local schools, virtual public charter schools, and home-based options. Most recently, remote learning has become a familiar part of many students' education through the COVID-19 pandemic response. Even with a return to in-person learning for the significant majority of public schools, remote learning will continue to play a role in K-12 public education. This work serves as a response to the continued growth of remote and online programs as well as other factors including the 2017 Secretary of State Audit of online and alternative education, the K-12 Education Systemic Risk Report released in Spring 2022, disparities in educational outcomes and access for students attending online schools and programs and those attending brick and mortar schools and programs, and research focused on online learning and student outcomes at a national level. The remote learning work is the first step in directly addressing the findings and recommendations identified in the 2017 Secretary of State Audit. Additional information regarding the Remote Learning work can be accessed in the Remote Learning in Oregon Background document.

Defining Online and Remote Learning

While there is no formal definition in Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) or existing state statute for "remote" learning, ODE operationally uses the term "remote" to encompass all educational models of instruction where the student and the teacher are not in the same physical location for more than half of the student's instructional time. Remote learning instructional models may be primarily online (using internet-based platforms and technology), paper-and-pencil (non-internet based), or a combination of both. "Remote is inclusive of online, virtual, and non-internet based models.

The term "home-based" instruction is commonly used to describe certain remote learning options; however, it is important to note that if the student is enrolled in public school, then the student's instruction must be under the direction of a licensed teacher as described in questions 7 and 8 in the Remote and Oregon Learning Policy FAQ. If a child is taught by a parent, legal guardian or private teacher, as provided in ORS 339.030 and ORS 339.035, then it is considered home schooling.

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Online and Remote Learning Guidance

The purpose of this guidance is twofold: 1) to provide clarity regarding existing federal and state requirements and policies for online and remote schools, and 2) to share design indicators and provide tools for school and district operators and leaders to use in planning for continuous improvement and innovation.

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Compliance Evaluation and Planning Form

This form is designed to help school and program leaders and operators in determining whether or not they are meeting compliance with focus requirements and policies as well as determining evidence needed and the next steps for continuous improvement.

The following beliefs support this vision for educational equity within distance and online learning throughout Oregon. All students accessing remote learning options in Oregon deserve a high-quality education, which includes:

  • Access to high-quality instruction where both the teacher and education leaders play an invaluable role in student learning and well-being. 

  • A sense of belonging and safety that is inclusive of students of color students of color, including students who are African-American/Black, Alaska Native and American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander, Refugee, Latino/a/x, Compact of Free Association (COFA) citizens, students who are emergent bilingual (English Learners), students of migrant and farmworker families, students receiving services under Section 504 or IDEA, students who are neurodivergent, students experiencing disability, and students who are LGBTQ2SIA+, where students' intersecting identities are honored and affirmed within the classroom and school culture by educators and the whole school community. 

  • Culturally appropriate and anti-racist curriculum and quality instructional materials aligned to Oregon content standards;

  • Access to school- or district-provided devices, digital resources, and connectivity that are conducive to remote or online learning. 

  • Accommodations, modifications, differentiated instruction, and research-based strategies address the strengths and needs of all students including students experiencing disabilities, and emergent bilingual students.

  • Access to a  well-rounded education including college and career planning, health, arts, CTE, physical education, music, world language, etc.).

  • Intentional and consistent opportunities for peer engagement,  social emotional learning, mental health services and access to support from educators.

  • Culmination of learning in our Oregon K-12 system leads to a diploma and the readiness and disposition for postsecondary pursuits.