Dear School Partner:

Thank you for working with us to provide online learning options to students in your school district! We are excited to collaborate on this innovative approach to customizing the learning experience. The process outlined below should help to answer questions as families begin to indicate an interest in the Black Hills Online Learning Community (BHOLC) program.

friendsPre-Registration Information

1. Families are able to begin the online application process by choosing the appropriate grade level link on the front page of this site www.bholc.org. Online enrollment will be available until August 21, 2020. After this date, new enrollments will only be allowed if requested by the school district.

2. When a family completes the online enrollment application, they will be contacted by the BHOLC enrollment coordinator.

    • Families from school districts who have an existing MOU with BHOLC will be advised to continue with the registration and approval process as indicated below.
    • Families from school districts who do not have MOUs with BHOLC will be informed of this and provided with a list of schools that do. Families are always encouraged to remain with their home school district. When that is not an option and they indicate an interest in open enrollment, they are advised to do so with a district that is geographically close to them. Once the family decides to continue with enrollment, they are advised to follow the registration process listed below.

3. Upon completion of the online application process, the family is instructed to print and complete the 20-21 BHOLC Learning Agreement. They are asked to provide this completed form to the school for approval.

Registration Process

4.The family provides the completed Black Hills Online Learning Agreement to their local school.
5. The school administrator and any other required school representatives decide whether or not to approve the application.
6. Once the application is approved, the school’s South Dakota Virtual School (SDVS) manager will register the student into the SDVS system.

    • The contact person will need to know:
    • Grade level for students in grades K-8
    • Specific course names for students in grades 9-12
    • If needed (grades 9-12), the student should meet with a local school counselor to generate a four year plan indicating which courses will be taken to meet local graduation requirements and the individual goals of the student.

7. The SDVS manager for the school then registers the student via the SDVS website.

a. Use the school login information. If you do not have this information, contact SDVS.
b. Once the student is registered via SDVS, an email will be generated to BHOLC informing us there is a pending registration in the system.

8. The BHOLC enrollment coordinator will accept the SDVS registration, which will also generate an email back to the school district letting you know the registration has been approved.
9. Enrollment and registration is complete. Students should be entered into Infinite Campus, with coding to indicate student is taking courses online, by the school. BHOLC staff will follow up with the family to get them started.

All families are asked to complete an orientation to ensure familiarity with the expectations of the program. Students will be assigned to an introductory online course to help prepare them for success.

Students in grades K-5 will have a grade level online teacher who has contact with the learning coach (parent/guardian) throughout the school year. Students in grades 6-12 have content-based online teachers who provides content area support to the student and a mentor provided by BHOLC who provides engagement support. The person listed as an E Mentor in the SDVS will also have an account in the system so that he or she receives updates regarding student progress and participation.

 

Updated July 24, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are courses considered semester or year-long?
    Some are a semester, some are year-long. Please refer to the course list. For our full-time 9-12 program, we will enroll students in the equivalent of up to 6 year-long classes. They can choose a combo of semester classes and yearlong classes to equal the proper amount. We will let your counselor help them decide what is best to meet their graduation goal and then your counselor or South Dakota Virtual School (SDVS) designated contact (usually this is also the counselor) actually enrolls them via the SDVS system.
  • Do you charge a pro-rated amount for less than a full-time ($3,250 per student) program? Is there a per-course charge option?
    Yes, you can do al a carte classes for the price listed. So for instance, if you have a student in your regular face-to-face program, they can take Mandarin Chinese online as an elective.
  • What are the beginning and ending dates for the courses?
    Please refer to the official BHOLC school calendar. However, the flexibility of the online platform allows us to offer classes about any time of the year. Students can accelerate the learning experience if they choose or take more time to go deeper with areas of interest.
  • What was the experience with the Smarter Balanced system this year and do you have any requirements for the school districts in this area next year? Since it’s online, do students need to come to our school to take the test?
    The state requires that students come onsite to your district. Most schools choose to do portions of testing over a week or more – this doesn’t work well for the families to travel in. We also had families that were abroad, so they were not able to come onsite. Your district has to count them as a non-participator. You don’t get dinged for this unless you fall under 95% participation. This may not be a problem for any district right now as numbers are typically too small to equal 5% of your school population. We work with you and the families to try to get them to the school for testing, but that does not always work out. Schools are responsible for this type of testing. The burden is on your district for state-mandated testing and the students’ scores count for your district. BHOLC is not a school; we are a program that partners with schools. Think of us like an alternative high school program, but you don’t have to pay your own instructors or overhead on a building, we exist in the cloud, but we are providing services for your school.