What is ACCESS Virtual Learning?

It provides:

• Equal access to high-quality instruction 
• An infrastructure that delivers quality learning opportunities
• Greater equity for all Alabama public high school students through 21st Century technology

What are the key components of the ACCESS Virtual Learning plan?

The ACCESS VL plan provides Alabama students with access to quality instruction and coursework by blending:

• Rigorous Web-based and Interactive Videoconferencing (IVC) courses taught by Alabama-certified and highly-qualified teachers
• A technical infrastructure to deliver approved Web-based courses and connect IVC labs via a statewide network
• Three regional support centers to hire, train, evaluate, and support e-teachers
• Statewide coordination, scheduling, and support for virtual learning

What is the goal of Access?

The goal of ACCESS is to continue to meet objectives of the ACCESS plan, expanding the availability of ACCESS Virtual Learning to all public high schools in the state.

• Provide access to advanced diploma courses.
• Provide access to additional course offerings.
• Provide access to Advanced Placement and dual enrollment/dual credit courses.
• Provide access to remediation and supplemental resources.
• Leverage existing resources and virtual learning offerings.
• Provide teachers with additional multimedia and tools to enhance instruction.
• Provide access to courses and resources through the Alabama Supercomputer Authority statewide network infrastructure assuring quality of service delivery.
• Utilize outside evaluation to assess weaknesses and strengths of the program in order to make appropriate adjustments to the implementation of the objectives of ACCESS.


What are some of the major accomplishments in the implementation of Access?

• Awarded grants in September 2012 to assist 85 schools in upgrading their ACCESS 21st Century virtual learning classroom.
• Increased enrollments seen every year, now serving over 396 schools and 29,000 students, which represents over 62,000 half credit enrollments.
• Increased courses available to 24 Middles School and 79 High School courses including five foreign languages, 11 AP courses, and 21 credit recovery courses
- The NCAA has approved 54 ACCESS courses for eligibility purposes. Credit Recovery Courses do not qualify.
• Received positive reports from the International Society for Technology in Education, the outside evaluator of the program, indicated that all implementation deadlines were met as outlined in the ACCESS VL Plan. Interview results showed that over 75% of students and 82% of teachers involved in ACCESS felt that their virtual school experience was as good as or better than that for traditional courses.
• More than 900 teachers have been trained in eLearning course delivery.
• Received over $6.2 million in E-Rate Funding.
• Received over $1 million in federal grant dollars from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Who plans and oversees the implementation of Access?

ACCESS VL Task Force
K-20 Representatives
Other State Agencies
ACCESS VL Support Centers
ACCESS VL Executive Board
Alabama State Department of Education

What does 21st Century virtual learning classroom equipment and services include?

• Codec (A codec is technology for compressing and decompressing data)
• Cameras
• Monitors and/or projectors
• Interactive whiteboard (interactive, portable, wireless electronic boards)
• 25 tablet computers (minimum)
• Wireless port or router
• Installation, on-site service, warranty, technical support, and equipment training and equipment manuals.
• Professional Development/Specialized Training for:
- School Administrators, guidance counselors, and other school personnel on the project, management techniques, and evaluation strategies.
- E-teachers (delivery sites)

What is the future of Access?

• Provide a 21st Century learning experience for all Alabama high school students.
• Have the capacity to serve 45,000 enrollments.

What is the response from participants in the program?

“Having the Distance Learning Lab has given our students a confidence that they can compete with other students...”

Denise Stovall, Principal, R. A. Hubbard High School, Lawrence County Schools

“My students think that they have reached heaven. One student said that he wanted to live in that lab...the other student next to him told me that this was his favorite class ever!”

Adina Stone, Latin I IVC and Online Teacher, Sheffield High School, Sheffield City Schools

“What an exciting day! My students are so ‘ampt’ (in their words, not mine). They are excited to be part of such a unique program. I too am enthusiastic. Thanks for the great opportunity... Alabama now has a source to offer educators and students access to education of the future...and the future is now.”

Samantha Smith, Creative Writing Teacher, Alma Bryant High School, Mobile County Schools

“ACCESS has helped the Dallas County School System maintain and expand course offerings when we were either unable to recruit or fund a highly-qualified teacher. Without ACCESS, students at my high schools would not have been able to participate in courses such as Advanced Placement Calculus, Latin, Shakespeare, etc. The ACCESS service delivery model has also helped educators become more creative and innovative in the delivery of quality curricula.”

Dr. Fannie L. Major-McKenzie, Superintendent, Dallas County Schools