Indiana Code § 20-30-2-2.7 Subsection (e) provides that a school is permitted to conduct no more than three (3) virtual student instructional days each school year. Virtual instruction consists of a teacher using a computer or similar device to teach a class, with students viewing and participating via devices remotely. This naturally became the center of attention in 2020 when schools were not permitted to meet in person. This new legislation was passed during the 2022 Indiana legislative session in response to parental concerns about how effective e-learning can be as opposed to in-person instruction. This law only applies to public schools maintained by a school corporation and charter schools that are not virtual charter schools. Private and parochial schools that are not charter schools are not encompassed by this legislation, as well as dedicated virtual education schools.
The motivations behind this new law are clear; the state legislature believes students should be in the classroom, as opposed to at home, as much as possible. Once a school has conducted more than three virtual e-learning days in a year, administering another will not count towards the one hundred and eighty (180) school days requirement.
It’s important to note that there are some exceptions to this policy. Schools may continue to provide virtual learning in limited circumstances throughout a school day without having to administer a full virtual day. The law provides that virtual instruction or remote learning days is where at least fifty percent (50%) of the students enrolled at the school are administered virtual learning for more than (50%) of the school day. So, if students have one or two classes in a day that are virtual, this does not trigger a “virtual day.” Additionally, schools may request a waiver to provide additional virtual days if the virtual student instructional day was conducted because of extraordinary circumstances. Extraordinary circumstances are understood to mean incidents of extreme weather or other disturbances to the school year that are not planned to occur by the school’s administration.
It’s important to stay up to date with any changes made to Indiana Statutes. If you have questions about this topic, call us at (317) 825-5110.
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