GenNET expands online services

— The Genesee Network for Education Telecommunications (GenNET) is growing its menu of available learning resources for students with the addition of Michigan Virtual School (MVS) online courses. Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD), as the fiscal and operating agent for GenNET, solidified the agreement on behalf of the 22 GenNET member districts.

The partnership is a result of a yearlong discussion and negotiation process to make MVS content available to students already using GenNET’s online portal. MVS joins eight existing, teacher-led online course providers, including Florida Virtual School, Aventa Learning, Lincoln Interactive and Virtual Greenbush, among others.

GISD holds a Seat Time Waiver (STW) that was originally established on behalf of the GenNET member districts. Last year, STW was expanded statewide to serve 57 intermediate school districts, 523 local school districts and 14 public school academies (charters) across Michigan. After its first year, the statewide STW made it possible for 8,442 online courses to be taken by more than 2,700 high school students needing options to help move them toward successful graduation in their home districts. This represents a 371 percent increase in participation through the GenNET portal over the previous years. Some of these students took all of their courses using the Seat Time Waiver.

“MVS is excited to be part of this expanded seat time waiver opportunity for Michigan high schools,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Michigan Virtual University, parent company of MVS. “We look forward to helping our school customers serve their students who need access to fulltime online learning solutions.”

The GenNET online portal has been providing online course options for students since 2001.

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Natalie Blythe

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