Jhone Ebert and Allison Powell


This chapter presents a case study on a district-led virtual school program in Nevada. District-led programs are the fastest-growing sector of K-12 online learning. They often develop full virtual school capabilities over time, which helps explain their recent emergence. The authors also describe how the virtual school program has laid the groundwork for the mainstreaming of online and blended learning in this large district. The chapter includes discussion of research-based effective practices worthy of dissemination.

Discussion Questions

1. What state policies constrained the growth of the district's online and blended learning programs? How have the state's policies changed over time, and how have the changes impacted program growth?

2. What guidelines did CCSD establish to ensure online courses it developed were high quality?

3. What types of professional development and mentoring are provided for CCSD Virtual High School teachers?

4. Who should be involved in the implementation of a program like the CCSD Virtual High School throughout a school district?

5. Based on the chapter and other sources, what are some reasons a school district might decide to implement an online and blended learning program today?

Additional Resources

Horn, M. (2010, April). Public school districts master the online learning game. School Business Affairs, 76(3), 8-10 Apr 2010. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ904657.pdf

Jones, D. D. (2012, September 27). A look ahead: Phase II. Clark County School District. Retrieve from http://ccsd.net/district/superintendent/resources/pdf/a-look-ahead-phase-ii-2012.pdf

Waters, J. K. (2011, July 26). Competing for the virtual student. T.H.E. Journal. Retrieved from


Collison, G., Elbaum, B., Haavind, S., & Tinker, R. (2000). Facilitating online learning: Effective strategies for moderators. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing.

International Association for K–12 Online Learning. (2011a). National standards for quality online courses, version 2. Vienna, VA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/iNACOL_CourseStandards_2011.pdf

International Association for K–12 Online Learning. (2011b). National standards for quality online teaching, version 2. Vienna, VA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.inacol.org/research/nationalstandards/iNACOL_TeachingStandardsv2.pdf

Jones, D. D. (2011). A look ahead phase I: Preliminary reforms report. Las Vegas, NV: Clark County School District. Retrieved from http://www.ccsd.net/district/superintendent/resources/pdf/alook-ahead-05-2011.pdf

Schweizer, H. (1999). Designing and teaching an online course: Spinning your web classroom. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Staker, H. B. (2012). Classifying K–12 blended learning. San Medro, CA: Innosight Institute. Retrieved from http://www.innosightinstitute.org/innosight/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/ Classifying-K–12-blended-learning2.pdf