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Virtual education offers families the chance to get their education from the comfort of their home or even through their phone anywhere in the world.

Thanks to a 2018 law, Missouri families have growing access to virtual education through both the MOCAP program and the Missouri Online Summer Institute.

MOCAP provides students access to single virtual courses or full-time virtual programs through their home school district or charter school at no cost to the family.

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For students with the right amount of dedication, self-discipline, and family support, the new concept of a virtual school offers a wide variety of benefits:

  • Self-paced learning - Virtual schools allow students to learn at their own pace, advancing through subject matter as quickly or as slowly as their competency over the subject matter allows.

  • Eliminates barriers - Virtual education can provide students in rural or urban areas access to more unique and higher-level courses than those offered through their home districts.

  • Instant feedback - Digital learning provides parents and teachers immediate, real-time data on how well a student is understanding the subject matter, allowing for quick interventions when a student is struggling.

  • Real-world experience - Learning through a digital platform prepares students for online classes in college and the increasingly Internet-based business world.

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  • Is virtual education free for all students in Missouri
    Any student in Missouri who is currently enrolled in a public school qualifies for free virtual school. All children in Missouri may enroll in MOCAP programs, but if they are not currently enrolled in a public school system then their local district is not required to pay the tuition.
  • What is MOCAP
    MOCAP stands for the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program. It allows public school students to attend part-time or full-time virtual school paid for using your child's state education funding. You can learn more on the official MOCAP website.
  • Do Charter school students qualify for MOCAP courses/programs?
    A charter school is a public school so charter school families qualify under the law. Contact your charter school to begin enrollment and not your local public school district.
  • What is a virtual vendor or provider?
    Vendors/providers are organizations that provide virtual education programs and courses. There are currently 18 vendors in Missouri. Of those 18 vendors, eight have partnered with Missouri school districts or institutions of higher learning to provide full-time virtual education programs at no cost to families. The other 10 programs are more focused on providing individual virtual courses, although it is possible to create a full-time virtual program using some of them in conjunction with your local school district.
  • Does a student have to be enrolled in a Missouri public school district or charter school to enroll full-time in MOCAP?
    Yes. A student must be enrolled his or her district of residence prior to withdrawing to the host district.
  • How do I choose a program?
    There are many different types of programs serving a range of different grades. Some providers offer live online instruction and some offer self-paced courses and others a combination of the two. There are other factors such as whether or not they provide technology and other learning materials, clubs, dual credit, and AP classes. See here for more information on the variety of options available.
  • How do I enroll in a virtual Education program or course?
    For families wanting to enroll in a full-time virtual education program, the process has never been easier. Here are the steps you will go through in the enrollment process: Make sure you are enrolled in a local public charter or district school. The MOCAP program still requires participants to be enrolled in a Missouri public charter or district school before enrolling in a virtual education program. Before a family can start the process, they must make sure they are enrolled in public school, especially if they have been homeschooled or attended a private school previously. Choose one of the 8 full-time virtual education providers. Under the new law, families can choose from eight different virtual education providers, based on their child's specific needs. Each of these providers have partnered with a Missouri school district or higher learning institution to provide their services to families in Missouri. These partners are called host districts. Notify the provider AND your local district of your decision to switch to a full-time virtual program. After you have chosen the best provider for your child's needs, you need to notify your local district and the provider of your decision. This will start a process that will move your child from being enrolled in the local district to being enrolled in the host district that has partnered with the provider. Your local district should not be able to contest your decision unless the provider does not offer the courses needed for your child to graduate. Un-enroll from your local district and enroll with the provider through a host district. Your local district and/or virtual education provider will tell you how to unenroll from your local district and transfer your enrollment to the host district under the MOCAP program. Develop an ESP. The host district and your local district are required to develop an Educational Services Plan (ESP) for your student that will define how and if your child is able to use any of your local district's resources while enrolled in the virtual education program. If you should need further assistance please contact Cici Tompkins at or 314-561-8646.
  • What paperwork is required to enroll in a virtual education program or course?
    Guardian ID, report card, transcripts, child’s birth certificate (some providers allow other proof of DOB). Other forms may include: District Approval Form, Enrollment Verification Form, Family Income Form (some vendors supply materials and technology to families who qualify for free and reduced lunch)
  • What is "private" vs "public" pay?
    “Private” pay means you are responsible for payment to the virtual provider. There are a wider range of courses available to private pay families and they are available to non-public school students. “Public” pay are the courses paid for by your local school district or the state and are approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as official MOCAP programs or courses. Make sure when you are researching providers that you are viewing the public pay courses. You can download a list of all official MOCAP courses and programs here.
  • Does a student have to maintain residence in Missouri while enrolled in a full-time in MOCAP?
    Yes. The host district is responsible for ensuring the student maintains Missouri residency
  • Does a student have to request full-time MOCAP enrollment through the district of residence?
    No. A student who wants to enroll full-time in a MOCAP program should notify their district of residence of their intent to enroll in a full-time virtual program but is not required to seek the approval of the resident district. The student must be first enrolled in their district of residence in order to be eligible for MOCAP enrollment.
  • Does a student have to request full-time MOCAP enrollment through the district of residence?
    No. A student who wants to enroll full-time in a MOCAP program should notify their district of residence of their intent to enroll in a full-time virtual program but is not required to seek the approval of the resident district. The student must be first enrolled in their district of residence in order to be eligible for MOCAP enrollment.
  • Does the MOCAP provider receive a separate school code as a building within the resident district?
    Yes. Full-time MOCAP providers will receive a separate school code as an attendance center within the host district.
  • How do districts and charter schools ensure that course denials and appeals are substantially similar to those that are considered for students seeking to enroll in courses offered by the district?
    Districts and charter schools must publish and implement an established procedure for approving and appealing course enrollment requests for district courses that is consistently applied in making determinations for enrollments and appeals, which substantially mirrors the process for enrollment and the denial for enrollment for other types of courses.
  • Does a full-time virtual student who was accepted by a full-time virtual provider need to go through a disenrollment process from their resident district?
    Yes. Once a student has been accepted by a full-time virtual provider, the resident district or charter school must disenroll the student from its district, and the student will then be enrolled by the host district.
  • If a student with an Individual Education Plan (IEP) seeks to enroll as a full-time MOCAP student, what happens next?
    The student’s IEP team must meet to decide enrollment. If the team decides that enrollment is appropriate, the student’s MOCAP request may be approved. Next, the MOCAP provider (host district) will review the enrollment request and approve or deny it. Then, if the MOCAP provider approves the request, the host district will request a copy of the most recent evaluation report and current IEP from the resident district in accordance with the IDEA in-state transfer process. The full-time MOCAP virtual-provider shall serve as the student’s building under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B. The host district will claim any such students for attendance purposes; as a result, the host district will be responsible for providing IDEA Part B services to the students. The student’s IEP governs their ESP; if their ESP includes services that cannot be provided through virtual methods, the provider should pay the district for the services
  • What if a student is dropped by a full-time virtual provider, but the family’s residence has physically changed while the student was enrolled in the virtual program and he or she is no longer a resident student?
    During the enrollment process, the virtual provider is responsible for notifying parents/guardians that physical address changes should be provided to the host district and the student’s district of residence at the time of enrollment in the virtual program and updated with any changes. If the family cannot be immediately contacted, the former district of residence will engage in due diligence: * to locate the child and family to notify them of educational options if they can be located; or * to notify the Department of Social Services, including the Children’s Division, in the event they cannot, in the same manner the district would proceed with in person students who do not notify the district of changes in residence. Drop-outs will be assigned to the last district of residence for accountability purposes.
  • Does DESE pay full-time providers directly for the full-time students enrolled in their MOCAP program?
    No. DESE School Finance will make state aid payments to the host school district. The host school district will pay the MOCAP provider.
  • If a student’s district of residence is a K-8 district and the student requests full-time MOCAP enrollment, what process must the district of residence and the student complete?
    The student should be enrolled in the resident K-8 district before requesting full-time MOCAP enrollment. The student should declare to the resident district the high school he or she would choose to attend (as if attending inperson). The high school’s district and the virtual provider will work together on the ESP and Collaborative Agreement.
  • Will a student who is participating in a full-time MOCAP program receive a diploma from the host district or from the resident district?
    The diploma will be awarded by the host district.
  • Can a student participating in a full-time MOCAP program in a host district participate in clubs, activities and sports?
    Local club and activity participation should be determined through the ESP. The Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA)’s by-laws govern sports and activities. LEAs should consult with MSHSAA for guidance.
  • What happens to the enrollments of students who were already participating in full-time MOCAP programs prior to August 28, 2022?
    Students who were enrolled in full-time, hosted MOCAP programs prior to August 28, 2022, will need to be withdrawn from their districts of residence and enrolled in their host district. An ESP and Collaborative Agreement will need to be developed for each of the students impacted by this situation.
  • ​MOCAP
    MOCAP stands for the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program.
  • Vendor
    Organizations that provide virtual education. There are currently 10 vendors in Missouri
  • DESE
    Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, our Missouri department of education.
  • Host District
    The public school district, charter school, or higher education institution that enrolls the student in the online provider’s program.
  • District of Residence
    The public school district or charter school the student would attend if receiving classes in-person and that would receive state aid for the student.
  • Live instruction
    Students log in at specific times for classes where they get face-to-face instruction from their teacher. Some live instruction includes student participation and interaction
  • Self-paced learning
    Students can create their own schedule and go at their own pace. This can include pre-recorded instruction from teachers. With all vendors there are still teachers that can be reached and that oversee the learning
  • Blended learning
    A combination of live and self-paced instruction
  • ESP
    Educational Services Plan (ESP) and Collaborative Agreement under Section 161.670.3, RSMo, full-time virtual students may be allowed to use a physical location of the resident school district for all or some portion of ongoing instructional activity, and the Enrollment Plan shall provide for reimbursement of costs of the resident district for providing such access. (Section 161.670.2(3), RSMo)
  • ILP
    Individualized Learning Plan - “Students taking more than two MOCAP courses must have an individualized learning plan maintained in the LEA’s student records.”
  • LEA
    Local Education Agency - your local public school district

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