Virtual Instruction Program History

News and Announcements

Charge for the Virtual Instruction Program (VIP) Committee

1. Overview: Interim Superintendent Smith has established a “Virtual Instruction Program (VIP) Committee,” to be comprised of 4 current high school teachers, 2 current middle school teachers (one from each MS), 1 current high school parent, 2 school board representatives, the OEA Uniserv Representative, Hermiston Association of Teachers President, 2 high school administrators, 1 middle school administrator, the Director of Technology, Director of Instructional Resources from the ESD, 1 student representative, and necessary administrative and support staff. Superintendent Smith will serve as the primary advisor to the group.

2. Type of Committee: Administrative, reporting to the Interim Superintendent. Membership is voluntary and non-compensated.

3. Charge: Hermiston School District strives to provide a premier educational opportunity for all school age students in the district. School officials and staff alike understand that we have, and must continue to systematically adapt our program to meet the learning styles and needs of current and future students in order to adequately engage and prepare them for post high school success. Virtual (Online) education has become central to the learning model for today’s students and current trends portend a continued and dynamic shift towards this delivery system in both secondary schools and collegiate systems. Nationally, there has been a 700% annual growth rate (1) in the number of students accessing at least a portion of their post high school education online since the year 2000, and current predictions reveal that by 2019 50% of high school courses will be delivered in an online environment (2).

In order to ensure Hermiston students remain engaged in our local program, are exposed to high levels of learning and rigor, and graduate high school prepared for online learning they are likely to experience, it is essential that the Hermiston School District develop a comprehensive Virtual Instruction Program for their students.

To ensure a thorough and inclusive process the District has established a committee to elicit a stakeholder review and recommendation to guide the HSD virtual model.

The committee will meet bi-weekly beginning on January 10, 2012 and continuing until a recommendation is presented to the Superintendent on or before April 16, 2012. The committee is charged to recommend the following:

  • Vendor(s) for online curriculum material (which may include the instructional interface for curriculum delivery (e.g. Blackboard, Moodle)
  • Instructional interface for program delivery (if not included in the vendor selection)
  • Recommendation of personnel (if any) needed to meet program requirements
  • Technology requirements needed to support the selected program
  • Recommendation of other supports necessary to ensure program success


4. Authority: The committee will have no independent authority to obligate district funds or negotiate local bargaining implications. The committee’s recommendations will be used to inform program decisions made by the Interim Superintendent. Once reviewed and endorsed, the recommendation will be presented to both HAT and the Board of Education to establish appropriate collective bargaining measures if required.

5. Staff Cooperation: The committee is to be granted access to reports, information, and documents pertinent to their investigation. Staff members and service providers shall also be made available to the committee upon request. The committee will work directly with the High School Principal who will make necessary resources and staff available to the committee.

6. Duration of Charge: The committee’s role will modify once a recommendation has been made and an initial direction selected. It will meet quarterly during the partial implementation period to evaluate use, progress, and viability of the program and will sunset following completion of its final report to the Superintendent on or before April 15, 2013.

7. Committee Appointments: Advertisement for committee members will be through district media. Members expressing interest will be appointed by the Superintendent in consultation with building principals. Meetings will generally be open to the public but only elected committee members will be allowed to participate in the discussions, dialogue and voting processes. Appointed members to their position will remain active throughout the length of this charge unless they do not fulfill their commitment as a member as determined by the Superintendent, or they resign from the Committee.

1. Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker. The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning. Innosight Institute, 2011.
2. Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, and Curtis W. Johnson, Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008).