Virtual Learning in California


In California, 1,077 schools reported students taking one or more online courses during 2014–15 with about 600,000 online course enrollments covering both supplemental and full-time online courses.


California schools online learning activity


Students taking online courses               K–8                          9–12                  Total                    Est
are reported in two categories                Students                  Students          Students            enroll

One but less than 50%                                
student’s course load                                  2,100                      53,700               55,800               274,800

50% or more of students’ full
course load                                                     14,747                     17,715             32,462                 324,620


TOTALS                                                             16,847                      71,415              88,262             599,420


Sources: 2014-15 California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS), California Charter Schools Association (CCSA)



*Course enrollments estimated based on average student course loads for each grade span range, as well as estimating load factors for the two reporting categories (50% or more and at least one but less than 50%)

Data is self-reported online learning activity by schools for 2014–15 in California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS).

The majority of reported online learning courses also fall under the classification of “independent study.”

However, the independent study category includes a variety of course formats, online learning being only one of those options, so it can be challenging to determine what portion of these are actually full online courses versus a lower level of online activity supplementing some other type of independent study format.