HOUSTON - While Houston ISD will begin the school year online this week, the district is opening Digital Learning Centers for certain students who do not have the necessary technology at home.
On September 8, HISD will open 36 select campuses as Digital Learning Centers for elementary and middle school students who do not have access to technology needed to participate in online learning at home.
HISD says, due to COVID-19 health concerns, Digital Learning Centers are only open to students without access to technology. Students identified as not having access to technology for online learning will be assigned to a Digital Learning Center and will be contacted by the district via School Messenger. Students must be approved and assigned to a Digital Learning Center by their home campus.
The district says once a student receives technology from their campus, they are no longer eligible to attend a Digital Learning Center.
The Digital Learning Centers are located across the district and are open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students at the Digital Learning Centers will be provided breakfast, beginning daily at 7:15 a.m., and lunch at no charge.
HISD says they have created the Digital Learning Centers to meet a requirement from the Texas Education Agency for districts who are operating under remote learning guidelines. HISD says the TEA requires these school districts to “allow all students to access on campus instruction who come from households without internet access or appropriate remote learning devices.”
According to the district, students at the Digital Learning Centers will participate in instruction provided by their teacher of record and complete independent assignments.
Transportation to and from the Digital Learning Centers will be available for students from their home campus. Students are required to wear a mask and maintain physical distancing while on the bus.
Health screenings will be performed on students upon entry to a Digital Learning Center.
All Houston ISD students will begin the school year virtually on September 8. After six weeks of virtual instruction, face-to-face instruction will begin on October 8. The district says the date is subject to change based on COVID-19 conditions and recommendations from health officials.
Parents also have the option to opt out of face-to-face instruction entirely for the fall semester and school year.