KATY, Texas - The Katy Independent School District announced on Tuesday evening that they have approved virtual learning for some of their students.
According to a release, the Katy Virtual Academy (KVA) online learning program was approved for students enrolled in kindergarten through sixth grade.
School officials said parents can begin the online application process on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and must apply by midnight on Tuesday, August 17 to enroll in the virtual instruction model.
Online instruction through KVA will officially begin on Monday, August 30, and extend through Friday, October 15, 2021.
The KVA Grades K-6 program is being made available for parents of those students who may wish to immunize their child against COVID, but do not currently have the option to do so due to minimum age requirements tied to the current iteration of the vaccine, officials said.
Many parents in attendance during Tuesday night's school board meeting were surprised by the virtual option announcement but continued asking the board that further actions should be taken against Covid-19 and that masks should be made a requirement.
"All ICU beds for children in and around Houston are full," said Rosabelle McConkey, Pediatrician.
Many who spoke work within the health care system, McConkey says she has seen a 24% rise in her practice since the middle of July for children testing positive.
"Unlike the previous surges, COVID is affecting my young patients, from 8 months to 11 years old, and all are ineligible for a vaccine," said McConkey.
For Tuesday’s special board of trustees meeting, the room was full. Many parents were in attendance to let the board also know they do not want to see a school mask mandate.
As for funding, many districts will use funds that have been set aside and are hoping the Texas Legislature can follow through during the special session.
"I am a bit hopeful that our state legislature will do something with virtual funding- there have been two special sessions called," said Katy ISD Superintendent, Ken Gregorski.
Additional information regarding KVA will be found on the Katy Virtual Academy K-6 webpage that will open at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.