Several Houston-area districts offering virtual option for upcoming school year
HOUSTON - In a change of course, Fort Bend ISD released Monday, they will now offer limited enrollment for virtual instruction for students Pre-K through 6th. According to the district, it will not be available to students eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine (ages 12 and up), and students in grades 7 through 12.
Here's more information on the timeline:
- August 9-13: application window opens for families of students in Pre-K – 6
- August 16: families are notified of acceptance
- August 23-27: student-parent orientation sessions take place
- August 30: virtual learning program launches
Classes will only be available for the Fall semester and students who opted for virtual learning will not be able to transfer to face-to-face learning prior to January 2022.
Humble ISD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen spoke with FOX 26, she said for Humble ISD virtual learning was a success. They learned a lot from the prior year and were ready to make it an option for the 2021-22 school year.
"We believed it was best for our staff and best for our students and community," said Fagen. "Really what this is about, is making sure that teachers who want to teach virtually are matched up with students who desire that experience," said Dr. Fagen.
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Fagen said it was a hands-on experience, school counselors spoke with students and parents one-on-one about the option. About 2,000 students have signed up for virtual learning, which will be available all school year. Dr. Fagen says for many students the experience was empowering.
"They are getting a lot more sleep with the virtual option," said Dr. Fagen. "They are getting to manage their own schedules."
First day of class for Humble ISD is Tuesday.
Conroe ISD will also offer a virtual option for the Fall semester, only available for students Pre-K through 6th and the application process will close Tuesday.
"There is a high level of anxiety definitely with the delta variant," said Lokesh Shahani, Chief Medical Officer of UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center. ‘It’s all going to be risk versus benefit conversation we are going to have.
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Shahani tells FOX 26, children may have anxiety going into the new school year about covid. He suggests sitting down to talk it over.
"If kids have any concern about going to school, getting sick, the parents definitely need to address it," said Dr. Shahani. "Acknowledgement that yes, I’m concerned about your health and giving them an effective message as to why this is important and what are the things we can do together that can prevent you from getting sick."