FBISD will not offer the Virtual Learning Program during the 2021-22 school year (6/7/2021)
The follow message was sent to the FBISD parents of prospective Virtual Learning Program students on Friday, June 4, 2021.
This spring, Fort Bend ISD anticipated initiating a pilot Virtual Learning Program (VLP) to serve students in grades K-12 who are at a medically documented higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, pending legislation that was being discussed and considered during the 87th legislative session.
House Bill 1468 (HB1468), which would have provided the legislative authority for school districts to continue offering local remote and hybrid learning programs in the 2021-22 school year, did not pass at the end of the 87th legislative session that ended on May 31.
As a result, the District will not be able to offer a virtual learning program in the 2021-22 school year as originally planned. As communicated on the VLP information page, the District was initiating the process pending guidance and approval from the state.
On Thursday, June 3, the Texas Education Agency and Commissioner of Education Mike Morath communicated to school districts that as a result of HB1468 not passing, the disaster-based waiver that allowed TEA to authorize remote learning and the associated funding for the 2020-21 school year will not apply to the 2021-22 school year.
Information from the state is disappointing and we understand it may create frustration and anxiety for parents and guardians with students who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
District staff are evaluating what options may be available next school year, including homebound services, that eligible students may be able to take advantage of in lieu of a VLP. Additional information regarding homebound services can be found on the district website at https://www.fortbendisd.com/Page/99068
As a result of not offering a virtual learning program next year, all students who applied for the VLP will be scheduled in Skyward as a face-to-face student in 2021-22 at their home campus.