- Fort Bend ISD
Virtual school option scheduled to launch August 30 in Fort Bend ISD with limited enrollment (8/9/2021)
Virtual school option scheduled to launch August 30 in Fort Bend ISD with limited enrollment
FORT BEND ISD (August 9, 2021) – With data continuing to be released showing the surge of COVID-19 infection rates, FBISD Administration and staff have outlined a plan for a limited-enrollment virtual instruction option for Pre-K through 6th grade students, which is scheduled to begin on Monday, August 30, 2021.
The timeline is:
- 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
Admission to the Virtual Learning Program (VLP) will not be available to students eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine (ages 12 and up), and students in grades 7 through 12. Parents can apply for the program through their Skyward Family Access accuont under the Online Forms section.
In-person instruction will begin Wednesday, August 11, on all District campuses as scheduled. Students kept home while they await a decision will be withdrawn as a "no show" if they are not admitted to the Virtual Learning Program or do not attend in-person on or before August 19.
Acceptance into the VLP is based on availability of space and instructional staff at each grade level requested.
Participation in the VLP will be for the entire fall semester and students will not be allowed to transfer to face-to-face instruction prior to January 2022. The VLP’s availability for the spring 2022 semester will be assessed during the fall.
Course offerings will be limited to core content. Electives, extracurricular activities, and clubs will not be offered, and students will not be able to attend these events on their home campus. However, the District will post asynchronous activities online that address whole child health and well-being.
Students receiving services for gifted and talented (GT) or English-learning (ESL) through virtual instruction may have modified programming and/or class sizes.
For students receiving Special Education services or who are served under a Section 504 plan, acceptance into the virtual program is not finalized until an Admission, Review, or Dismissal (ARD) committee or Section 504 meeting is held and the committee has made the determination that the Virtual Learning Program is appropriate.
Per Texas Education Agency recommendations, FBISD will not utilize concurrent instruction in the VLP, that is, teachers delivering simultaneous instruction to both virtual and face-to-face students as was done previously during virtual learning.
Staffing will be accomplished by utilizing teachers who become available due to lessened demand for in-person instruction caused by students shifting to the virtual option and long-term substitute teachers.
The estimated cost of operating the VLP is presently projected to be $3.7 million including staffing and operational expenses. There is also a revenue loss component of $6.7 million in state funding that the District will not receive for the projected number of students who may enroll in the VLP. The total anticipated cost of the virtual program when considering expenditures and lost revenue is about $10.4 million.
The cost of operating the new VLP will not be the same as previously stated costs of operating a virtual school for medically vulnerable students. The previously planned program was designed to be a more robust, stand-alone school with permanent dedicated staff and more course offerings.
For more information, please visit: https://www.fortbendisd.com/VLP