In the last few days, interest has increased in Leander ISD's virtual learning program for the 2021-22 school year. A program waitlist began July 21 with 101 applicants in its first day.

The program exceeded its 300-student capacity July 21 with 332 enrolled students. Superintendent Bruce Gearing said at the July 22 board meeting that a recent rush of applicants came in the last few days.

In recent weeks, Williamson County re-entered its "uncontrolled community spread" phase, and Austin Public Health raised its guidelines to Phase 3 as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase amid confirmed delta variant cases. Both health departments recommended wearing masks regardless of vaccination status.

Leander ISD trustees approved a virtual learning program June 17 for families who have a need for their students to be in remote instruction. This is based on continued health concerns from the pandemic. The program is fully remote instruction for students from prekindergarten to 12th grade.

The 300-student cap was formed based on communication with families. Gearing said at least one student from every LISD campus enrolled is in the program. There are 206 elementary school students, 57 middle school students and 69 high school students.

Gearing said the district's administration did not want to close applications altogether, so a waitlist was formed with additional applicants. Online applications are date stamped and will be served in the order received as space becomes available.

The virtual program is funded through federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding. Gearing said the district did submit a waiver to the Texas Education Agency for state funding for the remote program, but the waiver will likely be denied in the next week.

Round Rock ISD announced a similar virtual learning program July 22 for students in kindergarten to sixth grade.

More information on the LISD program can be found at