Frisco ISD extends temporary online learning option for students through sixth grade

girl looking at laptop screen
If virtual learning is extended to the third nine weeks, online students may opt to switch to in-person classes at the beginning of the second semester by contacting their principal. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

If virtual learning is extended to the third nine weeks, online students may opt to switch to in-person classes at the beginning of the second semester by contacting their principal. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information about Senate Bill 15.

Frisco ISD has extended its temporary online learning option through the end of the fall semester.

Students who are new to FISD may sign up for virtual learning at the time of enrollment through the new-student registration process.

The district announced Sept. 17 that it would continue virtual learning, originally slated for the first nine weeks, for students in early childhood programs as well as kindergarten through sixth grade.

District staff will re-evaluate and extend the program as necessary until a COVID-19 vaccine is available for children under age 12. Once a vaccine is widely available for that age group, the district will end the virtual learning option. An online option is not currently available for students in grades seven through 12 because a vaccine is “strongly encouraged” for everyone above the age of 12, the district wrote in an email to parents. However, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 15 during the second legislative session earlier this year. The bill, signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, gives school districts the option to pass a resolution that would allow the Texas Education Agency to provide remote learning funding for students who meet certain criteria.


FISD is "actively exploring how remote learning can be implemented in future school years within the parameters provided by the signed legislation," said Korinna Kirchoff, the district's communication facilitator.

As of Aug. 30, more than 8,300 students were enrolled in online school, per the district website.

Re-enrollment for the virtual learning option for the 2021-22 school year is now closed to existing FISD students after opening at the beginning of October. In-person students will not be allowed to switch to online classes “to provide as much stability and instructional continuity as possible for students and teachers,” the district website said.

Students enrolled in online learning had the option to switch to in-person classes at the start of the second nine weeks, which was Oct. 18. If virtual learning is extended to the third nine weeks, online students may opt to switch to in-person classes at the beginning of the second semester by contacting their principal.

The district will provide devices to support online learning for students who need them. Students in first grade and below may check out an iPad. Students in second through sixth grade may check out a Chromebook. Requests can be sent to campus principals.

Mobile hot spots are also available upon request for students without internet access at home. Families may email [email protected] to request a hot spot.

The district is also distributing free to-go meals for online students. Students may pick up meals once a week from either Trent Middle School or Vandeventer Middle School. Families must sign up in advance to pick up meals. To-go meals are intended for families who plan to consistently pick up meals for the semester.

More information about online schooling, including resources and a frequently asked questions section, can be found on the district website.
By Brooklynn Cooper
Brooklynn Cooper covers public education in Frisco and McKinney. Previously, she reported on southern Dallas for The Dallas Morning News. The Durham, N.C. native and devoted Tar Heel fan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019.


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