The district announced its tuition-free virtual learning curriculum, called FISD+, in a Nov. 1 news release. FISD+ also has a hybrid learning option, in which students take their core classes—reading, math, science and social studies—online and take all other courses on campus.
Superintendent Mike Waldrip said in the release that the district had been working on FISD+ for years. Senate Bill 15, which was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 9, allowed the district to move forward with the program. The bill grants full average daily attendance funding for local education agencies that have students enrolled in remote learning programs for the 2021-22 school year. SB 15 is in effect until September 2023.
“We are always looking for ways to evolve while expanding opportunities for our students and staff,” Waldrip said. “FISD+ provides a fresh and innovative approach to empower students to reach their personal best—regardless of academic setting.”
Online students will need to go to campus occasionally for science labs and to pick up required materials, the release said. They will have the opportunity to graduate with a distinguished diploma and a choice of several endorsements.
Full-time online students will not be able to participate in University Interscholastic League activities, such as athletic, musical and academic competitions. Hybrid students will be eligible to participate in UIL activities, career and technical education programs, and more.
Eligibility for FISD+ is based on several factors, including absences during the 2021-22 school year and scores on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. The full admissions process is available on the district website.
Applications for FISD+ will open Dec. 1. The district will host informational webinars about the program at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 and at noon Nov. 16.
More information about the program, including course offerings and frequently asked questions, can be found on the FISD+ site.
“Students deserve the flexibility to engage with their learning in new and innovative ways with a district curriculum that encourages inquiry- and project-based learning,” FISD Director of Innovative Learning Tiffany Carey said. “Teaching and learning will look different depending on the class, but students can generally expect to work independently and collaboratively, while also frequently engaging with a teacher in live instruction.”