McKinney ISD's first three weeks of the 2020-21 school year will be in an all-virtual learning environment, according to a July 17 announcement from Superintendent Rick McDaniel.

The district decided on the all-virtual start due to the spread of the coronavirus and concern for the safety and health of students and staff, according to the announcement.

MISD parents recently submitted a commitment survey for their students to participate in either virtual learning or on-campus learning for the fall. The district's latest decision is the opposite of what many parents indicated in the survey, McDaniel acknowledged. Results from the Commitment Response Forms indicated that the majority of parents and guardians would choose in-person instruction, according to the announcement.

“While we completely respect and appreciate the desire for in-person instruction, we have decided to begin school with virtual instruction until the public health situation improves,” McDaniel said in his announcement. “Our goal is to begin offering on-campus instruction on September 3.”

The school has released protocols for its virtual learning environment on its McKinney ISD Instructional Plan webpage. All students are expected to follow the appropriate start times and grade-appropriate procedures for virtual instruction, McDaniel said. More information will be provided in the coming weeks with detailed information for logging in and other procedures for learning.

Parents are still being asked to submit their Commitment Response Form to the district so officials know whether students will attend in person or virtually when on-campus instruction does become available Sept. 3.

“This information is vital to our planning and preparation at both the district and campus level,” McDaniel said in his announcement.

An opportunity to change a student's instructional environment will be available before school starts Aug. 13, per the announcement. Parents and guardians will be able to submit changes beginning July 20 through July 30. Another opportunity to make this change will be available at the end of the first nine weeks of school, the announcement said.

McKinney joins other school districts, including Plano ISD, Frisco ISD and Richardson ISD, in choosing an all-virtual format for the start of the school year.