Plano ISD had more than 350 students in each of its third, fourth and fifth grades enroll in the temporary, parent-led virtual option being offered for students in pre-K through sixth grade, according to district staff.

The district previously gave a preliminary total of 2,396 students who enrolled in the asynchronous virtual learning option for students too young to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Fourth grade has the highest share of virtual learners with 366, followed by the 365 second-grade students who were enrolled in the option. The district’s lowest share of virtual learners is the 136 in pre-K, while sixth grade had the next lowest with 240 students taking PISD up on the option.

District staff said enrollment continues to fluctuate on a daily basis.

The temporary virtual learning option began Aug. 16 and is scheduled to last through Sept. 3. The deadline for parents to register students for the option was Aug. 11.

Families who selected the virtual learning mode are allowed to return their student to in-person learning at any point by notifying their child’s campus, according to an Aug. 9 email to parents from the district.

In an Aug. 9 interview with Community Impact Newspaper, PISD Superintendent Sara Bonser said the virtual option could be extended beyond the Sept. 3 end date depending on the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With this plan in place, we feel like we have a viable option if we needed to extend [the virtual offering],” Bonser said. “We're going to get to Labor Day weekend and then ... we'll figure out what happens next.”

PISD’s virtual option was announced the same day Richardson ISD informed parents it would offer a virtual learning option for students in kindergarten through sixth grade. RISD staff said 1,040 students were registered for that district’s virtual option, which is slated to be offered through Oct. 15.