Parents of eighth- through 11th-grade Katy ISD students will soon receive a survey to give their feedback on whether the district should offer a virtual high school option next year.

The survey comes after the KISD board of trustees at a March 29 meeting discussed the possibility of extending virtual instruction. Currently, KISD has Katy Virtual Academy, which was started to give parents a choice to have their students learn from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

KISD Superintendent Ken Gregorski told board members that whether to continue the virtual academy beyond the school year is “the big question” being asked.

“A lot of people are concerned,” Gregorski said. “It's a question board members have asked me and teachers have asked me and different groups have asked me.”

First and foremost, district members have spoken with a team of experts and believe all students should return back to school in person next year, Gregorski said.

However, he said, the virtual academy proved to be successful for many high school students, so the board decided to send surveys to parents to ask their input on whether to continue a virtual high school option going forward.

“We've learned a lot of lessons from COVID that we can replicate moving forward,” Gregorski said.

Because of the value of in-person learning, Gregorski recommended the board not consider creating a virtual academy for elementary or junior high school students.

If plans for a virtual high school do move forward, Gregorski explained that the school would be unaffiliated with any of the district's existing high school campuses. The virtual high school would offer online courses to ninth- through 12th-grade students only, and the school would have its own graduation and diploma.

The survey will be sent to parents within the coming week, district officials said.