The district took applications from Sept. 2-8 for kindergarten through sixth grade students to enroll in the virtual academy. Senate Bill 15, signed into law Sept. 9, paved the way for remote learning possibilities during the pandemic for independent school districts and open-enrollment charter schools.
There are 271 students enrolled in the virtual academy, Superintendent Carol Nelson told AISD trustees and community members during the meeting; the academy’s first semester ends Dec. 17. The district is home to about 27,000 students.
“It’s been very successful for those students who are in attendance,” Nelson said. “We’ve had a few bumps, but we’ve worked through that.”
SB 15 requires a district policy resolution addressing instructional and attendance-taking methods. The board passed this resolution Oct. 12, stating the academy uses a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
Daily attendance for synchronous instruction is taken at 9:30 a.m., and attendance for asynchronous instruction is determined through a daily attendance measure as described in AISD’s asynchronous instructional plan, per the resolution. The asynchronous instructional plan from 2020-21 can be viewed here.
Trustees also passed, with no discussion, individual goals and performance objectives for each of the district’s 19 elementary schools, seven middle schools and three high schools. These objectives include quantitative goal statements in one of four categories: academic performance, parental and community involvement, teachers and staff, and technology.
The objectives can be viewed starting on Page 65 of the Oct. 12 meeting agenda packet, which is available here.
- The board also approved a waiver for missed school days at two elementary campuses due to Hurricane Nicholas. AISD was closed Sept. 13-14 due to the storm, but Walt Disney Elementary and R.L. Stevenson Primary schools remained closed Sept. 15 due to lack of power. AISD had, and used, the additional minutes built into the academic calendar for the first two bad weather closures that happened at all schools Sept. 13-14.
- Digital Art and Animation and Principles of Health Science are the career and technical education, or CTE, courses with the highest enrollment for 2021-22, per district administrators. Lisa Butler, associate superintendent of academic services, and Erica Price, CTE director, shared testimony from CTE program alumni and gave program enrollment updates during the Oct. 12 meeting.