Following the 87th Texas Legislature's failure to pass House Bill 1468, Klein ISD will not be able to launch the Klein Virtual Academy in the 2021-22 school year, district officials announced June 15.

As previously reported by Community Impact Newspaper, KISD had planned to launch the standalone virtual academy for students in grades 3-12 in the coming school year to replace the district's remote learning program from the 2020-21 school year, Klein Online. The district had already named Blackshear Elementary School Principal Meagan White as the KVA's new principal and accepted student applications for the new school in late April to early May.

However, the plan was contingent upon the fate of House Bill 1468, which would have provided funding to allow public school districts to continue offering remote learning in the 2021-22 school year; the 87th Texas Legislative session concluded May 31 before voting on the bill could take place.

According to a June 15 letter sent to families who had applied to the KVA, district officials said KISD inquired on multiple occasions to learn if the Texas Education Agency would provide a waiver that would allow the district to offer a virtual learning option. Despite these efforts, however, the district learned that a funding waiver for remote learning will not be an option for the 2021-22 school year, the letter states.

"We know that this news may be disappointing to your family, and we share your disappointment," KISD Chief Academic Officer Amy Miller wrote in the letter. "We appreciate your patience and understanding as we await further guidance and legislation regarding the future of virtual learning in Texas beyond the 2021-22 school year. As we plan for the 2021-22 school year, we anticipate welcoming all KISD students back in person to their home campuses on Wed., Aug. 18, 2021."

During a June 14 board meeting, KISD Deputy Superintendent Larry Whitehead presented an update to the district's strategic priorities, which included plans for the coming school year. According to Whitehead, as COVID-19 conditions continue to improve locally, KISD will no longer require staff, students or visitors to wear face masks; social distancing will not be enforced; plexiglass dividers/protective shields will not be implemented and COVID-19 signage will no longer be in place in the coming school year.

However, Whitehead said the district will continue utilizing upgraded ventilation systems in its facilities, as well as performing hospital-grade disinfection of district facilities and school buses in 2021-22. Hand sanitizing stations will also continue to be provided, he added.

"All of these hygiene practices will continue in the upcoming school year, in 2021-22, as they are highly effective in promoting a safe and clean working and learning environment for our students and our staff," Whitehead said.